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Festina Lente Equestrian Centre & Walled Gardens

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Address: Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, Ireland
Phone Number:
+353 1 272 0704
09:30 - 18:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 11:00 - 18:00
Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00
Sat 09:30 - 18:00

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 19 reviews
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  • 13
  • 5
    Very good
  • 0
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Friendly accessible (for all ages) equestrian centre

This is a friendly and accessible (to all ages) equestrian centre close to Bray downtown. In a residential neighborhood Feste Lente employs local youngsters as helpers and guides... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Marblehead, Massachusetts
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19 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 18: English reviews
Marblehead, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
90 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is a friendly and accessible (to all ages) equestrian centre close to Bray downtown. In a residential neighborhood Feste Lente employs local youngsters as helpers and guides. In addition to equestrian activities, for sport and therapy, the Centre has a beautful garden and lovely cafe.

Thank rfmcnulty
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2017 via mobile

Took a walk today to visit the Victorian walled garden Beautiful place even at this time of year when the flowers are just waiting to bloom and look amazing. Can't wait to go back in April when the blooms are ready Home to rescued terrapins Opportunity to purchase plants and gifts at reasonable prices Bring your own picnic Lovely way... More 

Thank Laura C
Sunrise, Florida
Level Contributor
41 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2017

Each time we visit Ireland we get lessons here and the staff are wonderful, especially Ronnie. This year, my 8 year old did the pony camp over Christmas and she loved it. I recommend it for beginners like her. She got to ride multiple horses each day and learn how to care for them as well as learn how stables... More 

Thank irishinil
Level Contributor
95 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2016 via mobile

I was showing it to a friend who lives nearby but never knew about the place! Beautiful, an oasis of calm. The turtles were hiding (probably a winter nap), but the richness of autumn colours enchanted us so. Perfect place for some fresh air time.

Thank Justyna K
co. wicklow
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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 

Thank kikoo_9
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
49 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
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!

Thank Rourk
Level Contributor
95 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
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 

Thank Justyna K
Wicklow, Ireland
Level Contributor
104 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
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.

Thank Avril P
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
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 

Thank Niamh K
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
189 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
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 

Thank Rustydancer

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