At Ballyfin, stone walls enclose 600 acres of parkland, a lake and ancient woods, delightful garden buildings, follies and grottoes. The landscape, laid out in the mid-eighteenth century, is among the finest examples in Ireland of the natural style of gardening inspired by ‘Capability’ Brown. Among other highlights are the medieval-style tower, built as a folly in the 1860s, and the walled gardens.

The house has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland and, after eight years of restoration, Ballyfin re-opened in May 2011 as a small country house hotel like no other. It offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable. The house has been furnished with a collection of Irish art and antiques from around the world, fine Irish Mahogany, French chandeliers and mirrors by Thomas Chippendale. The result is spectacular, and today one of Ireland’s most endangered great houses has emerged ready for the current century, a place of grandeur, yet warm, providing the kind of welcome envisaged when the house was first built.

The house itself was built in the 1820s for another Sir Charles Coote to designs by the great Irish architects Sir Richard and William Morrison. The Cootes enjoyed the house for exactly one hundred years, employing a large team of servants to preserve the life of refined leisure that is documented in Edwardian photographs showing tea on the terrace or skating in the walled garden. As the political situation changed with the dawning of the Irish Independence, the Cootes sold the estate to the Patrician Brothers who, for much of the twentieth century, ran a much-loved school at Ballyfin.

Among the outdoor activities offered at Ballyfin are coarse fishing on the lake, which has a large stock of roach and pike, croquet, clay pigeon shooting, tennis, archery and falconry.

Within the demesne there are several miles of hard surfaced paths as well as miles of mown grass paths offering a gentle stroll or the exhilaration of mountain biking. The gardens and park lands are a delight to explore and picnics are offered to enjoy in the grounds.

Ballyfin Demesne is full of wildlife, so much to look out for while exploring the demesne. Wild birds to name a few that can be seen are Kestrels, Sparrowhawks, Hen Harriers, Buzzards, long eared Owl, Cuckoo, Pheasants, Kingfishers, Swans, Cootes and Moorhens.

Catch a glimpse of a Fox, Deer, Red Squirrel, Mink and Pinemartin.

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon fishing on the lake, Pike, Roach, Tench and Eel are available and if you are lucky enough to get the catch of the day then our Chef will gladly prepare your catch for dinner.

Most activities are complimentary to guests.

Boating On The Lake
Enjoy a leisurely boat trip on the 28 acre lake or why not let the Butler take you out while you relax and enjoy the scenery. Arrange a Ballyfin picnic and this will be ready for you at a beautiful private location close to the lake.

Coarse Fishing on the Lake
A morning or afternoon of fishing on the lake for Pike and Roach.

Ballyfin Picnic Experience
Arrange a Ballyfin picnic in a place of your choice on the demesne. You are spoilt for choice with some excellent locations to choose from, the grotto, temple, by the water cascade, top of the tower, by the lake.

Horse Riding
With 600 acres to explore, horse riding around the demesne is a wonderful experience. The guides will take you around the demesne, trekking by the tower and lake, deep into the demesne. Horse riding lessons in the paddock can also be arranged.

Pony & Trap
Step back in time and take a guided tour on a pony & trap which awaits you at the front door. The tour will take you around the pathways of the demesne with your guide highlighting the history of the demesne.

Clay Pigeon Shooting
Clay Pigeon shooting is a thrilling experience. Whether you are a beginner or expert you will enjoy this sport. Perfect your aim, time your shots and let the competitive streak in you shine.

Falconry
Experience the beauty and elegance of these majestic birds of prey, get close and be captivated by eagles, hawks, falcons and owls.