Ireland day 1006. Sunday 30 June 2024- Treetop Walk

Ireland day 1006. Sunday 30 June 2024- Treetop Walk
Today’s summary Took the morning train down from Malahide via Connolly to Rathdrum. Then joined the Club for a walk down the Avonmore river to the Coillte site at Avondale. Explored the treetop walk and tried out the slide. Retraced our steps on the return. Val was working at the museum and had an enjoyable day too.
Today’s weather Dry and bright but mostly overcast. Light north westerly wind. Appx 17c
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 and Avondale treetop walk

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

No sooner was Val back from London than she was out to the museum this morning, looking forward to another day at work. That left me to join the Walking Club on my own, for a trip down into the middle of County Wicklow.

So I met up with a friend on the 0931 diesel from Malahide and after a change in Connolly (with just enough time for a cup of coffee) we were at Rathdrum, in deepest County Wicklow, a few minutes before noon.

Our route today took us behind the wool insulation factory (of all things) and down a slightly grubby track onto the much more attractive trail running alongside the Avonmore river, and under the soaring railway viaduct.

We had done this walk last year, but today I had a particular reason for wanting to come. So, once we had arrived at the Avonmore Coillte visitor centre (an easy hour’s walk from the station), I went to the ticket office and bought admission to the Treetop Walkway.

This attraction only opened, to great fanfare, a couple of years ago, and I’d always wanted to pay a visit. So today was an ideal opportunity and despite the €14 admission fee (and that was with the “senior” discount!) I thought it was worthwhile.

The whole thing was nicely done (it reminded me of the walkway at the Capilano suspension bridge, which we visited last month) and the highlight was the ascent of the viewing tower at the end. I paid an extra €2 to descend via the tubular slide which was great fun but only lasted about ten seconds. I was glad I’d only had to wait in a short queue before I could zoom down.

Once we had reconvened after our various lunchtime activities, the group girded its collective loins and together we made our way back up river to the railway station. (I did however lead a small splinter group of faster walkers to explore a bit of the forest park downriver, before returning and joining up with the others at the viaduct).

The return train duly arrived and even though it was crowded and a few minutes late, got us to Pearse in time to catch a DART back to Malahide and the end of our day out.

Once back at the flat, Val and I were able to swap notes on our respective days and then she started making bread while I wrote this blog. It’s in the oven now and has the promise of being lovely. I’m looking forward to trying it out later this evening, perhaps with a nice glass of wine. The perfect end to the weekend!

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Our train leaving Rathdrum.   It’s dual track in the station only – it’s a single track line all the rest of the way from Bray to Rosslare.   There are just three trains in each direction on a Sunday Ruins of what must at one time have been the rather fine Royal Fitzwilliam Hotel at Rathdrum station.   It was open from 1863 until 1931 and since then it has been more or less continually closed.   Various attempts to sell it [though I don’t know who was the owner] have all failed and now it is slowly crumbling away.   A bit of a shame really
Underneath the railway viaduct near Balleese wood On the treetop walkway.   Impressive, and not too busy today
Entering the tunnel of doom!   Actually you are down so quickly you hardly have time even to think about what’s happening St John’s Wort (Hypericum) growing in abundance on the riverside walk
Looking down from the top of the spiral tower viewing platform.  You can see where the slide – in the metal tube – goes
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 10362 m
Max elevation: 147 m
Min elevation: 68 m
Total climbing: 407 m
Total descent: -405 m
Total time: 03:39:24
Download file: Rathdrum-and-Avondale-compressed-corrected.gpx

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