Wicklow isn’t dubbed as the “garden of Ireland” for nothing: the destination is overflowing with jaw-dropping natural landscapes to discover and explore. It might be a small county but it definitely has a wild expanse of rolling mountains and hills, lush woodlands, glistening coastlines, and well-preserved heritage sites that will simply leave you in awe.
Visiting Ireland after the pandemic is over? After securing a nice hotel accommodation overlooking Wicklow’s lush green lands, visiting these 9 lovely spots in Wicklow should be placed in your travel itinerary.
1. The Wicklow Way
If you’re looking for a thrilling and scenic adventure in County Wicklow, getting your feet on the Wicklow Way is a must.
Avid hikers know this: hiking is ten times less tiring if you have jaw-dropping views in front of you. This 131-km-long trail won’t disappoint, as it gives you stunning views of the Wicklow mountains, upland lakes, glacial valleys, fast-flowing streams, forests, and farmland.
2. Wicklow Town
You won’t run out of things to do in Wicklow town, the county’s capital that was founded by the Vikings.
You can simply feast your eyes on its pretty harbor. If you’re a nature lover, avid walker, and birdwatcher, you can stroll around The Murrough, a lovely coastal wetland where you can enjoy stunning views of the town and the coastline.
You can also walk out to the town’s eastern edge and see the clifftop ruins of the Black Castle, a reminder of the Norman invasion.
3. Wicklow Town Gaol
Now that you’re in Wicklow town, make sure to visit the fascinating Wicklow Town Gaol. The walls of this eerie jail have seen and heard the tragic stories of crime, cruelty, and misery, experienced by its unfortunate inhabitants during the 18th century.
Today, it’s an interactive jail museum. There’s an audiovisual tour, introducing the guests to the men, women, and children who were imprisoned during the last two centuries. Many of them have been brought to life by holograms.
Glendalough is nestled in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park and is home to two of the most beautiful lakes in Ireland. If you love walking, hiking, and taking photos, this will surely be your new favorite day trip destination.
Glendalough is also a monastic settlement, which was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Today, you can explore the well-preserved monastic ruins that include a few churches, a priest’s house, and a popular round tower seen on infinite Irish postcards.
5. Avoca Weaving Mill, Ireland’s Oldest Weaving Mill
Established in 1723, Avoca Weaving Mill isn’t just the oldest woolen mill in Ireland – it’s also one of the oldest manufacturing companies in the world. Today, the weaving mill is a popular spot for tourists and locals who want to shop for authentic Irish crafts and knitwear.
6. Powerscourt Waterfall, Ireland’s Highest Waterfall
Standing 121 meters high, the picturesque Powerscourt Waterfall is ranked as Ireland’s highest waterfall. When you’re done adoring its beauty, you can make the most of stay in the scenic Powerscourt Estate by exploring the walking trails and relaxing on the picnic grounds.
7. Bray to Greystones Coastal Walk
Dreaming of beautiful coastal walks along the cliffs? Ireland never runs out of them. Here in Wicklow, locals recommend the Bray to Greystones Coastal walk. Enjoy the jawdropping panoramic views of the Wicklow coastline and the Irish sea as you head to the charming neighboring town of Greystones. At the end of your walk, you can relax on the beach or browse the little town’s craft shops and art galleries.
8. The Great Sugarloaf
The Great Sugarloaf is a pictureresque 501-meter high, cone-shaped hill in east County Wicklow. Walking up Sugarloaf can often be a steep journey but it’s worth the climb. From its summit, you’ll see 360-degree views of the surrounding areas, including the Howth in North Dublin and the glistening Dublin Bay. Just make sure to pack appropriate footwear, waterproof clothing, and warm layers.
9. Sally Gap
Looking for a scenic road trip? Well, you’re in it for a real treat at Sally Gap. The narrow, winding road across the mountains and between purple heathers, forests, and bogs, is worth the drive. Don’t forget to make a few stops to enjoy the tranquility of the area.
You might also stop to unwind at the famous Johnnie Fox’s Pub founded in 1798 in Glencullen. It’s one of the oldest pubs in Ireland and is also the highest.