The highly anticipated next chapter of Avondale House and Forest Park will unfold in early summer with the opening of ‘Beyond the Trees Avondale’, an exciting new visitor destination following a €16 million development project by Coillte in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and EAK Ireland.
‘Beyond the Trees Avondale’ will include the longest treetop walk in Ireland and the UK, at 1.3km.
A spokesperson for Coillte said: “It will bring visitors on an adventure through and above the trees, their journey culminating at the impressive viewing tower. Here the magnificent timber architectural tower standing 38m above the forest will reveal panoramic 360-degree views over the Wicklow Mountains, the Avonmore River, and the Vale of Avoca.
“To complete this innovative experience, both adults and children will have the option to continue the adventure and whizz their way back down the tower via the gigantic spiral slide.”
At Home with the Parnell’s’ features a newly imagined guided tour of the historic 18th century Avondale House that will celebrate the heritage of the Parnell family. It will encompass the life and times of Charles Stewart Parnell, and his formidable sisters who were co-founders of the Ladies Land League in 1881. Guided tours will be available to book in advance.
Visitors will arrive to a warm welcome at the new state-of-the-art visitors centre, with ease of access to the Seed Café where the creative food offerings will be crafted through the seasons by the dedicated culinary team from high quality, locally sourced ingredients.
The Coillte spokesperson added: “The view from the Seed Café will extend out onto the picturesque Walled Garden, including an adventurous children’s playground conveniently located beside the outdoor dining terrace. From here, visitors can enjoy a complimentary self-guided visit to the Coillte Pavilion.
“Visitors will learn all about the evolution of forestry in Ireland along with Coillte’s work throughout the past, the present and the plans for the future and the themes of forestry for climate, for nature, for wood and for people and how the sector contributes to our sustainable future and climate action. From the walled gardens there is access to the treetop walk, the autism friendly sensory garden and an abundance of forest walking trails.”
The treetop walk and viewing tower as well as the visitor centre buildings feature innovative timber construction using locally sourced timber. A variety of sustainable technologies are built in including solar photovoltaic panels and solar hot water panels, air to water heat pumps and rain water harvesting.
Where possible the existing buildings at Avondale are being refurbished, repurposed and incorporated into the new design and the buildings will have a BER rating of A3. The landscaping of the gardens at ‘Beyond the Trees Avondale’ follow the principles of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan for diversity of plantings attracting multiple pollinator species.
The new website, www.beyondthetreesavondale.com will also launch in the Spring.
March 02 2022 02:00