Walking the Wicklow Way
A week-long walk from Dublin to Clonegal
By Paddy Dillon
A guide to walking Ireland's Wicklow Way, a 146km trail through the scenic Wicklow Mountains from Dublin to Clonegal, County Carlow. The waymarked route is presented in 7 stages, taking in rolling countryside, forest trails and wild mountain landscapes, as well as the historic monastic site of Glendalough. Optional variants are also included.
SeasonsThe best weather is likely to be in summer, but spring and autumn can be good. The sun can shine or it can rain any day of the year. Avoid the exposed moorlands during winter.
CentresDublin, Enniskerry, Roundwood, Laragh, Tinahely, Shillelagh, Clonegal, Bunclody
DifficultyThe Wicklow Way and adjacent trails are not particularly difficult, but there are some remote and exposed stretches of moorland that become difficult in bad weather. The waymarking is good but basic map-reading skills are useful. Waterproofs should be carried, and as most of the trail is on good surfaces, shoes can be worn instead of boots if you prefer.
Must SeeDublin city parks and heritage, Two Rock Mountain, Glencree, Powerscourt Waterfall, Djouce Mountain, Luggala estate, Lough Dan, Glendalough, the Monastic City, the Miners' Way, Glenmalure, Croaghanmoira, Tinahely, The Dying Cow pub, Shillelagh, Huntington Castle
The Wicklow Way was the first long-distance walking trail to be established in Ireland. Coming in at 130km (81 miles), the route traverses the county of Wicklow, from Marlay Park on the outskirts of Dublin to Clonegal, just over the county border in neighbouring Carlow, and can be comfortably completed in a week. The guide also details several adjacent trails that can be interchanged with the main route, and short detours off-route (also described) lead to welcoming villages offering accommodation and a range of other facilities.
The route is presented in seven stages, each with an overview followed by clear route description and mapping. There are elevation profiles and notes on local points of interest. In addition to background information about the county's history, geology, plants and wildlife, you will find all the information you need to walk the route, with helpful advice on transport, accommodation and kit. Accommodation listings, useful contacts and a glossary of Irish place-names can be found in the appendices.
Wicklow is a county of varied landscapes: mountains and sweeping uplands offer extensive views, whereas other stages take you through verdant glens and past scenic lakes. The area is rich in both culture and history, with the ancient Monastic City at Glendalough a special highlight. And of course, there are characterful villages and pubs where you can experience true Irish hospitality. The Wicklow Way has plenty to commend it and is a great way to explore this wonderful county.
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Paddy Dillon is a prolific walker and guidebook writer, with over 100 guidebooks to his name and contributions to 40 other titles. He has written for several outdoor magazines and other publications and has appeared on radio and television.Paddy uses a tablet computer to write as he walks. His descriptions are therefore precise, having been written at the very point at which the reader uses them.Paddy is an indefatigable long-distance walker who has walked all of Britain's National Trails and several European trails. He has also walked in Nepal, Tibet, Korea and the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the US. Paddy is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild and President of the Backpackers Club.View author profile
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