Irish National Stud
Time and again our guests tell us that the National Stud is a favorite stop on their itinerary. Not just because of the stud’s interesting history and beautiful horses, but also for the lovely gardens which are maintained there.
Some of Europe’s finest stallions call the stud home and on tours led by knowledgeable stud employees you’ll learn about their cosseted lives and the (often inexact) science of breeding winners. A visit in spring or summer, when mares and foals are out in the fields, is a particular joy. Among other fascinating exhibits in the National Horse Museum is the skeleton of Arkle, arguably the greatest horse ever to grace a race course.
There are two gardens to explore, both equally beautiful and fascinating. The Japanese Gardens, created more than 100 years ago, follow the journey of the soul though life – from birth through a rocky cave, via the various choices, setbacks and joys of life to reach, finally, the Gateway of Eternity.
St. Fiachra’s Garden is a contemplative space, inspired by the spirituality of early monastic life in Ireland, and includes a stunning subterranean garden with glass rocks created by Waterford Crystal surrounded by rare plants and ferns lit by fibre optic lights.
And as if all that was not enough, prepare for cute overload – the stud also breeds Falabella ponies.