| 6th November 2019

Wicklow Family Walks: 5 of the Best

Wicklow draws visitors from all over the country on weekends. Its natural beauty and range of walks for all tastes, abilities and ages make it the perfect “Garden County”.

No matter the time of year (really), there’s a beautiful, refreshing and invigorating walk to be had in Wicklow. It’s especially suitable for families: a wholesome, fun adventure awaits you!

The old adage applies that there’s no bad weather, just the wrong clothes. So, before you start scaling those Wicklow hills, don’t forget your boots and coats. Autumn and winter are especially good times to consider investing in warm winter coats and, for the avid walkers among us, comfortable hiking boots.

Here are some of our favourite family walks in Wicklow…

1. Bray to Greystones – for spectacular views 

bray to greystones loop aerial view

  • How long: 7k / two hours (approximately) 
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • What to pack: good hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes 

This is one of my all-time favourite walks, with stunning coastal views all along Bray head. It’s perfect for kids or beginner walkers. You can start off in Bray and, after a brief climb, the walk is easy enough with the route taking you past the ocean cliffs, seabird colonies and eventually into Greystones’ beautiful Victorian seafront.

Once you get to Greystones, enjoy moseying around the quaint bookshops and cafes for a relaxing read while you sip a coffee or have a light bite to eat.

2. Devil’s Glen – for a forest adventure

devil's glen walk autumn wicklow

  • How long: 5k / 90 minutes approximately  
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • What to pack: good hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes; snacks, water or a picnic  

The Devil’s Glen is very kid-friendly with a walking time of about an hour and a half. While trekking along, you’ll encounter a sculpture trail in the middle of the forested area. 

The family-friendly walk is also dotted with picnic benches so you can make the most of your family day out by packing a few sandwiches for the kids. Sandwiches never taste as good as when you’re nestled in a scenic spot after a bit of a hike.

3. Djouce Mountain / Powerscourt Waterfall – for an elevated hike 

powerscourt waterfall wicklow autumn

  • How long: 4.5k / 1 – 3 hours approximately (depending on hike)
  • Difficulty: Easy, moderate or challenging (depending on trail chosen)
  • What to pack: comfortable shoes/runners/boots; snacks, water or a picnic  

Although not one for a cold and windy day, the Djouce is known for its striking shape and the promise of some beautiful views and terrain along the way. With a nice variety of walking conditions, this is a great introduction to hill walking. 

The cherry on top is the incredible sight of the Powerscourt Waterfall. The length of the walk can vary by up to two hours depending on where you join the climb. Enniskerry is a popular starting spot, making the walk six hours long, but you can also start from the carpark for a shorter hike.

4. Knocknacloghoge – to get away from it all 

knocknacloghoge walk wicklow spectacular view

  • How long: 12k / 4 hours approximately 
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • What to pack: comfortable shoes/runners/boots; snacks, water or a picnic  

This is a fairly easy walk, which may come as a surprise given the somewhat complicated name! 

This walk sits between Lough Tay and Lough Dan and there are no roads beside it, so the area is car-free, calm and peaceful. If a quiet walk where you can go to get away from the hectic hum-drum of daily life and clear your head is what you’re after, then Knocknacloghge is the perfect place for you to explore.

5. Lugnaquilla – for a challenge with older kids 

lugnaquilla hike wicklow hills

  • How long: 10-16k / 5-8 hours approximately 
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • What to pack: comfortable shoes/runners/boots; snacks, water or a picnic  

For families with pre-teens and teenagers who are experienced and looking for more of a challenge, we recommend Lugnaquilla. ‘Lug’ is Leinster’s highest peak, at over 3,000 feet. On a clear day from Lug you can even check over on our neighbours in Wales. You can climb this mountain by several different routes with the most testing being from the Glen of Imaal.

This is not one for the faint-hearted, with potentially over seven hours of walking involved! Those attempting it are advised to get some up-to-date advice from the Army Information and Advice Centre before setting off and to ensure that they have fully charged mobile phones with them.

That’s our list of Wicklow’s best walking trails. Before you head out, make sure that you have a good pair of walking shoes first!

Happy trails!