Posted by Andrea Hetzer on the 1st of May 2014 at 10:04:02
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Wicklow is a popular tourist destination in Ireland as it is only 30 minutes from Dublin and provides a wonderful getaway from the city. Known as the Garden of Ireland for great reason,it is has beautiful scenery and natural walks in abundance. Here at Tourireland we have put together a small list of things you should consider doing if you were to include Wicklow in your tour of Ireland.
The Mill at Avoca dates back from 1723 and is Ireland’s oldest extant manufacturer. In fact it is also one of the world’s older manufacturing mills still in operation. You will find lots on offer in the store from authentic scarves and rugs all made on site at the Mill. Visitors can see how the weaving process happens first hand as well as enjoy beautiful food in the on-site restaurant. For those looking for a unique pop culture reference Avoca is also the location of BBC TV’s Ballykissangel!
Avondale House was the birthplace of famous Irish historical figure Charles Stewart Parnell. Parnell was one of the leading figures in the late 1800’s of the Irish home rule movement. He was once described by British Prime Minister Gladstone as the most remarkable person he had ever me. Avondale House is a wonderful Georgian home built in 1777 and features information on Parnell as well as original plasterwork and furniture of the Parnell family. The house also has wonderful gardens on site and has walks available that range from one to five hours in duration.
Over 1 million visitors explore the Wicklow Mountains National Park annually. Within the park there is Glendalough and a number of other impressive attractions mentioned below. For the movie fans out there, the area will be familiar from scenes in the Oscar winning movie ‘Braveheart’.
Glendalough is a known as the valley of the two lakes is one of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions due to its’ spectacular scenery, rich history, archaeology and abundant wildlife. Located within the Wicklow Mountains National Park it provides wonderful glacial features including the main u-shaped valley. The valley is also home to the monastic site founded by St. Kevin in the 6th Century. The main feature that remains of the site is the 30m high Round Tower. The Visitor Centre on site provides wonderful exhibitions that detail the valley and the monastic sites.
This 18th century Palladian House is loved by visitors for its beautiful expansive estate and gardens. The drive in alone will show what is in store with over 2,000 beech trees lining the one mile `long avenue leading up to the house. In total the estate has 47 acres of gardens that were first modelled back in 1731 with further work in the 1840’s. Despite the house itself being gutted by fire it has been restored and is now home to Irish designed gifts, clothes and furniture.
Just outside the Powerscourt estate is Powerscourt Waterfall. At 398 feet it is Ireland’s highest waterfall and is a hugely popular picnic spot during the summer. Aside from the waterfall there are amazing trees and wildlife awaiting discovery. Included amongst them are some 200 year old Giant redwoods that originated in Northern California. These trees can grow up to 80 metres tall and last for over 4,000 years so the ones are still young but impressive none the less.
Yet another stately home is available at Russborough House. Built between 1740-50 this house offers another wonderful example of the Palladian style of architecture. Inside the house there are art collections including the Beit collection of fine art. Interestingly the collection has been robbed four times already, most recently in 2002 so make sure you get to see it before the chance is gone! Outside there is a 20,000 square foot garden maze for both adults and children to explore.
If an escape from the elements is needed Wicklow Gaol provides a wonderful experience. Built in 1702 this is considered one of Ireland’s most haunted destinations! It was a holding camp for prisoners before they were deported to Australia. Over 400 prisoners were originally held here and conditions were said to be appalling. The gaol was originally closed in1900 but then used by the British army during the war of independence. Today there are re-enactments on site and the gaol has become a hugely popular tourist attraction.
For a full database on Wicklow click here Also make sure to check out some of our tours which include stops in Wicklow!
If you want to travel down the Irish coast from Wicklow, you next stop would be Wexford and this great county, in the region known as the "sunny-south-east" has lots of attractions and places to visit! Wondering what to do in Wexford
? Wonder no more!