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See incredible mountains on your short break to Wicklow.
Experience wonderful things to do in Wicklow with its gardens and hikes. A paradise for lovers of beautiful scenery, there are so many things to do in the Garden of Ireland.

Wicklow is the perfect place to unwind in nature, here are some of the things you just can't miss when in this scenic county.

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1Powerscourt Estate and Gardens

The Powerscourt Estate and Gardens, rated as the third best garden in the world, at the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains feels like a different world. The gardens span a massive 47 acres and feature unique gardens like the Italian Garden and Japanese Garden to name just a few.  

The wide open spaces and incredible views meet pathways and gardens, while inside Powerscourt House – you’ll find a café which serves exceptional baked goods, coffee and more.

A trail at Powerscourt House And Gardens in County Wicklow
Explore the beautiful Powerscourt Estate and Gardens in Wicklow.
2Glendalough Monastic Site

A truly special place, the visitor centre at Glendalough tells the fascinating story of this monastic site, with its early Christian settlement nestled in a valley with two picture-perfect lakes. This is one of Ireland’s most famous visitor attractions but never feels busy, and the sense of peace and splendid isolation you get from walking the 3km long valley is second to none.

Trek as far as the Upper Lake, the original site of the monastic settlement which features Reefert Church, Temple-na-Skellig, Saint Kevin's Cell, Saint Kevin's Bed, the Caher and a number of high crosses. Then it's time to unwind at The Wicklow Heather, with its locally sourced ingredients and extensive champagne menu.

The monastic settlement at Glendalough in County Wicklow.
Meander through Monastic relics at Glendalough.
3Wicklow Gaol

Are you fascinated by the prisons of the past? The interactive tour at Wicklow Gaol tells you exactly what it was like for 18th century inmates who had taken part in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and for those people waiting to be transported to a new, uncertain life in Australia.

You’ll find Wicklow Gaol in Wicklow town and don’t leave without stepping into the original gaol dungeon, with all the sights and sounds of a place where life was harsh and unforgiving. If you’re really looking for something memorable, take a night tour.

Three people looking at the exhibitions on display at Wicklow Gaol
Hear the stories of former inmates at Wicklow Gaol.
4Lough Tay

One for lovers of Ireland’s favourite stout, Lough Tay, also known as "The Guinness Lake", is not filled with the black stuff but is one of Wicklow’s most photographed landscapes because it looks like a pint of plain.

Given its name for the white sand at its northern tip, this is a place best viewed and captured from Military Road, as the lake is actually on private land. The Wicklow Mountains make for a stunning backdrop.

A stunning view of the mountains around Lough Tay, Wicklow
Visit the incredible Guinness Lake.
5Russborough House and Gardens

If you’re an art fan, make this your first stop in Wicklow. A country mansion on the outskirts of Blessington, Russborough House and Gardens was built in the 1700s and overlooks spectacular countryside. 

Russborough has an impressive private art collection with works by Gainsborough and Singer Sargent. Guided tours are available, there’s also a restaurant and gift shop, as well as a maze and fairy trail if you’re bringing the kids.

Russborough House and Parklands in Blessington in County Wicklow.
Explore the art and natural landscape at Russborough House.
6The Mill at Avoca Handweavers

Avoca’s stores and cafés are dotted around the country, but where did one of Ireland’s best-loved businesses begin? Dating back to 1723, the Avoca Mill is the oldest of its kind in the country and the throws, rugs and scarves that you’ll find in all Avoca stores originate here. 

It’s worth a trip to the village of Avoca - the home of BBC’s fictional Ballykissangel – where you can watch weavers at work and take a stroll by the serene River Avoca.

Avoca Mill
7Killruddery Gardens

Journey to the outskirts of Bray and spend a quiet day in Killruddery House and Gardens, the ideal place if the last thing you want to do is hurry. The woodland walks are lined with incredible plant life, while the gardens are well known for their water features and outdoor rooms. 

The gardens host events throughout the year, with farm markets running every Saturday during spring and summer. Stop by the tea rooms after your tour and taste the excellent food, much of which is sourced from the gardens themselves.

Beautiful gardens with shrubs, trees and a water feature at Killruddery House and Gardens
Spend some time at stunning Kilruddery House and Gardens.
8Brittas Bay

When the sun is shining it’s hard to beat taking a spin out to Brittas Bay South Beach, just a 15-minute drive from Wicklow town, and strolling along the 5km of beautiful white sand dunes and a shoreline that is home to a host of different wildlife species and plants. 

This Blue Flag beach is a great place to dip your toes in the water and look out at boats sailing across the Irish Sea.

Aerial shot of three people horse riding on Brittas Bay beach in County Wicklow.
Feel the sand between your toes at Brittas Bay South Beach.
9Mount Usher Gardens

It’s easy to see why the stunning grounds at Mount Usher with 5,000 plants and trees rate as one of Ireland’s most popular garden attractions. Stroll through groves, glades and along river banks, and get lost in the hidden fern walk. 

Pick up a Tree Trail Map and set off on a self-guided tour of the garden’s prized specimen trees. Start or finish your visit at the café, or stop for a spot of shopping in the courtyard.  

A person standing on a foot bridge over a river at Mount Usher Gardens in County Wickow.
Get lost in the natural landscapes at Mount Usher Gardens.
10Beyond the Trees Avondale

For a unique perspective on Wicklow's natural landscape, visit Beyond the Trees Avondale. The treetop walk takes visitors on a journey high above the canopy of trees, culminating in a panoramic view of the Wicklow Mountains and the Vale of Avoca. The Viewing Tower offers an additional thrill with its spiral slide. 

But the experience isn't just limited to the treetop walk – you can also explore the historic Avondale House and Forest Park, enjoy delicious treats at the Seed Café, and take a leisurely stroll through the Walled Garden and forest trails.

Aerial image of Beyond the Trees Avondale in County Wicklow
Reach new heights at Beyond the Trees Avondale.
While away in Wicklow

The perfect place to leave city life behind and tap back into your love of the outdoors, you’ll want to visit the Garden of Ireland over and over again. Discover more of the historical gems and breathtaking landscapes in Wicklow.

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