Glendalough & Wicklow National Park - May 22nd, 2012

After breakfast at Ferndale Bed & Breakfast, we left Enniskerry and drove to Laragh in the Wicklow Mountains. This was our first experience on the narrow twisty lanes that wind through the Irish countryside. The stone walls and vegetation are directly next to the edge of the pavement, there are no shoulders, and plenty of blind curves. Fortunately, there was also very little traffic. We took the Military Road route down to the Wicklow area because we wanted to see the Sally Gap - it was supposed to be scenic. The Sally Gap is a desolate area, lots of peat, but the grass is so poor that not even many sheep are raised there.

At Glendalough we took a guided tour of the 6th century monastery. Founded by Saint Kevin, Glendalough was a popular destination for pilgrims. When the English arrived, they partially destroyed the monastery in 1398. The tour took us to the Round Tower (but we were not allowed inside), the Cathedral and into St Kevin's Church. There are many gravestones surrounding the church and cathedral, some of the graves were family plots, these had gravestones that were only a few years old.

From Glendalough started our hike in Wicklow National Park. The lady at the information desk told us that the route around the two lakes was the most scenic, so we took the trail called the Spinc and Glenealo Valley trail. This gaves us some really nice views of the lakes and the valley from high vantage points. We followed the route all the way around the Upper Lake. Back at the information center, we then checked out St Kevin's Cell and the Reefert Church.

This night we stayed at Trooperstown Lodge, a big quiet B&B a couple miles outside of Laragh.

Here is a map of our trail route in Wicklow National Park. We walked in the clockwise direction.

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Sally Gap


Wicklow National Park