Kilkenny Castle: A Regal Encounter with History
- Ireland's Ancient East, Kilkenny, Things to do
- 22 March 2023
Discovering the Beauty of Castlewellan Forest Park and National Arboretum
Castlewellan Forest Park and National Arboretum is a stunning destination located in a dramatic setting of mountains and sea. This destination boasts one of the most outstanding tree and shrub collections in Europe, with rare conifers and maples imported directly from Japan, as well as rich varieties from Australia, Chile, China, and beyond. The beauty, vigor, and perfect shape of the trees in the National Arboretum attract tree enthusiasts from around the world.
Aside from the stunning tree collection, the park offers many other features that draw wider attention. The garden is a mixture of informal and formal design, with terraces, fountains, ornamental gates, and flower borders. The forest park also has a mile-long lake with walking trails, modern sculptures, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The park's panoramic views, 27km of mountain bike trails, hedge maze, and equestrian center make it a must-visit destination for all ages.
Visitors can also enjoy the peace maze, one of the world's largest permanent hedge mazes representing the path to a peaceful future for Northern Ireland. Planted in 2000 with community involvement, visitors can attempt to solve their way to the peace bell in the center of the maze. Animal Wood, located beside the peace maze, is a play structure designed for four to eleven-year-olds. It provides lots of opportunities for playing on wild woodland animals, including a badger, a red squirrel, and a giant spider. The structure also boasts a tower in the image of the Moorish Tower where children can enjoy the climbing wall, fireman's pole, and rope-bridge over to a hollow tree stump slide and Red Kite nest.
Castlewellan Forest Park and National Arboretum offer several walking trails that allow visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The Slievenaslat Walk, Moorish Tower Walk, Lakeside Walk, Annesley Garden Walk, Cypress Pond Walk, and Bunkers Hill Walk & Play Trail offer varying levels of difficulty, allowing visitors to choose the trail that suits their needs best.
In conclusion, Castlewellan Forest Park and National Arboretum is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and families visiting Northern Ireland. The stunning collection of trees, modern sculptures, walking trails, play structures, and peace maze offer a unique experience that visitors of all ages will enjoy. Don't miss out on the opportunity to explore this beautiful destination in Northern Ireland.