Beyond the Trees Avondale is Coillte’s flagship tourism and recreation destination located at the historic Avondale Forest Park in County Wicklow.
This is a partnership between Coillte, Fáilte Ireland and EAK Ireland Treetop Walks inc.(Erlebnis Akademie AG) that has seen an investment in excess of €16 million by the partners to create this iconic new visitor destination in Ireland’s Ancient East.
Beyond the Trees Avondale includes the longest treetop walk in Ireland and the UK, measuring 1.3km from the start of the timber walkway to the top of the panoramic wooden viewing tower 38 metres above the forest floor. The old courtyards and walled gardens in this historic location have been sensitively redeveloped along with a new build state of the art visitor centre which will house visitor information and amenities, café and exhibition space. The Seed Café will provide creative food offerings crafted through the seasons by the dedicated culinary team from high quality, locally sourced ingredients.
The view from the Seed Café will extend out onto the picturesque restored Walled Garden, including an adventurous children’s playground conveniently located beside the outdoor dining terrace. From here, visitors can enjoy a complimentary self-guided visit to the Coillte Pavilion where visitors will learn all about the evolution and history of forestry in Ireland.
In addition, interactive exhibits in the pavilion showcase the benefits of trees and forests for climate, for nature, for wood and for people and how well managed forests can contribute to mitigating climate change and creating a sustainable future. From the walled gardens there is access to the treetop walk, the autism friendly sensory garden and an abundance of forest walking trails throughout the forest park.
The treetop walk with the viewing tower as well as the visitor centre buildings feature innovative timber construction techniques using locally sourced timber. A variety of sustainable technologies are built-in including solar photovoltaic panels and solar hot water panels, air to water heat pumps and rainwater harvesting to name a few.
Where possible the existing buildings at Avondale are being refurbished, repurposed and incorporated into the new design and the buildings will have a BER rating of A3. The landscaping of the gardens at Beyond the Trees Avondale follows the principles of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan for diversity of plantings attracting multiple pollinator species.