Glamping on the Avonmore Way

The Avonmore Way – or Slí Abhainn Mór, way of the big river in Irish, is a wonderful walk linking the two villages of Glendalough and Rathdrum following a mixture of minor road, forest road and track. Our Glamping accommodation at Cronybyrne lies at the midway point of the walk bordering the beautiful Clara Vale Nature Reserve and the Avonmore River.

Walking to Glendalough on the Avonmore Way

You can choose to walk in the direction of Laragh and Glendalough where the walk skirts around Trooperstown Hill through the townland of Ballard, which provides wonderful views of the Glendalough and Glendasan valleys and the neighbouring hills. Descending through the woods you reach the village of Laragh where we highly recommend a lunch at The Glendalough Green Café and Deli, great for homemade soups, salads, delicious cakes and coffee and the best scones in Wicklow! Alternatively why not try The Wicklow Heather Restaurant, a firm family favorite serving excellent locally sourced food in a homely cosy atmosphere. From Laragh, continue your walk to Glendalough to visit the Monastic site and the valley of the two lakes. And while you are there, make sure to check out the wonderful Irish Working Sheepdog demonstrations just across the road from the Round Tower!

Walking to Rathdrum on the Avonmore Way

Walking the other half of the Avonmore Way trail will bring you from our Glamping Accommodation to the village of Rathdrum. This trail is mostly through the forest on a delightful section of riverside walk where the route truly lives up to its name with pleasant picnic spots on the river banks and a fairytale ancient woodland to explore. You will be surrounded by the lords of the forest, Oak and Scots Pine towering above you, Holly, Hazel, Birch, and Willow trees lower down and on the woodland floor, Honeysuckle,Wood Sorrel, Bluebells and wild Irish Blueberries known as Fraochán or Bilberries.

Keep an eye out for the bird and bat boxes on some trees and the wide range of wildlife that live in these woods including birds such as longeared owls, tree-creepers, woodcock, redstarts, buzzards and the Great Spotted Woodpecker, which has recently arrived back to Ireland. While many of the tall oaks here were planted during the 19th century, at least some of this area is likely to have been under continuous forest cover since the end of the last Ice Age!

Once you arrive in Rathdrum you can choose to continue the walk to visit Avondale House and Forest or explore the village and enjoy a drink at the cosy Cartoon Inn pub or Jacobs Well. For a well-earned dinner we highly recommend Bates Restaurant serving excellent locally produced food in a cosy atmosphere in their traditional stone-built dining room.

For those travelling onward along the Avonmore Way after a stay in one of our Glamping Gypsy Caravans, you can join The Wicklow Way at Laragh to continue your hiking holiday or the St Kevin’s Glendalough bus travels from Laragh to Dublin. If you choose to walk in the direction of Rathdrum, the rail link from there to Dublin offers a very scenic train journey along the coast directly overlooking the Irish Sea.

Where to stay on The Avonmore Way

Explore the Avonmore Way and stay in your very own colourful and cosy Glamping Gypsy Caravan on our 100 acre family farm. Trail Length – 12 kilometres; degree of difficulty – moderate; metres of climb – 245

Explore the Avonmore Way from your Glamping Accommodation

Did you know Halloween originated in Ireland?

Halloween came from the ancient Celtic festival Samhain (pronounced sow-in) which is said to be over 2,000 years old and in Irish means ‘end of summer’.

In fact, the word Samhain is still used in Irish today when referring to the month of November which is mí na Samhain (pronounced me na sow-in).

Samhain was considered a pivotal turning point in the Celtic calendar which marked the close of the season of light and the beginning of the dark half of the year.

In this transition time it was believed that the boundaries between our world and the ghost world were blurred and that supernatural creatures could come and go as they pleased!

Tales and legends tell of the intrusion of mischievous supernatural beings like fairies, púcas, banshees, and the souls of the dead.

Spooky, spooky, spooky!


Halloween Traditions In Ireland

Many of our Halloween traditions like dressing up and pumpkin lights also come from this Celtic festival.

To ward off the evil spirits let loose at Samhain, huge bonfires were lit and in the time of the Celts, animal bones were burnt in the fire to ward off evil spirits, hence the meaning of the word bonfire or Bone-fire.

People would often carry home an ember from the communal bonfire to light their own fireplace with the spirit-repelling flame. The jack-o’-lantern or carved pumpkins we know today were based on the hollowed out turnips the Celts used as a way of getting the flames safely back home.

They carved menacing faces in the turnips and left them on their doorsteps in order to prevent unwelcome guests entering their homes at Samhain, adding a lit candle to the hollowed out face for added protection.

People also dressed up in ugly masks and disguises to confuse the dark spirits and to remain hidden from returning dead that had disliked them during their own lifetime.

In the hope of appeasing the spirits, food was left out in the home or offerings were left at the nearest hawthorn or white-thorn bush (where fairies were known to live).

To this day we still call Hawthorn trees Fairy Trees in Ireland.


Halloween Fairies, Ghosts & Horses

The Banshee is a female fairy, who warns of approaching death by screaming a terrible, eerie wail. The cry of the Banshee of Ireland would send a shiver down the spine of anyone that hears it and legend has it if you hear her, you should look out for a funeral carriage pulled by a headless horse.

The fairy most connected with the origin of Halloween is the dark and sullen Púca (pronounced Phooka) who is particularly mischievous and capable of assuming any shape in order to abduct mortals to fairy land.

The Púca is particularly adept at taking animal shapes, especially horses!

Eek!!!


Clissmann Horse Caravans, Glamping and Donkey Walking

Wander through time and unravel 5,000 years of history in Ireland’s Ancient East. It is a region of historical twists and turns full of great stories written on the land that stay with you forever. Time travel to the eras of haunting passage