Rea­sons to visit John F Kennedy Ar­bore­tum

Bray People - - SCHOOL TOURS -

JOHN F KENNEDY Ar­bore­tum is a plea­sure to visit all year round. There are sign-posted trails through­out and group guided tours are avail­able from Easter to the end of Oc­to­ber, but it is ad­vis­able to book in ad­vance

Each sea­son brings its own at­trac­tions to the Ar­bore­tum – the fresh­ness of spring with new growth, fol­lowed by a blaze of colour from the five hectares of rhodo­den­drons and aza­leas, to the drifts of blue­bells in the wood­lands. Fol­low­ing the full­ness of sum­mer growth, there is spec­tac­u­lar au­tumn colour, one of the high­lights be­ing the Ja­panese maples.

The quiet win­ter pro­vides a con­trast be­tween de­cid­u­ous and ever­green species. The strik­ing bark of the eu­ca­lyp­tus, birches and dog­wood is all the more no­tice­able then. Spec­tac­u­lar views can be had from the Ar­bore­tum, which rises from 36m above sea level to 271m at the sum­mit of Slieve Coillte. Half of its 252 hectares area is de­voted to the Plant col­lec­tion, grow­ing in the park­land of the lower el­e­va­tions. 200 for­est plots of dif­fer­ent species, spread across the higher slopes. The sum­mit pro­vides panoramic views over parts of six coun­ties

A su­perb pic­nic area, which also fea­tures a tea-room / shop, and play unit, will be par­tic­u­larly ap­peal­ing to fam­i­lies. Chil­dren will be able to play and eat in a safe and clean en­vi­ron­ment. A minia­ture rail­way is also a ma­jor at­trac­tion at the Ar­bore­tum, as is a lake with its many fish and ducks

The ar­bore­tum is one of 90 her­itage sites through­out the coun­try. To book, phone 051 388171.

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