Home Ireland with kids Avondale House with kids: why you’ll love this stunning estate for a family day out near Dublin with children

Avondale House with kids: why you’ll love this stunning estate for a family day out near Dublin with children

by Mama Loves Ireland

Things to do in Avondale house and why we love it for a family day out with the kids near Dublin.

Avondale House in a Home and Estate in County Wicklow and a wonderful place to spend a day out with the kids.

Originally the house and estate of Parnell, until a few years ago Avondale House was a nice estate with a large playground cfae and a fascinating forest walk.

However, Avondale House and Gardens recently went through a significant makeover and it is now equipped with a tree walk, a state-of-the-art playground for children and food options.

We used to go Avondale all the time: having family nearby, this was always one of our go-to places for a weekend escape with the kids.

Lately, we find the popularity of the place has made it too busy for us; however, we also found that the additions to their hospitality offering have made it easier to enjoy for families with small kids.

therefore, while it is not one of our go-to places anymore, I do recommend you go visit as part of your trip to Ireland.

The estate is a beautiful and popular destination for a family day out: easy to reach from Dublin, it has a large car park (access fee in the busy season), many lovely walks, a cafe, wooden climbing frames for kids and huge loans for picnics.

More in detail, these are the best things to do in Avondale.

My daugther walking the Beyond the Trees walkaway

Things to do in Avondale House, Wicklow

Beyond the Trees

Beyond the trees is the biggest and more interesting addition to the Avondale House offering and what brings here the highest number of visitors.

Beyond the trees is a raised walkway that allows visitors of all fitness levels to enjoy the beautiful forested areas surrounding the house from high up: instead of walking on the forest walk, you find yourself walking at mid-tree level, which is a wonderful way to get a view of the forest from an unusual vantage point!

AVondale house walkwaway

The walk is divided into two parts.

The longest stretch is a wooden walkway across the forest. Access to it is easy, toddler friendly and the walk is pleasant. Along the walkway, there are some interactive spots for the kids, such as balancing boards (of course, with safety nets, it is all very safe) and info points so they can learn about the birds that live in the local trees and the make of the local plants.

Kids info panels along the Beyond the Trees walkaway in Avondale House

The second part of the experience is what you most commonly see on social media and it is a tall, tower-like structure with a spiral walkway that leads you far above the top of the trees.

This second part of the walkway is also toddler and stroller friendly and it is rather exciting for kids, for a couple of reasons.

One is that you an get very high up, so you truly are above the tree here!

Beyond the trees viewing tower in Avondale House, Wicklow

The other is that once you are up, you can come back down via a long slide!

The slide is very popular so, on busy days, you may want to work on kids’ expectations about it; however, if you have adrenalin-loving kids, they’ll adore it!

Overall, we felt that the tree-top experience is fantastic for families with small kids.

Find info and prices here >>> Beyond the Trees

Our tip: The Walkway gets incredibly crowded at weekends and on holidays. We strongly suggest you try to come here at a quiet time so you can enjoy the quiet forest as well as the ‘attraction’ element of this experience.

Play and the Avondale new fab playground

part of the Avondale park revamp was the creation of a state-of-the-art playground, which has replaced the simpler wooden structures present before.

The new playground is in the walled garden and it is great as kids and play while you supervise them whi;e sitting and the outdoor table of the cafe just in front.

Avondale House playground

If you have small children, the playground alone is a good reason to visit Avondale House with kids, they’ll love it!

In the same location as the playgroup, there is a cool space to quickly learn about wood and timber.

Take a stroll in the forest (old style!)

if you prefer a quiet experience and a more traditional walk in the woods, Avondale House is great for that too!

The estate has wonderful trails and their are wonderful to explore with kids of all ages, as well as without.

Among the best trails here there

Below the Trees Walk (15 min). This is an easy, short walk that follows the Beyond the trees walkway but from the grounds. Child and stroller friendly, this is a good option, especially for families who may have some members who don’t do well with heights.

Avondale River walk

A longer walk and slightly harder walk in Avondale is the River Walk.

As the name suggests, the walk follows the river and it is interesting as it passes under railway bridges and also offers wonderful views of the river.

The walk is 5.2 Km and while not difficult, it is recommended to have proper walking footwear for it.

The Avondale Railway walk

2km long, the Railway walk connects Avondale House to Rathdrum railway station and has some nice views of the river. This is a linear walk.

The Cairn Walk (3km) – a beautiful walk you will passes through a grove of giant redwoods (sequoia)

Multi-Access Loop (1.2km) This is a loop walk that goes through some of the experimental plots. The trail is stroller friendly.

Go cycling

If your family prefers cycling to walking, Avondale also has ba cycling trail that loops from the main car park.

The path has easier and harder stretches and may require you to get off the bike and push it on the hardest bits.

Visit Avondale House itself

Avondale House is known for being the place where Charles Stewart Parnell was born and is now a museum.

The house was designed by James Wyatt and built-in 1777 and it is an austere yet beautiful Georgian building with, inside, some interesting plasterwork and furniture.

The so-called American room is dedicated to Admiral Charles Stewart, Parnell’s American grandfather, who distinguished himself during the 1812-1815 war against Britain as commander of the USS Constitution.

As well as its connection with the Parnell family, Avondale house is also important in the history of Irish forestry.

The first owner of the house, Samuel Hayes, was a pioneer of the re-forestation of Ireland and the person and the person who first planted thousands of trees around the estate.

While many trees ended up being felled by subsequent owners, in 1904 the house became the property of the Irish government and got turned into a forestry school and the grounds acquired new trees, turning Avondale again into an important location for Irish forestry.

Kid’s facilities

The estate offers a family friendly cafe, and restrooms and it is stroller friendly.

How to get to Avondale House

Avondale House is in Rathdrum, County Wicklow and it is easiest to reach by car. From the N11, that exit 17 for Rathdrum, then R752 and L2149 to Avondale House and Forest Park (well signposted).

The estate has a large car park which you can also book in advance from the Avondale House website, with your Beyond the Trees tickets

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