Glendalough: history, facts & visit Info

Everything you need to know about County Wicklow’s glorious Glendalough!

Glendalough: history, facts & visit Info.

Glendalough, located amidst the pristine beauty of the Wicklow Mountains National Park in County Wicklow, Ireland, embodies Irish history and natural splendour.

Like a hidden gem, Glendalough, which means “The Valley of Two Lakes” in Irish, beckons travellers to delve into its rich heritage dating back to the 6th century.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for visiting Glendalough:

  • To avoid crowds, consider visiting in the early morning or during the quieter autumn and winter months. However, remember that you are unlikely to experience good weather during these months!
  • Speaking of the weather, it’s notoriously changeable. Check the forecast before you visit Glendalough (and consider packing a raincoat anyway!).
  • Put your walking shoes on, as Glendalough offers a network of walking trails, including the Wicklow Way, Spinc, Derrybawn Woodland Trail, and Green Road Walk. These trails lead you through the beautiful Wicklow Mountains National Park.
  • Don’t miss Poulanass Waterfall, a scenic gem where you can enjoy the cascading waters’ refreshing beauty.
  • Wander through the ruins of the 6th-century monastic city, which includes a cathedral, round tower, and various cemeteries, offering a glimpse into early Irish monastic life.
  • Glendalough is home to diverse wildlife. Please bear this in mind when eating, and don’t leave any rubbish behind you when you leave.
  • Visitors have been advised not to leave valuables in the car, just in case.

Interesting facts about Glendalough:

  • Glendalough Valley is open year-round, but it may be busier when planned events take place.
  • Glendalough is an early medieval monastic settlement founded by St Kevin in the 6th century. You can visit these monastic sites today. There are toilet facilities located here.
  • St Kevin’s Bed is a cave associated with the legend of St. Kevin’s time as a hermit in Glendalough.
  • Glendalough has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries, with St. Kevin’s Day celebrated on June 3rd.
  • The area’s rich wildlife includes deer, often spotted in the surrounding woodlands and scenery.
  • Glendalough is home to two stunning lakes you can visit, the upper lake and the lower lake.
  • The area’s mining history dates back to the 18th century. Lead, zinc, and other minerals were once extracted from its hills.
  • Near Glendalough, you’ll find the ruins of a miner’s village known as Glendasan. It serves as a reminder of the mining activities that once took place in the area.

What’s nearby

Food: Wicklow Heather Restaurant (Laragh; Irish, European), Byrne & Woods (Roundwood; Irish, seafood), The Strawberry Tree (Macreddin Village; fine dining), The Pines Cafe Bar & Restaurant (Powerscourt Estate; bar and grill).

Drink: Kavanagh’s Pub (Roundwood), Tóchar House (Roundwood), Roundwood Inn (Roundwood), Actons Country Pub & Restaurant (Poulaphouca), The Wicklow Arms (Rathdrum).

Other attractions: By car, you can easily visit Powerscourt Estate and Gardens, Wicklow Mountains National Park, Bray, Lough Tay (Guinness Lake), Avoca Handweavers, and Russborough House and Parklands.

Accommodation: Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa (five-star), The Glendalough Hotel (three-star), The Glenmalure Lodge (two-star).

Your questions answered about Glendalough

Is Glendalough Ireland worth visiting?

Yes, Glendalough is definitely worth a visit for its stunning natural beauty and rich historical heritage.

What is special about Glendalough?

This beautiful destination is unique for its blend of serene landscapes and ancient monastic ruins, creating a spiritually significant place.

Glendalough’s popularity stems from its accessibility from Dublin, historical significance, and scenic beauty in the Wicklow Mountains.

Why does Glendalough attract tourists?

This area appeals to tourists due to its historical and cultural importance, as well as its captivating natural landscapes and hiking opportunities.

More info

Contact Visitor Centre: +353 (0) 404 45325/45352

Address: Unnamed Road, Lugduff, Co. Wicklow, Ireland


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