Autumn is a beautiful time of year to visit Ireland. The beautiful array of colors that appear across the country can be awe-inspiring. Celebrating nature at its very best.
There are more than 7,500 species of trees in Ireland. From native ash, oak, hazel, birch, scots pine, rowan and willow, plus trees that were later introduced to Ireland like beech, sycamore, horse chestnut, larch, fir and spruce.
DUBLIN'S TREE TRAILS:
The parks of Dublin are an easy place to start the search for autumn beauty. There are seven Native Tree Trails across Dublin City Council parks. There are 4 on the south side of the city and Herbert Park in Ballsbridge is a great starting point. The other parks include Bushy park, Terenure; Markievicz Park, Ballyfermot and Lansdowne Valley Park, Inchicore. On the north side there are tree trails at Albert College Park, Glasnevin; Poppintree Park in Ballymun and Johnstown Park, Finglas. You will find 15 native trees in each park with information signposts.
Now part of Ireland's Ancient East Trail, Glendalough becomes even more beautiful when it turns golden in Autumn. Many of the trees here are broad-leaved and decidous and are hundreds of years old. Explore the different trails and walks through the 6th century monastic settlement. Enjoy the beauty and gaze at the rich shades of the trees, ferns and shrubs. Colours changing from yellow, gold and orange.
KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK:
The beauty of Killarney National Park is a must-see at this time of the year. Autumn light increases its beauty. The area was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations because of its network of natural and wild areas.
The trees around Muckross House are of national and international importance, particularly the native oakwoods and yew woods. The native red deer here are unique in Ireland and have a presence in the country since back as far as the Ice Age.
The glorious beauty of Gougane Barra National Park in Co. Cork is a sight not to be missed at autumn. This was Ireland's first National Park when it opened back in 1966. The forest park covers over 1,000 acres and boasts an incredable journey to explore. It's where the River Lee rises and there's a tiny lake connected to the shore by a causeway where St. Finbarr, founded his early monastery.
The forest park has 350 acres of both cultivated and natural forestry filled with wildlife and there is a ring road to drive along or acres of forests to walk through and enjoy.
The Botanic Gardens of Ireland are extremely enjoyable during autumn. If you desire an oasis and total escape this is the place to come. There is a packed calender of events and work-shops for children and adults and this is a great area to enjoy nature but to also learn from the experts.
A lesser known outpost of the Botanic Gardens is Kilmacurragh in east county Wicklow and this incredable arboretum and grounds is also open to all and has one of the most amazing showcases of autumn beauty that there is. The replanting and rejuvenation of the native woodland and grassland ecosystems has given new life to the grounds, particularly the magnificent oak collection.
Trees have been the centre of Ireland's forklore and history through the centuries. The turning of the leaves every year is a sight to behold. One not to be missed.