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photo of event with accommodation at kanes pub bed and breakfast, leinster street, athy, county kildare, ireland
Ballintubbert House & Gardens

photo of event with accommodation at kanes pub bed and breakfast, leinster street, athy, county kildare, ireland


Ballintubbert Arts and Crafts Garden has just opened to the public for the first time, after ten years in the making. It is one of the largest public gardens in the country, nestled in a beautiful valley between the village of Stradbally and the town of Athy just 50 minutes by motorway from the M50 at the Red Cow. Take a day off and relax completely in this little pocket of Irish countryside.

Former residents of Ballintubbert include the poet C. Day Lewis (father of Daniel Day Lewis and poet laureate) who was born in the house in 1904 and the actors John Hurt and Sebastian Shaw, who played the role of Anekin Skywalker in Star Wars.

The settlement at Ballintubbert dates back to 1540 and the new garden boasts 14 acres of beautiful landscape. Perfect for family day trips, The Garden, Ballintubbert, offers opportunities for peaceful walks in a formal Irish garden. The garden will particularly appeal to those with an interest in garden design, Irish history and the arts and is a significant addition to the tourist offering in Co. Laois.

The owners have been making The Garden for over ten years now, having restored and significantly expanded the historic garden in the Arts and Crafts tradition. Important features include the Canal, the Lutyens Garden and Robinson Meadows, named after the famous garden designers Edwin Lutyens and William Robinson; the Victorian Secret Garden, the Beech Wood and the Lyttle Orchard.

Fergus Hoban, proprietor of The Garden, Ballintubbert, said: “We moved to Ballintubbert in 1999 with an ambition to make a great Irish garden that would be open to the public. With 14 acres arranged almost symmetrically around the house, in the middle of this divine valley, Ballintubbert was the opportunity. Working with many great designers, we have imagined, crafted and re-crafted and we are still doing that in most areas of the garden today. Ballintubbert is truly a garden in the making.”

The UK has some 150,000 open gardens, and over 60% of the population visit at least one garden every year. Gardening is now the most popular outdoor activity (exceeding even golf). Ireland needs much more of this type of infrastructure to improve the tourist offering for this most attractive tourist – typically later in life, with time and money to spend. Just two per cent of tourists travelling through Laois stay overnight in a local hotel. Ballintubbert is a first step towards changing this statistic.

Less than an hour from Dublin, on the main tourist highway to the South, this garden gives a reason for a tourist to turn off and enjoy this sublime corner of Ireland. A good open garden requires at least 40 minutes of interest. The average visitor stay time in Ballintubbert is almost four hours, with 40 garden rooms to enjoy.

When you visit, we will urge you to relax completely, and savour what lies ahead. During the few hours you spend with us we will attempt to delight you, provoke you, frustrate you and enchant you. This is an experience of the senses – your sight, your hearing, your sense of smell, touch and even taste.

Ballintubbert is a garden, a work of art, in the making. The historic garden is with us since 1850, and it has been expanded over the last ten years. It is not fully made yet, nor can it be. Nature will take her own sweet time. While the mind of man can attempt to impose artifice, ground will only settle to horticulture when it is ready, and plants take years to become sturdy and strong.

photo of event with accommodation at kanes pub bed and breakfast, leinster street, athy, county kildare, ireland

The great joy of seeing a garden in the making, however, is that you see the process of the making of art in dynamic form. The greatest gardens in the world – Sissinghurst, Great Dixter, Hidcote Park, Giverny amongst so many others – took years to make. Today, they are a testament to the imagination and mad dreams of their makers. But those makers have passed now to the potting shed in the sky, and can no longer describe the way in which such art came to be. This is what makes Ballintubbert different – it is young, it is alive, aware of its shortcomings and of its triumphs, endlessly embracing change.

Weddings at Ballintubbert House and Gardens near Athy Co Kildare

For one of the most important days of your life why not get married in the idyllic setting of Ballintubbert House and Garden? For the most exclusive boutique wedding weekend, call us for a free consultation and tour.

For those who can afford it, our clients want an exclusive private venue, usually for the entire weekend.

Arriving on Friday evening, the wedding party stays for the weekend in Ballintubbert House itself, a beautiful small Georgian House, accommodating eight people. An intimate dinner for the bridal party is provided at the house on Friday evening. Your guests check into the abundance of local hotels, and start relaxing.

On Saturday morning, the house fills with the sounds of bustle, dressing, make-up artists and florists. The wedding itself can take place on Saturday afternoon at any of three venues:

Immediately adjacent to the garden is the 1780 Church of Ireland

One mile’s drive brings you to the idyllic Ballyadams Catholic Church

For civil ceremonies, the Lutyen’s Garden in Ballintubbert Garden itself is the perfect venue

Following the ceremony, the first reception is by the Canal with canapes and champagne. Photographic opportunities abound in Ballintubbert’s 40 garden rooms.

Towards evening, the main wedding reception takes place in the Big Top on the Theatre Lawn. This comfortably seats 200 people, with two adjacent Himalayan Yurts for bar and smoking areas.

After dinner, our house specialty – the First Dance. This takes place after dark by the Canal. To the sounds of your favourite piece of music, you dance on a special dance floor at the head of the Canal, with all of your friends gathered around, enjoying the theatrical lighting of the Canal by night. At the crescendo of the music, the sky bursts into light with coordinated fireworks, reflected in the Canal water.

After that, the return to the Big Top for music through the night, with full bar. From midnight onwards, courtesy coaches move your guests towards their hotels every 30 minutes – allowing your guests to select their own accommodation from the wide selection in Athy and Portlaoise.

On Sunday morning, those same coaches return to collect your guests and return to the Garden. There, a barbecue feast awaits to complete your occasion. Fully recovered, your guests retrieve their cars from our large free car park and return home.

The Garden is yours until late in the evening.

For the relaxed sense of wedding festival that Ballintubbert provides, you will find no Irish equal.

Ballintubbert Gardens

Ballintubbert, Stradbally, Co. Laois

Telephone: (085) 8505876

Website: www.ballintubbert.com

Email: ballintubbertgardens@gmail.com

Guests can explore the gardens or avail of a guided tour of Ballintubbert Gardens at the weekends – prior booking is essential at www.ballintubbert.com.

The garden is open seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm.

How to reach The Garden, Ballintubbert

Directions to Ballintubbert Gardens by rail: The nearest train station to Ballintubbert Gardens is Athy, Kildare with trains approximately every two hours; a local taxi takes you on a 10 minute drive to The Garden.

Directions to Ballintubbert Gardens from Dublin: Ballintubbert is 75 kilometres from the Red Cow Roundabout. Take the M7 south to exit 16 Portlaoise. Follow the N80 signs to the village of Stradbally, passing straight through towards Carlow. 4km from Stradbally, look out for the sign for The Garden on the right hand side. Turn left as indicated and travel 1.2 km to the car park.

Directions to Ballintubbert Gardens from Cork: Take the M8 north to exit 16 Portlaoise then as for Dublin.

Directions to Ballintubbert Gardens from Limerick: Take the M7 to exit 16 Portlaoise then as for Dublin.

Directions to Ballintubbert Gardens from Galway: Take N6 to Portumna, then R489 to Birr, N62 to Roscrea, M7 to Portlaoise, then N80 to Stradbally then as for Dublin.

Walking Directions to Ballintubbert Gardens: Take the Slieve Margy way to Luggacurren. Walk down by the Dun of Cloopuck to Tullamoy, cross the N80, turn left and then right at the sign forThe Garden Ballintubbert at Hackett’s Cross.

Ballintubbert Gardens GPS Coordinates:

Latitude: 52.98354 (north)

Longitude: -7.08511 (west)

Download driving directions to Ballintubbert House and Gardens here
Tourist Information Office

The Tourist Information Office in Athy is located in the Heritage Centre and Museum located a few minutes stroll from Kane's Pub Bed and Breakfast in Emily Square in the heart of this Heritage Town.

Athy Heritage Centre has video footage of the 1903 race. Every year in June, the Gordon Bennett Vintage Car Rally is held in Ireland around the original circuit.


Overnight accommodation for events taking place at Ballintubbert House and Gardens is available with rooms to let at Kane's Bed and Breakfast located a short distance from the historic house located close to Athy, County Kildare, Ireland.


Tourist Attractions

Stay a little longer in the Athy area and explore what the region has to offer.


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