Avoca is a small town in County Wicklow, Republic of Ireland. It sits close to where the rivers Avocaand Avonbeg converge, and it has the charm of an archetypal rural Irish town that, perhaps, only its use as the location for the hit BBC show Ballykissangel can bestow.
The tiny streets and small stone cottages of Avoca, set against a backdrop of rolling green countryside, create a feeling of tranquillity and relaxation. There’s more to Avocathan just a place to unwind, however, since it is an area rich in history and offers a range of activities to suit all tastes.
The History of AvocaMining has played an important role in the history Avoca. The area is mentioned on maps dating back to the Roman era, and copper has been mined here since the 1700s. The remains of the old mines, including engine houses and a mineral tramway arch, are still visible today.
Avoca is also famous for hand weaving, a traditional skill which has been used to fashion handmade fabrics for centuries. There is still a working hand weaving mill in Avoca, situated on the banks of the River Avoca. As well as a store selling traditional fabric items and gifts and a cafe, visitors can enjoy a tour around the mill itself, the oldest working mill in Ireland. It has been producing fine fabrics since 1723 and the original whitewashed buildings are well worth a visit.
Take the Rathdrum Road through Avoca, past the point where the rivers Avoca and Avonbeg meet, and a pathway up to the top of the hill will bring you to the impressive Mottee Stone. This is a large white granite boulder deposited on top of the hill at the end of the Ice Age, although a colourful local legend has it that it was thrown there from the top of Lugnaquilla Mountain by the legendary figure of Fionn MacCumhaill.
Shopping in AvocaA stay in Avoca isn’t all about exploring the past, however. The shopping on offer, for example, runs the gamut from traditional craft goods and local farm produce to large scale shopping centres and high street names. Wander around the town and browse a selection of designer jewellery, hand crafted Shillelagh sticks and art produced by local artists. The Bridgewater Shopping Centre in nearby Arklowoffers mainstream high street retail, whilst nearby Macreddin Village hosts a food market on the first Sunday of every month between April and October.
Avoca AppAlthough much of the appeal of Avocalies in its old world charm, the tourist experience on offer is firmly embedded in the 21st century, thanks to the Wicklow Tourism app for androids and smartphones. Download the app whilst staying in Avocaand you’ll be able to access real time information on amenities, attractions, shopping, food, drink, accommodation and everything else that will help you fall in love with this place.
Booking a Trip to AvocaThe hills, fields and forests surrounding Avocaprovide excellent walking and hiking opportunities throughout the year. Nearby golf courses such as Woodenbridgeand Arklow offer a sporting challenge that is hard to refuse. Meanwhile the golden beaches of the Wicklow coast are just a short drive away.
Avocais more than an archetypal Irish small town: it’s an archetypal holiday location.