Glendalough is at the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East and there is so much for everyone to do – Scenic Drives, Walks and Hikes for all abilities, Adventure activities, Historical sites, World-Class Gardens, you name it and we’ll probably be able to find it somewhere nearby.
The world famous round tower is one of the most enduring images of County Wicklow. The Glendalough Hotel offers superb views of the tower. The ancient gateway, one of the oldest known in Europe is steps away from the hotel. This is a truly beautiful location steeped history where you can really feel Ancient Ireland calling to you.
The english name Glendalough comes from the Irish Gleann Dá Locha which translates to “The valley of the two lakes”.
It was here that St. Kevin founded a monastery in the sixth century. From this beginning the site grew to become famous as a centre of learning throughout Europe. Indeed, Ireland was known as the “Island of Saints and Scholars”. Standing amid the remains of this monastic settlement, one can feel a powerful sense of peace and tranquility.
The settlement continued to expand for 600 years and was destroyed in 1398. The buildings which you see today survive date from the 8th and 12th centuries. The most famous is, of course, the round tower which is 34m high and 16m in circumference at the base. A cathedral, stone churches and decorated crosses have also survived. You can explore all of these sites from the hotel on foot.
The Glendalough Visitor Centre
If you visit today, there is a visitor’s centre which is located adjacent to The Glendalough Hotel. It houses a very comprehensive exhibition on Glendalough detailing the history, archaeology, wildlife and much more. A video will show the many attractions in the area. You can then head out on your own to explore the monastic site, walk along the shores of the lakes, take the high road along the forest trails or alternatively there is a guided ecological tour of the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
The visitor Centre has guides to the many walks in Glendalough, you can follow the link here to download one of their Maps
The Wicklow Gap and Sally Gap will take your breath away, every day they have something new to offer, enjoy the narrow sweeping roads that present a new scene at every turn. Ireland’s Ancient East has some routes which you can access via the link below
Gardens in the “Garden of Ireland”
National Botanical Gardens Kilmaccurragh