Ireland’s Ancient East, as it’s known locally, offers a stunning range of scenery, equal to anywhere on the planet. The largest part of this area is taken up by the Wicklow Mountains National Park, which occupies some 220 sq km. This includes some breathtaking coastline along Dublin Bay and the Irish Sea. Which you can also see in the distance, from some of the hills and mountains
Easily accessible from Dublin, you can be there in thirty-five minutes by car, using the M50/M11 Motorway Link. Or if you prefer a more leisurely journey, take a bus or go by train on the Dart from Hueston Station in Dublin City Centre. (Transport links included at the end of the review). I know that all Silver Travellers are also Silver Surfers and you will surf the net for more information 🙂
As you read this, you will know very quickly if this is the type of journey you would enjoy, but I must warn you, this is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it convenient five-star luxury! You will have to work a little if you want to feel the absolute silence and harmony with nature, which you will surely find in the forests and glens of this region.
I will assume then, that like me, the old fire is still burning, but the old legs and hips can’t extinguish it? Take heart, a good pair of walking boots, and sticks! Your best smartphone, or camera if you want print quality shots, your favourite healthy snack and some water, and you’re ready to hit the road. Navigation is not an issue here, you’re not in the Amazon, and all the walking routes are clearly marked and visible on Google Maps!
I will begin by suggesting a centre of operations for your stay, well, two actually, if you have a car and stay in Dublin. I will write about ‘Glen Cree’ in a separate post, to save the risk of boring you out to the pub.
The ‘Glendalough’ visitor centre as its name suggests, is at the head of Glendalough. Here you can park up and prepare for your days’ adventure. It’s a wee bit tricky to find, but all part of the fun. (Incidentally, they filmed part of BraveHeart in this area)! This is a great place to begin because you can choose your level of difficulty according to your fitness level. Of course, you are the best judge of this, but remember, aim low and you’ll not be disappointed.
As you drive through to Glendalough from the M11 South Bray junction, you will drive around Sugarloaf Mountain, and onwards through to a small village called Laragh where you will find the Glendalough Hotel and Irish Woolen Mills, both worthy of an hour of your time. Another five kilometres along the road you will reach the visitor centre.
As I said, choose your game wisely. A gentle stroll through the lower lake is around 2K, then if you’re still holding together, press on to the upper lake, you will not be disappointed. There is a park close to the upper lake, once there you can relax and enjoy the splendour of all you behold. Choose your own words to describe what you see, but for me, silence was the only expression and sentiment I could produce (and I’m a writer by profession)!
So, you made it to the upper lake and feeling proud of yourself, yes, of course, you should. Now for the final test on your day out at Glendalough; the Poulanass Waterfall. Go on test yourself a little and head off up the wooden stair climb next to the waterfall, you will be astonished at the scenery. I took some amazing photographs there, which I have included for your delight.
Now then, I highly recommend you do your homework before you go, and if you have any questions I’ll be happy to answer them through our forum. In the meantime, Continue The Journey!!