Glendalough – is located in the National Park of Wicklow, which is known as the “Garden of Ireland” and is known throughout the world because of its picturesque beauty with a variety of walking routes – from short for families with small children to wild mountain climbing.
County Wicklow itself is located south of Dublin and the park covers about 90,000 hectares.
I went to probably the most famous Glendalough valley – there are nine very well marked trails (white, purple, silver, red, blue, pink, orange, brown and green) with different lengths ranging from 1km to 11km.
On this January frosty morning (0⁰) I chose the white trail, which is a loop of about 10 km, which takes 3 to 4 hours and leads through one of the most spectacular landscapes in County Wicklow.
The trail starts with a steep climb under the Poulanass waterfall and then joins the promenade that leads you to 600 wooden steps (the heaviest piece of the route), but the prize was worth the effort because from the top of Spinc Ridge there is a breath-taking view of the Upper Lake.
The descent from the summit is partly on wooden foundations and partly a stony path that will take you to the old, abandoned miners’ settlement in the Glendalough valley.
Mining in this valley dates back to 1790, when lead, zinc and silver mining was started there, mining lasted for over 150 years and ended in 1957, at the peak of production there were 200 miners employed there.
The route ends with a walking path along the lake.