A detailed suggested tour of the Wicklow Mountains, passing the Calary Bog, Roundstone, Glendalough, along the Military Road, and past Glencree. Includes driving directions.
This tour will take you from Dublin city out to the Wicklow Mountains over bog roads, through valleys, and through mountain gaps. This is a good introduction to County Wicklow’s landscapes and splendour.
Begin your drive wherever you are based and make for the N11, the main road from Dublin to Wexford. About 7Km (4.3mi) past Bray you will reach Kilmacanogue (pronounced “kill mackanig”). Turn right off the N11 onto the R755. Continue along this and take a left for Roundwood through the Calary Bog and past the Great Sugar Loaf mountain. Good views on your right.
When you’re near Roundwood you will pass over the Roundwood Reservoir. On Sundays this village has a good cake sale in the Church Hall. From Roundwood continue along the R755 for Laragh and then take the R756 to Glendalough.
Glendalough: “The Glen of the Two Lakes” – A must in any visitors itinerary. This early Christian settlement, founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century, in this beautiful valley is one of the most important of such sites in Ireland. In spite of raids by the Vikings and centuries of neglect, the monastery, with its simple and austere buildings (notably the round tower and stone churches), remains in an impressive state of preservation. It was of immense importance to Ireland’s religious beliefs but its importance dwindled after being overrun by the English in 1398. After you visit make your way back to Laragh for a snack and take the R115 (The Military Road).
The Military Road
Constructed by the English around 1800 to eliminate the Irish rebels from the 1798 rebellion this thin winding road that passes through the hills, glens and boglands of the area provides some of the best views of this breathtaking scenery. The barren mountains and moorland is spectacular in any weather. On your way you will come across the Glenmacnass waterfall. Continue along it to Glencree, where on the way you will pass two beautiful mountain lakes called Lough Bray Upper and Lough Bray Lower.
Here is the Glencree Centre for reconciliation. Also in Glencree is the German War Cemetary where German military personnel from the two world wars are buried. The setting is one of and tranquility by a peaceful stream. From Glencree head towards Enniskerry.
Here in this picturesque village we end our tour. Have a drink in one of the pubs (not the driver, of course!) and admire the setting. To get back to the N11, take the R117 to Bray, then the N11 back to Dublin.