Avondale House


Spring is the time to come out of hibernation and return to the outdoor world.
The days are getting longer and brighter, plants and flowers are sprouting up around us and what better way to enjoy them than a nice walk in a beautiful forest.

A trip to Avondale House in Rathdrum, County Wicklow is highly recommended. The impressive grounds are a great place for a ramble or a picnic and the house itself was the birthplace and home of one of the greatest political leaders in Irish history Charles Stewart Parnell from 1846–1891.

The Georgian house was built in 1777 for Samuel Hayes but when he died in 1795 the house passed to the Parnell family. It is now used as a museum and open to the public. It contains some fine plasterwork and many of the original pieces of furniture. It also boasts an American Room dedicated to Admiral Charles Stewart, Charles Parnell’s American grandfather, who manned the USS Constitution during the 1812 war.

Enjoy beautiful walks and trails around the grounds at your leisure. Choose from a river walk, a Cairn walk, an exotic tree trail, a Pine tree trail and the new Sli na Slainte railway walk which brings you through the forest to Avondale House from Rathdrum Railway Station.

With 505 acres the trails and walks range from one to five hours. Photography enthusiasts will find Avondale a great place to snap a whole range of woodland animals like red squirrel, badger, hedgehog, stoat, fox, rabbit and hare. Over 90 species of birds have been sighted there.

So if you are looking for somewhere accessible to stretch those stirring legs after a dark Winter then you won’t go far wrong with a trip to Avondale House. There is a parking fee of €5. Other facilities on the grounds include a restaurant, book shop, picnic areas, children’s play area and three orienteering courses. The Avondale House & Kitchen Cafe will remain closed to the public until Easter 2013 so be sure and bring a packed lunch.

By Jason McDonnell