The Wicklow Way, Ireland premier long distance walking route begins in Marlay Park. It was Irelands first long distance way marked trail. It is still the most popular even though there are many more way-marked trails now in Ireland. The route is 132km long, from the start at Marlay Park in the south Dublin suburbs to the finish at Clonegal.
Day 1 of the Wicklow Way is Marley Park to Knockree
I found the first part of the Wicklow Way the hardest, perhaps a combination of the hills and my lack of walking fitness during the start of all my long distance walks. For me it is great to walk away from the city and see it fade away, with all its noise, out of sight and into the Wicklow Mountains.
There are many more way marked walking trails now in Ireland, and this site will slowly expand to give information on them all including: Ballyhoura Way, Barrow Way, Bealach na, Baeltachta Chonamara, Bealach na Gaeltachta Dhun na nGall, Beara Way, Blackwater Way, Dingle Way, East Clare Way, East Munster Way, Grand Canal Way, Kerry Way, Lough Derg Way, Mid Clare Way, Miners’ Way, Royal Canal Way, Sheep’s Head Way, Slieve Bloom Way, South Leinster Way, Suck Valley Way, Western Way.
The Wicklow Way is traditionally walked from north to south, but of course can be walked in either direction. The hardest part of the way is at the beginning going from Co Dublin into Co Wicklow, a good reason to walk from south to north against tradition; walking fitness will have developed before reaching the hilliest part of the way. Another good reason for walking south to north is to avoid walking into the sun most of the day, however walking north to south still prevails.
The effort required on the first part of the Wicklow Way pays off handsomely in terms of scenery. The most dramatic and beautiful part of the route is the first couple of days, after the Dublin and Wicklow mountains the way is mostly over rolling countryside and is fairly easy walking.
Marlay Park is easy to reach from the centre of Dublin. Once out on the Wicklow Way it passes Knockree, near Roundwood, by Old Bridge, through stunning Glendalough, near Laragh, through Glenmalure, near Knockananna, by Moyne, through Tinahely, by Kilquiggin, and close to Shillelagh, Kildavin, Bunclody, and eventually finishing in Clonegal.
If you have five days to spend walking in Ireland you could hardly find a better place to walk. If you don’t have time for the whole route, parts of it can be walked as a day walk.
As usual all mistakes are mine – If you notice any please feel free to mail me – if your site should have a link here also please mail me – and lastly, if you have accommodation for walkers along the route please let me know and I will add your details.