Introducing Wicklow Mountains
As you leave Dublin and cross into Wicklow, the landscape changes dramatically. From Killakee, still in Dublin, the Military Rd begins a 30km southward journey across vast sweeps of gorse-, bracken- and heather-clad moors, bogs and mountains dotted with small corrie lakes.
The numbers and statistics aren't all that impressive. The highest peak in the range, Lugnaquilla (924m), is really more of a very large hill, but that hardly matters here. This vast granite intrusion, a welling-up of hot igneous rock that solidified some 400 million years ago, was shaped during the Ice Ages into the schist-capped mountains visible today. The peaks are marvellously desolate and as raw as only nature can be. Between the mountains are a number of deep glacial valleys, most notably Glenmacnass, Glen malure and Glendalough; while corrie lakes such as Lough Bray Upper and Lower, gouged by ice at the head of the glaciers, complete the wild topography.
The narrow Military Rd winds its way through the most remote parts of the mountains, offering some extraordinary views of the surrounding countryside. The best place to join it is at Glencree (from Enniskerry). It then runs south through the Sally Gap, Glenmacnass Valley and Laragh, then on to Glenmalure Valley and Aghavannagh.
On the trip south you can divert east at the Sally Gap to look at Lough Tay and Lough Dan. Further south you pass the great waterfall at Glenmacnass before dropping down into Laragh, with the magnificent monastic ruins of Glendalough nearby. Continue south through the valley of Glenmalure and, if you're fit enough, climb Lugnaquilla.
Wild Wicklow Tour including Glendalough from Dublin
The Wild Wicklow Tour from Dublin is the perfect introduction to Wicklow's untamed landscapes. On this Wicklow day tour you'll explore ancient monastic ruins at Glendalough, enjoy the 'craic' in a traditional Irish pub, and see where film-makers brought a little bit of Scotland to Ireland when filming scenes for 'Braveheart' at Sally's Gap.
Glendalough and Avoca Day Trip from Dublin
Take the scenic route out of Dublin, passing through the Wicklow Gap and Blessington Lakes to lovely Glendalough and the pretty village of Avoca. This scenic day trip is the perfect excursion from Dublin, filled with picture-postcard views of Ireland at its best.