If you put France or Netherlands in your list of places that you must visit before you die, then you should put Ireland in as well. This country is just as beautiful as the other two, if not more. Why? Well, for starters, some of the world’s most breathtaking sceneries are found here. Second, other than beautiful landscapes, the people of Ireland are known for being among the friendliest people in the world! There is one town in Ireland that has both, and that is Wicklow. Here, you will find scenic topography, pristine beaches, miles and miles of mountains, and numerous historical landmarks. Read on to discover the best things to do in Wicklow, Ireland.
1. Go golfing at Wicklow Golf Club
Ireland surprisingly has one of the highest number of golf clubs per capita in the world, and of all the places in the country, there is one town that has a high centralization of golf clubs: Wicklow. Among local golfers, Wicklow Golf Club is quite well-known for being a welcoming club with a lively clubhouse and beautiful scenery. Their course is not your regular golf course, as it is a physically demanding one, with numerous blind shots. This club, founded in 1904, provides an exciting game for golfers of all levels. The combination of premier golf experience, magnificent sea views, and world-class club facilities easily make it stand out from other courses.
Wicklow Golf Club
Address: Dunbur Rd, Corporation Lands, Wicklow, Ireland
Website: Wicklow Golf Club
Opening hours: 10am - 11pm (daily)
2. Hike the Wicklow Way
The Wicklow Way is an 82-mile (131.96 km) trail built back in 1980. To give you an idea of how far that is, the path is stretched all the way from the capital of Ireland until the summit of Wicklow. The best time to hike here is April to September because many restaurants and hotels may not be in operation during winter. Most tourists love to crowd the area around the site of Glendalough. Please be informed that camping is prohibited within Wicklow National Park. Nevertheless, if you still want to camp, it is best that you ask for permission from the landowners to avoid any conflict. As this is a mountainous region located in a rural area, accommodation options are limited to small hotels and hostels which might be fully booked during the hiking season. So, be sure to book ahead of your trip.
The Wicklow Way
Website: The Wicklow Way
3. Take a tour of Wicklow's Historic Gaol
Want to know what it feels like to be a prisoner in the 18th century? Wicklow’s Historic Gaol offers the experience you’re looking for. It is a real prison building turned into a jail museum, offering visitors a look at the life of inmates during that time. You can learn about the history of the jail along with stories about its most notorious prisoners, including the people who participated in the 1798 Irish Rebellion. There are two types of tours are available: day and night. Take the day tour to learn about the general history of the prison and then at the end of the tour drink a pint of high-quality local beer at a nearby pub. The night tour is only for the brave ones, where you will experience the chilling atmosphere of Wicklow Gaol when the sun is down. Some even say they’ve witnessed apparitions!
Wicklow's Historic Gaol
Address: 1 Kilmantin Hill, Corporation Lands, Wicklow, A67 Y337, Ireland
Website: Wicklow’s Historic Gaol
Opening hours: 10:30am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: from 16 USD
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4. Check out Black Castle Wicklow
The story of the castle begins around AD 795 to 834, when the Vikings began an operation to build a castle in an attempt to strengthen their dynasty. That castle, now known as Black Castle, is still as impressive today as it was when it was built 800 years ago. You can circle the area or simply stand outside and admire the beauty of the ruins. After you are done walking around, book a table at the nearest restaurant - a great way to finish off your sightseeing.
Black Castle Wicklow
Address: S Quay, Corporation Lands, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
5. Go sightseeing at Abbey Grounds
Filled with preserved monastic ruins, Abbey Grounds is a site famous for its mysterious charm and the important role it played in the history of Wicklow. During Christmas, you can enjoy the Wicklow Christmas Market that is held in this area. Expect an abundance of Christmas-themed items here. If you’re in town during Christmas, make sure to come here to buy or browse. Offers include home decorations, handmade goods, and other miscellaneous items.
Address: Abbey Grounds, Abbey St, Wicklow, Ireland
6. Admire the Halpin Trail
Did you know that one of the most prominent figures in the development of international telecoms came from Wicklow? His achievement is so well-known among people of this town that they built a landmark dedicated to him. The Halpin Trail is devoted to the life of Robert Charles Halpin, a renowned mariner from the 19th century who was also an inventor of submarine telecoms. This attraction memorializes his life journey and his achievements. A place here called “Memory Lane” features some important places in Halpin’s life, such as Leitrim Place, the Bridge Tavern, Tinakilly House, and Halpin’s Memorial at Fitzwilliam Square.
The Halpin Trail
Address: Wicklow Town, the Halpin Trail - Cpt Robert Halpin, Wicklow, Leinster, Ireland
7. Take a walk around the Murrough
Though the Murrough may sound like the name of some indie band from the 2000s, it is actually a water-covered region situated near the coast of Wicklow, stretching as far as 9.3 miles (15 kilometers). If that sounds vast to you, that’s because it is the largest wetland area on the east coast of Ireland. The Murrough also plays an important role in protecting the local wildlife with its rich, natural ecosystem. Within the area, there are other beautiful places that are worth a visit, especially if you have a keen interest in wildlife. What can you do here? Well, most people love to take a stroll on the grassy trail beside the sea, enjoy the beautiful view, and simply relax.
8. Explore Wicklow Coast
No other place in the world can offer you over 37.2 miles (60 kilometers) of magnificent ocean scenery except the coastline of Wicklow. This natural wonder stores animal fossils from pelagic birds, fishes, and plants. As one explores the coast, one will find that it has some very beautiful beaches, most noticeably at Brittas Bay. The area is great for sunbathing, running, and recreation.
Wicklow’s main attractions are undoubtedly its stunning sceneries and rich history. If you love countries with breathtaking landscapes, unspoiled open spaces, friendly locals, and vibrant culture, then Wicklow is the place for you. Hopefully, you found the aforementioned activities fascinating, thus prompting you to visit this enthralling town in Ireland.
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