Meetings of the Waters
Inspired by a visit with friends to the Vale of Avoca, Thomas Moore wrote the song "The Meeting of the Waters" to an old Irish air, The Old Head of Dennis. The Meeting of the Waters is where the Avonmore and Avonbeg rivers come together to form the river Avoca the dark wooded river valley of the Vale of Avoca begins.
Vale of Avoca
The Vale begins at a confluence between the Avonmore (Abhainn Mór - Big River) and Avonbeg (Little River), where they form the Avoca. This new river is forded about three miles downstream by a small village of the same name, where you can visit the famous Avoca mill and see an example of the handweaving craft which has made the place famous. The village makes an ideal place to make your base while you hike through the vale, and this is by the far the best way to get a sense of it. You can stroll along the riverbanks, or take a detour up the valley and see if you can catch a glimpse of some of the small furry creatures (no, not the Wicklow natives…) who get to wake up every morning and live there.
Avoca Handweavers was founded in 1723 in an isolated village called Avoca in County Wicklow, Ireland. The valley of Avoca was rich in minerals such as copper, lead, zinc and gold. The little Mill was at the heart of the community, spinning and weaving blankets from the wool of the local sheep as well as grinding corn for bread. Because the valley was so isolated and travel so difficult, a barter system prevailed. The valley also made it's own gold coins, samples of which are in the National Museum in Dublin. The nearby Avoca Church celebrated 150 years in existence in 2012.
Avondale House & Forest Park
Avondale House, the birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891) one of the greatest political leaders of Irish history. Set in a magnificent forest park of over 500 acres with tree trails and walks ranging in duration from one to five hours. This beautiful Georgian House designed by James Wyatt and built in 1777 contains fine plasterwork and many original pieces of furniture. The American Room is dedicated to Admiral Charles Stewart - Parnell’s American grandfather who manned the USS Constitution during the 1812 war. Visitors are introduced to this wonderful historical house by a specially commissioned audio visual presentation
Glendalough - ‘the valley of the two lakes’
Glendalough has earned its reputation as the most popular place for visitors in the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
‘The valley of the two lakes’ is famous for its wild beauty, its rich spiritual history and its many archaeological sites. It’s an area steeped in history and atmosphere, withwonderful mountain walks, woodland trails and lakeside rambles. Dotted around the valley’s twin lakes are a profusion of archaeological sites of interest including a stone caher, a number of early Christian monastic churches, a round tower and a medieval cathedral.
Brittas Bay is one of the finest beaches on the East Coast and is the most popular beach around for day tripping Dubliners to get out of the city on a summer day. Brittas Bay has a 5km stretch of beautiful white sand dunes and clean beaches.
This beach has won a European Union (EU) Blue Flag - the interntional emblem for the highest quality beach areas in Europe - for five consecutive years. With no headlands to interfere with the peaceful rhythm, it is ideal for bathing, sailing and walking.