Avondale House And Forest Park
Avondale House, the birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell (1846- 1891) one of the greatest political leaders of Irish history. The ruins of Parnell’s old sawmill and Parnell’s well are located on the site. Avondale Forest Park has much to offer the visitor whether their interest is in our national history, the development of forestry as it is set in a magnificent forest park of over 500 acres with tree trails and walks ranging in duration from one to five hours.
This beautiful Georgian House designed by James Wyatt and built in 1777 contains fine plasterwork and many original pieces of furniture. The American Room is dedicated to Admiral Charles Stewart – Parnell’s American grandfather who manned the USS Constitution during the 1812 war. Visitors are introduced to this wonderful historical house by a specially commissioned audio visual presentation
Avondale offers endless variety to the walkers with its scenery ranging from the magnificent openness of the Great Ride to the towering impressiveness of the massed conifers on the banks of the Avonmore river.
The park has seven way-marked walks and trails:
- River Walk (5km)
- To the Cairn Walk (3km)
- Below the Trees Loop (800m)
- Multi-access Loop (1.2km)
- Pedestrian Access from Rathdrum (2km)
- Family Cycle Trail (4km)
- Railway Walk (2km)
The River Walk is the longest and most challenging walk at Avondale with some steep descents and climbs so string footwear is recommended. However, the effort is rewarded with some magnificent river views and a view of the Lovers Lookout from below.
To the Cairn Walk
Along this walk you will pass through the remaining experimental plots of trees which were planted during the Great Tree Experiment in the early 20th century as well as a grove of mighty Sequioa (Giant Redwood) trees.
Below the Trees Loop
This short looped walk takes in the route of the treetop walk from the forest floor below. Starting at the Walled Garden it is an easy route for all the family and is also buggy friendly.
The multi access loop is suitable for wheelchairs, buggies and is age friendly with benches along the way to sit and rest. It goes through some of the experimental plots before crossing the Great Ride and heading back towards Avondale House.
Pedestrian access from Rathdrum
This route follows the footpath along the L2149 road from Avondale to Rathdrum or Rathdrum to Avondale. It is linked to the village and the railway station entirely on footpaths.
Family Cycle Trail
The family cycle train is on the forest road network, it starts and finishes close to the car park, along the way you will encounter one short section that is a steep decline, please ensure you control your speed here or dismount and push your bike. Along the way you will be going through all different types of forest Avondale has to offer, you will also get a glimpse of the tree top walk above you! Please make sure to wear your cycle helmet as you would on a normal road.
This is a linear walk from Rathdrum railway station through the woods to Avondale House passing under a viaduct on the way. It could have been take by Parnell on his frequent journeys. Locals often take in a looped walk starting in Rathdrum and following the route of the Railway Walk returning from Avondale House by footpath along the road back into Rathdrum.
In addition to the above marked trails within Avondale Forest Park there are many other footpaths and accessible forest pathways. Please take care when crossing vehicular roads and be sure to Leave No Trace on your walk.
Beyond the Trees At Avondale
Avondale House And Forest Park Features
- Picnic Site
- Orienteering Course
- Walking Trails
- Viewing Points
- Waymarked Trails
- Car Park
- Dog Walking
Beyond the Trees At Avondale
Treetop Walk and Viewing Tower
Discover Ireland’s exciting new world class visitor destination, Beyond the Trees Avondale in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow. Journey through the forest and high above the canopy of the trees, experience this unique 1.3km treetop walk in Avondale Forest Park. Discover multiple activity stations and enjoy the immersive learning opportunities along the way, interweaved with stories of the historic Avondale Estate. It is a fantastic day out for you and your loved ones, guaranteed family fun- filled day!
The Treetop Walk culminates at the spectacular Viewing Tower, 38m high above the forest floor with panoramic 360-degree views of the Wicklow Mountains, the Vale of Avoca and the Avonmore River. To complete this innovative experience, whizz back down the tower via the gigantic 90m spiral slide (optional).
Groups and Tours
At Beyond The Trees they cater for all groups including special interest groups, corporate, school tours, TY groups, active retirement, Irish and international tour groups.
There is something to appeal to groups of all generations. From arrival, their visitor journey has been thoughtfully designed to be accessible to everyone.
Beyond the Trees Avondale is a unique visitor destination suitable for all ages. The Treetop Walk, Viewing Tower and Avondale House are all buggy and wheelchair accessible. U18’s must be accompanied by an adult. U6’s must be accompanied by an adult on the 90m Spiral Slide.
The Seed Café is a contemporary, bright and spacious new café located in the visitors centre overlooking the picturesque Walled Garden. Here you will enjoy a variety of creative food offerings crafted through the seasons by Avondale’s dedicated culinary team. Choose from homemade soups, quiches, healthy salads, freshly prepared sandwiches and much more. Take a look at their sample lunch menu here and feast your eyes on what could be in store!
They also have a fabulous outdoor dining terrace, ideal for families whose little ones want to enjoy the adventurous playground beside the Seed Café deck whilst lunch being prepared. If you are planning a family day out the Seed Café is a vibrant and popular place for everyone to enjoy!
Living History Tour
Step back into Avondale House that was home to the Parnell family and get a taste of life on a 19th century country estate.
The guided tour of Avondale House allows you and your family to walk the rooms with the eleven Parnell children played, join Fanny and Anna in planning a women-led agrarian movement or hear Charles Stewart Parnell practising his speeches from the first floor balcony. It will introduce you to the champion of trees, Samuel Hayes and give you a taste of life when Avondale was a pioneering forestry school. No tour is the same and you will never forget your time At Home With the Parnells.
Daily Times vary throughout the year, depending on daylight hours. For more information visit Beyond the Trees Avondale
for the Treetop Walk & Viewing Tower Experience or Avondale House Guided Tour:
· €15.00 per adult
· €12 child (4-17 years)
· Concession €13.00
· Family (1A +3C) €25.00
· Family (2A+3C)€40.00
· Car Park €5 entry fee per car
· Treetop Walk slide (€2.00 optional)
Bookable in advance online- Beyond The Trees
Group rates and bookings- Beyond the Trees Avondale
Getting To Avondale House And Forest Park Wicklow
Avondale is approximately one hour from South Dublin on N11. On the N11 take the R772 to Rathnew and the R752 to Rathdrum. The Forest Park is situated 1.5 miles south of Rathdrum on the L2149 to Avondale House and Forest Park.