Oakfield Park GardensOakfield Park is a privately owned house set in 100 acres of magnificent parkland, woodlands and gardens near the town of Raphoe in the heart of County Donegal
Oakfield Park Gardens Donegal
Oakfield Park is a privately owned house set in 100 acres of magnificent parkland, woodlands and gardens near the town of Raphoe in the heart of County Donegal. The gardens are open to the public between Easter and October. There is also a narrow gauge railway that winds its way over 4km of track within the estate.
Gardens open Easter to October; Wednesday to Sunday (plus Bank Holidays), 12 to 6pm and 7 days per week in June, July and August
T: +353 (0)74 9173068
Oakfield Park was originally built as the Deanery for Raphoe Cathedral in 1739. This beautifully restored house is set in a lush landscape of parklands and mature woodlands, overlooking the distant Croaghan Mountain.
The magnificent grounds include a traditional walled garden and kitchen garden, flower meadows lakes and streams, as well as wetland areas. In 2009 a Nymphaeum was added to the grounds – this is an ancient Greek or Roman style monument through which water flows.
In the 1950s Oakland Park was effectively stripped of all its oak trees by a previous owner. This has now thankfully been reversed and over 60,ooo trees have been lovingly planted by the current owners with a mixture of hollies, limes, a lot of beech, chestnuts and, of course, oak. In fact there is up to 140 species of oak now planted. In recent years, a hedge maze, restaurant and guided walking routes have been added.
The restoration and improvements at Oakfield Park are certainly bearing fruit. In 2006 it won the Viking Irish Garden of the year and in 2007 it was a runner-up in the Country Life Genius of the Place award.
A hugely popular feature of Oakfield Park is a wonderful miniature railway This railway is based on the now defunct Co. Donegal Railways. Over 4km of track has been laid and the narrow gauge railway has a miniature steam engine and carriages in the old CDR livery.
The train winds around the lake and woodlands and offers an excellent opportunity to view the lower gardens in comfort. Trains run every day that the gardens are open. Tickets and departure times are available upon arrival and from the station.
There are three trains operating at Oakfield Park – two diesel locomotives and the Duchess of Difflin steam engine.
A Santa Express usually runs throughout December each year. If you would like to book in for a Christmas train ride and a visit to Santa please visit www.oakfieldpark.com
In the gardens of Oakfield Park the visitor can discover willow tunnels, oak circles, boardwalks, a par terre and a classical Nymphaeum by the formal lake. The gardens include:-
- Formal Walled garden & Kitchen Garden
- Parkland, Woodland and Riverside Walks
- Abundant Wildlife
- Train Rides
- Garden Group Tours by arrangement
- Picnic Benches
- Free Car Parking
The house is private.
Irish Times Review
“To call the gardens at Oakfield Park impressive is rather like stating that Messi is good at football. Part-restored old garden, part-new project, this is grand scale gardening, almost unique on the island.
The flower gardens, walled kitchen gardens and box gardens will win over the fussiest control-freak gardener. The woods and sweeping lawns leading down to newly-built boating ponds complete with stone temples are impressive.
Add more man-made lakes, willow tunnels, wild flower meadows, viewing towers, mounds and wetlands, and then throw in a narrow gauge model railway with diesel and steam trains on 5km of tracks. Phew. Set aside a full day.”