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A Guide To Beyond The Trees At Avondale Forest Park In Wicklow

A Guide To Beyond The Trees At Avondale Forest Park In Wicklow

Beyond the Trees at Avondale Park is home to one of the most unique walks in Wicklow.

This is mainly thanks to the Avondale Treetop Walk and the newly launched slide which is, by all accounts, one of the tallest in Ireland.

However, Avondale Park is far from a one-trick-pony and there’s much more to its glorious grounds than ‘Beyond the Trees at Avondale’.

Below, you’ll find out all of the various things to do at Avondale, from the many walks to the historic house. Dive on in!

Some quick need-to-knows about Beyond the Trees and Avondale House and Park

Although a visit to Avondale House and Forest Park is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

You will find Avondale House And Forest Park in Avondale in Wicklow, a 5-minute drive from Rathdrum, a 20-minute drive from Arklow and a 25-minute drive from Wicklow Town.

2. Opening hours

  • January: 10:00 – 15:30
  • February: 10:00 – 16:30
  • March: 09:30 – 17:00
  • April to August: 09:00 – 19:00
  • September: 09:30 – 19:00
  • October: 09:30 – 17:00
  • November: 10:00 – 16:30
  • December: 10:00 – 15:30

3. Admission

So, a visit to Beyond the Trees at Avondale isn’t cheap. Here’s how the prices currently stand (note: they may change):

  • Treetop Walk + tower: €15 for adults, €40 for family of five, €13 for kids (4-7) and €13 for seniors and students
  • House tour: €15 for adults, €12 for kids (4-17), €13 for students + seniors and €40 for a family of five
  • House tour + Treetop Walk: €27 for adults, €23 for students + seniors, €23 for kids (4-17) and €72 for family of five

4. Parking (take note)

Although there’s a fair bit of parking at Avondale, since the Beyond the Trees launched last year it’s become one of the most popular places to visit in Wicklow, so make sure to book in advance!

5. Accessibility

The first car park has dedicated disabled and age-friendly parking areas. The visitor centre at Avondale Park has been designed to ensure ‘universal access’. The Avondale Tree Walk and the viewing tower are both full accessible for wheelchairs.

6. The slide

You’ll see plenty of people complaining about the Avondale slide online. It’s not included in your ticket price – you need to pay an additional €2 when you’re there.

A speedy history of Avondale

avondale house history

Photos courtesy Coillte via Fáilte Ireland

Steeped in history, Avondale House was built in the 18th century for Samuel Hayes, a barrister who planted thousands of trees on the estate.

When Samuel passed away in 1795, the house, which was designed by James Wyatt, was given to the Parnell Family.

One of the greatest political leaders of Ireland, Charles Stewart Parnell was born inside this house in the 19th century.

Today, Avondale House is a museum dedicated to Charles Stewart Parnell and a picturesque 500-acre forest park with many marked hiking trails and trees from all over the world.

Things to do at Avondale Forest Park

Avondale Forest Park

Photos by Coillte via Failte Ireland

There’s plenty of things to do at Beyond the Trees at Avondale Forest Park. The trails are some of the most popular forest walks in Wicklow for good reason!

Each trail varies in length and difficulty level and treats those that tackle them to magnificent sights and smells.

1. The treetop walk

the avondale tree walk

Photos by The Irish Road Trip

The Avondale Treetop Walk is a 1.4km stroll along an elevated wooden boardwalk that takes you through the trees.

There are play areas and interpretive pints dotted along the way that offer an insight into Avondale Park.

The Treetop Walk is 38 metres above the forest floor and it offers some mighty views of the surrounding landscape.

2. The Avondale slide

the Avondale Slide

Photos by The Irish Road Trip

The Avondale Forest slide is located inside what’s known as the ‘Viewing Tower’, which stands at an impressive 38 metres tall.

Made from timber, it requires you to walk in a spiral until you reach the top. When you reach its ‘summit’, you’ll have magnificent panoramic views.

If you like, you can get back to the bottom on the enormous slide (€2) – the highlight of Beyond the Trees at Avondale.

3. The Avondale House tour

Let’s get back to the history of the Avondale House. After Parnell passed away in 1891, a butcher from Phibsboro in Dublin decided to purchase the estate.

The woodlands were not in a good condition and when the estate was sold to the government back in 1904; most of the woodlands were renewed.

The house itself served as a forestry school before it was turned into a museum. Nowadays, Avondale House is open to the public.

Visitors can take part in guided tours which last for about an hour or so and include an audiovisual presentation that offers an insight into Parnell and Avondale Forest Park.

4. The original walks

tree top walk avondale

Map via Coillte (click to enlarge)

Before Beyond the Trees at Avondale was a thing, the park here was known for it’s numerous trails of varying lengths.

Arguably the most difficult is the River Walk as there’s some steep ascents and descents. The Tree Trail is a nice loop that takes your through the woodland.

Finally, the Railway Walk is a liner trail that takes you to Rathdrum Railway Station. Here’s an overview:

  • The River Trail: Moderate 5.2km walk that takes 2.5 hours
  • The Tree Trail: Moderate 2km walk that takes 1 hour
  • The Railway Walk: Moderate 2km trail that takes 2 hours

Things to do near Avondale Forest Park

One of the beauties of Avondale Forest Park is that it’s a short spin away from a clatter of other attractions, both man-made and natural.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Avondale Park (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).

1. The Wicklow Mountains National Park

Djouce hike

Photos via Shutterstock

Covering an area of 20,000 hectares, Wicklow Mountains National Park is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway in County Wicklow. Travellers can wander along picturesque trails, get super close to a variety of wildlife and birds, and admire the beauty of rare orchids.

2. Walks, walks and more walks

heart shaped lake wicklow

Photos via Shutterstock

County Wicklow is nicknamed “the Garden of Ireland” for a reason. Home to many picturesque trails, it’s a hiker’s paradise. Here are some walks to try:

3. Glendalough

Glendalough Round Tower

Photos via Shutterstock

Glendalough is home to two lakes, a monastic site and countless hard and handy trails. See our Glendalough Walks guide for things to do.

4. Beaches galore

Greystones wicklow

Photos via Shutterstock

You’ll find some brilliant beaches in Wicklow, from the popular Greystones Beach and Brittas Bay to the slightly hidden Silver Strand in Wicklow.

FAQs about Avondale Park

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what walks are there in Avondale Park to what there is to do nearby.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

How long is the Beyond the Trees walk?

The Treetop Walk at Avondale stretches for 1.4km in length and takes 25-35 minutes to complete depending on pace. This is an easy-going trail with little to no incline. Allow an additional 35 minutes for the Viewing Tower.

Is Avondale Forest Park worth visiting?

Yes. Even if you have no interest in Beyond the Trees, the park and house are steeped in history and both are well worth exploring. 

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Pam Beacom

Monday 20th of September 2021

Do you have to keep all dogs on a lead on all walks in Avondale?

Keith O'Hara

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Hey Pam. So, they say 'Dogs Allowed Under effective control' which, from what I can tell from the various tourism sites, means that you need to have them on a lead. I could be wrong, but it looks like that's the case!

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