Wicklow Way, Ireland

Wicklow Way, Ireland

This is one of the most popular hikes in Ireland, and sees up to 1 million visitors annually. It is easily accessible, due to its close proximity to Dublin. This path was the first official way-marked way, and features abundant signage to guide trekkers (look for black posts with a yellow walking person). You will see waterfalls, lakes, moors and mountain vistas along this route. Do take care however, as there are thieves who will break into parked cars. Also the traffic can be a headache along the narrow roads.

Wicklow Way

flickr image by jaroslavd

This path may be tackled in as little as three days, which limits you to the first half, with the most spectacular scenery. If you have more time, the entire 132km route can be completed in one week, while ten days would give you some time to rest and explore the surrounding region at a more leisurely pace. If you plan to undertake this route during the fall, winter, or spring seasons, be prepared for high winds, rain, sleet and perhaps even blizzards. The following description covers the first half of the Wicklow Way.

Wicklow Way was created by JB Malone, a well-known Irish walker, in 1982. Camping is prohibited in Wicklow Mountains National Park, where most of the walk takes place, but there are numerous lodgings available along this route – accommodations are described below. Please note that there is only one ATM available on the first half of this trip, at Roundwood.

Along this trail, you may be able to see hybrid red and sika deer – the sika deer were originally imported from Japan and escaped to mate with the local red deer. Other wildlife include red squirrels, foxes, hares, feral goats, red grouse, skylarks, meadow pipits, kestrel and peregrine falcon.

To begin the Wicklow Way hike, you may take Dublin Bus number 16 from central Dublin (Upper O’Connell St.) to Marley Grange stop at the park entrance. The first day, you will hike from Marlay Park to Knockree. Craft workshops can be found at Marley Park. The first day involves a trip of 6 hours, 20km. You will cross the Little Dargle River, and traverse Kilmashogue Wood. A side trip to Fairy Castle (536m) is possible, requiring a 1km detour. The route winds around Prince William’s Seat (555m). In Knockree, accommodations may be found at:

Knockree Youth Hostel, Lackan, Knockree
Oaklawn B&B, Glaskenny, Enniskerry
Brook Cottage

Day 2 on the Wicklow Way takes you from Knockree to Roundwood, a trip of 5.5 hours, 22km. You will pass the highest waterfall in Ireland, Powers Court Waterfall, 119m high. You will pass by moors, Coolakay House, B&B, at Enniskerry and Dargle River. You may also visit Djouce Mountain (725m), which involves a 2.5 hour, 7.5km detour.

You may stay in Roundwood, a village with a population of 600 people. You can find a supermarket here and an ATM. Accommodations include:

Roundwood Caravan and Camping Park
Tochar House on Main St
Riverbank B&B on Dublin Road
the Coach House
Roundwood Inn also on Main St
For public transportation, take St. Kevin’s Bus from Roundwood to Laragh, Glendalough, Bray and Dublin.

On day 3, you hike from Roundwood to Glenmalure, a distance of 7 hours, 27km. This route passes through oak woodland, Paddock Hill (360m), and Laragh Village. Accommodations here include:

Dunroamin House
Glendale B&B, Laragh East
Glendalough River House
Lynham’s Hotel

After reaching Glenmacnass River, there is a magnificent view of Glendalough Lower and Upper Lakes. From there you may access Glendalough Visitor Centre, and the famous Monastic City, founded AD 570 by St Kevin, an ancient centre of learning and pilgrimage.

Date posted: 24th June, 2016

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