Dunbrody Famine Ship
Oh, lovely Avoca. Lovely is the word most people will respond with if you tell them your plans to visit the small but strikingly pretty village of Avoca in the Wicklow Mountains.
Avoca is also the definition of a one horse town. On the main street you will find one pub, one village shop and one takeaway but what more do you really need? It’s also a one company town – a little like Disneyland-Anaheim and General Motors-Detroit but on a less industrial, more Irish scale. The main reason people visit the village is the Avoca Handweavers, where there has been a mill since 1723 but turned into a national institution by the Wynne sisters in the 1920s. At the mill you can watch traditional handweaving demonstrations, peruse the very expensive but high-quality shop and sample the exquisite lunch dishes and homebaking in the cafe.
Avoca is actually equally famous amongst some as the filming location of the fictional village at the heart of the BBC’s hit television show Ballykissangel. This is a fact however which will not be of too much interest to those who were not the mainly middle-aged viewers watching Sunday night television in the UK, Ireland or Australia in the late nineties.
In the forested hills above the town is also the Red Kite trail. This is an easy, fairly short walk through attractive woodland and takes in views of the village from above, a variety of wildlife (including Red Kites, obviously) and curious Kilmagig Cemetery.
Avoca is a public transport black hole and is certainly not a young traveller’s dream but it’s a really nice place to experience little Ireland with a peaceful getaway or a pleasant little daytrip by coach or car.