Wicklow is an awesome county and one of the most scenic areas of Ireland. Here is our top 10 best places to visit in the magical county.
10. Wicklow Town
Wicklow is a beautiful traditional Irish town in County Wicklow and also the capital of the Mid-East Region of Ireland. The town has a population of just over 10,000 and is easily accessible by road and rail, with Dublin commuter services now extending to the town.
Wicklow has an interesting history, being founded in the 8th century by the Vikings. The Black Castle ruins which overlook the harbour stand as a reminder of the Norman invasion. One of the town’s most famous sons is Captain Robert Halpin, a renowned 19th Century Mariner.
Wicklow’s Main attraction is the famous Wicklow’s Historic Gaol, reputedly one of the most haunted places in Ireland. There are many activities to do in Wicklow including Golf, Surfing, Kayaking, Walks and more.
9. Wicklow Gaol
Wicklow’s Historic Gaol, in Wicklow Town, tells an interesting story of crime, cruelty, exile and misery. The harshness of prison life in the 18th Century, the passion of the 1798 rebellion, the cruelty of the transport ships and hope of a new life in Australia can all be experienced in Wicklow Gaol.
This is a thought-provoking attraction in Wicklow Town. The original gaol dungeon is open again for the first time in over 100 years. W dare you to come and experience first hand the sights and sounds of harsh life in the dungeon! Or, you could just sit in the solitude cell and feel the desperation of those that were there before you.
8. Silver Strand Beach
This wonderful beach is hidden away from the public and located on a wonderful campsite called Wolohan’s Silver Strand which is just outside Wicklow Town. This awesome campsite has the pleasure of having one of Ireland’s best beaches on its doorstep and it is a beach that we would highly recommend for any camper!
7. Powerscourt Waterfall
Powerscourt Waterfall is a beautiful waterfall on the river Dargle near Enniskerry, County Wicklow. This exceptional place is located in a valley surrounded by Djouce Mountain and the Great Sugar Loaf. The waterfall stands at a height of 121 metres (397 ft), and is the 2nd highest waterfall on the island. The waterfall is actually owned by the Powerscourt Estate.
6. Great Sugar Loaf
The Great Sugar Loaf, also known as the ‘Big Sugar Loaf’ or ‘the Sugar Loaf’, is a beautiful hill in east County Wicklow. This volcano-like hill is a popular trekking location with striking similarities to Croagh Patrick in Mayo. It is magnificent to look at from a distance and definitely worthy of a place on the top ten.
5. Wicklow Mountains
The Wicklow Mountains is one of the most famous areas of Ireland and is truly an area Ireland can be proud of. The Wicklow Mountains is part of a National Park that covers part of the mountain range that extends over most of County Wicklow.
The upper slopes of the mountains have beautifully rounded peaks the whole area contains heath and bog. The open vistas are interrupted only by forestry plantations and the winding mountain roads. Beautiful streams run into the deep lakes of the wooded valleys and continue their course into the surrounding lowlands. It is definitely worth a visit and a worthy entry into the top 10 places to visit in Wicklow.
4. Wicklow Way
The Wicklow Way is a 129-kilometre (80-mile) trail that cuts trhough the beautiful Wicklow Mountains. The trail starts at Marlay Park in the southern suburbs of Dublin before going through County Wicklow, before ending the village of Clonegal in County Carlow.
The trail is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the Irish Sports Council. The trail takes about 5-7 days to do it in its entirety and is one of the busiest trails in Ireland, with up to 24,000 people a year walking it. In addition, regular mountain running competitions take part here. It is a beautiful walk and is worthy of being one of the best places in Co. Wicklow.
3. Lough Tay
Lough Tay is a small but beautiful lake in the Wicklow Mountains in County Wicklow. It is located between the mountains of Djouce and Luggala, and is most easily viewed from above, from the R759 or the Wicklow Way as it descends past the J. B. Malone memorial. It is fed by the Cloghoge River, which then drains into Lough Dan to the south.
The northern coastline of the lake is part of an estate belonging to the Guinness family, which is why the lake is also known as ‘the Guinness lake’. Ironically, part of the lake it is edged with a beach of startlingly white sand along with the dark peaty water which creates a striking similarity to a pint of Guinness!
2. Powerscourt Estate
Powerscourt Gardens is definitely one of the most beautiful gardens in Ireland! These gardens date back over 200 years. The design of the gardens has reflected the desire to create a garden which was part of the wider landscape. And what a view it is!
To the north of the gardens is a formal tree plantation framed the vista from the house, while a walled garden, fish pond, cascades, grottos and terraces lay to the south. These gardens are the ideal place for summer walks.
Glendalough is both historic and beautiful. It has two of the most beautiful lakes in Ireland which are surrounded by greenery and mountains, which led to it being called ‘Valley of Two Lakes’. Due to the close proximity to Dublin, the park is a popular day trip destination.
The park is also one of Ireland’s most prominent monastic sites, nestled in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park. The monastic site was founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin and boasts a series of impressive remains set against a backdrop of the picturesque Irish countryside. This site is our favourite place in all of Wicklow!