Discovering County Wicklow: A Weekend in Ireland's Enchanting Garden

By Ivan PetrenkoJan 31, 2024 06:11 AMNews
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County Wicklow, the beautiful 'Garden of Ireland'
County Wicklow, the beautiful 'Garden of Ireland'. Source: unsplash

Embark on a captivating journey to County Wicklow, famously known as the 'Garden of Ireland'. This enchanting destination, just south of Dublin, unfolds a landscape rich in rivers, forest pathways, and historic ruins, perfect for a weekend of exploration, adventure, and relaxation.

Day 1: From Seaside Adventures to Mountain Mysteries

Morning: Coastal Charms in Bray Start your day in Bray, a vibrant beach town bordering Dublin. Enjoy sea kayaking with Bray Adventures, where you'll paddle past historical landmarks and rugged sea stacks, home to diverse birdlife. Afterward, indulge in vegan delights at The Happy Pear in nearby Greystones.

Afternoon: Aristocratic Elegance at Powerscourt Post-lunch, visit the majestic Powerscourt House & Gardens in Enniskerry. Explore its 47 acres of landscaped gardens, ornamented with ornamental lakes and classical follies. Don't miss Ireland's highest cascade, Powerscourt Waterfall, just a short drive away.

Evening: A Night Hike through Glendalough Conclude your day with Wild Summits' night hike in Glendalough, nestled in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Traverse the ruins of a historic monastic city, enveloped in a serene atmosphere and rich history, under the guidance of expert hikers.

Day 2: Nature's Bounty and Artistic Splendor

Morning: Foraging with Geraldine Kavanagh Begin day two with Geraldine Kavanagh of Wicklow Wild Foods. Stroll along the Avonmore River, learning about local flora and their culinary uses. After foraging, visit Glendalough Distillery to see Geraldine's botanical contributions in action.

Afternoon: Russborough House and its Artistic Legacy Drive to the 18th-century Russborough House, overlooking the Blessington Lakes. The guided tour showcases exquisite interiors, a collection of tapestries, silverware, and significant art pieces, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the estate.

Evening: Culinary Excellence at Strawberry Tree End your Wicklow journey at the Strawberry Tree restaurant, Ireland’s first certified organic restaurant. Enjoy a seasonally inspired menu, featuring locally sourced and foraged ingredients. Extend your stay at the BrookLodge & Macreddin Village for a truly immersive experience.

Enrich Your Experience with These Activities:

  1. Wicklow Forest Bathing: Engage in the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku in Ballygannon Wood for a therapeutic nature immersion.
  2. Beyond the Trees at Avondale Forest Park: Explore the aerial walkway and learn about forestry in a captivating setting.
  3. National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh: Discover diverse plant species and the historical significance of the gardens.

Meet Wicklow's Wildlife and Swim in Wild Waters:

  • Equine Excursions: Experience the landscape on horseback with Wicklow Equi Tours.
  • Alpaca Adventures: Walk with alpacas at K2Alpacas, including a Prosecco Trek.
  • Falconry Ireland: Dive into the world of falconry and witness majestic birds in action.

Wild Swimming Spots for a Refreshing Dip:

  1. Wicklow Town: Explore the Viking-settled coast and the secluded Travelahawk Beach.
  2. Clara Vale: Enjoy a serene river swim near the old stone bridge.
  3. Brittas Bay: Experience family-friendly bathing at this Blue Flag beach.
  4. Meeting of the Waters: Swim at the iconic convergence of two rivers.
  5. Greystones: Join locals for a dip at The Cove, followed by warm drinks at Rise at the Cove café.

A weekend in County Wicklow offers an array of activities, from historical exploration to nature immersion. Whether it's hiking, foraging, or enjoying the local culinary delights, Wicklow provides a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility.

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