Hiking the Wicklow Way: Glenmalure to Glendalough

Hiking the Wicklow Way

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ireland has some of the most amazing natural landscape I’ve ever seen. With the rolling green hills, beautiful coastlines, and breathtaking cliffs that Ireland is famous for comes many, MANY amazing walking/hiking trails that offer people a taste of the natural beauty.

Being from the completely flat Louisiana, I try to take advantage of the landscape I’m surrounded with here. I already shared all about cliff walking in Howth (which was AMAZING). But during my time here in Ireland I’ve gotten a chance to do a few different hikes. It’s great for getting some fresh air, clearing your mind, and seeing some unbelievable sights.

…Weather permitting of course.

Well, one amazing hiking trail in Ireland, that’s easy to get to from Dublin city centre, is the Wicklow Way, in County Wicklow.

The Wicklow Way is an 80-mile trail that starts in Dublin’s Marlay Park, goes through the Wicklow Mountains in County Wicklow and ends in County Carlow.

It was a beautiful Tuesday and my roommate and I decided to both take off work to be able to hike part of this trail together. Although there’s several way-marked ways throughout Ireland, such as the Burren Way, the Dingle Way, Beara Way, etc, we chose this one because of it’s proximity to Dublin; it was our chance to have beautiful, unspoiled mountainous and upland terrain so close to the city.

The trail is divided up into different sections, for those of us who may not have the time to hike 80-miles over the stretch of a week or more. Some sections are shorter than others, all ranging from 7-13 miles. Since we only had 1 day, we chose a happy medium – the 10 mile trail from Glendalough to Glenmalure.

To get there, we took a train from the Tara Street station in the city centre, riding along the coast and seeing some incredible scenery during the hour-long train ride to Rathdrum Station.

From there, we got picked up by the Wicklow Way Bus. This transportation was really handy because it brought us right to the entrance to the trail. Mick, our driver was actually really helpful and suggested that instead of going north to south from Glendalough to Glenmalure, that we go the other direction. Glendalough is the site of monastic ruins and the highlight of the whole hike, but when you start there you rush through it to make sure you finish the hike.

So, from me to you. If you ever do this hike, trust me: Mick is right. Start at Glenmalure. End in Glendalough. Bask in all it’s glory. You’ll thank me later.

Although the trail is meant to take 4-5 hours, it actually took us much longer because we stopped so much: for pictures, for lunch, and to take in all the spectacular views (especially around Glendalough). And don’t worry if you’re not an expert hiker; it’s not a particularly difficult stretch to hike, and there’s plenty of signs indicated where to go so you won’t stray off path!

So if you’re in Dublin, want to see some of the natural beauty Ireland’s famous for but may not have time to go too far, consider doing any part of the Wicklow Way. You absolutely won’t regret it. I know I didn’t. If only I could take off work and go on a 10-mile hike every Tuesday…..#TheDream

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