Delta Sensory Gardens

Patrick and I love to travel. We’ve been far and wide. From Bordeaux to Bangkok, Madrid to Mendoza, Venice to Varanasi. We’ve been places and have seen the sights. But there is still plenty more of this wonderful world for us to explore. And where better to make tracks than on our own home soil. We love to travel and we love Ireland so it only makes sense to explore what’s on our doorstep. And if you read this website often, then you know that’s exactly what we do as a couple and as a family. One of our favourite family travel discoveries in recent years is the Delta Sensory Gardens in Carlow.

Delta Sensory Gardens, Delta Centre, Strawhill, Carlow

We chanced our luck with the weather the afternoon we visited. It was one of those ‘four seasons in one day’ kind of days, blue skies then rain, then blue skies again.


Unfortunately we lost the bet with mother nature as it rained quite soon after we arrived. However it didn’t dampen our spirits, and even on a rainy day in September the gardens were glowing and gorgeous.

Delta Sensory Gardens, Delta Centre, Strawhill, Carlow


On Arrival

After purchasing our entrance tickets at reception, we were given a loan of a large umbrella, along with a map. We were then guided through the entrance of the gardens and advised how the gardens worked. After that we were left to our own devices. Which usually suits us best.

With cloudy skies above, the rain added to the lush of the greenery. And it was fun finding shelter under the branches of trees and their canopy leaves. During the first and only big downpour we were met by the staff member who had previously checked us in. She wanted to make sure we were dry, and so offered us with another large umbrella. This thoughtfulness stayed with us, a simple kindness we appreciated.

Delta Sensory Gardens, Delta Centre, Strawhill, Carlow

When the dark skies blew away to reveal bright blue skies we were greeted with glistening sculptures, sparkling roses and the multi-coloured hues of the beginning of Autumn, all rusty and earthy.

Delta Sensory Gardens, Delta Centre, Strawhill, Carlow


About the Gardens

There are ten gardens within the Delta Sensory Gardens, along with a walkway called the Celtic Walkway. Each garden is known by a different name, each name represents what’s inside. You’ll spot sculptured plaques telling you exactly which garden you are in. And it will all become clear as you walk and explore.

The gardens are:

  1. Interactive Games Garden
  2. Formal Rose Garden
  3. The Water & Woodland Garden
  4. The Mediterranean Garden
  5. The Five Senses Garden
  6. The Hubei Garden
  7. The Circle of Life
  8. The Sculpture Garden
  9. The Willow Garden
  10. The Stolen Child Garden

But the sensory experience doesn’t end there, when you have spent your time in the gardens there is a special sensory room within the reception area too.


Be Inspired

Tip – click the first photograph to begin the slideshow


There is also a look-out in the garden, found on the Celtic Walkway. Here there are herbs and plants growing out of the roof and pretty bunting hanging from its rafters. Scattered around the gardens, but obviously perfectly placed, you will find lots of places to sit and take it all in. Or just chill, meditate or even eat a sandwich and enjoy a cuppa.


Sculptures

The sculptures throughout the whole of the Sensory Gardens are fantastic. The artistic touches, the eye for detail, the fun and the obvious passion and love for the garden is evident in each piece. A credit to Robert Frazer the artist who created each one and whom we met by chance when we visited.


We loved our Delta Sensory Gardens visit on this day, and the visits since. Although we do remind ourselves constantly to return more often.

There is something magical about the place. I usually go in feeling good but come out feeling great. A really happy feeling, and smiling. It’s a special place.

Delta Sensory Gardens, Delta Centre, Strawhill, Carlow

Beautiful in Autumn – you can get a taste of from my photographs, in Winter the gardens are decorated with fairy lights – to add more magic. And you can visit Santa. Then there’s the awakening of Spring, and Summer after that. I’d probably live here if I could, a definite recommendation for your next road-trip or day off.

Delta Sensory Gardens, Delta Centre, Strawhill, Carlow

There is a beautifully bright purpose-built café and gift shop on site. Here you can grab coffee and cake, or dine on something more substantial. There’s plenty of space if you arrive complete with pram or stroller. And there are highchairs for the littlest amongst us too – always helpful. The gift shop – yes, it will most likely tempt you.

Opening hours for the gardens, café and gift shop are Monday to Friday 9am – 5.30pm, weekends and Bank Holidays 11am – 5.30pm.

For more information visit: deltasensorygardens.com

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The Delta Sensory Gardens Carlow - The Life of Stuff


The Life of Stuff - Delta Sensory Gardens Carlow

*This article was originally published in October 2015, but has since been updated with text, imagery and links.

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Edwina O'Connor
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