Ireland day 0754. Sunday 22 October 2023- Rathdrum to Avondale *

Ireland day 0754. Sunday 22 October 2023- Rathdrum to Avondale
Today’s summary Took the train down to Rathdrum to join the Walking Club for a walk along the banks of the River Avonmore, and had a look at Avondale House en route.   Val at work
Today’s weather Bright dry and sunny all day.   Light westerly wind.   Appx 13c
Today’s overview location
(The green mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The orange line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Rathdrum to Avondale DWC

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

Today’s bright sunny weather came as a welcome change from the rain and wind which has been battering us for the last few days. So it was an ideal chance to join up with Walking Club friends to explore a new part of Co Wicklow, starting from Rathdrum. Sadly, Val was at work so couldn’t come too, so I headed off on my own to Malahide station where I met up with a friend who joined me for the quite lengthy rail journey south to the start point of the walk.

The rail network in Ireland isn’t as extensive as in the UK, so it’s quite rare to find a walk that is easily accessible by train, especially in a new area that we haven’t already explored. But Rathdrum, which is the next stop after Wicklow an the Dublin to Rosslare line, is one such spot. It was quite a slow journey – over two hours each way, with a change in Connolly – but it’s nice to sit back and let the train do the work, rather than doing battle with the M50. The only disadvantage was that i couldn’t get a seat for the journey back to Dublin from Rathdrum, which meant I had to stand for over an hour.

Once all 17 of us had regrouped at Rathdrum, we took a really nice path along the side of the Avonmore river, leading deep into the woods. If I hadn’t been with the club, though, I would never have know where the path started – it’s tucked away in a derelict industrial yard, and seemingly hidden by a forbidding looking steel fence.   The path itself looks very promising, though we didn’t have time to explore it fully as we were under pressure to catch the return train at 4pm (they only run every four hours on a Sunday).   There were spectacular views of the Avonmore river below us and which was in full spate today.  The high water levels didn’t seem to have put off the platoons of canoeists who were apparently enjoying ploughing through the tumultuous cascade.

We branched off the river path to head up to the Avondale visitor centre – which seemed to host multiple attractions including a stately home, woodland paths, a treetop walkway, and a giant slide (of all things).   After a quick lunch by the Avondale visitor centre, we basically retraced our steps to the station and were soon on the train making our leisurely way back north.   Once I got back to the flat, Val had returned from work and wanted a full update on the day’s proceedings.   We both agreed that Avondale would merit a further visit, preferably on day when she isn’t working.   Something else to look forward to!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

The walkway alongside the river.   We only had time to explore a small part of it – it felt like there was probably quite a lot more of the path and the forest still left to see The striking brand new visitor centre at Avondale
You can just see the new high level walkway up in the treetops.   It’s one of the newest attractions in Co. Wicklow and has proven very popular – especially the long spiral slide back down again at the end.   I definitely want to go back and have a more thorough look round. We found a sunny spot in the courtyard to have our sandwiches.   A beautiful day!
Avondale House, former home of Charles Stewart Parnell, a leader of the Irish nationalist movement in the 1880s The start of the walk along the riverside is situated close to the railway – hence the name “Railway Walk”.   I don’t think I would ever have found it if I hadn’t been with the club, as it is very well hidden
Spectacular viaduct over the Avonmore river.   It’s only single track, however
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 8020 m
Max elevation: 124 m
Min elevation: 68 m
Total climbing: 463 m
Total descent: -463 m
Total time: 03:44:37
Download file: Rathdrum to Avondale DWC compressed corrected.gpx

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