We like poking around in old ruins so we were surprised and pleased to find this huge old overgrown church just outside Avoca. The Church of Ireland (Protestant) was formed in 1690 and this parish was founded in 1720, so I imagine that this was probably the original place of worship (we found tombstones dating as far back as 1740 in our wanderings). VT-member 'Wicklowwitch' tells me that there was originally an old castle here, whose walls were incorporated into this church. I am not sure when it was 'retired', but there is now a 'new' church of Castlemacadam (known as Holy Trinity), as well as a huge Roman Catholic cathedral in Avoca proper. We found it very interesting to wander through the ruins and the overgrown grounds of this relic.
When visiting wicklow mountains try this at least once
Ask the locals to direct you to the ''BOGS''
This is where the Turf is cut for the locals fireplaces.
you will find cutting your first ''sod of turf'' a great experience
dont forget the camera to catch your actions and the locals comments.
looks easy but you will find it takes lifetime skills to cut one evenly.
While there join them in a cup of tea from the ''billy''
Enjoy your stay in wicklow ''THE GARDEN OF IRELAND.
OH YEH DONT FORGET THE BLACKBERRYS YUM
I just recently stumbled across this website, which gives good information on all types of monuments in Ireland. The website is http://users.bigpond.com/kirwilli/dolmen/monuments.htm It just gives a rundown of the monuments, and provides a general map of their location. Enjoy!
The Meeting of the Waters out by Rathdrum & Avoca villages, in the Vale of Avoca. It's about 6 miles away from Arklow. It's very beautiful & scenic. Of course there is a pub overlooking this spot, which can be a good or bad thing, I'm undecided....
By the banks of the Avonbeg tributary under the pub, is a memorial to the poet Thomas Moore who wrote about this very spot. The poem is written at the bottom of this site
'Glenroe Open Farm, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow.
'Glenroe' was a very popular soap on Irish TV and it was filmed in Kilcoole. The main characters Biddy & Miley had a farm and one storyline was that they werent making any money from farming, so they decided to convert the place into an 'open farm', which would be open to the public. You can walk almost freely around the set and there was an exhibition of Irish TV drama displayed when we were there.
The best part of the Wicklow tour was the Monastic City we went to see. There were tombstones and buildings from the 8th and 9th centuries. There was also a round tower where the monks would go as a last resort when there were raids on the city. It was fascinating to see.
This picture is of me with my arms around one of the huge statutes in the cemetary. There is a myth about being able to touch your fingers around this cross, but I don't remember exactly what it was. If anyone knows, please email me!
On this Wicklow Mountain tour we also saw a beach where royalty used to come vacationing. Apparently a dam was built to create the lake, and people had to move out of their homes because the valley flooded. One man even stayed in his home until the police came and removed him, because he didn't want to lose his land.
The hotel nearby that the royalty stayed at, and inside they have a list of guests from the summer of 1871 with the Prince of Wales listed, as well as the Spencers.
There was another lake on the tour that is called the Guiness Lake. This is because the water is so dark that it looks like Guiness, and the beaches are white so they look like the foam. Also, one of the Guiness family members lives nearby.
On the last day of our trip I took a bus tour of the Wicklow mountains. Most of the people in our group had already left, and my roommate didn't want to pay the $20 it cost, but I think it was the best $20 I've spent. You can find out about it in most hostels, and other places with touristy information.
I loved this tour because we got to see so much of the green rolling hills I think of when I think of Ireland. We saw the valley where they filmed Braveheart, a monastic city, lakes where royalty vacationed, and so much more. Even though I didn't know anyone on the tour it was a great time and a wonderful way to meet other travelers.
Newtownmountkennedy, County Wicklow, 2a, Ireland
Good for: Solo
Strand Road, Bray, Ireland
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
Vale of Avoca, Co Wicklow, Ireland, Arklow, County Wicklow, Ireland
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families