Glen Of The Downs Forest Park
I was seeking to replace my ripped up wax coat and falling apart wide brimmed wax hat. After a disappointing day checking out Dublin shops where wax coats were between € 300 and € 500 and hats towards € 100, I was going to leave the idea to ordering online.
Claire suggested we tried Fishers in Newtown Mountkennedy in Co. Wicklow. I had been there before and prices were outrageous there then ... but Claire said they serve a good lunch. I thought we may go for a walk at Devils Glen or Church Glen woods after, as it was a lovely unusually mild 1st December day.
So, it was lunch first ...
Fishers were having an an "official" (I'm always amused when people use that word) launch, so it was a very busy place. Interestingly, there were some Bards In The Woods people from various gatherings I have been in during the year ... and they were planning woodland jaunts after their lunches too.
First, I reluctantly went into the men's clothing area and started looking at the predictable €400 and up. A lovely woman approaches me and offers to help as I seem to be having a problem. I said "yes, I am, my budget cannot buy anything here" ... so she took me to a corner rack, and there were the clear-out items, and I got my new wax coat and hat for less than the cost of a soup, sandwich and tea for four people. Success !!!
So in sheer delight, off to Glen Of Downs Forest Park ...
First thing to notice is lots of oaks scattered around.
So the above pic is the start of a trail here, a thick blanket of bronze and gold leaves.
I regret not taking a pic of the pleasant little stream below, which I later learned is the 'Three Trout Stream" which was once a torrent river that cut out the gorge, the canyon, that is now Glen Of The Downs.
The path seems to forever climb ...
As we climbed the noise was less and eventually the climbin path turns inward anti-clockwise to eventually totally shelter us from all road sound.
At this point there was a lot of Holly thickly dressed with its red berries
From her the heritage forest opened up into views of a golf course and onto the Irish Sea towards Wicklow.
As we descended the path here we realised we had made the best choice
Widening out again into a bronze path
The bronze turned to gold as the downward path descended more rapidly around the sycamores, the maples.
Alas, two cars were there with smashed windows. Smash and grab raiders had been and left. Both cars had bags with valuables left in them. A lesson again. We were not affected, old car not been cleaned out awhile and visible junk in the back seat was no temptation to raiders fortunately.
The people of the two violated cars were helping each other, it was just getting darkish, after 4 pm now, but Claire still had some fascination for beach time ... and I did too, so we headed to the Beach Road, east of Newcastle, Co. Wicklow.
Remarkable mild 10C, 50F at night time for 1st December !!! Several people were still strolling the sea shore edge. This looks out towards Wicklow Town lights, and the single light on the beach is a dog wearing a light on its collar :-)
Glen Of Downs forest is a grand walk and easy to get to from anywhere in Dublin and Bray etc. Buses do go quite close to a path entrance from Delgany village.
On another weekend we will try out Coillte's nearby Kindlestown Wood which is a former spruce plantation now transformed into a mixed species broadleaved tree forest.