The Festina Lente Charity Walled Victorian Gardens have been loving restored by Festina Lente to their original Victorian design and plans surrounded by the original walls built in the 1780’s. It is the largest working Victorian Walled Garden in Ireland and contains many beautiful features and stunning fauna and flora. There are three main areas that have been restored all within the original Victorian walls – our Ornamental Formal Garden, our Pool Garden & Terrapin Sanctuary & our Working Kitchen Garden where we have a fabulous herbaceous border separating our large number of allotments.
The Ornamental Garden has a rose terrace from where you can view the wonderful central fountain, the formal flower beds, statues and borders. We have plenty of seating for you to sit and enjoy the beautiful Victorian garden. The Festina Lente Sensory Trail is located in the Ornamental Garden taking in the old Shrub Border on the south wall and Glass House border on the north wall. The sensory trail was designed and planted by Award Winning Garden Designer Oliver Shurmann from Mount Venus Nursery and Festina Lente Horticulturists.
A pathway leads to the Pool Garden where two tranquil pools are home to our terrapin sanctuary. The Pools are surrounded by a lavender border; it is protected on all sides by yew trees. The pool garden is a designated sanctuary for terrapins and of great interest to garden visitors, especially children.
In the Kitchen Garden a fabulous herbaceous border divides the rows of Allotments which are rented on an annual basis. One feature that children love in this section is the Fairy Wishing Tree, children are more than welcome to leave a special wish message for the fairies.
The Kitchen Garden is also home to the Garden Centre, Shop & Outdoor Cafe.
Location: Old Connaught Avenue, Bray
Open: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm. Saturday: 9.30am-6pm. Sunday: 11am – 6pm. All Year Round.
Directions: From Dublin southbound on N11, take first exit for Bray north (exit 5). At roundabout, take second exit for Bray town and proceed to traffic lights. Turn right onto Old Connaught Avenue. Entrance to Festina Lente is approximately ½ km on the right. From Wicklow northbound on N11, take the Bray / Rathmichael exit (exit 5). Turn left off the slip road. Entrance to Festina Lente is approximately ¼ km on the right.
Admission: We welcome individuals and groups to come and visit the beautiful Festina Lente Victorian Walled Gardens. We do not charge an entry fee to our walled gardens but we love to get a gift donation of €3 per adult to help our charity with the upkeep of the gardens, our donation box is in the Garden Shop, thank you. Children are free but must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Festina Lente is a non-profit charity and all profits from these workshops go to the upkeep of the gardens and our other social inclusion programmes.
Facilities: Free Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Toilets, Dog Friendly, Terrapin Sanctuary, Garden Centre, Gift Shop, Outdoor Cafe, Picnic’s allowed, Allotments for Rent.
Important Events: Gardening Workshops, Children’s Nature Themed Events on St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Summer, Halloween & Christmas, Christmas Tree Sales, Plant Fairs