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Wicklow Mountains

As you leave Dublin and cross into Wicklow, the landscape changes dramatically. From Rathfarnham, still within the city limits, the Military Rd begins a 40km southward journey along the spine of the Wicklow Mountains, crossing vast sweeps of gorse-, bracken- and heather-clad moors, bogs and hills, dotted with small corrie lakes.

The highest peak in the range, Lugnaquilla (924m), is really more of a very large hill. The vast granite intrusion, an upwelling of molten rock that solidified some 400 million years ago, was shaped during the ice ages into the schist-capped mountains visible today. The wild topography is marvellously desolate and raw. Between the mountains are a number of deep glacial valleys – most notably Glenmacnass, Glenmalure and Glendalough – and corrie lakes such as Lough Bray Upper and Lower, and Lough Tay, gouged by ice at the head of the glaciers.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Wicklow Mountains.