The best Wicklow tourist attractions in my opinion
This is my look at some Wicklow tourist attractions you should check out. For those stuck in Dublin, this is a good excuse to see the country and for locals may be a little inspiration to see what’s nearby. You can check other Irish counties here.
Wicklow is located on the east coast of Ireland, to the south of Dublin and north of Wexford. It is probably one of the most popular counties to visit on a day trip from Dublin although there are plenty of hotels and B&B’s to find in the county if you wish to extend your stay.
A very popular county for hikers and hill walkers and outdoors people in general. You can easily reach Wicklow by public transport or through several tourist species.
Being so close to Kildare I spend many summer days in Wicklow with my family, as do many families in Leinster. I hope you find some of the places a little interesting and maybe they will inspire you to visit.
By far one of my favourite Wicklow tourist attractions, Glendalough is one of the most beautiful locations in the east of Ireland and is easily accessible from Dublin.
Glendalough (The valley of two lakes) is renowned for its beauty. the two lakes and the 6th-century monastery are a favourite among Irish people and visitors to the country. It encompasses Ireland’s natural beauty and the importance of religion in the country. The ruins of the monastery and round tower are complemented by the stunning backdrop many people try to capture in pictures when they visit the area.
The area has a strong religious history and a connection to Vikings who raided across parts of the country in times gone by. Wood from the area was also used to build the largest longship ever recorded. The ruins of several other churches and other buildings can also be found on the edges of the two lakes.
The valley was formed by receding glacial walls millennia ago and even though Ireland does not have many large mountains, this valley is a reminder that it once did.
Like most of Ireland, it is best to visit the Glendalough during the summer as the weather is at its best. Some of the most popular activities include walking the numerous trails in the valley, bird watching or relaxing with a nice picnic by the lake. Expect to find plenty of tourist groups during the summer.
The roads leading to the lake can be a little tricky for people unused to Irish roads so take some care. You will find plenty of small shops, restaurants and pubs in the vicinity as well if you plan to stay a little longer in the area.
If you are staying in Dublin, you can join several tours to Glendalough and other Wicklow tourist attractions. Better yet find a nice Airbnb so you can check out the other locations on this list.
Just like Kildare and much of the rest of Ireland, Wicklow is dotted with many impressive stately homes. Powerscourt is probably the most famous of these attractions in Wicklow and one of the most visited State homes in the county.
The home like many throughout the country was built in the Palladian style and contains over 60 rooms. The home was built in the late 1700s and was lived in and used for functions until it was damaged in a fire 1970’s. Having been refurbished and rebuilt it was open to the public in 1997.
The house and grounds are accompanied by two golf courses and the largest waterfall in the country. Plan on spending an entire day seeing the home and the grounds and even longer if you want to play a round of golf. You see Powerscourt opening times here.
A picnic on the grounds and a tour of the home will highlight to you the splendour and lavishness of what was once colonial life in Ireland.
The estate can be reached by public bus (185,44) or the dart network (to Bray) from Dublin city.
Wicklow mountains national park:
If one area in the east of Ireland was to epitomise the ruggedness of the landscape, it would be Wicklow mountains national park. Maybe not as striking as the west coast of Ireland, the Wicklow mountains are a close runner-up.
A popular place for hiking and hill walking you may discover, abandoned ruins, friendly locals, gushing waterfalls and more than a few stray farm animals. Like the rest of Wicklow, it is quite accessible from Dublin. Again though, a small warning to those who are not used to Irish roads, they can be quite narrow with a lot of sharp turns which may make driving a little hazardous.
Being the only national park in the east of the country this should be added to your itinerary of Wicklow tourist attractions.
One of the most popular coastal towns on the east coast of Ireland Greystone’s is popular for those who want a break from Dublin and larger towns on the coast and who want easy access to Wicklow’s other tourist attractions.
With the Irish sea to the east and the Wicklow mountains to the west, it is a great jumping off point for exploring more of Wicklow if you plan on spending a few days in the town.
With one blue stone beach, the town receives a huge number of visitors during the summer, however, besides a very bad winters day the town has a great charm to it and is always open to visitors.
You can find plenty of accommodation in the town, or a popular day excursion is to take the Bray to Greystone’s coastal walk.
If Glendalough isn’t enough for you then the huge Blessington lake, which is actually a reservoir, should provide all the water sports activities that you need.
The shores of the lake spread over 56kms and there are plenty of secluded locations to enjoy a private picnic, boat rental opportunities for those who want to explore a little further and find some ample fishing spots and then you can learn about the history of the lake, the Poulaphouca reservoir project which is responsible for the lake and about the homes and farms which were swallowed up by the lake.
You can reach Blessington town easily from Kildare or Dublin in these two you will find numerous pubs and restaurants to enjoy a nice meal before or after spending the day at the lake. If you are so close you may then want to visit some of Kildare’s tourist attractions, or just the towns of Naas and Newbridge. Both are within 20 minutes of driving from the Blessington itself.
In my 32 counties series, I will be leaving out a lot of places that can be seen in each county. These are merely my suggestions on places to visit or ones that I have enjoyed personally myself. If there are any Wicklow tourist attractions you feel I should add, please recommend them in the comments and I can add them later.