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When you visit the Glendalough monastic site it would really pay off to spend some time hiking in the area around the site, rather than just doing a photo stop for the cemetery and the lakes. There are some great hiking trails in the surrounding mountains with fantastic views.
One very popular walk is the 9 kmn long Spinc and Glenealo Valley hike. It first leads you past a ruined miners' village, followed by a steep ascent up along the river. Once you're up there the hardest part is done and you get great views down into the Glendalough Valley on the one side and the mountain slopes on the other side. Very often you will also find deer up there.
From there it is a much more gentle incline along a board walk to a view point overlooking the lakes and the monastic site. The trail then descends back down into the valley over a seemingly endless number of steps, and finally past the Poulanass Waterfall.
I'll include the link to the a website with descriptions of all the Glendalough hiking trails. There the hike I mentioned is described from the other direction. I prefer though to do it the other way round as I find it easier to climb up the rough path into the mountains and come down the 600 steps, rather than going up all those steps.
Equipment: Use different layers of clothing. The weather can change very quickly from warm and sunny to wet and windy, so make sure you're prepared for everything. And wear sturdy footgear as the path can be a bit rough in places.
Updated Oct 16, 2011
The stables at Devil's Glen offers riders of all abilities (even complete novices like us!) the chance to ride out through the beautiful Wicklow Countryside. We booked a beginners trek for 25 Euro each, which lasted about an hour, but if this is really your thing you could even stay at the accomodation on site.
Equipment: You don't really need anything except the helmets which are provided. I would advise a good thick pair of trousers though, as we both got pinches on our lower legs from something on the stirrups (?).
Written Oct 2, 2004
Address: Nr. Ashford, Co. Wicklow
Phone: 0404 42127