TRAVEL

HIKING GLENDALOUGH | IRELAND

I couldn’t leave Ireland and not visit Glendalough, within Wicklow National Park, about an hour’s drive away from Dublin. Glendalough is what you imagine a place like Ireland to be; lush rolling valleys, stone ruins, mossy forests, and bubbling streams. It’s a gentle hike around the valley, towards the lake and at this time of year, the trees are bursting into different shades of orange and gold.

Glendalough Ireland 11

Glendalough Ireland 2

Glendalough Ireland Monastery

Glendalough Ireland 16

Glendalough Ireland 27

Glendalough Ireland 17

I’ve said it before, but my hardened London eyes love being out here in the countryside! The air feels so clean and fresh, and I took great big gulping breaths of it to clear out the smog and dirt from my insides.

Along the trail, we stopped at the ruins of an old monastery. Ismay’s dad told me that the monks that lived here long ago lived off the land, catching fish from the lake. The Round Tower from the ruin is one of the first things you notice at the start of the trail.

Glendalough Ireland Stream 2

Glendalough Stream Ireland

Bubbling streams straight out of an Enid Blyton book.

As is the theme with most of my trips, I wasn’t dressed properly for a genteel hike around Glendalough. My trainers were fine, but boots would have been better. And it is up cold up here, so wear extra layers and a woolie hat!

Luckily we had packed a picnic, and popping open a hot flask of tea in the brisk chill was heavenly.

Glendalough Ireland Tea cups

Glendalough Ireland 21

Glendalough Ireland Forest

Glendalough Ireland 19

Glendalough Ireland 18

Glendalough Ireland Dog

The locals are friendly, but busy…those sticks don’t move themselves you know!

Halfway through the trail, you’ll arrive at the lake that has amazing views of the valley beyond.

Glendalough Lake Ireland

Glendalough Lake 3 Ireland

Glendalough Ireland Mountain top

Glendalough Ireland 26

Glendalough Lake 4 Ireland

The water is crystal clear and even though the wind was whipping at my hair and gripping me with chill, I had to laugh when I saw some ducks swim by, without a care in the world.

Glendalough Ducks Ireland

Glendalough Lake 6 Ireland

There’s a path leading out from the lake, towards a car park and some food kiosks, but behind it is where the trail picks up again as a boardwalk, to lead you back to the start.

Whereas the walk we had just been on was all lush green forests, springs and moss, this side of the trail was much sunnier and drier- but equally beautiful.

Glendalough Ireland Boardwalk Trail 3

Glendalough Ireland Boardwalk Trail 4

Glendalough Ireland Board Walk 2

The boardwalk overlooks the side of the lake we had just been walking along and catches more of the sun. Trees and foliage are different golden shades of brown and even the wildlife is different…

Glendalough Ireland Board Walk Deer

We were really lucky that to come across a Doe with 2 of her babies just hanging out near the fenced off path.

Glendalough Ireland Boardwalk Trail Deer 6

Glendalough Ireland Boardwalk Trail Deer 3

Glendalough Ireland Boardwalk Trail Deer 5

Glendalough Ireland Boardwalk Trail Deer 4

I took approximately eleventy billion photos of this little deer family.

They weren’t spooked by the humans watching them eat their dinner and they soon ambled off into the next pasture for what I assume must be pudding.

Glendalough Ireland Boardwalk Trail

Glendalough Ireland Boardwalk Trail Gate

Glendalough Ireland Board Walk

By the time we arrived back at our original starting point, I was wrecked.

I swear all that fresh air does something to you! I fell asleep in the car on the home.

There are coaches and tours that will take you to Glendalough from the Dublin city centre, and I can’t stress how gorgeous it is. Definitely one worth booking if you have the time! It’s free to enter and is the perfect place for a picnic.

You Might Also Like

  • Pingback: THE END OF SUMMER | The Awkward Blog()

  • Just came across this researching a road-trip my bf and I are planning around the perimeter of Ireland & NI this summer. It looks gorgeous, I’ll have to pencil it in to my itinerary 🙂

    http://www.rosebudontheroad.com

  • Beautiful photos!

  • Everything is so beautiful and GREEN! Just lovely. I feel like I can see how fresh the air is 😀

    • Argh, I loved it, wish I could just bottle it all up as a tonic! One side was really green and mossy and so ‘Irish’ and on the other side it was all lit up beautifully with golden tones.

  • I have always wanted to go to Ireland. This just convinced me it needs higher priority on my list. Beautiful photos!

    • Thank you! The food is amazing in Ireland too, really fresh. And SO worth booking a tour outside of the city, it’s not actually that far- an hour in the car goes by so quick!

  • It looks really beautiful! I’d love to visit Ireland one day <3

    Gisforgingers xx

  • Kenzie

    This looks so amazing! I love hiking and exploring so I’ll definitely be putting this on my “to go” list for whenever I go to Ireland!
    🙂 xx
    Kenzie
    Behindhazeleyes06.blogspot.com

    • there are lots of day tours you can book yourself on and there’s a harder trail for more seasoned hikers to walk on- we took the nice and easy route!

  • Glendalough looks absolutely gorgeous!! Sounds like you had a wonderful day trip away from city life!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

    • it was stunning and an easy walk- nothing strenuous, except maybe on the eyes trying to photo everything from every angle!