The Secret Garden

Rosslare Harbour, the gateway to Europe. When I moved to Rosslare Harbour in 1997,  the village was alive with tourists, busy hotels and a myriad of thriving businesses. Now, it would it seem, it is simply the place that tourists pass by as they go to board a ship. But let me tell you, it is more than that, it is still a community; a community that has seen more than it’s fair share of loss during the decline of the Celtic Tiger. Businesses closed down, hotels changed hands, some closed doors and never opened them again, young people moved away, but, community spirit lives on and it would appear it’s stronger than ever.


The Secret Garden as my children (and many others too I’m sure) call it is testament to that. Grounds that could have been left alone to become an overgrown wilderness have been transformed into a beautiful amenity for the village residents and visitors alike.


It is a haven of peace and tranquility as you follow the winding pathways lined with beautiful plants with the sounds of birds singing for company.


At the moment, as spring leads to summer, the gardens are awash with fabulous colours.

Fairy doors

The recent addition of fairy doors provides great excitement for younger children as they can knock on the doors to see if the fairies are home.

BeFunky Collage

As you meander through the gardens there are signs which provide wildlife information and little pieces of history about the location.

Bug Hotel

All species of wildlife are catered for and while some hotels may be closed in Rosslare Harbour, The Bug Hotel, is a hive (pun intended 😉 ) of activity!


These gardens continue to be a work in progress and I have to say I was astounded today at the progress since my last visit, the hours of work that goes into creating all of the stunning features, such as wooden bridges and arbours, it is such an absolute credit to the Rosslare Harbour/Kilrane Environment Group.


There is plenty of seating available to stop a while, savour your surroundings and get lost in thought.


Of course, for someone like me who has two small little people, who like to run, The Secret Garden is a great place to bring them. It is extremely safe, I can let them run ahead, safe in the knowledge that they can come to no harm. WP_20150607_053


The next time you visit Rosslare Harbour, perhaps you’ll be collecting someone from a ferry, or you might just be out for a drive and decide to look at the boat come in or depart (people do still do that!!); come a little early, go up into the village, park your car in the car-park alongside the memorial garden, take a look to your right, head into The Secret Garden and enjoy the results of the hard work from the local people, the people who live here; it really is stunning.



  1. Pencilled in for our next visit down to Rosslare 😉

    1. Great Emily 🙂 A stroll through the gardens followed by ice cream on the bank watching the boats in the harbour!

  2. Kathleen Duggan

    Love this place, just where I grew up many years ago!

    1. It is stunning. Thank you for taking the time to comment 🙂

  3. Looks lovely Nicola . Well done to the group who look after it . Something for this weekend methinks . Put the kettle on 🙂

    1. It is beautiful. My kettle is always on….you know that!! 😉

  4. Awh brilliant, will defo be checking this out.

    1. It’s a lovely little place 🙂

  5. […] The Secret Garden is a beautiful little haven in Rosslare Harbour, it has also been the most popular post this month, unsurprisingly, it is a place of natural beauty and while I hope I captured that in the photos, really the best way to see it is by popping down there for a visit. […]

  6. Helen Ivory

    Have just returned to Dublin from spending the weekend in rosslare harbour (one of many) however never visited Kirwans garden before. It really was a secret ! Its such a beautifull and relaxing garden. Well done to the community and all the people who work so hard to look after it.

    1. Thank you Helen 🙂 They do work very hard all year round on the gardens, a real credit to them 🙂

  7. […] As our family have grown we have really come to appreciate what’s on our doorstep, to actually live here. All too often we can take our surroundings for granted, now we appreciate them. There is never any shortage of things to do. Depending on the season it can be coffee & hot chocolate or ice cream on the beach in Rosslare Strand. Rambling down to the Burrow taking in the sights of Wexford across the way. The children love being on the bank in Rosslare Harbour, watching the boats come and go; I share a smile with Mr. Simply Homemade as we recall a time where evenings on the bank meant drinks in the hotel as opposed to ice creams with our children – how times have changed. When the boats aren’t in there are always fairy doors just waiting for you to knock in The Secret Garden. […]

  8. […] enough to live where we live, so we went to the beach for ice cream, checked on the fairy doors in The Secret Garden and of course chilled out in our own garden […]

  9. […] many it’s known as The Secret Garden (click here to read my previous post) or the Fairy Doors but today I’ll refer to it by it’s correct name, Kirwans […]

  10. Maire

    Is it easy to find heading to ferry in few weeks and would love to visit x

    1. It is Maire. As you approach the Harbour turn right at the church, right opposite Super Valu. Drive up through the village and you’ll see a Memorial Garden on the right, there’s a carpark here and the garden is just off that.

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