Glendalough Valley in County Wicklow is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, world-renowned for its historic sites. Glendalough means the valley of two lakes.
St Kevin identified this glacial valley as a special place, both serene and beautiful, to retreat from the world back in the late 6th or early 7th century. The Monastic city that began its life back then still stands and the round tower is recognised the world over. Glendalough offers a variety of walking trails, including the popular Minors Walk and Spinc.
The Glendalough Hotel is surrounded by the valley and is located next to the Monastic City. There are walks and hikes for all abilities all around the hotel and they vary from strolls surrounded by the beautiful mountains and lakes of Glendalough to the more challenging hikes where you climb up to see new perspectives on this Glacial valley.
The Green Walk
The green walk is a 3 km loop that can start from the visitor centre next to the hotel and continues along the oak woodland trails past the upper lake and then across the wetland’s boardwalk. You may spot lizards lazing in the sun or dragonflies busy hunting insects when you walk along the boardwalk. Did you know that dragonflies can fly backward? This is a flat stroll that takes in some of the most beautiful sites and is easily accessed from the hotel with no need for transport. This walk is graded as easy.
The Miner’s Walk
The Miner’s Walk is a gentle 5.4km loop that takes you around the Upper Lake. It’s a perfect walk for families with children or those looking for an easy stroll. The walk begins along a sandy trail along the side of the lake with beautiful scenes and Scott’s pines overhead. Halfway along the trail, the cave known as St Kevin’s Bed can be seen across the lake. There is plenty of wildlife that may be seen along the way with feral Goats, and native Deer, and if you are lucky, you may spot some red squirrels in the trees near the lakes and occasionally Peregrine Falcons in the air above you. This is a beautiful walk with stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
The Spinc Trail
For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Spinc trail is a must-do. This 9km loop takes you up to the top of Spinc Ridge, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the valley below. The trail is steep in parts, but the scenery is well worth the effort. Spinc means pointed hill in Irish which tells you a little about the topography of this hike. The view along the valley is different in all seasons and so hikers never grow tired of this walk. There are some beautiful images online of the views from the ridge looking back into the valley. A lot of walkers prefer to do this clockwise, but you can go either way.
This is just a selection of walks available for our guests to experience the beauty of Glendalough and get some fresh air and exercise. Just be sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water and snacks. So, whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, Glendalough has something for everyone.
Visit Wicklow is a website full of tips and information about walks in Wicklow, to find out more follow the link below. https://visitwicklow.ie/wicklow-walks/