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Wicklow Road Trip

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Dublin, Ireland
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Wicklow Road Trip

In need of a bit of advice regarding a road trip around Wicklow. Am entertaining relatives from the UK visiting Ireland for the first time. They've indicated a particularly strong desire to see Glendalough and to do some hiking. That part's no problem since I know plenty of good walking routes around the Glendalough area but I also want to devise a driving route through the Wicklow mountains to give them a flavour of the other sights.

Plan is to head to Blessington and then make for Glendalough along the R756 with a quick stop at the Wicklow Gap.

If not too tired after hiking, am considering a quick loop through Glenmalure, taking the Military Road from Laragh to Drumgoff and then back to Laragh via Rathdrum.

Return to Dublin from Laragh via the Military Road, with a stop at Glenmacnass Waterfall, as far as Sally Gap and then onto the R759 for a stop a Luggala/Lough Tay before rejoining the N11 at Kilmacanogue and home.

Any suggestions for other stops or possible improvements to my route? I left out Glencree as it's too much of a diversion (similarly I'd love to show them the Glen of Imaal but it's just too awkward). I've also left out Powerscourt House – no interest and in any event likely too time consuming and probably tiring after walking around Glendalough. I want to finish on the N11 so I don't have to negotiate traffic in Dublin on the way back (am starting from Sandyford).

I hike in Wicklow quite a bit so I know the area but I'm more used to breaking it down into small walkable chunks rather than having to think about it as a whole so I'd appreciate some feedback.

Thanks in advance!

Wheaton, Illinois
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1. Re: Wicklow Road Trip

Sounds like a grand day!

You're probably aware of these things, but just in case you aren't...

At Glenmalure, there's Glenmalure Lodge which can make a nice stop for tea or a meal...especially if the weather is nice and you can sit outside.

Of course there's Carrawaystick Brook and Waterfall in Glenmalure Valley. There's a nice hike up the side of valley there, but I think not worthwhile given your short time and hiking at Glendalough.

On your way back from Rathdrum, there's a nice old bridge at Clara with a church on the other side of the river. Just a short lovely detour off the R755. (When I visited I continued over the bridge and drove on some third class/gravel roads around Trooperstown Hill. While there were some lovely views, not sure it'd be worth the time on a single day journey.)

Besides Glendalough and the natural beauty of the Wicklow Mountains area, my favorite place I've been in Co. Wicklow has been Mount Usher Gardens in Ashford. You might want to visit there instead of Glenmalure if time would allow. Glenmalure is, of course, lovely and worthy of visiting BUT doesn't add anything truly unique if you're already going to be seeing Glendalough and driving up by Glenmacnass Waterfall, Sally Gap and Lough Tay. Mount Usher Gardens are truly lovely and speak well to the reputation of Co. Wicklow as the Garden of Ireland. To give you an idea...on my same 5 day trip exploring Co. Wicklow, I went to Powerscourt House and Gardens and to Mount Usher Gardens. I doubt that I will ever return to Powerscourt (been there, done that) but will always try to fit in Mount Usher...including my next trip in October. Nice little café there as well. http://www.mountushergardens.ie/

Keith

(Just noticed that I used the word "lovely" a lot...well, I guess that's appropriate for Wicklow!)

Edited: 20 May 2010, 23:50
Dublin, Ireland
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2. Re: Wicklow Road Trip

JJ: You might want to stop off in Rathdrum to show the relatives "The Cartoon Inn".

Really worth buying one round (even if they are only soft drinks) to see Terry Willers cartoons on the walls :-))

lambiek.net/artists/w/willers_terry.htm

Edited: 21 May 2010, 00:12
Dublin, Ireland
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3. Re: Wicklow Road Trip

Thanks for the suggestions folks!

Keith - I agree: Glenmalure's a great area for hiking but until my visitors arrive I won't have a handle regarding fitness levels etc. so Glendalough is a better choice in that it offers a wider variety of walks for all abilities. In addition, one of my cousins has seen a picture of people walking along the Spinc and wants to go there so that narrows the options.

Good call on the church at Clara Bridge - I'd forgotten about that and will probably make a short stop there.

Looking at the map again, I'd forgotten just how close Avoca and the Meeting of the Waters are. Thinking now I might drive from Drumgoff to Avoca, stop there for an early evening meal, and then drive back via Rathdrum and the Military Road, Sally Gap, Luggala etc. They're coming in June so we'll have plenty of hours of daylight.

4. Re: Wicklow Road Trip

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