County Wicklow located on the beautiful southeast coast offers visitors one of the most authentic experiences in Ireland, famously called the ‘Garden of Ireland’ due to its unmatchable beauty that’s unlike anywhere else.
Wicklow is the perfect Irish escape, where you’ll be surrounded by dramatic mountain tops, sweeping valleys and stunning landscape that is filled with every changing shades of the colour green.
There is so much to love and appreciated about the magical County Wicklow with some very famous attractions to check out. So keep reading to find out more on what Wicklow can offer you on your next trip there.
A Visit to County Wicklow Awaits
Wicklow is located within Ireland’s Ancient East, a land that is filled with a lush history that goes back many centuries. An area that is famous for its remarkable landscape that’s brought alive by ancient stories of Ireland.
Wicklow Mountains National Park
County Wicklow is home to much of the Leinster mountain range, but its most notable feature is, of course, the Wicklow Mountains. Anyone making a visit to Country Wicklow must not pass up a trip to the Wicklow Mountains National Park. After all, Wicklow is celebrated as a ‘walkers paradise’ and you’ll be met with many glorious views within the Wicklow Mountains.
The place is a natural wonderland, every corner or trail you take in the Wicklow Mountains National Park will lead you to views of the unspoilt Irish scenery filled with glacial valleys, unique viewpoints across hills tops and windswept heaths. You’ll want to have a camera handy to capture the beauty that surrounds you, as there is plenty to soak up.
History of the Wicklow Mountains
Over one million people visit the Wicklow Mountains National Park each year to uncover the landscape and biodiversity in the area. A place that is also matched with a rich history which as first glance you would think differently due to its 20,000 hectares of natural undisturbed habitat.
But it is steeped in history all around, although the park was first established in 1991, it goes back many centuries, originally covered with overpowering forests. However, it was the work of Neolithic farmers who cleared up the forest with stone axes that eventually led to the development of the popular blanket bog seen on the hilltops today.
In the 6th century, St.Kevin created a monastic settlement in the nearby Glendalough, for 600 years it flourished in County Wicklow. To this day you can view the remains of a few churches and crosses at Glendalough that offer you a glimpse into Ancient Ireland.
When the 1789 rebellion was taking place in Ireland, the Wicklow Mountains provided the perfect place for rebel troops to hide out. During that time period, the ‘Great Military Road’ was created to allow easier access. Even today it’s a popular route offering captivating scenic views for visitors as they drive across.
There is also a remarkable mining history within the Wicklow Mountains that lasted for 150 years. County Wicklow has one of the most large scale mining heritage in all of Ireland.
A World Away at Silver Strand Beach
Many of the best attractions in County Wicklow are its natural landscapes and scenery that will capture your heart. The delightful hidden gem of Silver Strand Beach is no different, hidden away in the Silver Strand Campsite just outside Wicklow Town.
A private beach where you can totally escape from the modern world; your own little paradise in Ireland as you walk along its wide-open stretches of sandy beach. When the Irish weather is at is best you can go for a swim and explore the small caves and covers nearby.
The Magnificent Powerscourt Waterfall
Now a trip to County Wicklow wouldn’t be special without visiting Ireland’s most beautiful and highest waterfall, that of course, is the Powerscourt Waterfall. A totally awe-inspiring natural attraction that you won’t come across anywhere else. While you take in the beauty of the waterfall, you may also see some unique wildlife in the area. The place is known to be a popular haven for wildlife such as deers and birds.
Powerscourt Waterfall as long been the perfect spot for family picnics and visitors to enjoy barbecues in the summer months. Its also surrounded by the enchanting Powerscourt House and Gardens, home to many of the famous walking trails County Wicklow is known for.
Not forgetting the unique gardens on display that were once voted as the No.3 in the Worlds Top Ten Gardens by National Geographic.
The beautiful gardens filled with unique styles that include colourful displays, sweeping terraces, statues, secret areas and more help County Wicklow to live up to its name as the ‘Garden of Ireland’. Magnificent Irish gardens that date back to over 200 years that were created to reflect the wider landscape of Wicklow.
County Wicklows Historic Gaol
Take a step into a powerful part of history at the Wicklow Gaol, as you get the unique opportunity to experience what life was like in prison during the 18th century in Ireland. Although it’s no longer a working jail, it has been turned into a successful jail museum that includes an informative and interactive tour.
The experienced guides will help to bring to life Wicklow’s historic Gaol through prisoner stories that allow you to get an idea of the harsh reality they faced. A fascinating tour awaits you at Wicklow Gaol where ghostly stories will also be revealed.
County Wicklow is home to a lovely Irish town that shares the same name ‘Wicklow’ and is a must visit when there. Wicklow Town offers visitors a very traditional Irish town, with a small population of just around 10,000 people living there. You’ll soon become friends with the locals and enjoy the relaxing environment that the town offers compared to big Irish cities like Dublin.
There are a few great places to eat and drink in Wicklow Town to complete your trip such as Fitzpatrick Pub; a firm favourite with the locals. Fitzpatrick Pub is perfect for some pub grub that features a nice beer garden. Also, you must not pass by the awarding winning Halpin’s Bridge Cafe to enjoy some of its amazing and delicious treats.
Get Planning Your Trip County Wicklow
Hope this guide has helped capture the true essence of County Wicklow that will make you want to visit. The renown ‘Garden of Ireland’ will not let you down, Wicklow is a place to find authentic Irish beauty.
Have you ever been to County Wicklow? Or is it on your Irish bucket list of places to visit? Share with ConnollyCove in the comments below.
The Devil’s Glen is one of the county’s hiking pathways that’s the perfect spot to get your steps in! Not to mention County Wicklow was an important step in the learning journey of Irish chef Darina Allen!