Coole Park Nature Reserve, Gort

#1 of 6 in Things to do in Gort
Park · Garden
Welcome to the website of Coole/Garryland Nature Reserve

Coole is at the centre of a rare and complex wetland system that is considered to be of global importance. The system includes underground rivers, seasonal lakes (turloughs), springs and swallow holes. Situated in the low-lying karstic limestone region west of Gort, Co Galway the nature reserve covers an area of approximately 400 hectares (1000 acres) where wetland and woodland meet.

“The beauty, the romance of our Seven Woods, the mysteries of the ebbing and flowing lake are dear to me, have been well loved, and are now in hands that will care and tend them it is likely for ever”

Lady Gregory, 26th May 1929

Coole Park, in the early 20th century, was the centre of the Irish Literary Revival. William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, John Millington Synge and Sean O' Casey all came to experience its magic. They and many others carved their initials on the Autograph Tree, an old Copper beech still standing in the walled garden today.

At that time it was home to Lady Gregory, dramatist and folklorist. She is perhaps best known as a co-founder of the Abbey Theatre with Edward Martyn of nearby Tullira Castle and Nobel prize-winning poet William Butler Yeats. The seven woods celebrated by W.B. Yeats are part of the many kilometres of nature trails taking in woods, river, turlough, bare limestone and Coole lake.

At Coole, we invite you to investigate for yourself the magic and serenity of this unique landscape. Although the house no longer stands, you can still appreciate the environment that drew so many here. You will experience the natural world that Yeats captured in his poetry. Through this website, you can learn about this special place and its wildlife, as well as Gregory family history and literary connections.

About Us

Visitor Information

Coole/Garryland Nature Reserve, Gort, Co Galway

Phone: 091 631804 Fax: 091 631653

Email: Website:

Free admission

Opening Times:

Nature Reserve open daily all year:

Winter 8am to 6pm & summer 8am to 7.30pm

Visitor Centre:

Opening times may be subject to change

Opening times for 2014:

5th April to 31st May 10am to 5pm

1st June to 31st August 10am to 6pm

1st to 25th September daily 10am to 5pm

Closed last weekend in September

At other times by prior arrangement only


Open Easter to late September
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Coole Park Nature Reserve reviews

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262 reviews
  • I made a big mistake yesterday and moved a small outdoor table to accommodate ten of us eating at the cafe. Boy was I sorry. The manager was so rude, angry and kept giving out about moving this...  more »
  • If you are passing through Gort or even passing on the motorway it is 100% worth it popping into Coole Park for a beautiful walk. The gardens are fab, the lake is beautiful and there’s a lovely tea...  more »
  • Fabulous free amenity with lovely scenic wooded walkways and trails which suits both walking and cycling. A beautiful garden picnic area perfect for the kids to run around and let off steam. The autograph tree is worth a look.
  • Lovely park garden with very pleasant walks for strollers or the more active! I enjoyed the fresh scones from the coffee shop. And having soup later on the brown bread was so tasty I just had to buy a loaf for home.

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