Wicklow Mountains, Ireland
Mount Usher Gardens (Wicklows best kept secret)
I went there almost every weekend in the spring and summer - it was my sanctuary. You can walk amongst Eucalyptus forests or japanese Gardens ... and experience breathtaking beauty in every corner... a true ***** 5 Star experience for the ones who like plants, nature and a bit of peace.
Here is a link to a slide show of what else county Wicklow has on offer:
What the tourguide says:
These privately owned gardens are laid out along the banks of the Vartry River. They measure 20 acres and contain appox. 5,000 different species of plants and trees including many rhododendrons, magnolias, camellias, eucryphia and shrubs. Water forms and essential part of the scenery with cascades and suspension bridge visible from many sections. Mount Usher is a wild i.e. Robinsonian garden dating from approx. 1860. There is a spacious tearoom and a shopping courtyard.
Monastic site of Glendalough is a "must-visit" tourist attraction whenever you visit Wicklow Mountains National Park. Allow yourself at least one hour at the site as there are lots of interesting ruins to visit and explore. Monastic site of Glendalough is one of the most famous monastic sites in the Republic of Ireland. It is definitely the crown jewel of Wicklow Mountains National Park. Entrance to this monastic site is free. We were certainly not disappointed after visiting the site.
Monastic site of Glendalough was founded by St. Kevin, a hermit monk in the 6th century. Most of the ruins of this medieval monastery date back to 10th to 12th centuries. Normans destroyed the monastery in the early 13th century and British destroyed the settlement further in the late 14th century. Monastic ruins in the site include several churches, a round tower, High Crosses, a graveyard, the Priest's House, St. Kevin's Bed and St. Kevin's Cell.
Our main photograph depicts the Round Tower which is a typical Irish medieval building. It is approximately 30 meters high. The entrance is at least three meters high from the ground. The round tower was originally used as a bell tower. Our second and fourth photographs depict the ruins of the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. It was the largest building in the monastic settlement. The Cathedral dates back to the 11th century.
Our third photograph depicts St. Kevin's Kitchen which is actually St. Kevin's Church. It has history that dates back to the 12th century. St. Kevin's Church is the most well maintained among all the churches in the site. Our last photograph depicts the graveyard and several High Crosses. Don't miss this amazing monastic site of Glendalough when you visit Glendalough in particular and Wicklow Mountains National Park in general on your vacation.
I'm going to wander among the Wicklow Hills.
Ten years would barely cover it I think.
Glendalough is touristy,
Glenmalure is isolated,
Glenmacnass is good, the views are nice.
Crone Woods is the "In the know" hangout- there are often 50 or 60 cars here at the week ends, Some wander towards Djouce to see the views of the Powerscourt Waterfall, many walk to the top of Djouce itself, A few go to the top of Maulin, War hill or the Ton Duffs.
One Carpark, at least a dozen easy to moderate routes to hike from it.
The Wicklow Way is a long distance walking route, it runs from Marlay Park in County Dublin, through County Wicklow to finish at Clonegal in County Carlow. It is 132 km (82 miles) in length and follows a North-South line over the eastern flanks of the Wicklow Mountains with much of the route over 500m (1,640 ft). It can be comfortably walked in five or six days or in shorter sections as desired.
Variety is the great characteristic of this route, which starts in the County Dublin plains, climbs into the Dublin Mountains, and switches from glen to glen in the high Wicklow Mountains. It offers easy access from Dublin to the Wicklow Mountains climbing quite high at times, but also descending into the forested glens. Some parts are boggy, while others are on hard roads and tracks. The way traverses much lower ground through forest fire breaks, sheep paths and old mass paths past snug farms, stone walled tillage fields and many places of historic interest and is clearly way-marked with wooden posts topped by yellow arrows at all junctions. Viewpoints on the way give glorious views: across Dublin to the Mourne Mountains in Co. Down; across the Irish Sea to Snowdonia in Wales; Glendalough; Glenmalure down onto deep Lough Dan and Powerscourt
The Military Road from Dublin to Arklow is absolutely stunning. You can stop by the Powerscourt Waterfall on the way!