Wicklow Cottages

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    Situated to the immediate south of the bustling capital city of Dublin, with more than 60km of sweeping Irish Sea coastline on its eastern edge, County Wicklow also contains the largest continuous mountain range in the country – the largely granite Wicklow Mountains – as well as some fine rivers,  including the Liffey, the Avoca and the Slaney.

    County Wicklow is also particularly rich in Bronze Age monuments and numerous other historic sites of interest. The monastic settlement of Glendalough lies in a beautiful glacial valley, and is thought to have been founded in the 6th century by a hermit priest, St Kevin.

    Things to do in Wicklow
    Wicklow is a veritable paradise for lovers of the natural world. The Wicklow Mountains National Park covers much of upland Wicklow, over an area of almost 50,000 acres. Large expanses of blanket bog, including the Liffey Head and Lugnaquilla Bog complexes, together with the Glendalough Wood Nature Reserve, form a unique landscape that is home a wide variety of flora and fauna, including species of rare orchids and Peregrine Falcons.

    Two routes cross the Wicklow Mountains from east to west. The 26km Wicklow Gap Road runs from Hollywood to Laragh; it serves as both an important regional route for locals, as well as a spectacular scenic trail that is popular with tourists and other visitors. In North Wicklow, the Sally Gap runs through blanket bog and follows a narrower road, which passes above the dark, forbidding waters of Lough Tay and Lough Dan. The area also forms part of the popular Wicklow Way walking trail, the oldest way-marked long distance walking route to be found in Ireland. The Powerscourt Waterfall is located on the River Dargle, situated near to Enniskerry. At 121m high, it is the highest waterfall in Ireland. Fishing, hillwalking and rafting are all popular pursuits for locals and visitors throughout County Wicklow.

    Top Destinations

    Wicklow – On the east coast of the county, on the road between Dublin and Wexford, the county town huddles in a rough semicircle around Wicklow harbour. It is thought that a settlement was sited here even before the Vikings arrived sometime near to 795AD, and the ruins of a Franciscan Abbey are to be found in the grounds of the local parish church. Today, the rejuvenated 18th century Gaol house is home to a heritage centre, and at the centre of the town itself, an obelisk in Fitzwilliam Square commemorates the Victorian sea captain Robert Halpin, a local mariner who was once the commander of the 'Great Eastern', a telegraph cable-laying ship which was, at that time, also the largest ship in the world.

    Baltinglass – Positioned on the River Slaney near to the borders with County Kildare and County Carlow, the town of Baltinglass lies in a rich area of archaeology and historical remains. High on a hill within the town, a Stone Age passage grave is notable for containing chalk – a substance which is not native to the local area – suggesting that an established level of trade or travel was a part of local life in ancient times. The ruins of an ancient monastery are said to date from around 700AD; the 12th century Baltinglass Abbey was built for Cistercian monks by the King of Leinster, and is noted for the fine ruined Gothic arches which lie on either side of the nave.

    Blessington Lake – Also known as the Pollaphuca Reservoir, this artificial lake was created by the damming of the waterfall on the River Liffey during the 1930s, for hydro-electric generation. It is now seen as a site of international importance for Greylag Geese, and is a Special Protection Area for wildlife.

    Hollywood – A small village, also known as Killinkeyvin (the site of 'Kevin's little church'), with a well established association with the 6th century St Kevin, until recently, Hollywood was on the route of pilgrims making their way to the monastic settlement at Glendalough. Saint Kevin's Way is a 30km pilgrim path which leads through some of the most scenic reaches of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, from Hollywood to Glendalough.

    Rathdrum – Known as the birthplace of the great 19th century Irish politician, Charles Steward Parnell, Rathdrum is positioned high on a ridge to the west of the Avonmore River.

    Aughrim – A multiple winner of the Irish Tidy Towns award for the tidiest village in Ireland, Aughrim is situated at the confluence of the Ow and Derry rivers, where they come together to form the Aughrim River. The area is popular with walkers, who keenly access the 6km of riverside and woodland routes of the Sean Linehan Way.

    Arklow – Situated at the mouth of the River Avoca, 'the great estuary', Arklow is divided in two by the wide river, which is spanned by the glorious Nineteen Arches Bridge, the longest handmade stone bridge in the country.

    GreystonesA popular coastal town and seaside resort on the Irish Sea, Greystones stretches between two distinctive beaches: a stony expanse to the north and a broad sandy Blue Flag beach in the south. To the west, lie the Wicklow Mountains, and further to the north, the southern slate cliffs of the Bray Head headland.

    KilcooleThree kilometres to the south of Greystones, the village of Kilcoole is one of the few places in Ireland where the Little Tern is known to nest. South from the village lies an area of marshland known as the Murragh, which is home to a number of endangered plant and animal species. 


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