Avoca , County Wicklow

The village , which is a starting point for a tour of the Vale of Avoca , is a pretty place tucked into one side of a hill , over-looking the river. It is a true hidden gem on any Ireland tours.

The vale is a scenic route ; steep wooded valleys overlook rock-strewn streams , many picnic places have been set up on the hillsides and there are horse drawn caravans.

The Meeting of the Waters , is a confluence of three streams and a renowned beauty spot , has its river banks paved and gardened , and is no longer the romantic wilderness of Thomas Moore’s poem.

Alongside this there is an unaffected local life , as at the cattle market in Aughrim where every man has his stick to prod his chosen beast.

Avondale , North of Avoca , is the former home of Charles Stewart Parnell and now the training centre of the Irish Forestry Service. The house sits in a large forest park (214 hectares/ 530 acres) and has a nature trail that is open all year round.

Have a look on any tours of Ireland that take you into this beautiful area.

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