Exploring The Charming Towns And Villages Along The Wicklow Way

Looking for an adventure draped in natural beauty and steeped in history? The Wicklow Way, Ireland’s oldest long-distance hiking trail, might just be your answer. This article guides you through charming towns and villages along the trail sketching a vivid backdrop of stunning landscapes, historical sites, and authentic Irish culture.

So read on! A journey of unforgettable vistas awaits you.

Key Takeaways

  • The Wicklow Way is Ireland’s oldest long-distance hiking trail, offering stunning landscapes, historical sites, and authentic Irish culture.
  • Along the Wicklow Way, hikers can visit charming towns and villages such as Bunclody, Clonegal, Shillelagh, Tinahely, Glencree, Laragh, Roundwood, Rathdrum, and Enniskerry.
  • Hikers can enjoy the natural beauty of the Wicklow Mountains National Park and experience scenic walks and hikes with breathtaking views.
  • The best time to hike the Wicklow Way is between April and September, when there is a higher chance of clear skies and less rainfall.

Charming Towns and Villages along the Wicklow Way

Discover the delightful towns and villages that grace the picturesque Wicklow Way, including Bunclody, Clonegal, Shillelagh, Tinahely, Glencree, Laragh, Roundwood, Rathdrum, and Enniskerry.

1) Bunclody

Bunclody, Co. Wexford, Wicklow Way

Bunclody is a lively town near Mount Leinster’s base, the start of the Wicklow Way. It draws hikers with its charm and ties to the trail. This town offers plenty for those who love nature and walking routes.

In Bunclody, you can find warm pubs and cosy B&Bs. They are known to offer an excellent time for walkers across Wicklow Way. After a long day on the trail, they’re great places to rest or share stories with locals over a pint of Guinness.

2) Clonegal

Clonegal is a must-see while on the Wicklow Way. This single-street village in County Carlow is steeped in Irish charm and history. It’s where a 400-year-old palace, Huntington Castle, stands tall as the town centre.

The village green at Clonegal marks either the start or end of your journey along this trail. Here, you’ll find a stone bench perfect for resting weary feet and a large map showing your entire route along the Wicklow Way.

Visiting Clonegal gives you an authentic taste of warm Irish hospitality that feels like home!

3) Shillelagh

Shillelagh is a small but pretty village in County Wicklow, Ireland. It sits on the famous Wicklow Way hiking route. The town stands out with lovely terrace stone houses and a courthouse with a clock tower.

Fewer than 400 people live here, making it very quiet and peaceful. Set in some of Ireland’s best scenery, Shillelagh is great for exploring the Wicklow Way.

4) Tinahely

Tinahely is a neat town in County Wicklow, Ireland. It sits in the River Derry Valley and draws many walkers each year. This place is tied to The Wicklow Way, Ireland’s first marked trail.

People love this trail for its beauty and closeness to Dublin City. Tinahely has a nice central market building and a courthouse beside it, making it worth the visit.

The Dying Cow pub on the Wicklow Way
The Dying Cow pub on the Wicklow Way – Joe King, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

5) Laragh

Laragh is a small, pretty village in County Wicklow. It’s known for its great views and friendly vibe. Many road cyclists like to visit Laragh because of the area’s routes. Stay at the famous Wicklow Heather for a taste of local comfort and charm.

Laragh is near Glendalough, making it a good spot to explore Wicklow Mountains National Park.

6) Roundwood

Roundwood is a small village in County Wicklow, Ireland. It’s one of the charming towns and villages along the Wicklow Way, a popular hiking trail. With a population of 948 people, Roundwood is known as the highest village in Ireland.

It’s situated in the beautiful Wicklow Mountains on the east coast of Ireland. The village offers breathtaking views of green pastures, forests, and mountains, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

So, if you’re an active hiker looking to explore stunning landscapes and enjoy nature at its best, Roundwood should definitely be on your list!

7) Glencree

Glencree is a quiet gem just twelve miles from Dublin in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains. Its stunning hills and open land are perfect for walking. The Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation is a key spot here.

Founded in 1974, this place worked to help peace talks during Northern Ireland’s struggles.

Local arts and crafts give life to Glencree’s history. For food lovers, traditional Irish dishes can be found all over town. Another fine spot is the Glencree German War Cemetery, an important site tucked within the mountains.

8) Rathdrum

image 43

Rathdrum is a village in County Wicklow, Ireland. It’s located high on the western side of the Avonmore River valley. Rathdrum is associated with charming towns and villages along the Wicklow Way hiking route.

One of the highlights near Rathdrum is Glendalough, which has beautiful lakes and the remains of an important monastic site. Being centrally located within County Wicklow, Rathdrum makes for a convenient base to explore the area if you’re a 50-plus hiker who loves being active.

9) Enniskerry

The Charming Towns And Villages Along The Wicklow Way
Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

Enniskerry is a charming village located east of the Wicklow Way. With a population of 1,889, it is often considered one of Ireland’s most picturesque villages. Its close proximity to Dublin makes it a sought-after destination for both visitors and residents.

Enniskerry offers beautiful scenery, historic buildings, and a warm atmosphere. Whether you’re exploring the area or looking for a place to live or work, Enniskerry is definitely worth a visit.

About the Wicklow Way Walk

The Wicklow Way walk officially starts at Marlay Park in Dublin and ends in the lovely town of Clonegal, Co. Carlow. The trail is 130 kilometres (86 miles) long and passes through the ‘Garden of Ireland’, which gives you a great view of many stunning places.

On this amazing walking tour, we can see upland areas, natural trails, Beautiful Flora and Fauna, glacial valleys, forests, and farmland. Many walkers like to start in Marlay Park in Dublin and end at Clonegal in County Carlow.

The Wicklow Way shows off Ireland’s beauty very well! You’ll hear about its history, too, as you pass by hills and valleys where they used to farm potatoes long ago.

Hikers love that it’s part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park because it has so much to offer for them!

Exploring the Wicklow Way

Discover the natural beauty of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, enjoy scenic walks and hikes along the trail, visit historical sites and landmarks, and experience local culture and hospitality.

Start your adventure along the Wicklow Way today!

Self-Guided Walking Tours on the Wicklow Way

Discovering the natural beauty of the Wicklow Mountains National Park

The Wicklow Mountains National Park, located in County Wicklow, Ireland, is a treasure trove of natural beauty. With its ochre-coloured mountains, enchanting forests, babbling streams, and tranquil lakes, it’s a paradise for nature lovers and hikers alike.

This stunning park offers nine waymarked trails that lead through diverse landscapes and provide breathtaking views. As you explore the park, look for the rich wildlife that calls this place home.

From soaring birds to elusive deer, there’s always something special to discover in the “Garden of Ireland.”.

Enjoying scenic walks and hikes along the trail

The Wicklow Way offers breathtaking scenic walks and hikes that will delight hikers of all ages. As you traverse the trail, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the picturesque Wicklow Mountains National Park, with its glacial valleys and pristine landscapes.

The trail passes through charming towns and villages, where you can take a break and soak in the local culture and hospitality. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, the Wicklow Way has something for everyone.

Don’t forget your camera to capture those beautiful mountain views!

Hiking on the Wicklow Way, wicklow way map
Exploring The Charming Towns And Villages Along The Wicklow Way 22

Visiting historical sites and landmarks

The Wicklow Way offers hikers the opportunity to explore a variety of historical sites and landmarks along its route. One such site is Glendalough, known for its medieval architecture and beautiful natural surroundings.

Here, you can visit the ancient monastic settlement founded in the 6th century, with its iconic round tower and picturesque lakeside setting. Another notable stop is Russborough House & Park, a grand Georgian mansion that houses an impressive art collection.

Other historical attractions include Baltinglass Abbey, The German Military Cemetery, and Sculptures in Woodland. So, while hiking along the Wicklow Way, be sure to take some time to appreciate these fascinating glimpses into Ireland’s rich history.

Experiencing local culture and hospitality

Along the Wicklow Way, hikers have the wonderful opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and hospitality of the charming towns and villages they encounter. From lively music sessions in pubs to art exhibitions showcasing local talent, there is no shortage of cultural experiences to be had along the trail.

Additionally, staying in homestays or guesthouses allows walkers to forge connections with locals, providing a deeper understanding of Irish traditions and ways of life. This unique blend of nature, history, and warm hospitality makes the Wicklow Way a truly authentic Irish experience for active hikers seeking adventure with a touch of charm.

Weather on the Wicklow Way: The Best Time To Go

The Wicklow Way can be wet and windy throughout the year. To enjoy better weather conditions, it is recommended to go between April and September. During this time, you will have a higher chance of enjoying clear skies and less rainfall.

However, keep in mind that the mountainous landscape of Wicklow often experiences unpredictable weather changes, with four seasons in one day. But don’t let this discourage you! With proper planning and suitable clothing, you can still have a fantastic hiking experience along the Wicklow Way.

So grab your gear and get ready to explore this beautiful trail!


In conclusion, exploring the charming towns and villages along the Wicklow Way is a delightful experience. From Bunclody to Enniskerry, these picturesque communities offer history, culture, and warm hospitality to hikers.

Whether you’re discovering Glendalough’s ancient monastery or enjoying scenic views in Roundwood, this beautiful trail has something for everyone. So, lace up your hiking boots and embark on an adventure through the stunning landscapes and welcoming communities of the Wicklow Way!

The Charming Towns And Villages Along The Wicklow Way FAQs

  1. What is the Wicklow Way?

    The Wicklow Way is a trail that starts from Marlay Park in Dublin and stretches to the village of Clonegal. It goes through charming small towns and villages, forests, and mountains.

  2. How can one explore the Powerscourt estate along the Wicklow Way?

    You can walk along sections of the Wicklow Way route to reach Powerscourt Estate, which also includes Ireland’s longest waterfall.

  3. Are there places for rest along the Wicklow Way?

    Yes! Along your journey on this main trail, you’ll find many places to stay near each section of the path, including in Laragh village.

  4. Can I get a map or guide for walking along this trail?

    Sure! You may buy an Ordnance Survey Ireland map or use a Wicklow Way Map Guide at any Trailhead shop located around Dublin’s outskirts.

  5. What is special about exploring small towns like Shillelagh?

    When you walk down trails starting south of Dublin with breathtaking views towards small towns like Shillelagh, you will experience parts of Ireland rich in history and natural beauty.

  6. Do I need a car to explore these locations?

    Not needed! Many locations are reachable by foot when walking on sections of The South Leinster Way or West-Wicklow paths under the Republic Of Ireland’s first such route since opening in 1980.

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