The Wicklow Way was Ireland's first waymarked trail, and due to its proximity to Dublin has remained one of the most popular walking routes in Ireland. The Way commences in the southern suburbs of the capital and civilisation is soon left behind as the route moves deep into high, heathery moorland. The Dublin and Wicklow Mountain range, the most extensive surface granite field in these islands, moulded over eons into a corrugation of east-west high rounded ridges and deep valleys, is crossed before the route descends across a series of gentle foothills to reach the County Carlow village of Clonegal. It is a richly varied route, with the more dramatic scenery of mountains and lakes at the northern end, where although there is a strong sense of remoteness and few habitations, one is never very far from a public road. Among the dramatically scenic places taken in by the route as it wends its way through the mountains is the ancient and beautiful monastic site of Glendalough, where many will want to linger. Although the southern part of the route is less scenically impressive, the climbs are gentler as it wends its way along forestry roads through a landscape of conifer-covered foothills. Terrain consists of forestry tracks, quiet roads, boreens and mountain paths through open moorland. Some sections can be wet and muddy. While there is some overnight accommodation available along the route, most options are off-route, so careful planning may be necessary. The total ascent over the entire route is about 2820 m, but apart from some short steep sections, there are no significant climbs.
Maps and other information
Wicklow County Tourism, Wicklow Enterprise Park, The Murrough, Wicklow Town, Tel: 0404-20070. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.visitwicklow.ie.
At Start - in Marlay Park. Car park (open 10 a.m. and variable seasonal closing).
At End - on streets in Clonegal
The Wicklow Way Map Guide (by EastWest Mapping) - available from EastWest Mapping, Clonegal, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, 054-77835, email email@example.com
The Complete Wicklow Way (by J.B. Malone)
The Wicklow Way (by Rucksack Readers) - available from Rucksack Readers, Landrick Lodge, Dunblane, FK15 Ohy, UK. Phone +44 (0) 1786 824 696.
Wicklow Tourism Website - http://visitwicklow.ie/the-wicklow-way/
Aina from Austria
Glenn from Dublin
Beautiful village unspoilt by time however the Wicklow Way which generally is a super well marked trail was very disappointing in sections around this lovely area. While we know the weather has been very unkind this winter the muck and livestock (alive and dead) and general state of neglect was the first let down we have had on our Wicklow Way bucket list project. In fairness this was our 5th section and the first let down so while this review may seem harsh it should be seen in context.
S from Germany
Despite that I can highly recommend the first 60 or so kilometres of the walk (starting at Marlay Park), there are really beautiful views and landscapes to be seen.
The actual reason why I am reviewing though, is because it is not possible to camp out anymore as easily as it used to be. Large parts of the land that you are crossing during the first 1.5 days are owned by Coillte, and they have a strict no camping policy. Seeing all the littering and the fireplaces left by others (hikers?) I can see why they don't want anybody camping there, but it sure took us by surprise. The spot we used to pitch our tent on the first night of the walk a couple of years back was literally wallpapered with "no camping" signs, so we had to continue on. The youth hostel was fully booked, so no possibility to stay there instead. Even though it was getting dark we had to walk for a couple of kilometres untill we found a spot where it seemed okay to stay for the night. And honestly, I am not sure it actually was allowed...
I did not tell this story to say that the trail is rubbish, not at all. It's just that I had not found any information about this beforehand, and I wanted to warn other hikers so they don't get into the same uncomfortable position we were in, too.
Paul Mulholland from Cork
It was stated on the trailhead website and Wicklow Way website that there was a cert on completition but the participating pub were not very warm to this idea and said they had none available, they were unhelpful in finding transport and accommodation and only for a local shop across from this pub we would have been lost.
We would like to thank Brian for all his help.
I advise people reading this to start their walk in Clonegal and end in Marley Park as Clonegal does not have the relevant facilities to accommodate walkers.
Amy from Clare