Top 5 best hidden gems in County Wicklow

From a heart-shaped lake to a Neolithic tomb, here are the top five best hidden gems in County Wicklow.

Once an early Viking settlement, this popular tourist destination located on the east coast of Ireland is said to be rich in heritage and culture.

The so-called ‘Garden of Ireland’ or ‘Garden County,’ is home to the Emerald Isle’s largest national park. It also hosts highest waterfall and the third-best garden in the world (according to National Geographic in 2014).

Better still, it is famed for its mountain range, cliff sides, sandy beaches, and all-round rugged landscapes.

However, despite such prominence, County Wicklow contains many lesser-known spots and features – or ‘hidden gems’ – that tourists might be unaware of.

To make things easier, we have compiled a list of some of the best must-see locations and attractions for anyone planning a visit to the east coast of Ireland. Read on to discover the top five best hidden gems in County Wicklow.

5. Victor’s Way – for scary spiritual sculptures

Victor's Way kicks off our list of best hidden gems in County Wicklow.
Credit: Instagram / @ger.mcevoy

Established in 1989, this 22-acre park consisting of numerous bizarre black granite statues took around two decades to complete.

Designed with the intent to encourage spiritual progression and enlightenment, the garden features many tributes to Hindu deities and other weird and wonderful creations. 

Dedicated to the famed Mathematician Alan Turing, the park is only open during the summer months. It is also subject to an entrance fee and age restriction due to the nature of the content.

However, for those deemed applicable, it is certainly one of the most unique and best hidden gems in County Wicklow.

Address: Mullinaveige, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

4. Vartry Reservoir – perfect for scenic views

The Vartry Reservoir is a must-visit spot for scenic views.
Credit: Instagram / @helene_blixt

With around 20 km (12.4 miles) worth of trails to choose from, walks around the Roundwood Vartry Reservoir are full of flora, fauna, and mountainous views.

There are various routes available – namely the Woodland, Upper Vartry, and Lower Vartry trails. Plus, there is also a stone Draw Off Tower that can be accessed by an iron girder bridge.

Purpose-built as the main supply site for Dublin, this mid-19th-century construction boasts stunning surrounding views. It is the ideal location for those wishing to visit one of Wicklow’s lesser-known lucky finds.

Address: Vartry Reservoir, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

3. Lough Ouler – in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains

Lough Ouler is one of the best hidden gems in County Wicklow.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

This spot is undoubtedly one of the best hidden gems in County Wicklow. Lough Ouler is located along a 7.4 km (4.6 miles) loop trail on the side of the Tonelagee Mountain.

Along the way, visitors can partake in many different activities, including hiking, swimming, and bird-watching.

Those wishing to discover the iconic heart-shaped lake will have a tough trek. However, trust us when we say that the incomparable views following the ascent are worth it!

So, whether searching for a secluded spot to swim or simply looking to liven up your Instagram feed, we strongly recommend a trip to Ireland’s ‘Lake of Love.’

Address: Lough Ouler, Laragh West, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

2. Seefin Passage Tomb – a 5,000-year-old structure

Seefin Passage Tomb is a 5,000 year old landmark.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

This national monument and passage grave is located at the top of Seefin Hill in County Wicklow. At nearly 18 ft (5.5 m) high, the stunning Neolithic tomb offers fantastic views of the surrounding hills, fields, and lakes.  

This site is perfect for hikers or those interested in prehistoric archaeology and ancient Irish burial tombs.

However, it should be noted that Seefin Passage Tomb is located next to an active military firing ground. This should be taken into consideration by those looking to visit this primordial treasure.

Address: Scurlocksleap, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

1. Meeting of the Waters, Avoca – where two become one

The Meeting of the Waters is one of the best hidden gems in County Wicklow.
Credit: Instagram / @withlovechristine

‘The Meetings’, as locals know it, is best known as the place where Irish poet Thomas Moore wrote his famous work ‘The Meeting of the Waters’.

As the name would suggest, the location is the site of the meeting point between the Avonmore and Avonbeg rivers. These then flow together to create the Avoca River.

Alongside the stunning scenery and peaceful sound of rushing water, you can also find a small gift shop and joint pub and B&B nearby.

Needless to say, this unique location is undeniably one of the best hidden gems in County Wicklow!

Address: Knockanode, Co. Wicklow, Ireland  

And there you have them: the top five best hidden gems in County Wicklow.

So, are you looking for something a little bit different and off the beaten track? If so, we highly suggest checking out the locations listed above!

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