One of the most beautiful islands off the Irish coast?

Fota Island was featured in a recent article by The Irish Post which listed it’s ten favourite islands off the Irish coast. With many of Ireland’s islands already popular tourist destinations in their own right such as the Aran Islands, there are a multitude of wonderful hidden and not-so-hidden gems to be discovered.

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Vote for Fota Island at the Europa Nostra awards

The Walled Garden at Fota House recently won an EU award for Cultural Heritage by Europa Nostra and is now also nominated for the Public Choice award.

You can vote to help bring this award to Fota:

Voting closes on May 31st but don’t leave it that long please 🙂

Derval O’Rourke RNLI Reindeer Run at Fota House

Three time Olympian, Derval O’Rourke, has joined forces with the RNLI, to help launch the RNLI Reindeer Run, which raises funds for the charity that saves lives at sea. The popular event encourages people to have fun while supporting the RNLI in their work. This year the Reindeer Run will take place at Fota House and Gardens on Sunday 23 November.

There will be a 1km Santa “Saunter” and 5km and 10km routes for both runners and walkers.

The Cork event at Fota House is followed a week later by the Dublin RNLI Reindeer Run which takes place in Marlay Park, Rathfarnham on Sunday 30th November.


Tufts University Chorale entertain the crowd at Fota House

Last Thursday night 10th January in the scenic and atmospheric grounds of Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens lovers of good music in East Cork were in for a treat with a night of chorale and classical music at the scenic grounds.

Beginning at 8pm, and with a complementary glass of wine at the interval, visitors to the concert were treated to a performance from Tufts University Chorale who had come all the way from America. The crowd who gathered to see the show were entertained by the group from Boston who performed several movements from the Bluegrass Mass by Carol Barnette.

Along with the performances of the Tufts University Chorale, there was also a show from the local Carrigaline Choral Group who were there to support the Boston based visitors, with a performance of “Voci Nuove” directed by Colm O’Regan and Dan Twomey, the Tenor Soloist last seen on RTE’s “The Voice.” With top class music and voices being heard and in beautiful timely settings of Fota House, the event was a welcome night out for people to the area.

Sick Cork Children to experience some Christmas Magic!

Young patients who attend Cork hospitals will experience some Christmas magic this week as they will be invited to visit Santa at the now unrecognisable Fota House, which has been transformed into a festive wonderland. Over 240 children are expected to experience the Christmas magic on Thursday, December 6th and Friday December 7th thanks to the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club (CCHCC) volunteers.

The invitation has been sent to children from Cork University Hospital, The Mercy University Hospital, Cork Deaf Association, Edel House and St. Gabriels who will be transported to Fota house in various fancy cars including limousines and mini coopers by local gardaí, the Cork City Fire Brigade and of course the army. Continue reading

Santa Claus is coming to town!

From Thursday, December 13th  to Friday December 21st,  “The Magic of Santa Claus at Fota House” will take place. Half of the proceeds will be donated to the St Vincent de Paul in Carrigtwohill and the other half will go to the house.

The cost of the ticket is €15 per child which includes a very special gift from Santa Claus himself. The ticket also includes admission for up to two accompanying adults. Continue reading

Fota House unveiled by minister Leo Varadkar after restoration

Paying tribute to all involved in the conservation, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar was in good form as he unveiled a plaque to mark completion of a €2.5 million restoration to Fota House in East Cork earlier in the week.

Over the past 4 years Failte Ireland and the Irish Heritage Trust have put a lot of work and money into restoring Fota House and gardens back to its full glory, installing it as another magnificent attraction to Fota Island. The elegant house with its stately gardens and arboretum originally began as a hunting lodge belonging to the Smith Barry family. It was completely transformed into the elegant Regency style house it is today in 1820 upon the permanent relocation of John Smith Barry from Britain to Cork. Commissioning the talents Irish architects, Sir Richard Morrison and his son William Morrison, he had it designed into a splendid residence that would suit his position. The architects completely transformed the lodge adding two new wings, a handsome Doric portico and opening up the interior through the use of fine scagliola columns that led to a stone staircase. The overall look is classical. The interior decor reflecting continental trends of that time can be seen in the gilt, marble work, painted ceilings and magnificent plaster details. Continue reading