At home in Djouce Woods / Une cabane dans les bois de Djouce

nature, bushcraft, den, cabane, wild, outdoors, forest, woodland, woods, child

Nature is not a place to visit.
It is home.

Ever since Squirrel’s woodland birthday party at the Firefox Bushcraft base camp, on the grounds of Killruddery House & Gardens, the acorns have wanted to set up our very own base camp in the woods.

With this in mind, we set off into Djouce Woods, Co Wicklow, a Coillte Outdoors recreational site we’d never visited before. 

Staying away from the main trail, extensively used by mountain bikes, we headed up through the tall spruce forest. After playing for a few minutes on the huge stump of a fallen tree, it wasn’t long before we found a suitable spot for building a den.


La nature ne se visite pas.
On ne visite pas sa maison.

Depuis l’anniversaire d’Ecureuil, célébré au camp de base de Firefox Bushcraft, sur le domaine de Killruddery, les graines de chêne parlent d’installer leur propre campement dans les bois.

C’est ainsi que nous sommes partis dans les bois de Djouce, Co Wicklow, une forêt de Coillte Outdoors que nous n’avions encore jamais explorée.

Délaissant le sentier principal, emprunté par nombre de VTT, nous nous sommes enfoncés dans la haute plantation d’épinettes. Ayant joué pendant quelques minutes sur l’énorme souche d’un arbre tombé, il ne nous fallut guère de temps avant de trouver un coin propice à la construction d’une cabane.

Djouce Woods, Wicklow, Ireland, Irlande, épinette, Sitka spruce

Brian placed a long, thick branch between two trees to create the ‘spine’, and the acorns fetched sticks and branches, thick and thin, short and long, that they arranged on both sides.

With most of the structural work completed, it was time for the obligatory bowl of noodles – without bowls, which we had forgotten. Free from last week’s rush, Brian talked the acorns through every step of lighting the MSR® stove. Next time I’ll get the tutorial too.

Without bowls to serve the noodles, we had to improvise – Pebbles ate from an enamel cup, Squirrel, straight from the smaller pan of our two-pot cookware set, while Jedi and Mermaid shared the bigger one, Lady and the Tramp-style.

‘It’s not romantical!’ Jedi exclaimed when they both sucked on the same noodle.


Brian plaça une grosse branche morte entre deux troncs en guise de poutre faîtière, et les graines de chêne partirent en quête de bâtons et branches, épais et fins, courts et longs, qu’ils arrangèrent de part et d’autre.

Une fois le gros œuvre achevé, il était temps de se sustenter avec l’incontournable bol de nouilles. Sauf que les bols étaient restés à la maison. Sans la course contre la montre du samedi précédent, Brian expliqua en détail aux graines de chêne l’art d’allumer le réchaud MSR®. La prochaine fois, c’est moi qui prendrai la leçon.

En l’absence de bols pour servir les nouilles, il fallut improviser : Caillou utilisa une tasse en tôle émaillée et Ecureuil mangea dans la plus petite de nos deux casseroles de camping, pendant que Jedi et Sirène se partageaient la plus grosse, à la façon de La Belle et le Clochard.

“C’est pas romantifique !” s’exclama Jedi comme ils suçaient sur la même nouille.

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MSR, Whisperlite, stove, réchaud, nouilles, noodles, Falcon, enamel, émail nouilles, nooodles, Lady and the Tramp, La Belle et le Clochard

The acorns then spread out among the trees again, in search of decorations for their new den – moss, pine cones and broad leaves. By the time we had to walk back to the car, they had made it their home in the woods.

Whether this spot will become our family base camp remains to be seen. On the plus side, it is well off the beaten track (we didn’t see another soul all afternoon), sheltered and not too remote. But the towering spruce trees also keep it in the shade and totally block the view.

So the search will go on. And that’s the best part of it.


Ensuite, les graines de chêne s’éparpillèrent à nouveau parmi les arbres, à la recherche de décorations pour leur nouvelle cabane : mousse, pommes de pin, feuilles et brindilles. Quand l’heure sonna de retourner à la voiture, elle était devenue leur maison dans les bois.

Reste à voir maintenant si ce sera notre campement définitif. Certes, ce coin est abrité et loin des sentiers battus (nous n’avons vu personne tout l’après-midi) sans être isolé. Mais les hautes épinettes empêchent la lumière du soleil d’atteindre le sous-bois et obstruent totalement la vue.

Alors les recherches vont se poursuivre. Et c’est très bien ainsi.

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Living Arrows

#LivingArrows – Jedi

#LivingArrows – Mermaid / Sirène

#LivingArrows – Squirrel / Ecureuil

#LivingArrows – Pebbles / Caillou

Visitor information

Coillte OutdoorsDjouce Woods once formed part of the Powerscourt Estate, formally owned by Sir Richard Wingfield, Viscount Powerscourt. Between 1830–40 he had numerous roads and drives surveyed and constructed, such as Lady’s Drive and Earl’s Drive, which are now part of the forest’s network of trails. He also constructed the Paddock Ponds, which were the water source for the famous Powerscourt fountains. Unfortunately the earth dam which formed the ponds was breached during hurricane Charlie and has not been reinstated. The remains of the boat house built into the bank can be seen on the western side of the ponds. 

The routes and trails in this forest offer excellent views over the valley of the Dargle River, all the way to the Powerscourt Waterfall and to Djouce Mountain (alt. 725m), which lies to the southwest in the Wicklow Mountain National Park.

Getting there

Travelling northbound (Dublin) on the N11, take Exit 8 (Kilmacanogue), then the first exit on the roundabout, signposted for Roundwood and Glendalough (R755). At the next roundabout, take the second exit and continue straight ahead on the R755.
Travelling southbound (Wexford) on the N11, take Exit 8 (Kilmacanogue), immediately after the Topaz petrol station, following signposts to Roundwood and Glendalough (R755). At the roundabout, take the last exit, to Kilmacanogue and Roundwood (R755). At the next roundabout, take the first exit for the R755.

Follow the R755 until a fork in the road. Turn right onto the R760, signposted for Powerscourt Waterfall and Glencree Drive. At the first junction, take a sharp left onto the L1035, signposted for Roundwood. The Long Hill car park is 1.6km up this road on the right-hand side.

Please note that the car park closes at 4.30pm.


En savoir plus

Les bois de Djouce faisaient jadis partie du domaine de Powerscourt. Entre 1830 et 1840, Sir Richard Wingfield, vicomte de Powerscourt, fit étudier et construire plusieurs routes et chemins, dont Lady’s Drive and Earl’s Drive, qui sont maintenant incorporés au réseau d’accès de la forêt. Il fit aussi édifier les étangs Paddock Ponds, qui alimentaient en eau les célèbres fontaines de Powerscourt. Malheureusement, le barrage en terre qui formait les étangs, détruit par l’ouragan Charlie, n’a jamais été rétabli. Les vestiges du hangar à bateau sont encore visibles sur le côté ouest. 

Les sentiers et pistes des bois de Djouce offre une belle vue sur la vallée de la rivière Dargle, jusqu’à la cascade de Powerscourt et Djouce Mountain (alt. 625 m), qui se dresse au sud-ouest dans le Parc national des Monts de Wicklow.

S’y rendre

Circulant en direction du nord (Dublin) sur la N11, prenez la sortie 8 (Kilmacanogue) puis, au rond-point, la première sortie, en direction de Roundwood et Glendalough (R755). Au deuxième rond-point, prenez la deuxième sortie et continuez tout droit sur la R755.
Circulant en direction du sud (Wexford) sur la N11, prenez la sortie 8 (Kilmacanogue), tout de suite après la station service Topaz, et suivez les panneaux indiquant Roundwood et Glendalough (R755). Au rond-point, prenez la dernière sortie pour Roundwood et Glendalough (R755). Au rond-point suivant, prenez la première sortie pour la R755.

Continuez sur la R755. A la fourche, tournez à droite sur la R760 et suivez les panneaux pour Powerscourt Waterfall et Glencree Drive. A la prochaine intersection, là où la R760 vire à droite, continuez tout droit sur une route secondaire, signalée pour Powerscourt Waterfall et Glencree Drive.

A la première intersection, tournez à gauche sur la route L1035, signalée pour Roundwood. Le parking Long Hill se trouve à 1,6 km sur la droite. 

A noter que le parking ferme à 16h30.

 

 Diary of an imperfect mumCountry KidsTammymumethannevelyn.com Cuddle Fairy

36 Responses to “At home in Djouce Woods / Une cabane dans les bois de Djouce

  • What a great spot for a family adventure. I love your ingenuity with the noodles 🙂 #familyfun
    Claire at TIn Box Traveller recently posted…A festive invitation to Coombe Mill

  • Wow, those photos are wonderful. What a magical adventure, thank you for sharing #ablogginggoodtime

  • Oh I love love love your adventures, this is what childhood should be about. My dad used to help with scouts and one summer they built a cabin in the woods, we spent the whole summer exploring and had a base camp near a stream. We were dirty, scratched and very very happy! I will always remember that time as I am sure your children will. Beautiful shots too! I love that your blog is bilingual. I wish my dutch was good enough to make mine bilingual too! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime
    Catie: An Imperfect Mum recently posted…#a blogging good time #34

    • Catie, I didn’t realise you’re Dutch. Thank you for your lovely comment! That summer with your dad sounds absolutely amazing! I hope our acorns will have such memories of their childhood in years to come. Thank you for hosting #ablogginggoodtime

  • Wow I am almost at a loss, what an amazing day for the kids. I bet they absolutely love it. It looks lots of fun, even the improvising with the bowls. It’s great to be able to get out doors and enjoy the fresh air, and do it all having a bit of adventure with the family. What a fab day out. Enjoy your ongoing search and thank you for joining us at #familyfun

    • Thank you for the lovely comment! The kids had a great time, the hardest part was convincing them we had to go back to the car.
      Thank you for hosting #FamilyFun 🙂

  • Your photos are beautiful! What a lovely way to spend a day. I’m trying to instil a love of hiking into my kids – looks like you’ve succeeded with yours! I love the shared noodle, and “it’s not romantical!” Made me laugh. Thanks for sharing your day!
    ~Jess
    #FabFridayPost
    Jessica – A Modern Mom’s Life recently posted…It’s My Birthday! A Self-Indulgent Post

    • Thanks Jessica! The secret to hiking with kids is starting them early, and be ready to carry the youngest for some of the hike. Also lots of stops, for snacks and for play. Geocaching also helps 😉
      We laughed too when he made up that word, ‘romantical’ 🙂

  • That looks like a lovely place and a good time. 🙂 #fabfridaypost I wish we had more evergreen trees around here. It’s just so…blah, right now. lol
    Alicia Owen recently posted…Learning Fun with the Alphabet Hop Game!

    • I love evergreens too, but plantation forests like these are a bit boring, aren’t they? Who doesn’t like autumn colours, even if that means bare trees in winter? 🙂
      Thanks for your comment.

  • Merci pour partager avec #FamilyFun It sounds like you all had a wonderful time

  • Oh Wow! I can’t believe you had the noodles this time and you have the photos to prove it too! How awesome is that!!! I am so jealous! lol!

    Are you on Instagram? I love your photos. Please feel free to join us on #ExplorerKids It is a hashtag about Kids exploring the world!

    Thank you so much for sharing with us on #FabFridayPost xx
    Su {Ethan & Evelyn} recently posted…#FabFridayPost Linky #69 {03.02.17}

    • Su, we HAD to have noodles this time after last week’s tribulations! lol

      I am on Instagram – @four_acorns. I spotted the #ExplorerKids hashtag earlier this week and I used it already on a picture I posted yesterday.

      Again, thank you for hosting #FabFridayPost xx

  • What a great adventure. My son loves building dens in the woods. So many gorgeous pictures x
    #FabFridayPost

  • That looks like you had a lot of fun and and fun with dinner too!! What a beautiful place to have an adventure 🙂 #countrykidsfun

    • Noodles are a must for the kids on every winter outing, and I find they add to the experience. Thanks for stopping by! x

  • I can’t wait till my little is old enough to build dens!! What a fab day out. Love the lady and the tramp moment! He he… we love woodland walks especially in the summer when it’s hot! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  • Your children are having the best childhood. They are literally at one with nature’s playground – and making the most of every bit of it. What beautiful photos – and an amazing den too! x

    • Awww Donna thank you so much. We do try and take them outside as much as we can, and they do seem very much at ease in nature. xx
      #LivingArrows

  • Beautiful and inspiring. We, too, have four kids (similar ages too!) and a love of the outdoors. But often we don’t seem to find the time nor motivation to go all together for an mini-adventure like this unless we are on holiday somewhere. Huge respect for getting all four little acorns out and about!

    Greetings from Luxembourg (oui, nous parlons français 🙂 ), visiting from #CountryKids
    Jonny (Daisy the bus) recently posted…The “Nederlands Openlucht Museum”

    • Merci du fond du coeur Jonny pour ce commentaire si touchant ! I’ve had a look at your blog, and it looks like you’re getting up to a lot of adventures with your children. I would love to take ours travelling like you do.
      See you again soon on #CountryKids x 😉

  • Wow that sounds like a great day out, the kids must have loved it! And I love the photos absolutely beautiful xx #countrykids

    • Thank you Josefine for stopping by! You know, we lived in Copenhagen for three years, and your country has a lot to answer for in terms of spending time outdoors with children 😉 x

  • You take such beautiful photographs and it looks like you had a fabulous time in the woods.

    I’m going to use your blog to get my head back into French by reading the French parts first before reading the English to check my understanding! I’m French teacher but very much out of practice after 18 months off!

    #LivingArrows
    Sarah recently posted…Remembering Childhood // Little Hearts, Big Love

    • It’s great that you enjoy the bilingual side of my blog, even better that you want to use it to practice your French – thank you so much for stopping by again! 🙂

  • What a delightful day of camp building. It is so good for kids to spend a day like this and well done for being with them and starting them off. My kids would spend whole weeks of the school holidays creating secret camps in wooded sections of the farm, it is something I always encouraged, nothing better than to see them out in the fresh air like this. I feel sad that they are now too old to enjoy these simple pleasures. I love the hot noodles idea, especially for building camp in winter.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids
    Fiona -Coombe Mill recently posted…Trash 2 Treasure February 17

    • Fiona, it sounds like your kids had the best childhood. Even if they seem too old for such simple pleasure, I’m sure they’ll go back to them before you know it! Once you have a taste for nature and for exploration, you’re set for life! 😉
      Thanks again for hosting #CountryKids! x

  • I love the photo of climbing up the tree root, epic! I hope you find your perfect spot for base camp, such a fab idea. Though this spot looked quite perfect to me! Enjoy your adventures. Thanks for linking up #FabFridayPost

    • That spot was pretty good indeed, but we’ll have such fun searching for the ideal base camp! Thanks for hosting #FabFridayPost 😉

  • An awesome day out by anyone’s standards! And super noodles, great hiking food 🙂 🙂

    • Thanks Zoe for stopping by! Our acorns could have noodles every single time we go out, no need to go far lol 🙂

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