The Mesmerizing Wicklow National Park, County Wicklow, Ireland

Wicklow National Park

Updated On: April 15, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

Next on your County Wicklow adventures is to visit the Wicklow National Park, just south of Ireland’s capital city Dublin. The Wicklow National Park is most known for being one of the largest national parks in Ireland. Much of the area extends over the Wicklow Mountains with the true Irish beauty surrounding you.

The Wicklow National Park covers nearly 50,000 acres of land and is one of 6 national parks in the country. The park includes scenic views of the natural Wicklow landscape with wild bogland, meadows, lakes and enchanting forests that makes it feel and look like some straight out of a fairytale. It’s pretty magical, to say the least, and well worth visiting.

The concept of establishing the park was primarily proposed in 1988 and three years later the park was officially opened. The National Parks and Wildlife Service is in charge of the park, under the Department of Art, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

The whole aim of the Wicklow National Park is to help conserve the areas biodiversity and unique landscape. It has also become a much loved and important recreational space for both the Wicklow locals and tourists, with a variety of activities on offer such as walking, water sports, horse riding and many more.

The three most popular way to discover and explore the Wicklow National Park is by visiting Glendalough or taking the incredibly scenic drive through the mountains or going on a hike within its remote locations but this last one, of course, requires you to have experience with hiking.

See the Wicklow National Park through Glendalough

The Glendalough is a stunning valley that’s located near Laragh village and one of the best was to experience the Wicklow Park area. Glendalough is surrounded by many famous and historic sites, with great walking trails and of course the Wicklow wildlife and nature to appreciate.

These historic sites include the ruins of an early Christian Settlement often referred to as the Monastic City that was founded by St. Kevin. This Irish saint is known to be the founder and first abbot of Glendalough, he is celebrated on June 3rd of each year.

The Monastic City built founded by the saint is a significant landmark in Ireland with its unique structure and architecture. Once mainly comprised of two stories with two fine granite arches. 

There’s a cross-inscribed stone in the west wall inside the gateway. Even though the paving of the causeway is still partially preserved, nothing much remains of the enclosure wall of the city. Around the valley, you’ll find nine marked way trails that will take you through the park.

The Glendalough Valley is known for the variety of wildlife you might meet such as deers and goats as well as red squirrels, badgers, ravens and many more on any given trip here

If you feel like you are experienced enough to hill walk around the national park then you should definitely do so, to appreciate the area and what it has to offer.

If you wish to see the best of the Wicklow Mountains then take the 81 mile Wicklow Way trail which would take you around one week to complete, if you had the time and dedication to do so, it’s very worth it.

Wicklow’s National Park is where beauty and history combine to create this magnificent landscape that is just waiting for you to explore it.

Wicklow National Park is one of the most relaxing attractions in County Wicklow. Have you ever been? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

More related blogs you might enjoy:

Incredible Victors Way Indian Sculpture | Wicklow Town: The Heart of County Wicklow, Ireland | Kilmacurragh National Botanic Gardens | Russborough House, Blessington Lake, County Wicklow

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