Ultimate Guide to Wicklow Way in Ireland

What to Do Along Wicklow Way

Did you know that County Wicklow is affectionately known as the Garden of Ireland? With its lush landscapes, rolling hills, and picturesque scenery, it’s no wonder why! And right in this region lies an adventure waiting to be discovered: the Wicklow Way.

From the majestic waterfalls to tranquil valleys, there’s something for every nature lover to explore. The hike is a journey through this stunning region with charming villages and great sights along the way. 

So lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and let’s dive into the wonders of the Wicklow Way. 

Background and History of Wicklow Way 

Wicklow Way, stretching approximately 130 kilometers from Marley Park in Dublin to Clonegal in County Carlow, is an iconic hiking pathway that offers a captivating journey through Ireland’s diverse landscapes in the Wicklow Mountains.

Established in 1980, the Wicklow Way was Ireland’s first designated long-distance trail, drawing hikers from far and wide to explore it. Today, it forms part of a network of self-guided walking trails across the country, showcasing the rich natural beauty. 

The entire trail is divided into 6 to 7 sections. Hiking it the entire way through will take you anywhere from 5 to 7 days. 

From beginning to end, the Wicklow Way traverses a tapestry of scenery, including forested tracks, mountain paths, and rolling countryside. Along the way, walkers encounter historic ruins, bodies of water, forests, and mountain views. 

Location: Eastern Ireland 

Phone Number: 0404-20070

Email: [email protected]


Things to Do

Pay Your Respects at the Ancient Burial Tombs 

Section: Marlay Park to Knockree Hostel

Distance: 19.8 km

Time: 7 hours 

At the outset of your Wicklow Way adventure, you’ll find yourself amidst the Dublin suburbs at Marlay Park. But don’t let the urban setting deter you because pretty soon you’ll leave the cityscape behind and climb up and through Kilmashogue forest. 

Along the way, you’ll encounter ancient burial tombs called the Seefin Passage Tomb  built about 5,000 years ago. The graves are set in circular underground tombs with 2 chambers on either side. You can enter below and climb to the peak of the rocks. 

On your way down from Seefin hill, take a brief break and then set out to climb up to the Prince Williams Seat. As you reach the summit, you’ll be greeted by panoramic views of the rugged coast and majestic mountains. Knockree Hill marks the end of the first part.

Cool off at the Powerscourt Waterfall 

Section: Knockree to Oldbridge

Distance: 20.4 km 

Time:7 hours

From tombs and mountains, the second portion of the trail is perfect for water lovers. This section takes you along a riverside trail that leads you to the first stop, Powerscourt Waterfall which is the country’s highest waterfall. 

You can stop here briefly just to take a photo with the waterfall or you can opt to have yourself a picnic and even a barbeque. There are concession stands for drinks, snacks, ice, cream, and dessert near the foot of the falls. 

After, you get views of the Irish Sea from the open mountain terrain, with Djouce Mountain looming tall in the distance. This section of the trail ends with views of the tranquil Lough Tay and Lough Dan before arriving at Roundwood village.

Visit the Famed Monastic Site with Round Tower in Glendalough Valley 

Section: Oldbridge to Glendalough

Distance: 9.6 km 

Time: 3 hours

This section of the Wicklow Way trail is the shortest of all the sections. The relatively easy portion is made up of a leisurely stroll through picturesque countryside and woodlands, culminating in the iconic Glendalough Valley. 

After crossing the Avonmore River, you will see glimpses of the Glendalough Valley. After reaching the road, you can follow the signs that will take you to the monastic site with the famous round tower built over 1000 years ago by St. Kevin’s monastery monks. 

This particular one is famous for being struck by lighting that supposedly split the roof and upper portions in half, only to be rebuilt and renovated in 1876. 

Gaze at Irelan and Britain’s Longest Valley

Section: Glendalough to Glenmalure

Distance: 13.9 

Time: 5 hours

You’ll need to prepare for a challenging yet rewarding day as you set out from Glendalough. Starting from the Glendalough Visitor Center, you will pass more ancient ruins to the right. Along the way, you’ll also encounter the scenic Poulanass Waterfall. 

After making your way through Mullacor and Lugduff, the landscape opens up and you’re treated with panoramic views of Ireland’s longest valley below, Glenmalure Valley. An extra surprise awaits you here as the valley has its own beautiful waterfalls. 

Enjoy Some Peace and Quiet at Ballyteigue

Section: Glenmalure to Crossbridge

Distance: 33 km 

Time: 8 hours

This section of the Wicklow Way offers a moment of reflection and quiet, mainly because it’s a bit challenging, we admit, but also because the scenery will truly take your breath away. 

The terrain of the Wicklow Uplands make it difficult for regular hikers here, so there are way less people attempting this climb. But, the ones that do are rewarded with the beauty of Ballyteigue, one of Ireland’s national nature reserves spanning 15.8 acres. 

Here, you’re treated to nature at its most undisturbed with a full forest filled with plants and woodland creatures. 

Celebrate Completing Wicklow Way at Clonegal Village 

Section: Tinahely to Clonegal 

Distance: 32.4 km 

Time: 8 hours

Your Wicklow Way adventure draws to a close through more relaxed hills and country roads. The journey will ultimately end in Clonegal. After being in the wilderness for almost a week, it’s a great place to reconnect with civilization and technology. 

Our first stop has always been Egan’s Bar where we reward ourselves with good food and drinks. 

After, the Huntington Castle which spans across 160 acres worth of farmland, forests, and well kept gardens where you can have yourself a celebratory picnic for a job well done. 

How to Get There 

The northern access point of the Wicklow Way is at Marlay Park which is just beyond Dublin’s city grounds.

Marlay Park Address: Grange Rd, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, D14 Y6X5, Ireland

By Tram

The City Tram can take you from the Trinity College stop in Dublin directly to Marlay Park. 

By Bus

You can take the No.16 Bus that runs through Santry and the city center. There is a bus stop just opposite the entrance of Marlay Park. 

Best Time to Go

The best time to take on the Wicklow Way is anywhere from March to May and September to October. 

It’s best to avoid the summer months from June to August if you don’t want a hike that’s overcrowded. Other months of the year have weather that’s too unpredictable to plan a safe hike. 

10 Life Saving Tips to Conquer Wicklow Way 

  • Wear comfortable, cool, and waterproof / water resistant clothes. Pack extra in case you get wet or cold. 
  • Choose comfortable shoes with ample support and enough traction at the bottom. Better yet, wear hiking shoes with spikes. 
  • Make sure you pack a hat and sunglasses
  • You need a layer of sunscreen and bug spray at all times. Pack extra to reapply.
  • It’s important to pack a first aid kit and medication, if you’re on any. 
  • Bring a torch and extra batteries with you. 
  • For emergencies, bringing a whistle with you might come in handy.
  • Bring a map and a compass with you. Make sure you learn how to use both.
  • It’s always better to plan a route and stick to it. Check the weather forecast constantly. 
  • Bring your phone and a portable charger. 

Places to Eat Nearby 

The Irish Charm of Wicklow Heather Restaurant

Address: Glendalough Road, Brockagh, Laragh, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Phone Number: +353 404 45157



  • Open from Monday to Thursday from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm 
  • Open on Friday from 9:30 am to 10 pm 
  • Open on Saturday from 9 am to 10 pm 
  • Open on Sunday from 9 am to 9:30 pm 

Tucked along the Wicklow Way, the Wicklow Heather Restaurant, is a lovely place to stop and have fuel up in between hikes. This place is located in the Laragh village and is a sight to see in itself with its wooden beams and country charm. 

With half a century of experience in the food industry, they have perfected their line up of dishes. Some of their signature dishes are the slow roasted leg of lamb with a rosemary jus and the steamed filet of cod with chicory, mango, and chili salsa. 

The lamb that they serve are all locally sourced from a neighborhood butcher located in Wicklow too and is completely untraceable from the farm it was raised in. 

A Taste of Elegance at Byrne & Woods Bar & Restaurant

Address: Roundwood, Oldtown, Roundwood, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Phone Number: +353 1 281 7078



  • Open from Wednesday to Thursday from 3 pm to 11 pm 
  • Open from Friday to Saturday from 12 pm to 12:30 am 
  • Open on Sunday from 12 pm to 11 pm 

As you trek along the Wicklow Way, you can make a pit stop at Byrne & Woods Bar & Restaurant, an inviting gastro bar offering a warm atmosphere and an extensive menu. 

You can indulge in hearty meals like the char grilled rib eye steak with onions, mushroom, cherry tomatoes, and chips, as well as the fresh fish and chips with tartar sauce, crushed peas, and chunky chips. 

To wash it all down, why not go after some of their cocktails or a selection of their red, white, or sparkling wine. Try their Bailey’s Coffee or Hot Whiskey on cold nights. 

Relaxing Retreat at Casey’s Bar & Bistro

Address: The Glendalough Hotel, Brockagh, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, A98 X9C1, Ireland

Phone Number: +353 404 45135


Hours: Open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 9 pm

Casey’s Bar & Bistro is located inside the Glendalough Hotel and provides a welcoming retreat for weary hikers. With its relaxed ambiance and diverse menu options, it’s the perfect spot to refuel and recharge before continuing your journey.

This place has the jovial and lively atmosphere of a traditional Irish pub complete with all wood furniture and decor. We know people don’t usually start with dessert, but at Casey’s we always set the mood of the meal with a slice of their salted caramel roulade. 

After that, we jump into their beef bourguignon or slow roasted irish beef in gravy with vegetables, mashed potatoes, and parmesan cheese. The ravioli is pretty good too!

Flavors of Fusion at The GAP Kitchen

Address: Glencullen Adventure Park, Ballybrack Rd, Dublin, D18 Y673, Ireland

Phone Number: +353 86 816 9902


Hours: Open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9 am to 4:30 pm 

Along your hike on the Wicklow Way, we suggest making a detour to The GAP Kitchen. Here, fusion flavors and fresh ingredients come together to create memorable meals. 

They have savory dishes including a selection of burgers from the classic beef burger to barbeque burgers and a vegan burger made with a plant based patty. For sides, any of their Bites like chicken wings, onion rings, and French fries pair perfectly. 

If you’re trying to keep it light, their chicken salad made with a honey mustard dressing is a great alternative. They even have sambos and our favorite one is the club variety. 

A Taste of Asia at The Blue Orchid Restaurant

Address: Newpark Centre, Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin, Ireland

Phone Number: +353 1 283 6601



  • Open on Sunday and from Monday to Thursday from 4 pm to 9 pm 
  • Open from Friday to Saturday from 4 pm to 10 pm 

After your hiking adventures, go on a culinary one atThe Blue Orchid Restaurant where vibrant flavors of Thai and Japanese cuisine await you. 

You can’t go wrong with the Signature Platter as a starter. It lets you taste a variety of dishes like hand made spring rolls, chicken satay sticks, chicken wontons, and tiger prawn envelopes. Plus it can feed 2 people with the amount of food you get served. 

For main courses, we enjoyed the vegan yellow curry and the lightly fried tofu with pak choi and an array of vegetables. The entire dish was drizzled with a sweet soy sauce. 

Places to Stay Nearby 

Get a Combination of Style and Comfort at The Devlin Dublin

Address: 117-119 Ranelagh, Dublin 6, D06 WY50, Ireland

Phone Number: +353 1 406 6550


Rating: 4 Star Hotel 

Pricing: $ $ $

If you’re planning on embarking on the challenge of trekking the Wicklow Way, then you’ll need to make pit stops. And, there is nowhere better than The Devlin Dublin. 

Nestled in the vibrant southern of Dublin, The Devlin Dublin offers a stylish retreat for hikers with its blend of functionality and sophistication. This hotel provides spacious rooms complete with a comfortable bed to rest and a desk to rework your hiking route. 

Layla’s Restaurant, their renowned on-site restaurant makes sure you won’t have to leave the grounds to get good food like tapas plates for sharing. 

Indulge in Elegance at Powerscourt Hotel

Address:  Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt Demesne, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, A98 DR12, Ireland

Phone Number: +353 1 274 8888


Rating: 5 Star Hotel 

Pricing: $ $ $

If you need a touch of luxury to offset the rugged hike along your Wicklow Way journey, then the Powerscourt Hotel offers grandeur and elegance. Situated just a short distance from the trail, this accommodation looks like a palace complete with extensive grounds. 

The rooms inside match the standard of the outside with antique furniture and views of the amazing scenery and picturesque surroundings. 

Aside from resting and sightseeing, you can also take advantage of their full service spa where you can try different treatments from facials to deep tissue massages.

Discover Classic Charm at The Glendalough Hotel

Address: Brockagh, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, A98 X9C1, Ireland

Phone Number: +353 404 45135


Rating: 3 Star Hotel

Pricing: $ $

Conveniently positioned in the heart of Glendalough, The Glendalough Hotel is already an established spot where hikers retreat to along the Wicklow Way. 

You can choose between their array of rooms that can host anywhere from 1 to 4 people at a time. Grabbing the quadruple rooms give you the best bang for your buck if you’re just checking into the hotel to rest with friends or family. 

While the rooms may reflect a dated design, they’re still clean and pretty cozy. Plus, the friendliness and warmth of the staff more than make up for that.  

Unwind Riverside at Lynhams Hotel

Address: Brockagh, Laragh, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Phone Number: +353 404 45345


Rating: 3 Star Hotel

Pricing: $ $

Just a stone’s throw from the Wicklow Way in Laragh, Lynhams Hotel stands out from the other options for accommodations because of its serene riverside setting. The river runs in front of the property and provides a great soundtrack when you sleep at night. 

You can rest and relax without being too far from nature. For food, the Bridge Restaurant is a candle lit place where you can enjoy rustic dishes with full and straightforward flavors. Try the venison sausage and the beef stew. 

For a pint before hitting the hay, Jakes Bar is located on site where you can drink a cold pint with friends and chat with the locals that come here to unwind as well. 

Experience Tranquility at Wicklow Way Lodge

Address: Wicklow Way, Lodge, Oldbridge, Co. Wicklow, A98 K702, Ireland

Phone Number: +353 1 281 8489


Rating: Guest House

Pricing: $ $ $

This is one of the very few accommodations that are located right by the Wicklow Way trail itself. The Wicklow Way Lodge not only gives you easy access to the trail, but also grants you amazing and unparalleled mountain views. 

The interior of the place is decorated with high beamed ceilings and furnished deck balconies for a regal feel. Each room is home to high quality beds with power showers, appliances you might need and even an adjustable underfloor heating system. 

As a cherry on top, the complimentary breakfast that they serve every morning is just to die for. You can choose between the continental or a full Irish breakfast option.