The jewel of Wicklow is undoubtedly Glendalough, ‘the valley of the two lakes’ where St. Kevin founded a monastery in the 6th century. A number of buildings remain (mainly from the 10th and 11th centuries), including the cathedral, a chapel known as St. Kevin’s Kitchen, the round tower and several subsidiary churches. The nearby interpretative centre has an audio-visual presentation on monastic life in Ireland and a scale model showing how the monastic city looked in its heyday. The Upper Lake at Glendalough is in a deep U-shaped glacial valley which can be appreciated in full by making the steep climb to the viewpoint of the Spink.
Wicklow is an ideal area for walkers who want to enjoy splendid scenery without too much arduous terrain. Most of the walks are on well-walked tracks, many of them waymarked, with some stretches on minor roads. The climate in Wicklow, being on the east coast, is noticeably drier than in the West of Ireland. Access to the region is simple from Dublin and a tour of Wicklow can easily be combined with a visit to Ireland’s capital.
Day 1: Arrive at your accommodation in where you will stay for the next 7 nights. We will have an evening meal together and a general chat about the coming week’s walks.
Day 2: We begin our walk at Crone Car Park following an uphill trail via a spectacular viewing point over Powerscourt Waterfall and Deer Park, followed by a climb to the east shoulder of Djouce Mountain. The trail continues to reveal the wonderful vista of Lough Tay and the Luggala valley. Dinner and overnight in Ashford.
Walk Details: Approx. Distance: 16 km. Approx. Duration: 4.5 hours. Max. Height: 500 m. Path, some road walking, forest track and mountain path. Can be wet underfoot. Boots essential.
Day 3: After breakfast, a short transfer takes you to the start of todays walk at Pier Gates for Knocknacloghue (Cnoc Na Clochóige – Hill of Stones) an area of rugged mountain, wooded valleys and peaceful lakes. We walk to the summit of Knocknacloghue (534 m), a fine, rocky point giving excellent views of Lough Dan and the surrounding countryside. We return to Pier Gates for transfer to B & B in Ashford and evening meal.
Walk Details: Approx. Distance: 12 km. Approx. Duration: 5 hours. Max. Height: 757 metres. Path, some road walking, forest track and mountain path. Can be wet underfoot. Boots essential.
Day 4: Transferring to Oldbridge, you start your walk along the shore of Lough Dan, one of the largest lakes in the Wicklow Mountains, continuing along through the “lost village”, then on to the summit of Brown Mountain, Scarr, and by joining the Wicklow Way on Paddock Hill you return on foot to Laragh. This is one of the “classic” Wicklow walks and has to be experienced to be appreciated. Transfer to B & B in Ashford and evening meal.
Walk Details: Approx. Distance: 16 km. Approx. Duration: 5 hours. Max. Height: 641 metres. Pathways, some road walking, forest track and trails, with open mountain paths. Can be wet underfoot/soft. Boots essential.
Day 5: This is your free day – Your guide will go through the different possibilities that are on offer to you in the “Garden of Ireland” which include Glendalough, Mount Usher, Sally Gap and Powerscourt House and Waterfall. Local buses serve Wicklow and Bray and you have the opportunity today to have an evening meal venue of your own choice.
Day 6: Leaving the Glendalough Valley, you now walk south via the Giants Cut, Derrybawn and Cullentragh Mountains to descend into the Glenmalure Valley and the tiny hamlet of Drumgoff on the banks of the Avonbeg River. The views as you leave Glendalough and cross over the mountains are breathtaking and help to give a great understanding of the plateau that is the Wicklow Mountains. This is not a long day’s walking BUT is rewarded by the quality of the trek. Transfer to B & B in Ashford and evening meal.
Walk Details: Approx. Distance: 10 kms. Approx. Duration: 4.5 hours. Max. Height: 650 metres. Path, some road walking, forest track and mountain path. Can be wet underfoot. Boots essential.
Day 7: This morning you leave the Glendalough valley via the Upper Lake and the ‘Spink’ to visit the old lead works, disused mines and the upper regions of the famous National Park that is the Glendalough Valley. You visit the famous monastic village of Glendalough with its seven Churches and St. Kevin’s Round Tower. Transfer to B & B in Ashford and farewell evening meal together.
Walk Details: Approx. Distance: 8 km. Approx. Duration: 3.5 hours. Max. Height: 600 metres. Paths, forest track and trails with open mountain side. Can be wet underfoot. Boots essential.
Dependent on the weather and the walking ability of the group your Guide may change the itinerary on either Day 6 or 7 to walk the beautiful and rugged Lugnaquilla. This is one of Ireland’s highest mountains and is a challenging walk but a real treat on a good day & well rewarded with magnificent views over this idyllic region.
Day 8: Departures. After breakfast we bring you back to Wicklow Bus/Rail station for approx. 09.30/10.00 hrs. from where there is an excellent bus/rail service to Dublin or to Rosslare.
Single Room Supplement: 8-day €245.
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Europe Ireland Outdoor: Land Rambler Walking Tours