Wild Wicklow Way
Tour of key scenic, cultural and historical locations in Co. Wicklow with the opportunity to make changes along the way to visit less well known locations or spend more time in a particular place.
Moderate exercise, light walking. Some challenging ground. Bring rain jacket, walking boots and walking stick(s) if advised to do so for your particular tour.
Travel in classic Saab 93X Estate with a qualified ‘Approved Tour Guide of Ireland’ who is a native of county Wicklow. Pick-up and drop-off points wherever you require. From August 2022 tours will be available in the new environmentally friendly all electric Toyota BZX4.
Standard Tour Description
Wicklow is one of Ireland’s most beautiful counties and its most mountainous and is often called ‘The Garden of Ireland’. Although located just below the historic capital city of Dublin it was the last of the traditional counties of Ireland to be shired by the then English rulers in 1606 from land previously part of counties Dublin and Carlow. For this reason it is sometimes called ‘The Last County’. Although a motorway and rail line run along the coastal lowlands central Wicklow is still explored along routes originally built as ‘military roads’ serving a network of military barracks built to suppress continued resistance following the failure of the great rebellions of 1798.
To help you appreciate what is so special about Wicklow the tour brings you via Glencullen to Kirakee in the Dublin foothills where there are fabulous views of Dublin city and Dublin Bay. Within minutes you will be travelling across the ‘Feather Beds’ (blanket bog covered in heather and bog cotton) before reaching Glencree where an old military barracks from 1798, subsequently used as a ‘reformatory’ and place of detention, has been transformed into Glencree Reconciliation Centre; an internationally known resource for conflict resolution. Nearby is the Deutscher Soldatenfriedh German War Cemetery which is administered by the German War Graves Commission.
From Glencree you can travel via the Sally Gap past Glenmacnass waterfall to the stunning valley of Glendalough with its two lakes, the ruins of an old monastic city and a walk along the upper lake to the ruins of a 19th-century mining centre.
Following refreshments the tour continues down into the remote Glenmalure (near Wicklow’s highest mountain Lugnaquilla) and on to Avondale Forest Park; once the home of the great leader of Irish nationalism in the British Parliament, Charles Stewart Parnell (1846 – 1891)
Leaving Avondale, and the nearby mountain village of Rathdrum, the tour returns via the scenic Vale of Clara to Laragh for refreshments at the atmospheric ‘Conservatory’ before heading via Annamoe and Roundwood (with a glimpse of Lough Dan along the way if time allows) to the truly beautiful Knocknacloghoge valley and the much filmed Loch Té at Luggala with its ‘Viking Village’ film set. Returning over the Sally Gap the tour concludes with a visit and a gentle walk through the renowned Powerscourt Gardens; voted number 3 in the World’s Top Ten Gardens by National Geographic.
Pick up from your hotel / guest house in greater Dublin area.
What’s not included
Refreshments & meals. Entrance fees to specific facilities.
- Personalised tour of Wicklow with a qualified tour guide who is a native of the county.
- Environmentally friendly transport in a new electric Toyota BZX4 (from August 2022)
- Spectacular scenery and time to stop and appreciate it whenever you choose.
- See the locations of some famous (and not so famous) films and TV series and the places where key people in the world of film and culture live or have lived.
- Tour the monastic city of Glendalough and walk in the footsteps of St Kevin (Cóemgen) and St Laurence O’Toole (Lorcán Ua Tuathail)
- See wildlife and bio-diversity up close and learn about threats to the environment.
- Visit the grave of former President of Ireland, Erskine Childers, at Derralossary and of Robert Barton; one of the small group of people who negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 following the War of Independence.
- Visit the Jackson Falls rapids near Laragh where the Avonmore river meets the river from Glenmacnass and otters frequently swim.
- Visit the Woodenbridge World War 1 Memorial Park commemorating the 1,192 men of Wicklow who died between 1914-1918.
- From Glenmalure, via the Glen of Imaal (listening out for artillery fire from the defence forces ranges on the slopes of Lugnaquilla), see the unusual Dunlavin Market House (Courthouse) built around 1740 and designed in the Palladian style by architect Richard Castle.
- Visit and walk at Turlough Hill on the Wicklow Gap; Ireland’s only pumped hydro-electric storage station which is hidden inside a mountain.
- Climb to Seefin megalithic tomb near Kippure overlooking Blessington Lakes and near the site of the filming of ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’.
- Visit the Devils Glen native Irish woodlands; a favourite haunt of the great Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)
- Experience the wonderful new ‘Beyond the Trees at Avondale’ with it’s tree-top walk and viewing tower (the first of its kind in Ireland) which reaches 38 metres into the sky..
- Afternoon Tea / Dinner with Lisa de la Haye in her Conservatory Café in Laragh.