Wicklow Way

County Carlow
6 reviews
Grade Strenuous
Length 128.1 km
Time 6 days
Format Linear
Ascent 3220 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Marley Park, Rathfarnham in South Dublin
Finish Point
Nearest Town to Start Dublin
Grid Ref. O 155 266 / S 914 613
Lat. and Long. 53.27715, -6.26829 / 52.69518, -6.64794

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.

Trail Management

Wicklow County Tourism, Wicklow Enterprise Park, The Murrough, Wicklow Town, Tel: 0404-20070. Email info@visitwicklow.ie Web: www.visitwicklow.ie.


Car parking
At Start - in Marlay Park. Car park (open 10 a.m. and variable seasonal closing).
At End - on streets in Clonegal

Map Guides

Map Guides

The Wicklow Way Map Guide (by EastWest Mapping) - available from EastWest Mapping, Clonegal, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, 054-77835, email info@eastwestmapping.ie
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/

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheets 50, 56, 61* (* ca 800m to finish in Clonegal) and 62
6 trail reviews
Write your own review of this trail

Amy from Clare

I did this trail from Marlay heading south. I divided the trail up over 7 days over a couple of months due to weather and work constraints. Found the trail very well signposted and thoroughly enjoyed the walk. I would say that I utilised the kindness of my sister for drop offs and collection so did not have to rely on camping.

Aina from Austria

Parts of it are a delight to walk, especially at the beginning up to Glendalough. But due to heavy forestry works and conifer replantation a lot of the natural beauty is gone. Ireland should really try to protect its natural treasures instead of making a monoculture of it. It's a shame.

Glenn from Dublin

Headed to Tinahely on 29th March to continue our march southwards on the Wicklow Way.

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

We just returned from a short ramble on the Wicklow Way. The trail itself is superbly waymarked and generally well maintained, but unfortunately there have been lots of forest works made in the last few years, parts of it don't really look pretty anymore.

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

Great walk but I am giving a poor review due to the lack of accommodation, bank link, places to get food, transport and general co-operation for walkers in the village of Clonegal.

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.

Paul Mulholland



my name is stan from _none

I think the Wicklow Way is stunning.

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