Avondale Forest Park
Avondale Forest Park Review
Outside the quaint village of Rathdrum, on the west bank of the Avondale River, is the 523-acre Avondale Forest Park. Part of a then-burgeoning movement to preserve and expand the Irish forest, it was, in 1904, the first forest in Ireland to be overseen by the state. There's a fine 5½-km (3½-mile) walk along the river, as well as pine and exotic-tree trails.
Avondale House. This house was the birthplace and lifelong home of Charles Stewart Parnell (1846–91), the "Uncrowned King of Ireland," the country's leading politician of the 19th century and a wildly popular campaigner for democracy and land reform. Parnell's house, built in 1779, has been flawlessly restored—except for the reception and dining rooms on the ground floor, which are filled with Parnell memorabilia. Look for some of his love letters to Kitty O'Shea and political cartoons portraying Parnell's efforts to secure home rule for Ireland. 404/46111. www.heritageireland.com. €7.50. May–Aug., daily 11–6; Easter–May, Sept., and Oct., Tues.–Sun. 11–6.