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Beyond the Trees Avondale
Discover Ireland’s exciting new world class visitor destination, Beyond the Trees Avondale in Wicklow. Journey through the forest and above the canopy of the trees to experience this unique 1.4km treetop walk in Avondale Forest Park. Discover the activity stations and enjoy the immersive learning opportunities along the way. It is a fantastic day out for you and your loved ones, guaranteed family fun- filled day!
The Treetop Walk
Your journey through the forest on the Treetop Walk begins on the boardwalk and makes it way over the Avonmore River valley. As the land falls away you will see spectacular views from Lovers’ Lookout across the valley. The forest habitat that surrounds you and the natural gradient of the land means you will see all different levels of trees from the ground up to the forest canopy.
Play areas for the young and young at heart can be found along the boardwalk to encourage you to take a different view of the forest around you. At the end of the walkway you will come back towards ground level and reach the Viewing Tower via a short underground tunnel! The next part of your adventure then begins..
The Viewing Tower
Standing amid a grove of eucalyptus trees on the edge of the historic Great Ride, the Viewing Tower reaches 38 metres into the sky and can be seen peeping above the trees on approach from Rathdrum! It is a marvel of timber construction with an exciting twist!
The spiral ramped boardwalk rises slowly through the forest giving you breathtaking views on your journey into the sky! Keep an ear out for the Great Spotted Woodpecker family who nest in the nearby trees! Once at the top enjoy the 360 degree panoramic views at your disposal, it is truly amazing. Take lots of photos with your family but hold on tight to that camera!
To continue the wild adventure take the option to whizz back down to earth on the giant spiral slide inside the Viewing Tower. (Alternatively continue back down the ramped boardwalk to the forest floor). *Treetop Walk and Viewing Tower are both wheelchair and buggy friendly*
Feeling adventurous? Why not slide back all the way from way you came! A truly unique experience on this 90m spiral giant slide, why not give it a go. Ireland’s longest slide is most definitely a thrilling experience for some serious excitement! The slide is an optional extra experience and safety procedures/policies must be followed.
- There is a €2.00 extra charge per go on the slide (payable at entrance to slide only)
- Kids under 6 years old must slide with an adult
- Due to huge popularity during the summer season there are long queues of up to 2 hours
- In wet or humid conditions the slide will be closed
- It is not possible to book the slide in advance
A family day out is due, book yours now!
Admission Prices for Treetop Walk and Viewing Tower Experience
- Child (4-17 yrs) – €11.00
- Child (0-3 yrs) – free
- Adult (17 + yrs) – €14.00
- Student/Senior – €12.00
- Family (1 adult + 3 children) – €24.00
- Family (12 adults + 3 children) – €38.00
- Car park €5.00 per vehicle
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.
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.
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.
Avondale House And Forest Park Features
- Picnic Site
- Walking Trails
- Viewing Points
- Waymarked Trails
- Car Park
- Dog Walking
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
You will soon be able to 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 will allow 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.
The Avondale House Experience will launch early 2023.
Visitors can also enjoy a complimentary self-guided visit to the Coillte Pavilion where they will learn all about the evolution of forestry in Ireland along with Coillte’s work throughout the past, present and plans for the future.
Beyond The Trees Avondale
The Forest Park is situated 1.5 miles south of Rathdrum on the L2149 to Avondale Forest Park.