Walking Routes in Glendalough

Glendalough is in the Wicklow National Park which is situated south of Dublin on 20,000 hectares of mountain scenery with many roads crossing through it. A lot of the National Park has no facilities and is left mostly untouched and natural.

Glendalough has many way marked trails/routes from easy to difficult. The Visitor Centre in Glendalough sells a Trail Guide for only €0.50. The maps list nine way marked routes with the shortest distance being a few kilometres and the longest 11 kilometres. You can park at the Visitor Centre and start your walk from there (parking free on weekdays, charges apply for weekends) or there are parking facilities at the Upper Lake with charges applying all year round. The Visitor Centre is approx. 2km from the Upper Lake which can be accessed by walking on the pedestrian and scenic Green Road.  Toilet facilities and food are available from the parking area at the Visitor Centre and at the Upper Lake.

trails and Maps

Free Car Park

Brockagh Trail 

Avonmore Way Walk

St. Kevin’s Pilgramage Walk

Wicklow Way

Spinc Walk Glendalough 

Miners walk

The Wicklow Way

The Wicklow Way (Slí Cualann Nua, which means “New Cuala Way” in Gaelic) is a 131km/81mile walking route which starts in Marlay Park, Co. Dublin and ends at Clonegal, Co. Wicklow. The highest point is White Hill (630m/2,067ft). The routes surface consists of forestry tracks, roads, and mountain paths. Go to http://www.wicklowway.com/index.php for more information.

Wicklow Way Re-Route in July 2023
We have opened a minor reroute on the Wicklow Way. When heading South just after passing the Mullacor saddle and start to descend into Glenmalure a new path has been built through Coillte land. This is an effort to create a more sustainable trail and remove some difficult /sensitive muddy and hard to maintain terrain.
Thanks to David Ward for his excellent work on the path. Thanks also to Coillte and Wicklow Mountains National Park together with County Wicklow Partnership for this collaborative effort to improve recreation in Wicklow – funded by the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.


The Avonmore Way Walk

The Avonmore Way is a 12km trail which follows a mixture of minor roads, forest roads and tracks.  It provides stunning views of the Wicklow Mountains as it skirts around Trooperstown Hill before winding its way through the beautiful Clara Vale Nature Reserve alongside the Avonmore River.  The trail is durable underfoot and suitable for all fitness levels.  There is trail head signage at the beginning of the walk and the route is marked with yellow arrows on a black background along the way. The walk starts from the Laragh side at Trooperstown Forest Carpark and from the Rathdrum side at Stump of the Castle Forest Entrance. Wicklow Uplands Council plans to develop further links from ends of the trail with the local towns.  The long term vision is to realise a route that will link Kilmacanogue to Woodenbridge creating an ‘Eastern Greenway’. If you need more information about this walk go to https://visitwicklow.ie/listing/avonmore-way-trooperstown-rathdrum/ or  www.wicklowuplandscouncil.ie

Download Avonmore Way Map

St Kevin’s Way – The Pilgrim Path

St Kevin’s Way is a 30 Km (18 mile) trail from Hollywood, following in the footsteps of St. Kevin through the hills of Co. Wicklow to the haunting and mysterious valley of Glendalough where he spent the rest of his life in solitary prayer and contemplation. After Kevin’s death in AD 618, what had been a humble hermit’s retreat developed into an impressive monastic city which was to continue as a centre of piety and learning for many years to come. Medieval pilgrims came from far and wide to visit Kevin’s tomb, and the alternative starting points to the walk reflect the different directions from which they are likely to have travelled. If you need more information about this walk or have any additional questions go to www.pilgrimpath.ie

Brockagh Trail

The Red Loop that offers a moderate 8.1km trail full of panoramic views and mountainside forest roads, as well as multiple links to open mountain paths within the Wicklow Mountains National Park for the more experienced hikers.

The Blue Loop that’s a shorter 4.3km option with the softer trail grading of Easy, that undulates through Brockagh Forest and touches The Wicklow Way.
The network also creates a very welcome (800m) Green Link from Laragh and the Brockagh Resource Centre, to the famed long-distance trail, ‘The Wicklow Way’.
Click here for Walking Guide and Lunch PackageS

Listing of Walking Guides in Glendalough

Footfalls Walking Holidays

Co. Wicklow

Footfalls, based in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, specialise in guided nature walks. All our tours are nature and history orientated and we ensure that all accommodation and meals are to the highest standard leaving you to enjoy the scenic splendor and solitude of the countryside.




Contact: Christopher Stacey
Tel/Fax: +353 (0) 404 45152
E-mail:  info@walkinghikingireland.com
W: www.walkinghikingireland.com

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At Hillwalk Tours it’s our goal to create travel experiences that make people happy. We do this by having walked every step of the Wicklow Way, ensuring that only the best route options are selected for you. We work with the top reviewed & highest quality accommodation along the trail so that you can be guaranteed a warm welcome, a comfy night sleep, and a hearty breakfast in the morning. Detailed route notes will be provided to you before you set off, and we’ll take care of transferring your luggage each day to your next accommodation so you don’t have to worry about it! We maintain strong relationships with local suppliers on the ground, so you know that you’ll get the best service available.

Contact Information:

Tel: + 353 91 763 994    E: info@hillwalktours.com    W:   www.hillwalktours.com




48 thoughts on “

  1. Tina

    Are there mountains and hills to climb when hiking with mike? How many miles can we cover for a full day? Are there hikes that we could do on our own? Thank you!

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  3. Neil

    Hi, I saw on my last walk that the Spinc is due to close this summer for maintenance work. Could you tell me when that’ll happen please?

    Thanks a mil.

    1. Brockagh Centre Post author

      Hi bego,
      not in the Summer months because there is daylight until around 21:00. In the evening the midges(biting flies) are out and this may get annoying for walkers.

  4. Inés

    Hi!. I want to do the spinc loop at Glendalough. But I’ll be goin on St Kevin’s Bus Services and I’ll only have 3:30 hs in the valley. It is possible to make it?

    1. Brockagh Centre Post author

      Yes, it can be done within 3 and hours but that is at a good pace so it really depends on your level of fitness for walking mountains. This route would be walking to the right of the Upper Lake, walking through the mines and up the mountain following the trail across to the other side of the lake on the sleepers (can be slippy, wear gripped hiking boots, dress warm and dry) and down through the forest on sleepers via the waterfall. Hope this is of some help Ines. Enjoy your visit

  5. Maureen Kirwan Hollingsworth

    Planning a trip would be near Glendalough on may 21, 2018. We have a variety of physical stamina individuals, so are looking for a relatively easy tour and have about 2-3 hours in the mid day or early afternoon. Is there a tour that would work for us? Also is it possible to drive to the upper lake?

    1. Brockagh Centre Post author

      Hi Maureen, yes you can park up at the Upper Lake but I would check with Wicklow Country Council if you have a large bus just to be on the safe side, they operate the upper lake car park. On the website there are various guides available https://glendalough.ie/things-to-do/walking/. Alternatively you could park at the Vistor Centre at the Monastic City. They have a cinema showing on the history of Glendalough https://glendalough.ie/heritage/glendalough-visitor-centre/. Hope this is of some help and do enjoy your trip.

  6. Dublin Kids

    what a lovely blog with beneficial tips for all of us. Thanks for your time putting this up together.Between the beautiful scenery seen around the world in photographs, and friendly Irish people, plenty of things to do, kids activities, traveling to Ireland will add a certain amount of entertainment and culture to your life. If you need tips on things to do with kids in Ireland,visit https://dublinkids.ie to find the top destinations for all the tastes and budgets. The scenery in Ireland is breath taking, from the shores of Erie to the cliffs of Moher and scenery walks in Wicklow. Not only can you experience these cliffs by just looking, but you can bike or walk on path ways wide enough and will get you the full experience and the sense of heights and real beauty of Irish nature.
    I wish every single person,who lands in Ireland for one or another reason, to have the best time ever. Have fun. Yes, Ireland is a country of craic (fun). It’s a must 😉
    Happy travels, everyone 😉

    1. Brockagh Centre Post author

      Hi, as far as we are aware there is no closure of walking trails around Glendalough. The Sally Gap road from Laragh to Roundwood or Dublin has had problems with fires recently.

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  8. Christine

    Hi. Would you consider it safe for a woman to do some of the walks around Glendalough on her own? Perhaps the Glendalough to Glenmalure walk? Is that an easy walk to navigate or would you need good navigation skills?
    Thanks for any advice…

    1. Brockagh Centre Post author

      In my experience and I am a local I got lost doing the walk from Glendalough to Glenmalure with a friend, it can happen if you have not got navigation skills. I have no hesitation in walking this area alone as a woman but there is always a danger in remote areas in my opinion. It is a personal choice.

    1. Brockagh Centre Post author

      Hi Eoin,
      there are walks in Glendalough buggy friendly. Parking at the Visitor Centre you can walk to the Upper Lake and also the road which brings you to the right of the Upper Lake up to where the mines were. They are not tarred roads but a push chair possible. Enjoy your visit.

  9. Anton

    Is Glendalough far from Dublin? I have a walking holiday starting in Dublin next year and since reading your post I would be very interested in visiting that part of Wiclow. I am travelling over from Germany and will have transport. thanks.

    1. Brockagh Centre Post author

      Hi Anton, it is a beautiful part of Ireland steeped in history and is not far from Dublin. You can take the M50 route or go via Blessington, Hollywood which will take you over the mountains down into Glendalough. Here is the main route – via M50 and R755 it takes 1 h 16 min (68.4 km). Many people from Dublin come to Glendalough as a day trip. There are plenty of places to stay if you wanted to spend longer in the area https://glendalough.ie/accommodation/. I hope you really enjoy your holiday in Ireland.

  10. Abby

    Is there any other way to get to Glendalough from Dublin? I know the St. Kevins bus only runs twice a day and gets there at 11:50, and since I am doing the Spinc and Glenealo Valley trail I don’t think I will make it back to the bus before it leaves. I also wanted to get there earlier in the day (around 9 or 9:30) but can’t find a way to get there other than that bus. Any insight you have would be helpful, thanks!

    1. Brockagh Centre Post author

      You can get the 133 or train to Wicklow Town from Dublin and then the Local Link Bus Service runs from Wicklow Town to Laragh and return. The only other way is the taxi services. All listed under the Transport drop down menu on the Glendalough.ie website.

  11. Avril Lysiak

    Hello, can kids cycle their bikes on the lake paths? Or is it just suitable for proms & scooters? Thanks

  12. Donna M Dunakey

    Our party of 4 is planning to visit Ireland March 2022 after 2 years of re-scheduling. In March 2020, we had communicated with Martin Swords to take us on a guided tour. I have emailed Mr. Swords twice in the last few weeks with no answer, so can you tell me if Mr. Swords is still taking people on tours?

    1. Brockagh Centre Post author

      Hi Donna,
      I would keep trying via his email. As far as I am aware he is still operating as a tour guide in the area. If you still get no reply in January. Contact us again and we will give you contact details of another local guide.

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