Ireland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. If you have any doubts, visit Wicklow Mountains National Park to see it for yourself.
How to Visit Wicklow Mountains National Park
Located about one hour away from Dublin, Wicklow Mountains National Park is the largest national park in Ireland. It was established in 1991. However, people could visit Wicklow Mountains National Park way before it received its official status. The impressive 200 square kilometers of the park encompasses mountains, beaches, and historical sites. Moreover, a visit to Wicklow Mountains National Park guarantees some of Irelands’ most beautiful landscapes including the highest waterfall. No wonder, the places is known as the Garden of Ireland.
Visit Wicklow Mountains National Park
Anybody can visit Wicklow Mountains National Park. There is no entrance fee whatsoever. However, make sure to bring cash as there’re no free parking lots.
Driving is the best way to access the park and explore it at your pace. Your second best option is booking a tours. You can find ample tours from Dublin to Wicklow Mountains National Park and its surrounding areas. However, both of these ways have their advantages and disadvantages. Even such a convenient option to visit Wicklow Mountains National Park as driving your own or rented vehicle becomes very inconvenient on narrow country roads of Ireland. You can read more about it here.
While you can visit Wicklow Mountains National Park anytime of the year, solo or as a member of a guided tour, the area is mostly remote. Nevertheless, it doesn’t prevent you from enjoying the beauty of the park from the window of your car or bus. Experienced hillwalkers with proper equipment often prefer to take the most out of their visit to Wicklow Mountains National Park.
The Great Military Road
Until 1800, any visit to Wicklow Mountains National Park was almost impossible. The territory was too remote and difficult to access for anybody but locals. The mountains dwellers used this inaccessibility to their advantage during the 1798 Rebellion. In order to reduce the rebels’ ability to move unseen, British Colonel John Skerrett suggested building a military road across the mountains.
The contractions took eight years and turned out to be a very expensive project. Other than soldiers nobody got involved into the building process. In fact, after the completion of the road in 1809, the locals left the nearby areas. The easy and convent access made land valuable and contributed to increase in rent prices.
The Great Military Road covers 48 kilometers (36 miles) and is still one of the easiest ways to visit Wicklow Mountains National Park. The route runs from to Rathfarnham to Aughavannagh and includes such popular destinations as Glenmacnass Waterfall and Laragh.
Things to Do during Your Visit to Wicklow Mountains National Park
Glendalough is one of the most popular destinations in Wicklow Mountains National Park. This scenic valley is located near Laragh village. The main features of the area are Glendalough Monastic Site and two pictures lakes nearby.
Explore the Wicklow Gap
The Wicklow Gap is one of the highest mountain passes in Ireland. It’s also one of the most important regional routes. The visitors of Wicklow Mountain National Park favor it for its beautiful scenery and panoramic views.
Find Powerscourt Waterfall
Wicklow Mountains National Park is home to the highest waterfall in the country. 121-meter high Powerscourt Waterfall is located at the base of the Glensoulan Valley.
The Saint Kevin’s Way
The Saint Kevin’s Way is a 30-kilometer (19-mile) pilgrim path, following in the footsteps of Saint Kevin. It begins in the village of Hollywood, crossed the Wicklow Gap, and reaches Glendalough Monastic Site.
Hike the Wicklow Way
The most experienced hikers embark of a 7-day journey via the Wicklow Way during their visit to Wicklow Mountains National Park. This 131-kilometer (81-mile) long-distance trail runs across the mountains and offers some of the best views.