Extending for 79 miles (127 kilometers), this long-distance trail is one of Ireland’s best known walking routes. It starts in suburban south Dublin and cuts through scenic Wicklow Mountains National Park, leading past waterfalls, lakes, farmland, bogs, mountains, and glacial valleys, including the monastic ruins of Glendalough.
The Wicklow Way is marked with signposts to help walkers stay on track. Walking the entire trail can take more than a week, and requires advance planning to secure accommodations and supplies along the route. The trail has abundant access points, however, allowing hikers to tackle shorter sections; there are lots of possible half- and full-day walking options.
To travel the Wicklow way safely, tourists may choose to explore this area as part of a multi-day walking holiday or an organized excursion that covers a section of the route. Several companies also can organize self-guided tours for a fee, complete with pre-arranged lodging, baggage transfers, and return transportation to your departure point.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Wicklow Way is a delight for hikers and lovers of the great outdoors.
- Changeable weather is commonplace, so be sure to wear layers and bring waterproof outerwear.
- The northern part of the route is more scenic, while the southern part offers gentler climbs.
- Most of the Wicklow Way is rough, steep, and uneven and is therefore not wheelchair or stroller accessible.
How to Get There
The Wicklow Way is typically walked from north to south, beginning at Marlay Park in South Dublin and ending in Clonegal, County Carlow. The park is accessible via Dublin Bus routes 14, 14a, and 48a, all of which depart from Parnell Square in the city center. The 75 bus service also stops nearby, and departs from Tallaght in South Dublin.
When to Get There
Weather-wise, the best time of year to walk the Wicklow Way is between May and October. Unfavorable weather, such as wind, heavy rain, and even snow, is much more common between November and April when daylight hours are limited. The more popular parts of the route, such as Glendalough, attract crowds in summer and on weekends.
Among the highlights of the Wicklow Way is Glendalough, a magnificent glacial valley that is home to the ruins of a sixth-century monastic settlement. Though Glendalough is situated along the Wicklow Way, it is a popular attraction in its own right, drawing tourists and pilgrims to explore what remains of the round tower, churches, and monastic cells. Follow scenic signposted walking paths around the upper and lower lakes.