Ireland's Ancient East: County Wicklow
Posted by Neil Hand on the 24th of June 2016 at 17:15:17
The last blog post was about the counties North of Dublin – let’s have a look at the beautiful South!
South of Dublin there is Wicklow, known as the ‘Garden of Ireland’. And that it is indeed.
With many gardens, forests and mountains, Wicklow is a paradise for both hiking and taking a stroll around and enjoying nature. Here I would like to suggest a route that will lead you to the most important views and attractions of Wicklow in one day.
Start by leaving your hotel for the day and go to Enniskerry where you can explore the beautiful Powerscourt House and Gardens and Ireland’s highest waterfall nearby! The House was built around a medieval castle and was destroyed by a fire before being restored and opened to the public. It contains Irish gift shops and crafts. But the real gem are the stunning gardens that were created over a hundred years ago including exotic plants and a lot of hidden places.
After enjoying yourself in Powerscourt go further South to Wicklow Town. If you would like to have a spectacular view of the sea, go to the Black Castle that lays in ruins on the cliffs. The castle probably played an important role from the 12th century onwards as different invasions lead to both changing powers and flourishing trade in Wicklow Town. To learn more about the dark history of the town you can visit the Historic Gaol, the old prison of Wicklow. It contains audio-visual tours with actors telling the story of the shocking fates of former prisoners. The tour is suitable for children but there are certain tours for adults only if you are keen on visiting the dungeon and you like being scared.
For lunch go to Avoca and visit the Mill at Avoca Village where woollen products are still being produced. With a free tour you can see the process of handweaving and enjoy the large shop and the traditional café with a variety of food.
Invigorated you can now explore Glendalough, one of Ireland’s most important attractions. Founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin the monastery has been a remarkable influence for Christian life in the West of Ireland. Explore the Monastic City with ancient buildings and ruins and learn about living and working in the monastery. Also investigate the old Mines where silver, lead and zinc have been raised only 150 years ago. And you definitely have to go for a walk in the National Park of the Wicklow Mountains; Glendalough situated in a valley between two lakes is the optimal starting point for hiking and walking. There are organised walking tours as well as various activities like workshops and nature walks.
After a relaxing walk in the Wicklow Mountains you can now go to Russborough House and visit the stunning mansion with many valuable paintings and statues. Or visit the maze to find the statue in the middle! You can also go fairy hunting and learn a lot about the Little Folk or explore the walled gardens.
In the evening you’ll probably be tired but amazed of your visits and hopefully you will be inspired by all the beauty and nature you will have experienced.
We would like to invite you to the beautiful Emerald Island and please contact us for more information!