The Irish National Stud prides itself on being enjoyed by visitors from all over the world. It’s a unique attraction of outstanding beauty that is home to magnificent horses.
For over 100 years, its aim has been to produce thoroughbreds capable of being crowned champions. It proved an instant hit with Minoru, one of the first star horses born on the stud’s land, triumphing in the Epsom Derby in 1909.
Meet the equine Living Legends, stroll through the Japanese Gardens, explore St Fiachra’s Garden, and visit the Horse Museum. There is also a play area for the kids.
Since the Irish began telling stories horses and horse racing have been at the heart of their culture. The enduring question has always been who has the fastest horse?
Journey through the history of horse racing. Brought to life like never before. The Irish Racehorse Experience takes the visitor on a journey through the rich history and heritage of the Irish thoroughbred sector, from the world’s very first steeplechase in Cork to today’s commercial success story where Ireland and the Irish diaspora continue to lead the world in breeding, training and racing.
The Irish National Stud’s 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.
For visitors and locals alike, The Japanese Gardens Restaurant is a must during your tour of the stud, and indeed on any occasion. Head chef, Ballymaloe-trained Natalie Collins and her manager take pride in offering simple, wholesome food with the emphasis on freshness and flavour.
Local ingredients are used wherever possible, providing a sound foundation for dishes with distinctive homemade style such as the beef hot pot served with seasoned baby potatoes or roast courgette and goats cheese tart. For plainer palates, the huge platter of Irish smoked salmon and freshly-baked brown bread is complimented with a selection of her finest salads. Quiche of the day could be ham, leek & mushroom. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.
Sandwiches, salads and wraps are all made to order and as baking is a huge strength, expect to be greeted by a mouthwatering array of freshly baked breads, scones, desserts and cakes. Take them away or enjoy them at your leisure with a variety of our finest coffees or even afternoon tea.
The Irish National Stud & Gardens offers a fun-filled day for the whole family. The playground offers a great variety of play equipment including swings, slides and climbing frames, sure to keep the little ones entertained! Enjoy the picnic facilities and Pavilion café for yummy treats throughout the summer months.
Open Daily, February to December
Playground, gardens, restaurant
Tully, Co. Kildare
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It is always advisable to check the opening dates and times of any attraction or business you intend to visit. Check their website or give them a call.