Stage 1: Marlay
Park to Knockree
Distance: 21km | Ascent: 600m
| Time: 7hrs
The Wicklow Way begins at the car park adjacent to Marlay House, with
its courtyard of interesting craft workshops and a pleasant little coffee
shop. The trail wanders through the delightful sylvan surroundings of
this fine suburban public park, before tunnelling under the M50 motorway
to begin the walk's first ascent southwards towards the Dublin hills
and the first of several forest vistas (this one predominantly of communication
Passing Kilmashogue, Fairy Castle (536m), Two Rock and Tibradden mountains
the trail descends to reach the Glencullen road at Ballybrack after 9
km. Walking eastwards along the road, the route then turns south (A diversion
of 2km eastwards will take the weak-willed to Johnny Fox's world-famous
pub and also an occasional bus service back to the city!) to cross the
Glencullen River. The hike then begins the ascent towards Prince William's
Seat (555m) followed by a zigzag descent to the Enniskerry road at about
17km, directly north of Knockree Hill.
The pleasant village of Enniskerry is 4km to the east and together with
the Knockree area offers a number of accommodation options.
Stage 2: Knockree
Distance: 18km | Ascent: 500m | Time: 6.5hrs
The Wicklow Way skirts round to the west of Knockree Hill, descends to
cross the Glencree River valley and reaches Crone Wood car park at 22km.
From here a steady up hill walk brings the trail via a spectacular viewing
point over Powerscourt Waterfall and Deer Park (the imported Japanese
Sika deer have long since escaped and inter-bred with the native red
deer population of the surrounding uplands).
Soon, trekking into open country, the Dargle is the next river to be
crossed, followed by a climb to 650m around the east shoulder of Djouce
(pronounced jowsse) (775m). Adjacent to here is a site that's become
part of modern folklore after a Plane Crashed on Djouce Mountain in 1946.
From here, the trail goes on to White Hill and at around 31km a raised
walkway (installed to protect the fragile surrounding blanket bog from
further serious erosion) marks the start of a long descent through Ballinastoe
Woods, opening to reveal the wonderful vista of Lough Tay and the Luggala
(pronounced lug-a-law) valley, to reach the Roundwood to Sally Gap road
A 2km road walk giving fine views high above the valley is followed by
a further 5km through the forest at Ballinrush and Ballinafunshoge. This
leads to a road at 38km from where a 2km hike, firstly north, then east,
leads to Roundwood which has good shops and pubs as well as accommodation.
Alternatively, continue southwards on the trail for a further 3km to
Stage 3: Roundwood
Distance: 12km | Ascent: 350m
| Time: 4hrs
Following the first two stages of the Wicklow Way at around 20km each,
stage three comes as a pleasant contrast with the trail being just 10-12km
long. This will allow some time for exploring the very heart of the Wicklow
uplands located at the junction of four major glacial valleys (Avonmore,
Glenmacnass, Glendasan and Glendalough) at Laragh (pronounced la-ra)
and Glendalough (pronounced glen-da-lock). This area has much to offer
both scenically and historically and those who can spare an extra day
to explore it will be richly rewarded.
Beginning at Roundwood, regain the Wicklow Way just north of Oldbridge.
Continue hiking on the public road for a further 3km over Drumray, turning
right at 40km onto a lane. This leads to the north-eastern shoulder of
The walking route continues over the hill and then descends to cross
the Glenmacnass road. If Laragh (a lively village with a good choice
of accommodation, shops, pubs and restaurants) is your destination remain
on the road for 1km.
If continuing to Glendalough remain on the route which immediately enters
Brockagh Forest - with its all too obvious evidence of recent timber
harvesting and replanting. This is followed by the hauntingly scenic
approach to Glendalough, which provides a welcome contrast and a choice
Stage 4: Glendalough
Distance: 14km | Ascent: 400m | Time: 4.5hrs
Those who have the time to spare could profitably spend a whole day walking
and exploring the Glendalough area as it has much to offer both scenically
The Wicklow Way crosses the main valley floor, just after the Visitors
Centre, via a footbridge over the Glendasan River, and continues up-valley
to Poulanass waterfall. Here the trail turns into the Lugduff valley
and the start of a 4-5 km uphill trek of 400m to the shoulder of Mullacor
(657m), crossing the boggy saddle between it and Lugduff on a boardwalk.
A descent of similar magnitude follows into the Glenmalure Valley. This
provides panoramic views up the valley, along Lugduff ridge and then
southwest to Art's Lough, Fraughan Rock Glen and Lugnaquillia (Wicklow's
highest mountain) on the descent to Glenmalure at 62km.
Birchdale House B&B and Woodside B&B in the tiny hamlet of
Greenan and Stirabout Lane Bed and Breakfast in Rathdrum (train station
good shops, pubs, etc.) are nearby and both will gladly collect guests
from the trail by prior arrangement.
Stage 5: Glenmalure
Distance: 21km | Ascent: 550m | Time: 7hrs
This is a slightly longer stage of the Wicklow Way that takes the walking
route through the southern upland section and into the rolling hills
of southwest Wicklow. It finishes with views west to the flatter farmland
of County Carlow.
Beginning with an ascending trek through the pleasantly forested slopes
of Slieve Maan, the trail reaches (and briefly stays on) the Military
Road after yet another 400m ascent over a distance of some 6km. The walking
path then circles the upper slopes of Carrickashane (508m) before descending
to reach the Ow River valley at the Iron Bridge at approximately 75km
from Marlay Park. For those who prefer a shorter day's hike of around
12km, this is an ideal terminus from where to rendezvous with pre-arranged
transport for transfer to accommodation and other facilities at Aughavannagh,
Macreddin, Greenan, Rathdrum or Moyne.
A more gradual ascent then takes the trail across Ballyteigue Bridge
before slicing south-westwards between Ballygobban mountain (447m) and
Sheilstown Hill (536m).
The stage finishes with a quiet road walk southwards to the tiny and
once picturesque Georgian hamlet of Moyne at 84km which offers accommodation
nearby and a shop at Knockananna, 2km to the west. This point marks the
end of the mountain stages as the terrain changes to the quiet, leafy
laneways and green roads of the gentle hill-country from here almost
to the finish at Clonegal.
Distance: 21km | Ascent: 500m | Time: 7hrs
Moyne, the Wicklow Way follows an easy walking path round the base of
Ballycumber hill and Coolafunshoge to reach (and briefly follow) the
busy road from Hacketstown to Tinahely at 95km. This makes an ideal stage-end
for those who broke the journey at The Iron Bridge.
The colourful array of wild flowers along the hedgerows is a sheer delight
from here to Clonegal as each jostles for a maximum share of sunshine.
A leafy green road contours the lower slopes of Muskeagh Hill and onwards
to Mullinacuff and Stranakelly cross roads. Here Tallon's Pub, it's known
to all as 'The Dying Cow', provides a perfect excuse for a thirst-slaking
pint to celebrate crossing the 100km line at Mullinacuff.
A further 6km brings the Wicklow Way to the busy R725 road to Shillelagh.
However, if planning to stay in Shillelagh, a busy road-walk is avoided
by remaining on the Way as far as Raheenakit Forest, then taking the
minor road via Ballard Cross to reach the village.
Distance: 19km | Ascent: 300m | Time: 6hrs
This stage of the Wicklow Way is in two sections; the early walk through
Raheenakit Forest and around Stokeen, Moylisha and Urelands hills contrasts
sharply with the final kilometres along the broad valley of the Derry
River, from the Wicklow/Carlow boundary at Wicklow Bridge, into Clonegal.
Either Sean O'Duinn's or Osborne's (the latter might include a completion
certificate with the price of your pint!) will prove a fitting location
in which to celebrate your achievement of completing the 127km walk,
as you await the arrival of your pre-arranged transport to nearby accommodation.
link with the Wicklow Way website please click here
Hillwalk Tours offer
self-guided hikes along the Wicklow Way -
to link with their Wicklow Way Tours click on the link