In reading Rick's book about Ireland he pans the Victorian Gardens at Kylemore Abbey. Time for a revisit! It is a walled garden that slopes from 2 adjacent hills joining in the middle and are spectacular (Sep 2014). Everyone who walks through the gates to the gardens gives a small gasp due to the beauty of the geometrical beds of colorful flowers and plants it offers. In it's day it was said to rival the Royal Kew gardens of London...much smaller space but in the day they had quite a few green houses and now only one remaining and others being redone.
There is a charming cottage that was the residence of the head gardener that has been refurbished along with tool sheds and dingier living spaces of the garden workers. We spent at least 40 minutes enjoying the environs stopping to sit and gaze at the well tended formal gardens and kitchen garden. Very serene and a nice tea shop.
Don't miss this if in the area...I would rank as pretty spectacular as gardens go!