And the sun took a step back,
The leaves lulled themselves to sleep,
and Autumn was awakened.
The River Walk was laid in 1868 by the Viscount of Powerscourt so that his family could enjoy the serenity of the River Dargle.
And serene it is indeed. Over 3 kilometres (2 miles), it winds its way in the direction of the Powerscourt Waterfall, through secluded woodlands and past champion trees. The mirror-like surface of the peaty water glistens through the leaves, and its tranquil murmur echoes softly in the undergrowth. Every once in a while, a lonely autumn leaf sails gently downstream.
As we started walking, my children collected a number of seasonal treasures – parachute seeds, shiny conkers in their soft shell, one green acorn with its cap still on, one large flat mushroom, and two star-shaped leaves decayed into the most delicate lace (only the ribs and veins remained).
On that lovely Sunday afternoon, the surfaced pathway was busy with dog walkers and families, and a few cars. The adventure really began when the kids took their hide-and-seek game off the main road and into the woods.
They hid among the exposed roots of broad-leaf trees on the river bank;
They scaled low-lying branches and giant cork-like conifers;
They painted their faces with charcoal taken out of the charred hollow of a tall tree;
They ran, they played, they laughed.
Deep in the woods, they also spotted a stick swing hanging tantalisingly over the Dargle – a return visit will be in order to try it out, with adequate footwear, or no footwear at all!
Annette is a blogger exploring Ireland’s great outdoors with four children and a camera. She is French, married to an Irish man, and they live in beautiful county Wicklow.