We planned to meet my brother Patrick with Charlene and Jack today, they were going to come visit us, but with such a lovely day and the fact that we didn’t fancy tidying up for visitors we decided to meet somewhere in the middle to let the kids play while we caught up.
We agreed on Powerscourt Waterfall, about 6km off the N11 at Kilmacanogue. We’d been before years ago and it had come back on my radar recently as we’d seen it in a painting in the National Gallery.
The drive from the gate lodge where you pay your entrance fee is magnificent, wooded mountains all around, and the winter sun gave an eerie light that made me regret leaving my good camera at home.
You arrive in the carpark, which had lots of room on a day like today, but I expect it’s packed in summer. There’s an excellent playground with a separate area for smaller kids and enough climbing opportunities to keep all the kids in our group from 3 to 10 to 30 something well entertained.
We had our hot chocolate with marshmallows from the kiosk (€3- I divided one into two cups for my small boys) on one of the many picnic tables. Thoughtful Charlene brought some cheesecake for us to try, and we tested it while watching the climbing.
We strolled/galloped over to the waterfall, checking out the hollowed out tree where Ciarán decided that dragons must live, on the way.
Standing under the waterfall the power of the water, the sheer energy was amazing. I stared at it. The boys shrieked and posed for lots of photos after climbing as far as the grown ups would let them go.
We followed the river off the waterfall with Dad and Uncle trying to teach the boys how to skim stones, noting a marked absence of the right type of stone (COUGH).
Next we wandered off on a woodland trail, Laoise securely strapped into her Ergo carrier snoozing as we climbed over a stream, the boys laughing as the mammies wobbled on the makeshift stick bridge they had jumped across.
Cathal busied himself collecting sticks and the bigger boys joined in, with much excitement when we found a wooden shelter someone had built.
We breathed in the crisp winter air and chatted as the boys adventured. Their stick collection helped make a slightly more secure bridge on the way back.
We said our goodbyes after an extra run in the playground.
Exhausted in the car on the way home, before drifting off to sleep, Cathal announced “I’m going to be a mountaineer when I grow up”.
What a lovely way to spend a Saturday in January.
There’s an admission charge, €5.50 per adult, and a family ticket for €16.00, with a charge of €3.50 for children over 2. It’s not cheap, especially considering similar scenery and walks can be enjoyed at nearby Glendalough for the price of parking the car.
Some elements are fine for the buggy but we had much more freedom with Laoise in the babycarrier, it would have been difficult to bring the buggy across the stream.
The directions on the website are incorrect- where it says to turn left 2km after Kilmacanogue turn right (it’s signposted and I’ve emailed them).