Nowhere better symbolizes all that is great about County Kildare, the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry, than the Irish National Stud and Gardens, a unique attraction of outstanding natural beauty that is home to some of the most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens to be found anywhere in the world.
From horses to horticulture, the Irish National Stud & Gardens offers you a unique experience that can be enjoyed at your own leisure or as part of a guided tour.
The Irish National Stud Farm is the home of equine royalty, immaculately-bred stallions who can be seen and admired alongside protective mares, frolicking foals and athletic yearlings.
In the world-famous Japanese Gardens, you can follow the path called the ‘Life of Man’ which traces the passage of a soul from birth to death and beyond, at the same time providing a meeting place for the cultures of East and West.
The Irish National Stud & Gardens is home to a team of Living Legends; world-class retired racehorses including Hurricane Fly and Beef or Salmon. There is also a horse museum containing the skeleton of the greatest steeple chaser of all time, Arkle.
The Japanese Gardens, renowned throughout the world and the finest of their kind in Europe, are far more than simply a treat for the eye. They also provide comfort to the soul, achieving exactly the objective that was set out when the gardens were created between 1906 and 1910.
Devised by Colonel William Hall Walker, a wealthy Scotsman from a famous brewing family, the gardens were laid out by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru. Their aim was, through trees, plants, flowers, lawns, rocks and water, to symbolise the ‘Life of Man’. That plan was executed to perfection and Eida’s legacy is now admired by the 120,000 visitors who soak up the peace of the gardens every year.
Very much representative of Japanese gardens from the early 20th century, Eida’s work traces the journey of a soul from oblivion to eternity and portrays the human experience of its embodiment as it journeys by paths of its own choice through life. Birth, childhood, marriage, parenthood, old age, death and the afterlife are all brought to mind as the gardens, a seamless mixture of Eastern and Western cultures, are explored.
St Fiachra’s Garden, a tribute to an Irish saint, is a stunningly raw representation of Ireland’s singular landscape. A fitting tribute to Ireland herself, this large relaxing garden is situated within a natural setting of woodlands, wetland, lakes and islands. The garden seeks to capture the power of the Irish landscape in its rawest state, that of rock and water, the wonder of nature at its most elemental with which the monks were in touch. The garden thereby does not look at St Fiachra’s achievements or what he became, but rather at what, in large part, formed him.
Open early February to early November, 2020
Daily 09:00 – 18:00
Closed: early November to early February
Last admission: 17:00
Approx. visit duration: 2 to 3 hours. The guided tour is 45 minutes
Admission Rates 2020
Senior (aged 60+): €11.00
Student (with valid ID): €11.00
Child (aged 5-16): €8.00
Child (under 5): Free
Family (2 adults & 4 children): €32.50
Free guided tours, as part of the entrance fee at 10:30, 12:00, 2:00 and 4:00. Added tours during busy times.
LANGUAGES: Self-guided leaflets in various languages
DINING/REFRESHMENTS: Full restaurant serving morning coffee; afternoon tea and scones; full lunches and light refreshments and wine.
SHOPPING: Gift shop onsite offering high-quality branded goods including clothing, souvenirs, and postcards.
CHILDREN: Playground and fairy trail on-site. Dedicated baby-changing room and baby-changing benches with adjacent hand-washing and hand-drying facilities.
PARKING: Free car and coach parking on-site.
ACCESSIBILITY: The Stud and St Fiachra’s Garden are fully wheelchair accessible. The Japanese Gardens are partially accessible. Fully accessible toilet available in the Visitor Centre and at the children’s playground. Assistance dogs are permitted
GROUPS: Group rates available (minimum 20 people). Pre-booking required.
The Stud is located 48km south of Dublin off the main M7 motorway (take Exit 13 on the M7 motorway).