Outdoor Articles and Reviews

24 Hours in the Wicklow Mountains

A quick dash to Dublin on the plane and an hour’s drive south will bring you to the Wicklow mountains. I set off on a friday night after work, sunk a few pints of Guinness, hiked all day Saturday, and was back in time for Sunday dinner. Here’s a few of the pictures I took during my time in these fine hills.

Ascending Lugnaquilla

The Wicklow mountains make up the largest expanse of moors and uplands in Ireland, its highest point is Lugnaquilla standing at 925m, which although tall still falls short of those in County Kerry. It takes just over an hour to drive out from Dublin to the base of Lugnaquilla, if you take the scenic route, which will reward you with views of vast bleak moors for sure, on a good day views of the Irish Sea, and if you keep your eyes peeled, the odd christmas tree dressed up with tinsel and baubles - no I’m not joking!

Nice looking cairn at the summit of Cloghernagh

In just a few hours of walking we were treated with sun, bitter wind, sleet, hail, and rain. Fortunately we were prepared and didn’t suffer too much.

The top of Lugnaquilla, the tallest mountain in the Wicklow’s, standing at 925m

The summit of Lugnaquilla, which translates to ‘hollow of the wood’, consists of a wide plateau. The ascent is mostly very gentle and we were surprised at how quickly we summited the mountain. There are steep faces on either side named ‘north prison’ and ‘south prison’.

I’d quite like to move here

We took a circular route which began in Glenmalur where there is a car park just south of the Glenmlure Hostel. The ascent begins on a wide forestry road but quickly turns into an easy scramble up 100 metre or so, which really was the only the challenging section of the walk, but certainly nothing to worry about. From then it’s just a matter of keeping on the path and not getting caught out but sphagnum bogs - something Harvey learned a lot about in Dartmoor.

Just one of the many beautiful spots Ireland treated us to

From the summit of Lugnaquilla we descended via Cloghernagh, the location of the cairn pictured earlier. From there it’s an easy descent back down to the road and walk back to the car park. The whole hike took us about 5 hours, which was taking at a gentle pace and the total length is roughly 10 miles, making this an easy hike that more or less anyone could enjoy.

Approaching inclement weather

Some more pics from my trip: