In 1862, Benjamin Guinness bought Nos. 80-81 St. Stephen's Green and combined the two houses, turning them into the stately mansion that is Iveagh House today. It is now home to the Department of Foreign Affairs' headquarters, and therefore cannot be visited. However, just behind the house, you'll find the beautiful Iveagh Gardens, and these are open to the public. Designed in the 1860s, they offer a combination of the French and English garden styles, so while in some areas you'll find a cascade surrounded by natural landscapes, in others you'll find grand statues and fountains. The park was very quiet when we were there, there only were a few people walking and playing with their dogs (I even made friends with one of them!). In fact, it was so quiet and beautiful that I had to doublecheck to make sure I had not just walked into a private garden! So if you feel like taking a break from the city noise, this is definitely the place to go.
The Iveagh Gardens, located at the back of the National Concert hall and very close to Stephens Green, were originally owned by the Guinness family and were the gardens of their Dublin townhouse (which is now the Department of Foreign Affairs). They donated the gardens to the nation at the same time as the house and for many years they were almost unknown even to Dubliners. However in recent years, new entrances have opened and they are now very popular with lunchtime officeworkers. The Office of Public Works have done a wonderful job of restoring the various features of the gardens (originally laid out in the 1860's) and it really is an oasis in the centre of the city.
Iveagh Gardens are a little south of St. Stephen's Green. They are very peaceful and secluded. Quite the hidden gem. The waterfall, maze, sun dial and rose garden are very pretty. There are lots of walkways where the trees bend over the top to make little tunnels.
Highly recommended for a romantic stroll.
Developed as part of the Iveagh Estate in the 18th century, these gardens are still one of Dublin's best kept secrets. They lie behind the National Concert Hall and can be accessed via Harcourt Street, but are so well-tucked away that they remain quiet and tranquil even in the height of summer. The grounds were laid out at a time when all things Gothic were the height of fashion, so prepare to be slightly spooked by the park's dark, ivy-clad corners, eerie statues and winsome grotto. The gardens are currently under restoration and a Victorian rosarium has been recently rebuilt. A treasure.