Wicklow: The Garden of Ireland

December 19, 2012 by

Day Trips, Sightseeing, Things To Do

Glendalough in Wicklow Ireland

Glendalough in Wicklow Ireland

Rolling meadows, vast lakes and forested mountains; it’s not hard to imagine how Wicklow earned the nickname ‘the garden of Ireland’. The East coast county is picture-book Ireland at its best, full of quiet rural villages and beach-side hamlets. The region’s main tourist attraction lies in the town of Glendalough, the ‘Valley of Two Lakes’, home to one of Ireland’s most important monastic sites.

Dating back to the 6th century, the Christian settlement was founded by St Kevin and still holds a number of impressive remains. A 30-meter round tower and several churches form the highlights, showcasing some impressive carvings and tombs.

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With its verdant scenery and rugged mix of terrains, Wicklow Ireland makes the perfect backdrop for exploring the great outdoors and mountain biking, horse riding and angling; all popular activities. Hikers flock to the region’s numerous trails, in particular the Wicklow Mountains National Park, which encompasses 20,000 hectares and includes the region’s highest peak, Lugnaquilla (925 meters), the Liffey Head Bog and the forests of the Glendalough Wood Nature Reserve.

Most famous is the 127,000-meter Wicklow Way, Ireland’s first officially way-marked long-distance trail, running all the way from South Dublin to the Wicklow village of County Carlow. Taking over seven days to complete, it’s not for those without stamina, but the trail is celebrated for its wide range of scenery, passing through glacial valleys, steep hillsides and sandy coastline.

- Zoe Smith

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