Yesterday was a beautiful day, sunny and warm which was luckily a good day to choose for a hike. I hopped in the car and drove to Glendalough, a place I hadn't been since a primary school trip years back. It is one of the most visited places by tourists in Ireland and you can see why, once you start driving in the direction or Roundwood and Glendalough. It has so much ancient history and plenty of round towers and old monasteries to be seen during the hikes or just when walking around.
When I arrived I parked at the vistor centre which is a 1.6km walk away from the information office where the treks start but it is free and well, what's an extra few kms! It was a lovely day so I set off down the boardwalk and having chose the 'white route' or the 'Spinc and Glenealo Valley route', I followed the white arrows. The great thing about the park is that all the trails are well marked and there's no hope of you getting lost if you follow them and doesn't wander off on the unmarked trails. There were plenty of people to make you feel safe when hiking alone there but not too many to make it feel crowded.
I chose this hike because it was 9kms and would take 3 hours to complete and it boasted the best scenery in the Wicklow mountains. I would love to have time to have done the full 129km Wicklow way starting in Wicklow and ending in Carlow, if I had the time, but this was a good hike to pick! The trail led up 600 odd steps that led up to the too of the mountain giving you that big blast of fresh mountain top air just at the right moment when you think you're about to die... Well not that extreme but it's tough! When you're up there, the boardwalk style tail leads all the way up and around the hills looking over the upper lake and surrounding valleys. It carries on down the mountain towards some rocky terrain and beautiful small flowing waterfalls. This is a great spot to stop for a snack or lunch if you haven't already done so.
The trail then continues down on the rocky scree like surface so be careful and watch your step. There are so many great photo opportunities along the whole trail so don't forget your selfie stick or just your phone timer if you're hiking by yourself- like i use! The end of the trail brings you along the lakeside on the level of it giving you a different perspective and leads you though a beautiful enchanted forest, feeling very Canadian like! I almost expected a bear to pop out of the surrounding woods. It ends at the information office and you just carry on 1.6km back to the visitor centre car park.
Everything is free and there are plenty of places to chill and relax along the hike or even after it on the open grassy areas. The vistors centre can be entered for a small fee and provides lots of historical information about the area. There are some old ruins to pass on the White trail too so you will see some cool things like monasteries and round towers along the way so keep your eyes open! There are also many options for other longer or shorter hikes or even just for an easy stroll.
Go for it! Below are some websites with more information on walking trails and information on Ireland in general.