The name Wicklow is the modern version of Wykinglo – “Viking’s Meadow”. Ireland’s newest county, it is home to some of the most colourful and vibrant scenery to be found, hence it being named ‘the Garden of Ireland’. There is much to be seen on one of our Wicklow tours. This private Wicklow tour is a general tour that takes in beautiful coast and countryside and great historical sites. A mixture of all that is good about Ireland.
You would leave the city by the scenic coastal route alongside Dublin Bay. You will discover the history and beauty of the areas that lie along the Bay and you will pass through some of the finest residential areas in Ireland.
Powerscourt House and Gardens
The tour will take you to Powerscourt House and Gardens, designed by Richard Cassells in 1731. Over the centuries the gardens were expanded and include the Italianate front gardens designed by Daniel Robertson, a Japanese garden, a pet’s cemetery, a walled garden, numerous statues acquired from across Europe, a dolphin pond and many other interesting and sometimes quirky garden areas. The gardens descending the hill in front of the house are backed by the peaks of the 506m-high Sugarloaf Mountain. Voted the 3rd most beautiful gardens in the world by National Geographic Traveller magazine. Stunning, historic, beautiful and interesting.
Take a short drive up into the mountains to take in a change of landscape and some breath taking wild scenery overlooking Lough Tay. This area is the location for the Viking television series and many movies including Braveheart and Excalibur.
“Gleann da Loch” (Valley of the Two Lakes): One of our favourite places. Not only is the site of great historical significance it is also spectacularly set in a deep valley beside two ancient lakes. Tranquil, remote and beautiful, Glendalough was a place of pilgrimage for centuries following its establishment as a monastic centre by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Surrounded by the Wicklow Mountains and forests that sweep down to the lakes it is one of Ireland’s most popular and important attractions.
You will see a 100 foot high Round Tower (10-12th century) that was used as a bell tower, store and as a beacon/landmark to guide pilgrims from afar, the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul (10th century) and the remarkably well preserved St. Kevin’s Church (also known as St. Kevin’s Kitchen). Also on show is the 11foot high Celtic stone cross called “St Kevin’s Cross”. The settlement was over the years attacked by Vikings but the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in Ireland sealed the fate of Glendalough. In 1214 the Diocese of Glendalough was united with the See of Dublin. After that, Glendalough went into decline as a monastic establishment and gradually it became deserted.
Avoca Village and Avoca Hand weavers
Also on the itinerary is Avoca. Born out of the copper mining industry, which thrived here in the last century before finally closing in 1982, this attractive village on the Avoca River is now more famous for the hand weaving looms and the craft shop of the world famous Avoca Hand weavers. You would take a tour of the weaving sheds to see the weavers at work using the old looms. Avoca has also in recent years been the -location for the well-known television series “Ballykissangel” Colin Farrell’s big break before he became a leading Hollywood man. It is a beautiful place with an interesting history.