Fota Wildlife Park, Fota Island, Co Cork

Fota Island Cork

Fota Island is located just north of Cobh in County Cork. It includes Fota Wildlife Park, Fota House, Fota Gardens, and Fota Island Golf Club and Resort.

Fota Wildlife Park

Fota Wildlife Park is a 40-hectare wildlife park located on Fota Island, near Cobh in County Cork. It was first opened in 1983. The park had an attendance of 455,559 visitors in 2017.

The park is home to about 30 mammals and 50 bird species. Some of the animals roam freely, including the ring-tailed lemurs and wallabies, while larger animals, including the giraffe and bison, live in paddocks with barriers. Fota Wildlife Park also has red pandas, tapirs, siamang gibbons, and many other animals.

Many of the animals at Fota are under threat of extinction, and Fota Wildlife Park is involved in breeding programs for these endangered species, as well as being a breeding source for other zoos around the world.

Official Website: Fota Wildlife Park

Fota House

Fota House was the former home of the Smith-Barry family. The family was granted lands at Fota and elsewhere in 1185 as part of the Norman invasion of Ireland. It was originally a hunting lodge and became the family’s main residence in the 1820s.

During the latter part of the last century, the house fell into some disrepair, and in 1975, the estate was sold to University College Cork. It was restored by the Irish Government and reopened in 2002. In December 2007, the Irish Heritage Trust took over responsibility for Fota House

Fota Gardens

Fota Gardens are on the grounds of Fota House. These consist of a structured arboretum and a walled garden and terraces. The gardens include rare and exotic shrubs and trees, along with an extensive rose garden.

Many of these plant collections are arranged in association with the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin, and other botanic institutions such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburg, Scotland. 

Official Website: Fota House and Gardens

fota house and gardens
Fota House and Gardens

Fota Island Resort

Fota Island Resort lies within a 780-acre estate comprising of woodlands, landscaped areas, and a golf course. In 2006, the owners built a 5-star hotel and spa as well as self-catering accommodation. In 2013, the Kang family acquired the property.

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