Travel New: by Daragh Keany

Kayaking at The Avon.

The Avon Big Blue Bus

The Avon, Blessington Lake

I stumbled upon a little gem that I need to tell you about. It's called The Avon and it is based on the stunning lake in Blessington. My entire family ended up having a ball there.

It was a Tuesday afternoon so we got lucky with the bookings but, over the course of five hours, we managed to get the kids out kayaking (we stayed on dry land drinking coffee) before renting bikes, and had our dinner sitting out in the sun on picnic benches overlooking the lake.

There is also an entire activity area with climbing walls, an air rifle range and archery, if that tickles your fancy. Not to mention a huge bar with a balcony and a spa with private hot tubs, Scandinavian saunas and cold-water plunge pools that you can hire for a relaxing hour with your pals.

They've really thought of everything here, catering to all fitness abilities, but the crucial factor is the incredible location.

Our cycle took us for an hour around the lake along dirt tracks and pathways as we explored unused beaches and castle ruins. They have bikes of all shapes and sizes and everyone gets fitted with a safety helmet too.

When we had our fill of activities, we sat out in the sun on one of the dozens of picnic benches and ate incredible pizzas and fish and chips from the various food trucks.

I've said it before on these pages and I am here saying it again: you don't have to pack up for an overnight to really get away from the stresses of everyday life.

Day trips are the new weekend breaks and, in T he Avon, there is a hidden gem that is easily accessible for anyone in Leinster. Plus it is open all year round.

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