The Road To Lord Brandon’s Bridge
Lord Brandon’s Cottage is situated on the edge of Killarney’s National Park overlooking the Upper Lake. An undertaking to get too, but worth the adventure. Locals run boat trips, chauffeur driven trips and horse & carriages. It is the nicest way to experience the Gap of Dunloe and to view Killarney in all its glory!
One of the best ways to experience Lord Brandon’s Cottage begins at Ross Castle. A wonderful Family Activity, the boat trips are around €100 for the family of four. Hopping on a boat from Ross Castle, sailing through the beautiful Lakes of Killarney before making your way up to Lord Brandon’s Cottage. This boat trip is truly special and is one you will never forget.
“Passing the Eagle’s Nest mountain rises above you as you navigate the Long Range river towards the Meeting of the Waters. This stretch of the journey is probably your best chance of spotting one of the white tailed eagles that now inhabit the remote areas of Killarney National Park.” Killarney Guide
By ascending Purple Mountain to get to the Cottage, you achieve the most expansive view of the Upper and Middle Lakes, and surrounding mountains, including the MacGillycuddy Reeks and our vast National Park. It is at Lord Brandons Bridge where you will find horse and carriages to bring you back down through the Gap of Dunloe, to Kate Kearney’s Cottage.
Throughout the Gap of Dunloe and the Black Valley, you’ll notice many glacial lakes. The formation of these ‘pater noster’ lakes are one of the many visible signs of Ice Age activity in the area. Look out for rock formations and boulders perched precariously as the glaciers melted. Further more you’ll notice the ruins of abandoned homes, from Famine times, dotted along the way. The roads are steep and if walking or cycling it can be a tough journey!
There is no question as to why they built the Cottage here. In a time when hunting and fishing, sketching and painting were daily activities, what better location to build.
History and Scandal-
Very little remains of the original hunting lodge and old Tower are crumbling. The Tower was built after the discovery of an affair between Lady Brandon and Lord Melbourne. Lord Brandon found their love letters to each other in 1829, and it led to a very public court case.
He was a possessive man and a recluse, imprisoning his wife after the affair. While under his house arrest, Lady Brandon complained that she was getting no air. This led to the building of the Tower, enabling her air and scenery. Although according to locals it was built as a vantage point shoot deer.
Lord Brandon soon fled the scandal to France and died in 1832. Despite the lurid past of Lord Melbourne he went on to become Prime Minister of Britain in 1834. He also became a friend and advisor to Queen Victoria.
The cottage, fell into disrepair and continued to crumble, until a cottage was rebuilt which is now a cafe and well known tourist spot.
Discover the beautiful scenery, history and wildlife that awaits you,
We hope you’ll visit The Gallery 21 on your adventure!