Avoid at all costs. Whilst on Valentia island for a day trip we decided to visit Glanleam house and gardens as my mother is a keen gardener. The main gates were open and the ticket office unmanned so we continued up the lane to the main house where a watchful dog alerted the owner to our presence. We were presented with a photocopy of a hand drawn map, given general directions and charged €6.00 each (no senior citizen rate). No on-site information, no tickets, no receipts. Very quickly the error of our ways became apparent as we started to explore the ‘grounds’ hoping to find some walled or landscaped areas. What we found was an over grown, ill kept poorly signed mess. The toilets were just about fit for purpose, the foot paths crumbling and covered in moss and the ‘gardens’ over grown and unkempt. Yes, we did see some sub-tropical fauna and yes we understand that this is an old 19th century ‘working farm’ green house, but decided that it wasn’t worth dragging my elderly mother around on poor foot paths for hours. This may be a botanist’s idea of fun but it is certainly not for the average tourist / gardener. We were back at the car within 15 minutes and felt pretty much ripped off after spending €12. My mother approached the owner to return the ‘map’ and offer some feedback (if a refund, partial or not, was forthcoming that would have been welcome). What we did get was a tirade of abuse.....’what did we expect’...’we were unbelievable’ .....etc. As we drove out of the grounds I could still see the ‘lady’ shouting in my rear view mirror.
Later that trip we visited Muckross house in Killarney, enjoyed free parking, beautiful grounds and immaculate gardens, tropical plants in a Victorian green house and lovely restaurant and facilities with friendly staff. Cost...€0. If sub-tropical plants are your thing you can also visit Garnish Island in the harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay.
Do not waste your time and money on Glanleam and its ignorant owner.
- Also Known As:
- Glanleam House Hotel Valentia Island
- Glanleam Hotel Valentia Island