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Here's A Bank Holiday Adventure For Arborophiles Who Aren't Afraid To Leave Dublin

By aidan

December 20, 2016 at 12:10am

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Do you like trees? Do you like really good food? Well then why don’t you go to Mount Usher and look at the trees. And then eat in the Avoca Café.

Urban Dictionary defines an Arborophile as someone who likes trees. A lot. There seems to be some insinuation about the exact relationship being discussed here but my point is: if you even vaguely like trees you should go to Mount Usher in Ashford, Co Wicklow. I know, I know it’s in Wicklow. Again. I don’t care.

Shoes?

You’ll be walking around a garden that has grass. Act accordingly.

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Map?

The friendly staff will give you one (ooh matron!).

Distance?

As long as you want it to be. You can just wander around at your own pace.

Difficulty?

0/5 – I swear I’ll do one that’s 5/5 some day. Honest. But, like, it's a Bank Holiday.

Getting there

Get yourself on the N11 and watch out for signs for Ashford. If somebody tries to sell you strawberries you’ve gone too far. When you turn off head through the town and keep an eye out for signs. It’s on the left. Don’t take the fork up to the right for the Devil’s Glen.

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Parking

They have some parking (free) but it fills up. There are spaces out on the road too.

Route (if we could call it that...)

Mount Usher is more than an Arboretum. It’s a garden. A proper garden.

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It’s in a style they call Robinsonian after 19th-Century Irish gardener William Robinson. He believed that gardens could be more than just ways of showing off how wealthy you were; that they could, instead, be works of art with scope for expression and real take-your-breath-away beauty.

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It was built by the Walpole family over many generations going back to the late 19th Century. They have a lovely house on the grounds, and you really can tell the garden has been laid out to make the house look its best.

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It’s built on the Vartry River and it makes brilliant use out of that asset. It gently drops down curved weirs, and there’s even a suspension bridge.

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The trees are from all over the world. If you want to find out about them the map they give you tells you all you need to know. There’s a recommended route but it’s fun to wander off it. Go nuts!

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When you’re done go to the Avoca Café. Don’t try and argue with me. Just sit down in the lovely courtyard and tell the super nice staff to shut up and take your money. Then order Falafel.

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A nice easy stroll, points of interest and some great food. What more could an Arborophile want?

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