SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – November 2013

Best Pub-to-Pub Hike: Wicklow Way (Ireland)

Let this Irish long trail enchant you.

by: Becky Kivlovitz

Pad your itinerary with pub time (Patricia Hofmeester / age fotostock)
Pad your itinerary with pub time (Patricia Hofmeester / age fotostock)
    Tags:

Journeying across Ireland's 3,000-foot Wicklow Mountains might be as much of a challenge to your liver as to your feet: As one Irish hiker I met declared, “If I’m not walking to a pub, I’m not walking!” But the country’s famous brews are just one of many charms the 82-mile, semi-wild path has to offer. From the remote town of Clonegal up to Dublin, trek past beehive huts, villages, farmland, lichen-covered rocks, and pine forests. Sheep and cows abound, but you'll need Irishluck to spot Wicklow’s infamous red squirrel (English-introduced grey squirrels nearly wiped them out). The 10,892 feet of total elevation gain and loss through the rolling, upland hills will leave you just a wee bit worn, but it’s nothing a Guinness won’t cure.

Ireland’s first long-distance trek is as much cultural immersion as wilderness experience (it includes road walking, as do many UK treks), but that didn’t disappoint. En route, I milked a cow at Kyle Farmhouse, caught chickens at the Wicklow Way Lodge, and feigned river dancing at the Glenmalure Lodge pub. Love history? The trek passes the ruins of the 7th-century Glendalough Monastic City, among other sites. With trail markers at each junction, you can’t get lost. Expect evenings of Celtic craic (fun) in the infamous Irish pubs, and traditional Irish hospitality—I couldn’t pay for a pint even when I tried.


GET THERE Fly to Dublin and take Bus Eireann (buseireann.ie) from Dublin’s Busáras to Bunclody and charge up at Moss Cottage (mosscottageireland.com)—the cottage will provide transportation to trailhead at Clonegal. 
SEASON Spring through fall. Summer is best, but the Irish green comes at the cost of near assured rain: Annual rainfall reaches 80 inches a year. 
WHERE TO STAY Camping is prohibited in Wicklow Mountains National Park, but may be permitted on open mountains or moorland, with one established campsite at Roundwood Caravan Park (camping-ireland.ie). Want a one-stop shop for Wicklow Way accommodations? Call Footfalls Walking Holiday (walkinghikingireland.com) to reserve all stays and luggage transfers. 

B&B Route Take the B&B route to hit the pubs and meet the characters of small town Ireland. Indulge in the luggage transfer service for a week of ultralight trekking from Clonegal to Dublin.
Day 1: From the trailhead in Clonegal, hike to Lugnaquillia View Guest House, right off the trail and a stone’s throw from Wicklow’s greatest pub, The Dying Cow.
Day 2: Kyle Farm House (kylefarm.com).
Day 3: Glenmalure Lodge (glenmalurelodge.ie).
Day 4: Glendalough hostel or hotel: Leave the Wicklow Way for a mandatory excursion along the Spinc. Start on the Wicklow Way and take the red path, then the white path until you meet back with the Wicklow Way at the Monastic City in Glendalough.
Day 5: A short hike to the Wicklow Way Lodge (wicklowwaylodge.com) for an easy day.
Day 6: Knockree hostel (knockree.hostel.com)—it’s so deep in the forest, you may miss it.
Day 7: Marlay Park in Dublin.
 
Wicklow Way Hut System Or stick to the Irish wild with a shortened route of the Northern Wicklow Way’s hut system. Hit a four-day hut trip through three huts based off the Adirondack system—catching the most popular section of the Wicklow Way including a Prince William’s Seat summit, through Glendalough’s “valley of the two lakes” where St. Kevin built his monastery, and the Powerscourt Waterfall. Start from Marlay Park and hike to the first hut at Brushers Gap (Paddock Hill). Day two: Mullacor near Glenmalure. Day three: Mucklagh (aughavannagh) and bus back from Glendalough via St. Kevin’s Bus: two buses daily via Roundwood and Laragh (wicklowwaybus.com). 

Info: wicklowway.com



Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Wicklow Cottage
Nov 08, 2013

Great trek - you could for example hike from Fentons in the Glen of Imaal via Lugnaquilla (highest peak) to the Glenmalure Lodge (another pub!)

Star Star Star Star Star
Kelly Fitzgerald
Nov 08, 2013

I want to do this!!!

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Health and Fitness
2014 fitness updates
Posted On: Jul 23, 2014
Submitted By: ol-zeke
Trailhead Register
The "Good Morning" thread: part 2
Posted On: Jul 23, 2014
Submitted By: ol-zeke
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions