Dublin & The Wicklow Way Escape5 Days & 4 Nights
- Combine the cheerful city of Dublin with hikes in the remote Wicklow Mountains
- Lough Tay, "The Guinness Lake", and the Luggala Valley
- Hike across the exposed shoulder of Djouce Mountain and White Hill
- Glendalough, one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland
- Spend the night in a cosy B&B in the heart of the Glenmalure Valley
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.
Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
This trip is suitable for:
Solo Travelers, Multi-Generational
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- National Parks & Trails
Activity Level & Terrain
This walk is graded moderate and includes daily of walks of between 12-21km following footpaths and some road walking and several ascents and descents along the way. You should have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this tour.
The Wicklow Way is well waymarked however you will also be supplied with the Rucksack Readers guidebook and detailled maps so you will have no problem following the route each day.
We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses, and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, offering traditional Irish hospitality and delicious local food.
We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in the itinerary, but because of limited availability, we may have to accommodate you at an alternative location. Alternative details will be noted on your accommodation sheet.
We will be happy to accommodate your party with single rooms if requested. This trip is also available to solo walkers.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs or restaurants.
- Accommodation in hand-picked B&B's, Guest Houses and small hotels
- Door-to-door baggage transfers
- Transfers as detailed in the standard itinerary
- A detailed information pack and route notes
- Access to the Macs Adventure smartphone app
- 24/7 Emergency telephone support
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance
- Personal Equipment
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.
- Extra nights before, during or after your walk
When To Go
This walking holiday is best enjoyed between mid-March and mid-October. You can start on any date that suits your travel plans, and you will find up to date availability on our website. The Wicklow Way is popular, so it is best to book as far in advance as you can.
Getting to the Start
Dublin Airport is easily accessible with both international carriers and several low-cost airlines covering the route. From the airport there is a great bus service to Dublin City Centre, departing frequently and taking roughly 20 minutes.
Irish Ferries also operate from Holyhead to Dublin across the Irish Sea (3 hrs, 15 min) there are usually 4 crossings per day.
You will be transferred from your overnight accommodation in Dublin to the start of your walk at Curtlestown Wood on Day 2 of your itinerary (included).
Getting from the End
The nearest railway station to the end of the walk at Glenmalure is Rathdrum (7 miles). The journey from Rathdrum to Dublin Pearse Train Station takes just over an hour (1 hrs, 10 min). There are usually 4 train services per day, it is important to keep this in mind when planning your onward journey. It might be most convenient to get a taxi from your B&B in Glenmalure to Rathdrum Train Station (15 min), phone numbers for local taxi providers will be provided in your trip information pack. A taxi transfer back to Dublin would take roughly 55 minutes. From Dublin, regular buses connect to Dublin Airport for onward travel.
Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a minimum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 20kg).
The distances and ascent / descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants) sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
Our itineraries are graded moderate and are suitable for regular walkers but you must be in good physical health. Most days offer between 6—8 hours of walking on good terrain which may include forest tracks, boardwalks and minor roads. The Way does not go any higher than 630m, so it is comparatively low-level, however, is undulating. Overall, around 25% of the Wicklow Way consists of road walking, but in the southernmost section (past Tinahely) this rises to around 63%.
This route is well way-marked, and much of it does follow a path. It is always advisable that you are know how to navigate with a map and compass although the Way is largely very straightforward to follow, especially with the map book and guidebook we provide. Our guidebook follows the path in a north-south direction.
There will be facilities in each village on the Wicklow Way, with some local dining options for each evening including pubs, lodges and small restaurants! You will also find local shops and cafes in each location and your accommodation may also have a restaurant/ dining options on site.
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Wicklow Way is extremely popular especially over July/August. You will find up to date availability on our website, and we will always try and accommodate your plans.
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.
Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although I believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Dublin
Begin your Irish adventure in Dublin, Ireland’s charismatic capital and an essential part of any visit to the Emerald Isle. The city boasts many landmarks and monuments dating back hundreds of years. Make sure to visit Trinity College, the Book of Kells, the Guinness Factory, and St Stephan's Green.
Settle into your welcoming, hand-picked hotel and head out to explore the Temple Bar District, known as Dublin’s “left bank”. Here you can often listen to live music and order a pint of the 'black stuff' to celebrate the start of your trip.
The Temple Bar Inn is located in the heart of Dublin City, in the busting Temple Bar district. Located a stone’s throw away from all major attractions such as Trinity College, the National Museum of Ireland, Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle. Making this the ideal location for exploring Dublin.
This family-run hotel is located next to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. Each stylish room features an en-suite bathroom, flat-screen TV, modern artwork and designer bed throws. The property has been awarded Eco-Label certification by the Green Hospitality Programme.
Full Irish breakfasts are served at Whitty's Restaurant. For dinner you can enjoy the delicious food at Line Out Bar with a stunning terrace overlooking private gardens.
Albany House is a historic building in the heart of Georgian Dublin. Located just off St Stephen's Green it's a leisurely 5 minute walk to Grafton Street and onto the atmospheric Temple Bar. All rooms are equipped with TV, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryer and free Internet access.
Join the Wicklow Way trail after a transfer from your hotel in Dublin to the start of your walk at Curtlestown Wood (50 min). From here you can see Ireland's highest waterfall (121 meters) at Powerscourt. Walk towards Glencree River and ascend across the shoulder of Djouce Mountain and onto White Hill. Breathe in the fresh mountain breeze and take in views of Dublin Harbour, Great Sugarloaf, and the Luggala Valley.
The trail contours along the exposed slopes of Djouce and passes just below the summit. If you have the energy and the sun’s out, then the guaranteed panoramic views may make a detour to the top irresistible! The path rolls over several hills, with views of lakes and reservoirs in every direction.
The accommodation at Lough Dan house has been developed with walkers in mind. Located 300 metres up in the Wicklow mountains enjoying spectacular views of the surrounding lake and landscape. Laundry and drying facilities are available. Delicious home-cooked meals served each evening at a time to suit you. If required they can also provide trips to a variety of excellent pubs and entertainment in the evenings.
The Coach House Roundwood is in a perfect location for a stop off while walking the Wicklow Way, a fantastic B&B offering live music and always a warm fire burning in the lounge to welcome you in. Food is served from 9am to 9pm, seven days a week and a wide and varied choice is available at a reasonable price. Music is available at weekends where you can relax and soak up the wonderful atmosphere of this ancient, friendly establishment.
Set off on an easier day of walking along quiet roads, forest tracks, and mountain paths in the very heart of the Wicklow uplands and at the intersection of four major glacial valleys: Avonmore, Glenmacnass, Glendasan, and Glendalough. Hike the north-eastern shoulder of Paddock Hill and descend to cross Glenmacnass River. The path to Laragh runs along an old "mass path" which was heavily used by churchgoers and school children before the advent of motor vehicles.
Your friendly B&B or Guest House awaits at Laragh, with the 6th century Monastic City of Glendalough close by. You should have plenty of time to visit this important historic site.
Pinewood Lodge is a spacious modern dormer bungalow, situated in a quiet wooded location on the Wicklow Way in Ireland's Garden County. The amenities of Laragh village are just a few minutes’ walk, while the monastic ruins of Glendalough are situated just over one kilometre away. Packed lunches are available for €6 per person. Please advise in advance if required.
A warm welcome awaits at Lynhams of Laragh Hotel. They have a traditional bar serving delicious food where you can relax and enjoy a drink after a long day walking.
All rooms are en-suite and include tea & coffee facilities, hairdryer, TV, and free Wi-Fi.
Walk across the "Valley of the Saints" then reach the Lugduff Valley where you will pass by the mysterious green waterfall of Poulanass. Continue along the route on a steady uphill section to the shoulder of Mullacor, crossing the saddle on a well-placed boardwalk over boggy ground. With far-reaching panoramic vistas all around, head down into Glenmalure Valley, where you can admire Wicklow’s highest mountain, Lugnaquilla. You will end this walk right in the centre of the remote Glenmalure Valley.
Maura and Mick Heffernan are from families that have lived in the area for generations and have extensive knowledge of the local area and community. The simple yet cosy farmhouse accommodation is situated amid the hills and farmlands of Glenmalure. The name Coolalingo originates from the "Coolalingo Bridge" which is situated along the Wicklow Way.
Situated in Greenane Village, Birchdale House is a spacious modern, warm and friendly home in a beautiful rural setting, with scenic views of the Wicklow Mountains. There are pubs, restaurants and a variety of outdoor activities close by.
Established in 1608, Woodenbridge Hotel in Wicklow is the oldest hotel in Ireland and has 29 well-appointed bedrooms in the main hotel building. Directly across the road lies the Woodenbridge Lodge. It was built in 2004 and sits in beautifully landscaped gardens on the bank of the Aughrim river. The Woodenbridge Lodge has 40 en-suite bedrooms and guests can enjoy the facilities of the Woodenbridge Hotel, but is away from all the hustle and bustle.
After a hearty Irish breakfast, your trip comes to an end. Head to Rathdrum to catch a train to Dublin (1hr, 10min) or arrange a transfer with one of the phone numbers provided in your information pack (50 min). From Dublin, there are regular buses that connect to Dublin Airport.
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