Davis – The Wicklow Way

Scott Davis & Friends

Friday 30th August – Sunday 8th September 2024

Duration: 10 Days / 9 Nights


Overview

It’s hard to believe that just a few miles from Dublin’s bustling city centre is one of Ireland’s most beautiful national parks and most famous long distance trails. Ireland’s premier long distance trail, the Wicklow Way, tracks through glorious mountain valleys, lush forests and across heathery uplands as well as ancient monastic sites, crystal-clear lakes and historic estates.

On this self guided trip, trek along the Wicklow Way’s most spectacular sections in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park before descending into green valleys and farmland.

Relax in a perfect combination of cosy village B&Bs before finishing up with a night in a deluxe eco-lodge. Focus on the trail and its jaw-dropping beauty and leave the logistics to us, as transport to and from Dublin, luggage transfers and private transfers to the trailhead are all prearranged where required. By choosing a self guided trip, enjoy the flexibility of walking at your own pace, starting as early or late as you prefer, stopping for as many photos as you’d like or challenging yourself with additional walks.

PLEASE NOTE: Total daily distances are given for each stage but will vary slightly as you also need to walk to your accommodation each day which will usually add a short distance.

Highlights

  • Trek 70 km on the Wicklow Way through glacial valleys, heather-clad mountain sides and green forest paths.
  • Pick dates that suit you and leave all the arrangements to us.
  • All accommodation, luggage transfers, maps, route notes and transfers to Dublin are included.
  • Spend your final night on the trail at a deluxe eco-lodge and enjoy the geothermal spa.

Day by Day

Day 1 - Friday 30th August - Welcome to Dublin

Arriving in Ireland today, take a taxi or bus into the city centre to your 4* hotel. Check in and freshen up, you may want to grab some lunch before exploration begins.

Head out in the afternoon to enjoy a walking tour with a local private guide through this vibrant capital city, with its mix of 1,000 years of architecture from the mediaeval to Georgian to modern. See the Georgian style Merrion Square, lush St. Stephen’s Green and Fitzwilliam Square, as well as O’Connell Street, the site of the ‘1916 Uprising’ that led to Ireland’s independence in 1922. Your guide is also a historian who will bring the city to life with colourful tales of life in the city in times gone by.

Overnight: Dublin | Camden Court Hotel
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: None

Day 2 - Saturday 31st August - Glencullen to Enniskerry

You will be met at your hotel and transferred to Ireland’s highest pub, Johnny Fox’s, where you’ll have the chance to pick up some lunch before walking to the start point of your first day on the Wicklow Way. Tracking through woodlands before reaching open hillside blanketed in rich purple heather, today’s walk is a perfect introduction to things to come. Your first stunning views open out before you as you walk along the shoulder of the hill known as Prince William’s Seat. Cross the county boundary between Dublin and Wicklow somewhere along the way as you head further into the rich wilds of the Wicklow Mountains. After your first day’s walk, arrive back at your B&B where you’ll find your bags waiting for you.

Overnight: Enniskerry | Summerhill House Hotel
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 14 km / 9 miles | 300 m / 984 ft elevation gain

Day 3 - Sunday 1st September - Knockree to Roundwood

Back on the trail, you’ll follow forest tracks until you reach the outskirts of the Powerscourt Estate. Drink in the stunning, panoramic views of Powerscourt’s famous waterfall, the tallest in Ireland. History buffs might like to learn about Powerscourt’s association with Charles Parnell, a vocal advocate for Irish home rule in the late 1800s. The official Wicklow Way trail itself winds below Djouce Hill, but if weather conditions and energy levels allow, a detour to the summit is well worth it. Enjoy expansive views of the heathery hills as you descend into the sweeping Luggala Valley towards glittering Lough Tay – nicknamed the “Guinness Lake.” Ancestral home of the Guinness family, this valley and the house on the shore of the lake have profound associations with many of Ireland’s literary and artistic greats. This evening you’ll leave the trail to spend the night just outside the wee traditional village of Roundwood.

*You can shorten this days hike by taking a taxi to the start point of the trail – this will shorten the hike by approx. 5km.

Overnight: Roundwood
Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 33 km / 21 miles | 500 m / 1,640 ft elevation gain

Day 4 - Monday 2nd September - Roundwood to Glendalough

Until the terrible Great Famine of the 1840s, this part of Wicklow was heavily populated and farmed. As you walk keep an eye out for the remains of the tiny cottages and the ridges of long-abandoned potato fields dotting the green countryside. Upon approaching the village of Laragh, you will reach the junction with the final section of St Kevin’s Way, an ancient pilgrimage route or mass path that brought worshippers to the shrine of St Kevin at Glendalough. Your hotel is ideally situated a stone’s throw away from the jewel in the Wicklow Way’s crown: the ancient monastic site of Glendalough. Early medieval Ireland was Europe’s centre of culture with scholars travelling from all over to study at the country’s great monastic centres. Glendalough was one of the biggest and most famous of all.

Overnight: Glendalough | Glendalough Hotel
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 12 km / 7 miles | 750 m / 2,461 ft elevation gain

Day 5 - Tuesday 3rd September - Glendalough to Glenmalure

Today offers some of the best scenery on the trip as you crest the hills above Glendalough’s Upper and Lower lakes at the junction of four glaciated valleys. You’ll pass Poulanass Waterfall before joining the forest road which will weave its way higher and higher until you reach the boggy saddle between Mullacor and Lugduff. As you descend, Ireland’s longest valley lies below you. Take in the panoramic views as you make your way to the valley floor and the welcome fire at the local Lodge.

Overnight: Glenmalure | Glenmalure Lodge
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 13 km / 8 miles | 400 m / 1,312 ft elevation gain

Day 6 - Wednesday 4th September - Glenmalure to Iron Bridge & Eco Lodge

Leaving behind the peaks of the Wicklow Mountains, the Wicklow Way meanders through lush forest tracks in the rolling landscape of south Wicklow. Offering views over the emerald farmlands of Ireland’s Ancient East, this is the quietest part of the trail, and chances are you’ll have it to yourself. The first 14 km brings you to the Iron Bridge, one of the Wicklow Way’s most remote spots. The next 7km winds along quiet country lanes to your eco-lodge, where you can relax in luxury. Alternatively, you can pre-arrange a taxi to meet you at the Iron Bridge and take you the rest of the way to your accommodation.Access to the geo-thermally-powered thermal suite is included – soak your tired legs at the trail’s end.* There are a few dining options on-site, including Ireland’s finest organic-certified restaurant. Feast on ingredients foraged in the hills that you’ve just hiked.

*Please note that spa treatments are not included and should be booked in advance

Overnight: Macreddin village | Brooklodge
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 19 km / 12 miles | 200 m / 656 ft elevation gain

Day 7 - Thursday 5th September - Back to Dublin

This morning, you have time for a leisurely breakfast or one last walk around the grounds before you are transferred back to Dublin.

Once you’ve checked in and dropped your bags, Dublin is yours to explore. We will recommend plenty of options – the main attractions as well as lesser known spots – to fill the rest of your day.

Overnight: Dublin | Camden Court Hotel
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Friday 6th September - Exploring Dublin

Embark on a vibrant day of exploring Dublin, where the city’s pulse beats with history and contemporary flair. Take a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, starting with the iconic seven-story building shaped like a pint glass. Wander through the exhibits, tracing the rich heritage of Ireland’s most famous stout, from its brewing process to its global impact. Ascend to the Gravity Bar atop the Storehouse for panoramic views of Dublin’s skyline, a perfect backdrop to savour a perfectly poured pint of Guinness. Afterward, delve into the city’s tapestry, strolling along cobbled streets lined with Georgian architecture and bustling with the infectious energy of street performers. Dublin, a blend of tradition and modernity, invites you to savour both its storied past and its vibrant present in every moment spent exploring its dynamic streets.

Overnight: Dublin | Camden Court Hotel
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9 - Saturday 7th September - Exploring Dublin

Trinity College stands as an academic oasis in the heart of Dublin, inviting you into a realm where history and learning intertwine seamlessly. A morning at the Book of Kells exhibition within the college walls unveils an ancient manuscript’s intricate beauty, showcasing ornate calligraphy and vivid illuminations dating back to the ninth century. As you trace the delicate pages of this revered manuscript, you’ll be transported into a world of medieval artistry and religious significance. Step outside the college gates to explore the nearby General Post Office (GPO), a symbol of Ireland’s fight for independence. Stand where history was forged during the 1916 Easter Rising, admiring the GPO’s neoclassical facade while immersing yourself in the stories of a pivotal moment in Irish history.

Overnight: Dublin | Camden Court Hotel
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10 - Sunday 8th September - Depart

After enjoying a relaxing morning, it is time to make your way to Dublin airport. We do hope your time in Ireland has been memorable and we once again have the opportunity to welcome to our shores.

Meals Included: Breakfast

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