We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Festina Lente Equestrian Centre & Walled Gardens

Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 1 272 0704
Website
Today
11:00 - 18:00
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 11:00 - 18:00
Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00
Sat 09:30 - 18:00
Description:

Festina Lente is an embracing not-for-profit organisation founded in 1988...

Festina Lente is an embracing not-for-profit organisation founded in 1988 which hosts an Equestrian Centre, Walled Gardens, Garden Centre & Educational Training Centre and provides a range of occupational, learning and employment opportunities for people whose needs have not been met in mainstream services.

All activities encourage individual choice, personal development, achievement and progression.

Our campus is situated in the grounds of what was once Old Connaught House: formerly the residence of the Plunket family.

Festina Lente (Latin) means Hasten Slowly and is the Plunket family motto. We adopted this as the name of our organisation in 1995 because it conveys our culture perfectly.

On the campus there is a two and a half acre Victorian Walled Garden. The Garden was once part of the Plunket estate and was developed during the family's ownership. Each Baron Plunket made changes to the Garden which included the addition of the kitchen garden, a large greenhouse and a pool garden.

Today the Ornamental Garden has a beautiful fountain, various flower beds, borders, statues and a variety of other original features. The Pool Garden has two large rectangular pools; they are home to our terrapins and goldfish. The Kitchen Garden has a spectacular herbaceous border and a working kitchen garden where fruit and vegetables are grown in allotments.

The Walled Garden is also home to our Garden Shop where we stock a variety of seeds and plants, as well as various crafts and foods.

We have wonderful facilities in our Equestrian Centre; it is both a working and learning environment for hundreds of people every year. We have a reputation for excellence in coaching people of all ages and abilities who, not only learn to ride, they also learn about horse welfare and management.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 16 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 10
    Excellent
  • 4
    Very good
  • 0
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Nice peaceful location

Peaceful location and a good selection of plants for sale in little shop. Beautiful to walk around and admire the plants and flowers growing in each patch on a sunny day,also can... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 September 2016
kikoo_9
,
co. wicklow
Add Photo Write a Review

16 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
Showing 15: English reviews
co. wicklow
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2016

Peaceful location and a good selection of plants for sale in little shop. Beautiful to walk around and admire the plants and flowers growing in each patch on a sunny day,also can grab a cheap cup of coffee from the shop. I love seeing the horses going in and out also and the people there are friendly well behaved dogs... More 

Helpful?
Thank kikoo_9
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
44 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2016

Festina Lente is a 2 minute walk from my parent house. Fantastic for a wander around. Staff are excellent and the shop is full of fantastic bargains! Sitting in the gardens on a sunny day is very hard to beat!

Helpful?
Thank Rourk
Ireland
Level Contributor
83 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2016 via mobile

Victorian garden, walled and manicured; two ponds- one with 16 sunbathing turtles! Interesting plants, some of which you can buy at the kiosk; coffee shop with cakes and a fairy tree! Gardening plots (allotments) and pony camps. Education and fun. Free entrance. My children were delighted! But, surprisingly, even people living nearby, know not about the place... Maybe that's for... More 

Helpful?
Thank Justyna K
Wicklow, Ireland
Level Contributor
94 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2016

We love to go there for our Christmas Tree, They also have a lovely gardens and allotments that you can visit. The staff are very helpful and friendly...its a little like stepping back in time.

Helpful?
Thank Avril P
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2016 via mobile

Super this pace is like the Tardis.. When you go in you dont expect so many stables healthy horses and a huge indoor ring.. Not that i expected a dump, i just didnt expect such an amazing place.. Private Lesson with Sue was brilliant i had experience years ago but no lessons and this was brilliant.. 48e for 45 minutes... More 

Helpful?
Thank Niamh K
Greystones, Ireland
Level Contributor
88 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2016

Perfect Location . I usually don't like going there . Beautiful walled gardens . This is a hidden gem off the M50 en route to Bray.

Helpful?
Thank Beuls17889035687
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
189 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2015

My daughter learned to ride here and I still go up for my garden manure every year. I brought a young lady from Canada with me, she was so delighted at the tiny tortoises that lounge around the ponds. The vegetable garden has everything you could imagine. Apples are abundant and I picked up two windfalls and they were delicious.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rustydancer
Wicklow
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2015

I loved this place, it's hidden away and hard to find but worth the effort. The gardens aren't very large but there's allotments where locals are growing plants and also a horse riding centre which has excellent staff. The shop is very cute for gifts and hot drinks

Helpful?
Thank KatherineHepburn
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2015

Hidden gem off the M50 en route to Bray. Beautiful walled victorian gardens, soothing sounds of water, quiet, peaceful and most relaxing. Dogs are allowed, provided you pick up after them. You are also permitted to bring your own picnic. Coffee shop serves excellent coffee in the gift shop. Here you can purchase hand made soaps and also plants from... More 

Helpful?
Thank Laura C
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
55 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2015

I was there for a whole week as part of voluntary work taking a group of children there for the day, it was my first time and I found it simply superb. In the morning the kids were busy with some activities (soap and candle making to name a few) and in the afternoon they went horse riding. It was... More 

Helpful?
Thank clarisiza

Travellers who viewed Festina Lente Equestrian Centre & Walled Gardens also viewed

 
Bray, County Wicklow
 

Been to Festina Lente Equestrian Centre & Walled Gardens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Festina Lente Equestrian Centre & Walled Gardens and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Festina Lente Equestrian Centre & Walled Gardens staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?