Irish National Stud
The Irish National Stud belongs to the people of Ireland but prides itself on being enjoyed and appreciated by visitors from all parts of the globe.
The Irish National Stud is far more than just a centre of equine excellence. It is also home to some of Ireland's finest natural treasures, in particular the breathtakingly beautiful Japanese Gardens, the finest of their kind in Europe. The gardens trace 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'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 150,000 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
How can something so new transport us back to a time that none of us knew? Step into St. Fiachra's Garden and enter another world, one to which you will wish to return again and again.
The garden, designed in 1999 by award-winning landscape architect Professor Martin Hallinan and named to commemorate St. Fiachra, the patron saint of gardeners, provides a perfect partner to the Irish National Stud's Japanese Gardens while, at the same time, opening up a wholly different yet equally satisfying experience.
Racehorses are conceived, born and raised on Tully's famous stud farm, which has long been and continues to be the source of thoroughbred champions.
Stars of the show on the stud farm are the six stallions, whose performances on the track as racehorses have enabled them to spend the years of their retirement living a life that many would envy. Some of racing's most successful and regally-bred mares are sent to Tully to be covered by the stallions, the outcome of their encounters being the foals who never fail to enthral visitors.
The farm, purchased by Colonel William Hall Walker at the turn of the 20th century, is now owned by the Irish people but is run as a commercial entity, its management working hard to maintain its competitiveness in a major global industry in which Ireland has long played a leading role alongside Britain, France, the USA and Australia.
The future and the past entwine beautifully at the Irish National Stud, whose museum is a legacy to not only the horses in Ireland but also the greatest and most famous of all Irish horses.
Mares with heaving stomachs and wide-eyed foals standing close to their mothers are the tomorrow of Irish racing. Its yesterday will forever be associated with the mighty and incomparable Arkle, to whose legion of fans was far more than just mere flesh and blood. He was iconic, an animal worthy of worship and reverence. And now, more than 40 years after his death, he reigns supreme in the stud's museum, where his skeleton holds pride of place.
Opening Times & Admission
Monday-Sunday (from 12th February 2012 to November 2012) 9.30am - 6pm
Last entry 5pm, car park closed 6.15pm sharp
Daily guided tours of the stud commence at 12 noon, 2.30pm and 4pm, lasting approximately 35 minutes. Please arrive promptly. A self guide leaflet is available for the Japanese Gardens, Saint Fiachra's Garden and The Horse Museum. These are available in 15 languages please ask at reception.
Admission Charges 2012
Children (Aged 5-15) €7.00
Family Ticket [2 adults + up to 4 children under 16 years of age] €29.50
Group Rates [ICA, Mothers Groups, Flower Clubs etc.) €9.00 plus VAT
School Tours (under 16 yrs) - Discover Primary Science & Maths €6.50 plus VAT
School Tours (under 16 yrs) - Regular €5.50 plus VAT
For Concessions and Season Tickets click here
The Japanese Gardens Restaurant
Open 7 days a week, 9am – 5pm during the season.
For visitors and locals alike, The Japanese Gardens Restaurant is a must during your tour of the stud, and indeed on any occasion. Ballymaloe-trained Natalie Collins and her manager Ronan Mackey, takes 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.