Experience some of the most beautiful places in all of Ireland by visiting the breathtaking countryside of County Wicklow. The Wicklow region is just south of Dublin and home to majestic mountains, coastline, country estates, lakes, rivers, and more. From farmland to small villages and local pubs, every turn in Wicklow is full of wonderment and local Irish hospitality.
Our Favorite Places to Visit in County Wicklow
With so much to see and do, we’ve narrowed down the list to make your planning easier.
Wicklow Mountains National Park
The vast open space, mountains, foliage, and lakes make
Wicklow Mountains National Park a must-see. Spending even just a few hours in the park will refresh your mind, body, and spirit.
If you’re not an avid hiker, no need to fret. The park offers trail options for all levels and ages. In addition, there’s an excellent road system throughout the park, making the views accessible to everyone. Driving through the park can be done at your own pace in a couple of hours.
The beauty and serenity captured in Ireland’s only National Park on the east coast are well worth the picturesque day trip. That’s why over one million visits are made to the park each year. Not to mention the National Park has been the backdrop for a few famous movies as well (i.e., Braveheart and P.S. I Love You).
A highlight of any trip to Ireland, the glacial valley of Glendalough showcases a medieval monastic settlement among scenic lakes and landscapes. St. Kevin founded Glendalough in the 600s, leaving behind historic ruins of churches along with the famous round tower.
Visitors can stroll through the enchanting scenery and rich history of Glendalough at their own pace and experience the surroundings in very hands-on way. Top sites within Glendalough include the Gateway (granite arches), Round Tower (which stands 112 feet tall), the Cathedral, and St. Kevin’s Church (made out of stone).
Powerscourt Garden and House
Known for being one of the top gardens in the world, Powerscourt Garden and House rests at the foothills of the Wicklow mountains. The well-maintained gardens feature sweeping terraces, floral gardens, a variety of trees and shrubs and the impressive Triton Lake – all flowing across 47 acres of rich, green land. The Powerscourt House estate hosts special events in their ballrooms and displays Irish designed goods, jewelry, clothes, and furniture available for purchase.
The Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk
The two hour hike from The Bray to Greystones Cliff blends panoramic views of the mountains and the sea. With only a slight incline, this breathtaking hike is possible for hikers of all levels and ages.
Walking along the trail allows for peaceful reflection, captivating sites, and some of the best photographs you’ll snap during your trip in Ireland.
Once you arrive in Greystones, a lovely town awaits you with coffee shops and refreshments.
It would be remiss to visit County Wicklow and not experience the local hospitality found in the pub scene. While any pub will welcome you with a smile and a cold Guinness, two spots are worth seeking out.
Christy’s is situated in Arklow, an old fishing port, giving you scrumptious options with the freshest fish. Its vibrant atmosphere make it a popular destination, so be sure to book a table in advance if you’re heading there on the weekend.
The Bates Restaurant is another local favorite with top-notch food and service. With a beautiful stone exterior, Bates is a cozy place for tasting crab claws, pork belly, duck, lobster, and venison. The ambiance of the pub make it a relaxing and lovely choice for lunch or dinner.
Irish Golf Courses
The Irish countryside of County Wicklow makes for a flawless background for truly unforgettable rounds of golf. Enjoy a day on the courses and grab a beer afterward in the clubhouses.
Top courses to check out include:
The Mill at Avoca Village
Established in 1723, the weaving Mill at Avoca Village is perfect for shoppers, explorers, and Irish food lovers. A plethora of Irish goods can be found at the Mill including blankets, throws, housewares, and gifts. The small village also offers a genuine Irish experience at cafes, restaurants, and pubs.
Free tours of the Mill are available at the Visitor Centre where you can see the Mill hand-looms in action.
Enjoy an afternoon or evening at the Wicklow Brewery sampling their tasty beer and food pairings. Its rural location make the brewery a lovely place to have fun, especially when they host local music or Irish dancing nights.
Brewery tours are available with reservation in advance, and allow you to see inner workings of the Beer Hall, Brew House, Fermentation Tanks, and Barley Mill where the beer is produced.
Mount Usher Gardens
The riverside gardens of Mount Usher are coated with magnificent color. If you’re looking for a tranquil walk in lush nature,Mount Usher Gardens are a must-see.
The trees change color based on the season and give everyone (of all ages and abilities) something spectacular to experience.
Spend hours or the whole day meandering through the gardens, with the option of shopping for produce and garden products in the nearby area.
At the foot of the Glenmalure Valley rests the Greenan Maze and farmland which is perfect for a relaxed family-friendly day. The Greenan Maze is an active farm with plenty of attractions including an old farmhouse, farm animals, museums, nature trail, craft shop, and tea rooms.
The farmland welcomes all ages and tickets can be bought in advance.
Visit County Wicklow, Ireland to experience the gems scattered far and wide across the countryside. With only a short distance from Dublin, it’s the perfect place for a long weekend, full length vacation, or destination wedding.
If you’re interested in booking a destination wedding in Ireland, be sure to check out our magnificent Ballybeg House location which rests in the heart of County Wicklow.
Sacred Destinations (n.d.), Glendalough – Ireland. Retrieved December 17, 2016, from http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/glendalough
The House of Family Fun Ltd. (2016), Grenan Farm Museum and Maze. Retrieved December 18, 2016, from http://www.familyfun.ie/greenan-farm-museum-and-maze-rathdrum/
TripAdvisor (2016), Powerscourt Gardens and House. Retrieved December 18, 2016, from https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g212535-d319031-Reviews-Powerscourt_Gardens_and_House-Enniskerry_County_Wicklow.html
Wicklow Mountains National Park (2016), Wicklow Mountains National Park. Retrieved December 17, 2016, from http://www.wicklowmountainsnationalpark.ie/