Wicklow County

1. Glendalough:

Known as the “Valley of the Two Lakes,” this monastic site was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Set in a glacial valley, Glendalough is one of Ireland’s most important early Christian sites, featuring extensive ruins including a well-preserved round tower, ancient stone churches, and decorated crosses. It’s also the gateway to numerous scenic walks that traverse the wood-clad slopes of the Wicklow Mountains.

2. Powerscourt Estate:

Situated near Enniskerry, Powerscourt is famous for its beautifully landscaped gardens, extensive grounds, and a stunning 18th-century mansion. The gardens, a fusion of formal layouts, sweeping terraces, and ornamental lakes, boast over 200 varieties of trees and shrubs and are ranked among the world’s best. The estate also includes a golf course, a luxury hotel, and the nearby Powerscourt Waterfall, Ireland’s highest waterfall.

3. Wicklow Mountains National Park:

Encompassing a large part of the county, this national park offers a natural retreat with its vast upland habitat, home to abundant wildlife and popular for outdoor recreation. Rugged mountains, tranquil lakes, and dense forests can be explored via a network of trails, including the famous Wicklow Way.

4. Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk:

This coastal trail offers breathtaking views of the Irish Sea and Wicklow’s rugged coastline. Starting from the seaside town of Bray and ending in Greystones, this moderate walk is accessible to all ages and provides numerous opportunities to observe marine wildlife.

5. Avondale House and Forest Park:

The birthplace of Charles Stewart Parnell, one of Ireland’s most significant 19th-century political figures, Avondale House is set within a splendid forest park. The house is now a museum detailing the life of Parnell and his family, surrounded by extensive woodlands with numerous walking trails.

6. Russborough House:

Near Blessington, this Palladian mansion houses an impressive art collection, including works by Goya and Vermeer. Russborough is not just a historical site but also a vibrant cultural venue with a maze, a bird of prey center, and interactive exhibitions, making it ideal for a family outing.

7. Mount Usher Gardens:

In Ashford, these gardens are celebrated for their naturalistic design and ecological ethos. Inspired by the work of William Robinson, Mount Usher Gardens lie along the banks of the River Vartry and offer a serene setting to enjoy a diverse array of plant species.

8. Kilruddery House and Gardens:

On the outskirts of Bray, Kilruddery House has been the seat of the Brabazon family since the 17th century. The estate is noted for its historic gardens, large orangery, and an active calendar of events, including markets and outdoor cinema nights.

These attractions in County Wicklow not only showcase the diversity of experiences available—from ancient history and splendid natural settings to engaging in Ireland’s cultural traditions—but also make it a compelling destination for any traveler exploring Ireland.