We will go from Dublin to the South, direction of the mountains of Co. Wicklow, to visit Glendalough. Positioned in a glaciated valley with two lakes, the Glendalough monastic site is a fascinating early Christian settlement in a spectacular natural location, founded by Saint Kevin in the 6th century. The extensive ruins of Glendalough include several early churches, and an impressive 30-metre high round tower. The valley stretches for approximately 3km and contains several areas of great historical interest and beauty. The Upper Lake area was the original site of the monastic settlement and features Reefert Church, Temple-na-Skellig, Saint Kevin’s Cell, Saint Kevin’s Bed, the Caher and various high crosses.
The highest village in Ireland, 238m above sea level, is surrounded by the most spectacular scenery in the country. On Sundays at 15.00, the Country Market is the place to find all kinds of handicrafts and home baking. The nearby Vartry Reservoir, a shimmering expanse of lakes mirrors the surrounding hills. A quiet place for fishing or just lazing on a summer day. Fishing permits available at the Waterworks Office.
Powerscourt Waterfall is 6km from PowerScourt Estate and is claimed to be Ireland’s highest at 121m (398ft.). There is a debate over whether which one is the highest in the country – Powerscourt or Devil’s Chimney. It is set in one of Ireland’s most beautiful parklands at the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. As you drive from the gatelodge towards the Waterfall you are surrounded by Beech, Oak, Larch and Pine trees some of which were planted over 200 years ago. Look out for the Giant Redwoods, which are native to Northern California where they may grow up to 80m high and live for 4,000 years so they are still young.
Powerscourt House & Gardens and AVOCA
Set in the wild Wicklow countrywide, overlooking the Sugarloaf Mountain, Powerscourt is situated just 20km south of Dublin City Centre. The Gardens stretch over 47 acres and offer sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes, secret hollows and rambling walks. Experience 300 years of garden design and development including the walled gardens, the Italian garden, the dolphin pond, the Japanese gardens, pets cemetery and pepperpot tower, among other features and attractions. The Palladian Mansion at Powerscourt is home to the best in Irish design, and features craft and interior shops. An audio-visual brings to life the rich history of the estate. The Terrace Café offers the finest in Irish artisan home-cooked cuisine. AVOCA is an Irish family business, one of the oldest manufacturers in the world, home to some of the country’s most beloved cafes and retail stores. AVOCA now has shops all across Ireland as well as charismatic cafés and food halls and has been ranked as one of the world’s most inspiring shops by Retail Week Magazine. The Avoca shop in Powerscourt House is full of character with original castle walls dating back to the 12th century.