COUNTY WICKLOW - WHY GO?
Dubbed the Garden of Ireland, County Wicklow beckons with rugged hills, regal stately homes and lush gardens. The heather-covered slopes of the Wicklow mountains south of Dublin are criss-crossed with walking trails while the sandy beaches of Arklow and genteel Bray (once home of writer James Joyce) are a draw in summertime.
MUST SEE, MUST DO
Vale of Avoca
Poets have long eulogised about the Vale of Avoca, south of Wicklow, and the village itself – home to Ireland’s oldest hand-weaving mill – was the set of ’90s TV hit show Ballykissangel.
County Wicklow has an abundance of restored stately homes with impressive Italianate grounds. Killruddery House (the film setting of Becoming Jane and My Left Foot) dates back to the 17th century. The finest example is imposing Powerscourt House, set in a 14,000-acre estate by the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain in the pretty village of Enniskerry.
Fishing is big and County Wicklow boasts several world-class golf courses. Best known of these is Druid’s Glen – home to the Irish Open during the ‘90s.
Garden of Ireland
Mount Usher Gardens – a blaze of colour in late spring – are beautifully set off by the river Varty, while Kilmacurragh Arboretum is famous for its conifers and exotic species.
Wicklow town itself has a fascinating old jail and heritage centre. You can also ride or hill walk in the Wicklow Mountains and if you’re missing the bright lights, Dublin is just an hour’s drive away.
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Poetry, theatre, comedy, music and dance are all on stage for the Wicklow Arts Festival.
May – mid August
Visit some of the grand Wicklow estates and gardens not usually open to the public at County Wicklow’s Garden Festival.
COUNTY WICKLOW ROMANCE
Take a romantic stroll together along the nature trail by the rushing waters of the Powerscourt waterfall – the tallest in Ireland.
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