We came across Festina Lente quite recently, and strongly recommend you pay a visit to this absolutely beautiful, hidden, peaceful gem only a few minutes from Bray town centre and just off the M11 (Exit 5).
Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow A98 F702
The garden and facilities are open to the public to enjoy and entry is free, but it is a charity and a donation to help with upkeep would be greatly appreciated and can be made via the donation box in the Garden Shop.
Festina Lente is a registered charity providing a truly unique range of equestrian and horticultural activities, training, recreational events and employment services including for those with special needs. Facilities include Garden Centre & Shop / Garden Workshops, outdoor Café, and Dog Training & Grooming.
Wonder Paws Dog Training & Agility and Dog Grooming
Festina Lente is home to Wonder Paws Dog Training & Agility and Dog Grooming facility The Grooming Shed at Festina Lente.
100% of profits from their classes, lessons & workshops go to the Festina Lente Foundation. Check out their website for more details of the range of grooming services and details + dates of their classes.
A wide range of garden plants and flowers and gardening accessories are available for sale in the garden shop. Cat and Dog Toys and accessories and Dog Training Accessories are also on sale.
Festina Lente horticulturists will also plant up your empty containers and baskets with a choice of plants that you can pick from the garden centre and have them ready for you to take away.
Festina Lente Victorian Walled Gardens & Garden Centre offer a series of gardening workshops presented by qualified horticulturists in Summer 2017 in June, July & August for adults.
For details of upcoming workshops:
Victorian Walled Garden (Dog-friendly Gardens)
At 2.5 acres, this is the largest working Victorian Walled Garden in Ireland and contains many beautiful features and stunning fauna and flora. The gardens have been lovingly restored to the original Victorian design and plans surrounded by the original walls built in the 1780’s.
Today the Ornamental Garden has a beautiful fountain, flower beds, borders, statues and a variety of other original features. There is also a sensory trail through the edges of the garden, and a perennial meadow.
The Pool Garden has two large rectangular pools; they are home to terrapins and goldfish.
The Kitchen Garden has a spectacular herbaceous border and a working kitchen garden where fruit and vegetables are grown in allotments.
Walled Garden and Garden Shop Opening Times (as of 4th July 2017):
Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm.
Sunday: 11am – 6pm.
The Equestrian Centre offers lessons, camps and equine facilitated learning programmes for people of all ages, backgrounds, learning abilities and interests. Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced rider the Equestrian Centre has something for you.
This also includes Pony Camps & Clinics for children aged 4 upwards, from beginner through to more advanced levels.
Festina Lente has also been providing Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) programmes for over 5 years. It is a process where people work with horses to develop their emotional growth, personal awareness, relationships, and trust.
The Equestrian Centre is fully approved by both the Association of Irish Riding Establishments (AIRE) and the British Horse Society (BHS).
QQI Level 4 Horsemanship Course
QQI Level 4 Horsemanship Course Open Day 18th July 2017
Meeting rooms are available to rent with free car park, access to gardens, in a very accessible, yet peaceful setting.
Snacks, Coffee & Tea, Cold Drinks are available from the Café, while sandwiches can be organised but must be pre-booked.
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