So, when I moved to Wicklow for work, people were always talking about ‘going for walks in Glendalough‘ and I assumed it was just St Kevin’s tower. Wrong! This pretty little nugget, nestled in the Wicklow countryside has stunning walks for every level of fitness. There are strolls around the lakes and a leisurely wander down to the Miner’s village and then… there’s THE SPINC.
I figured I was ready for the hike up to the ridge, via the steps, so many steps. Spinc, I’m coming for you. Dum, dum, dummmmmmm.
Rather than waffle on I thought a photo story of the day’s hike would show off this moderately difficult walk. I say moderate because I almost passed out but there was a family with smallish kids prancing their way up the steps in front of us. Show offs!
Check the walk out for yourself and get your boots on, ready for what promises to be a sunshiney weekend!
Top tip: Get there EARLY. I mean it. We were there by 10.30am and while the carpark wasn’t full it was heading that way. By 12:45, when we were leaving, there were queues out of the carpark and down the road through the little village. Piles of no craic I’d say, especially since it’s tricky to turn around and bail if you decide you’ve had enough ‘chilling out in your car’ time.
Glendalough National Park is under an hour’s drive from South Dublin. Parking in the Upper carpark is €4 and there are restroom facilities and a small shop, ice cream stand and a chip stand. It was 10.30am so I have no clue what the food was like. I don’t tend to eat chips or ice-cream for breakfast!
Walking towards the lake take the route to your left, past the picnic area and up towards the waterfall.
The steps start here, lulling you into a false sense of achievement. You think, Pssshhh I got this. Ha, we’ll see.
Annnddd……here we go.
There are a few points along the way up to stop and rest. Just saying.
Now that you’ve made it to the top of the ridge, take a breath. And another one. Make it look like you are snapping pics for Instagram instead of catching your breath. You did it!
Now you get to stroll along the ridge edge admiring the stunning landscape of the Upper lake and the shale hillside.
Once you make it to the top of the ridge the path starts to meander downward.
My favourite part of this walk was the little bridge over the stream before you start the winding path down to the Miners Village.
The rest of the walk from the Miner’s Village back to the carpark is about 2-2.5km along the edge of the lake, past the education centre. The entire looped walk took us about 2.5 hours to complete the 10km route. Just in time for lunch in Ashford! Hurray!
Some smart hikers had packed picnic snacks and were chilling out by the Miner’s Village and I must admit it looked like a fun way to enjoy the sunshine.
Enjoy your Wicklow Mountains National Park experience, whatever level you choose to rock!