I have spent many great days out at Glendalough and walking in the surrounding hills. Glendalough is about one hour by bus or car from Dublin. There are a couple of different routes to get here – see the Glendalough tours page for directions.
Glendalough has become famous in part to St Kevin, however it would not be visited so much without the beauty and charm of the valley, the two lakes, and the walking trails that lead into the Wicklow Hills from here.
On your first visit to Glendalough the visitors centre is the best place to start, unless you are only here for the hill walking. You can buy various information on the centre and area here – additionally they have walking maps. (only 50c last time I checked)
The visitors centre is located at the start of the valley, behind the centre are the monuments, graveyard, and the trails into the hills. There are two car parks, one at the visitors centre, the other just past the centre.
We have pages on the history of Glendalough, two pages on the monuments that still remain. Monument that you can easily visit and walk through. The most famous of these of course being the round tower.
The Glendalough walking routes that we have listed from here are all way marked and graded easy. They range from the short few kilometers to about 14km. None are across boggy land where you walk in the peat, always a problem in the Wicklow mountains. All the routes where they do cross any bog or peat have boardwalks to walk along.
If you are going walking on your own make sure you know where you are going and you have some experience of hill walking. As I have said the routes are all easy however on the spink at the top fog can make the route somewhat dangerous – though due to the wind in Ireland, (an almost constant feature), the fog is rare.
Take your camera. For a place so close to a capital city the scenery is tremendous, and like most visitors you will likely have some great photos to take home with you. I have listed about three hundred photos taken at various times over the last ten years.
Please leave Glendalough as you find it. Take you rubbish back to either of the main car parks where there are many bins.