Visit Bantry House for an impressive collection of art, lavish furniture, paintings and tapestries. Many of these treasures were collected from around the world by the second Earl of Bantry. The earl's travels also inspired Bantry House's garden. Italianate in style, the garden features a number of terraces, providing spectacular views of a wisteria-encircled fountain, the sea and Whiddy Island. The garden also features the Hundred Steps, a steep staircase which provides a great view of the house. Blackrock was Bantry House's original name when it was constructed at the turn of the 18th century. In 1765, the house was purchased and extended by Richard White, the first Earl of Bantry. The house has been in the family ever since. From 1946, the house and gardens have been accessible to the public.The house is a popular venue for events. Enjoy string quartets in the library, craft fairs in the stables, theater on the lawn and literary gatherings in the tearoom.Bantry House offers bed and breakfast accommodation during the warmer months. Spend a night in an en-suite bedroom, savor an Irish breakfast and use the same billiard room and library where earls have relaxed for centuries. Special golf, historic and gourmet packages are available too. If you're not sleeping over, visit the excellent tearoom at least to experience the tradition and taste of Irish cream tea.On Fridays, the Bantry market sells local Irish food, and artisan crafts and souvenirs. The local pubs often have live traditional music at night.Bantry House and Garden is open only from the end of March to the end of October on Tuesdays to Sundays and Monday bank holiday. Check the website of the estate to see when the free five-minute introductions to the estate are given and what events are scheduled. Book in advance for the popular afternoon tea service. Guidebooks are provided if you miss the introduction. The estate is a 90-minute drive from Cork or Kerry. Buy a house and garden ticket, or just visit the garden and pay less. Family tickets are available.