The Park is the second largest in England and Wales and covers an area of 2,171 square kilometer's (838 square miles) of northwest Wales. The park has some of the best walks in Britain, offering everything from oak woodlands, wild flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls, tranquil lakes to rocky mountains and moorland. Dominated by the highest mountain in England and Wales: Mt. Snowdon, standing at 1085m/3560ft. Whether it's nature, the great outdoors, culture or history that you love, Wales has it all.
We will spend the final days of the tour is spent in the Wicklow Mountains. An area known for its rich breathtaking scenery, spectacular valleys, Corrie lakes and majestic mountains. Which has earned the county the appropriate title 'The Garden of Ireland'.
Wicklow is home to the largest National Park in Ireland, which contains some of Europe's oldest peat bog-lands, heather clad mountains, broad-leafed and coniferous woodlands and to most of Ireland's native mammal species. Our base is in a guest house just outside the pictures village of Laragh and most of our walking will be done within the National Park. Wicklow is proud to have the oldest way-marked trail in the country, "The Wicklow Way".
We will be walking on some of the most scenic sections that will take us to places like Djouce Mountain, Lough Dan, Glendalough and Glenmalure Valley, which is the longest valley in Ireland.
Day 1: The tour starts and finishes at Dublin Airport at 1.00pm, but it is also possible for you to meet us in Wales. From the airport we take a short bus ride to the ferry port, for Hollyhead in Wales. The ferry journey is approximately 1hr 40 minutes and approximately 1hr 15 minutes from Hollyhead to our base in Betws-y-Coed. After settling in to your accommodation we will have a briefing on the activities that await you in the days ahead.
Day 2: Our first walk takes us to the coastal town of Llandudno, one of Britain's finest Victorian seaside resort that shelters under the shadow of the Great Orme peninsula, which is the seen for part of our days activities. Our walk takes us around the peninsula of the Great Orme where, you will have fascinating views over the ocean and back to the mountains. We will also explore the only Bronze Age copper mine that is open to the public in the World and dates back over 3,500 years. In the afternoon we will visit the walled town of Conwy, which is one of the finest examples of a fortress in the world. The walls are over three-quarter of a mile long and have no less then 22 towers. We will take a guided tour of the famous Conwy Castle, built by Edward the 1st between 1283 and 1289. Distance: 10Km, 6 Miles, Ascent: 207 m, 620ft.
Day 3: Today's walk takes us five miles west of our accommodation to the beautiful village of Capel Curig that nestles at the foothills of Moel Siabod, Y Glyderau and Y Carneddau. Following an old pass through the mountains our walk takes us down into the peaceful valley of Cornel, through Hendre Forest and on to Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir. This once was a wild and beautiful lake but changed at the beginning of the 18 Hundreds by man into the deepest reservoir in Snowdonia. Our homeward journey takes us along the banks of Llyn Cowlyd, out at the base of Pen Llithrig and back to Capel Curig. Distance: 16 km/10 miles. Height Gain: 580m/1740ft.
Day 4: Snowdon, the highest peaks in Wales; standing at 1085 Mtrs, 3255Ft and you have two options to take you to the summit. The easiest way is to take the train from Llanberis and walk back down. Or if you would like a bit of a challenge you can walk the Pyg Track up, meet with those who have chosen the easier ascent and all return to Llanberis via the railway track. The railway has being running for over 100 years and was originally set up by a group of businessmen as a replacement for the ponies that used to carry visitors to the summit. The Pyg Track, which takes you from Pen-Y-Pass to the summit, is an old Minors Track that dates back over a 100 years and is very well maintained today by the National Trust. Whichever route you take to the summit of Snowdon we guarantee that you wont be disappointed in today's adventure. Distance up the Pyg Track and down to Llanberis: distances 13km, 6.5 miles, Ascent: 727m, 2181Ft. If you take the train up the distance back down is: 7Km, 4.5miles.
Day 5: Our final day in Wales takes us on a short nature walk to the famous Swallow Falls in Betws-y-Code, which is considered to be one of the loveliest spots in North Wales. Here the river Llugwy hurls itself down from the mountains; divided by jagged rocks in to a number of foaming falls. In the early afternoon you will have a chance to do a little shopping in the Trefriw Woolen Mills, take a guided tour of the factory and maybe even get to try your hand at weaving. Then it is back to Holly Head to catch the ferry to Dublin.
Your accommodation in Wicklow is situated just outside the village of Laragh in the heart of the mountains and only 1 hours drive from the ferry port. Distance walked today is approximately 5Km, 3miles, Ascent 150 m, 450ft.
Day 6: We start the day in Glendalough, where we will take a guided tour of the famous Monastic City, which was founded by St. Kevin in the sixth century and later became a hub of learning in Europe. Its imposing round tower overlooks the two lakes that gave Glendalough its name. "Gleann Dá Loch" The Glen of the Two Lakes. We will follow part of the Wicklow Way, which is Ireland's oldest way marked trail onto Lugduff Mountain. From here you will have spectacular views of the lakes and surrounding countryside. Our trail then takes us down into a deserted Minors Village and back to Glendalough. Distance: 11.5 km/7.2 miles. Height Gain: 410m/1230ft.
Day 7: Starting from Laragh Village the trail takes us south into Ballard Forest and onto Troopers town Mountain. (Our base and home is situated just outside the village of Laragh). This mountain is the most central in Co. Wicklow and on a good day it is possible to see almost every peak in the Wicklow Mountain range and if we are very lucky we may be able to see across the Irish Sea to the Welsh Mountains. Troopers town is also the base for Footfalls Walking Holidays, but I'm sorry we won't be dropping down for tea and scones! From here the trail takes us down into the beautiful Vale of Clara for lunch on the banks of the Avonmore River. After lunch we will follow the Avonmore River that winds its way through an open Oak Forest into the town of Rathdrum where we will be picked up and taken to the village of Avoca. Here we will make a short visit to the Avoca Woolen Mills. Avoca was the setting for the series "Ballykisangel" so a visit to Fitzgerald's Pub is a must.
Distance: 12.5 km/7.8 miles. Height Gain: 430m/1290ft
Day 8: Depart for Dublin at 12.30pm.
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