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Rediscovering the Wicklow Mountains

Driving through the Sally Gap you could think that you were miles from civilisation. Sally Gap is one of two east-to-west passes across the Wicklow Mountains which are only an hour’s drive south of Dublin.


Image: Dimitry Anikin


The area feels remote. Wild deer graze on the mountain side, sheep wander along the road. The hillsides are verdant with gorse and heather and scattered with granite boulders. The weather rolls in across the mountains, changing many times a day.


We stayed at Clarisse’s Cottage near Laragh, just a stone’s throw from the impressive Glenmacnass Waterfall. An old stone cottage renovated with the mod cons but still retaining the original features whilst providing a comfortable and cosy place to stay.


Image: Colin C Murphy


The famous Glendalough is nearby. It is the site of a monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St Kevin. Featuring two loughs, it’s the perfect place to set off for walking adventures. 


There are a number of walks clearly marked ranging from a simple stroll among the ruins to mountainous hikes. We chose an 8km walk described as a ramble which took us up the hillside and provided views across the glacial valley.



Lynhams of Laragh gave us a hearty welcome and the requisite pints of Guinness which truly does taste so much better in Ireland. Dinner at the pub was a standard but tasty fare.


County Wicklow provided an ideal place to catch up with long unseen friends. I look forward to my return.


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Written by: Jenny Evans
Published: 10 April 2022

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