Avondale, County Wicklow's newest ‘old' attraction, launched a visitor experience in mid-2022 that you won't find anywhere else in Ireland.
Beyond the Trees Avondale includes a treetop walk and 10 story viewing tower – along with the tallest slide in Ireland!
Where is Avondale Forest Park?
Avondale Forest Park is in County Wicklow, just under an hour south of Dublin, near the village of Rathdrum.
For many years Avondale Forest Park has been a bit of a ‘hidden gem – loved by locals and a select few who knew the secret. The forest park is home to an incredible amount of history and amazing biodiversity.
The opening of Beyond the Trees Avondale, a partnership between Failte Ireland, Coillte, and EAK, brought new excitement and attention to Avondale Forest Park.
What is Coillte?
Coillte, a lovely Irish word that means ‘woods', is Ireland's state forestry agency. As an organization Coillte has responsibility for 7% of Ireland's land which includes 12 forest parks and over 260 recreation sites around the country.
It is also a commercial forestry organization with 4 strategic visions: forests for people, forests for climate, forests for wood, and forest for nature.
Beyond the Trees Avondale
Beyond the Trees Avondale opened in June 2022. A terrific outing for families, it's a unique experience you won't find anywhere else in Ireland.
Avondale Treetop Walk and Viewing Tower
The treetop walk and viewing tower at Beyond the Trees Avondale is the first of its kind in Ireland and the UK.
Both the treetop walk and the viewing tower have a gradual ascent and are completely accessible. The walk is 1440 meters (1.4 km) long and the tower is 38 meters high (10 stories) and features the longest slide in Ireland – 9 stories that wind down the inside of the tower, for a quick descent.
Activity stations along the treetop walk share the history of Avondale House as well as the biodiversity, animals, and trees that surround you. Rest stations are also available along the entire site.
The Walled Garden at Avondale
A state-of-the-art wooden playground, the Coillte Pavilion, and the Seed Cafe, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, are available before or after your Beyond the Trees adventure.
Avondale Forest Park Trails
You will also find multiple trails at that range from 1 to 5 kilometers as well as a completely accessible family trail if you want to extend your experience at Avondale.
Historic Avondale House
Avondale House was designed by renowned architect James Wyatt and built in the late 1770s by Sameul Hayes.
On his death Hayes bequeathed the estate to Sir John Parnell. The estate passes through the Parnell family through the years and Charles Stewart Parnell, one of Ireland's political heroes and leader of the Land League, was born in Avondale House.
Avondale House eventually ended up in the ownership of the Irish government in the early 1900s and Ireland's first forestry school was established.
Visitors to the house will be guided, room by room, through the history of the house. Each room tells the story of one main character or point in time.
Tips for Visiting Beyond the Trees Avondale
- Prebook during peak season (July & August and weekends from May thru September) via the Avondale website
- Wear suitable clothing for the weather (get my packing list here)
- Determine how much time you have to spend at Avondale Forest Park
- 2 hours minimum is recommended to complete Beyond the Trees experience
3 Things You Shouldn't Miss in County Wicklow
Avoca – village and traditional handweavers
Glendalough – monastic village, lakes, and mountain walks
Powerscourt House & Gardens – world renowned gardens, waterfall, distillery, golf, and luxury hotel