Inistioge is one the most scenic villages in Ireland. described as ‘a charming little village that lies in probably the prettiest part of the beautiful Nore valley spanned by a handsome ten-arched bridge’. Part of the Inistioge’s unique character may be attributed to its eclectic array of buildings, dating from medieval times to the Georgian and Victorian era, and that it is a compact urban settlement in a panoramic landscape. The views are simply magnificent.
With such natural assets, it is no wonder Inistioge was awarded a gold medal at the European competition, the ‘Entente Florale’.
Woodstock Gardens are located just outside the picturesque village of Inistioge. The gardens, overlooking the River Nore Valley, offer the visitor a wide variety of attractions and are a most relaxing and beautiful environment in which to spend a day.
The gardens are home to a mix of formal and informal gardens with an arboretum, walled garden, terraced garden, yew walk and rose garden providing the main interest. Also of significance are two stunning avenues, the Monkey Puzzle Avenue (said to be the longest in Europe) and Noble Fir Avenue.
The arboretum is home to many fine specimen trees from Asia and South America in particular. A number of these trees are recognised as champion trees due to their size. Nearby to the Arboretum is the Walled Garden laid out with fruit trees, a vegetable garden and a beautiful herbaceous border. Just outside the Walled Garden is a stunning cast iron conservatory which houses the Gardens Tea Room.
The Gardens are undergoing continuing restoration by Kilkenny County Council and further features and planting are being added all the time.
Many visitors enjoy a walk around the village taking in the tree-lined square and then down to the river. The green area by the river is delightful, perfect for canoeing and if you continue under the bridge, you will be able to see Mount Sandford Castle, a folly, which is hidden in the trees. Is it any wonder this village has been a film location so many times?
Though from any part of the district, the views of the River Nore are excellent, to see the best of the scenery follow the broad silent river as it winds lazily beneath luxuriant tree banks.