In Ireland's County Wicklow, Avoca merits a visit to see weavers at work on hand looms at the Avoca Mill. This small town on the Avoca River is about 35 mi/55 km south of Dublin and is most beautiful in the spring, when the wild cherry trees are in bloom.

However, now that it has been immortalized by the popular Ballykissangel television series, Avoca can get very crowded in the summer months and has lost some of its tranquil charm. Get an Ordnance Survey map (buy the inch-to-the-mile scale—available in most big bookshops and tourist offices) and spend time driving through the area's mountains.

One stop on your drive should be Avondale House and the surrounding Avondale Forest Park (http://www.avoca.com).

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