WICKLOW TOWN & COUNTY
County Wicklow (Contae Chill Mhantáin) is less than one hour south of Dublin city centre, with commuter links by rail, bus and motorway. Known as 'The Garden of Ireland', County Wicklow is one of Ireland's scenic treasures with its magnificent hills and mountains, long sandy beaches, rivers and lakes.
Wicklow, situated at the mouth of the Vartry river, is the county town of Co.Wicklow. To the immediate north lies ' The Murrough ', a popular grassy walking area beside the sea, to the south is the rocky headlands of Bride's Head and 'Wicklow Head'.
The name Wicklow comes from the Old Norse Víkingalág and it's anglicised form Wykynlo, which may translate as "Viking's meadow" or "Viking's lake". The origin of the Irish name Cill Mhantáin bears no relation to the name Wicklow - according to folklore, Saint Patrick and some followers are said to have tried to land on Travalahawk beach, to the south of the harbour. Hostile locals attacked them, causing one of Patrick's party to lose his front teeth. Manntach (toothless one), as he became known, was undeterred and returned to the town, eventually founding a church. Hence Cill Mhantáin, meaning "church of the toothless one"!
Wicklow Town has a wealth of historic sites such as the Black Castle ruins and the Abbey ruins and notable buildings include the Town Hall and the Gaol, built in 1702 and now a heritage centre and tourist attraction. It was here that Billy Byrne, a leader of the 1798 rebellion, met his end in 1799. He is commemorated by a statue in Market Square. At Fitzwilliam Square, in the centre of Wicklow Town, is an obelisk commemorating the career of Captain Robert Halpin, commander of the telegraph cable ship Great Eastern, who was born in Wicklow in 1836.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WICKLOW & WHAT'S HAPPENING LOCALLY, HERE'S SOME HELPFUL LINKS...
The Wicklow way of living, thewicklowway.ie
Your community online, mytown.ie
For all your local needs, mylocaltown.ie
For everything going on in Wicklow Town, wicklowtown.ie
FORESTS & WOODLANDS IN WICKLOW
Wicklow is the most forest covered county in Ireland. Coillte operate 15 different woodland and forest areas that are open to the public for recreational activities. Here you can access kilometre after kilometre of walking, hiking, mountain bike, multi access, and long distance forest trails. See Coillte for details of where these forests are and what amenities are available at each.
WALKING & CYCLING IN WICKLOW'S FORESTS
If you have a special interest in walking or cycling in Wicklow you can also get more information on routes from Wicklow Trails.
ART IN WICKLOW WOODLAND
Just 15 minutes drive from Wicklow Town is the Devil’s Glen Wood. This beautiful and special place not only offers two rather wonderful woodland walks (The Waterfall Walk and the Seamus Heaney Walk), it is also a kind of outdoor gallery space that sets the scene for Sculpture in Woodland – an outdoor exhibition featuring a unique collection of contemporary sculpture by Irish and international artists. For more information see here.
There are interesting and pleasant birdwatching opportunities close to Wicklow Town, at Killoughter and Broadlough which is a marsh, lake and wetland environment good for observing waterbirds throughout the year. Also good for seabirds in summer is the picturesque and lighthouse dotted (there are three!) Wicklow Head, a prominent headland just south of the town. Grey seals are also a common sight in the water around the base of the cliffs at Wicklow Head.
For more on bird watching - Bird Watch Ireland
WICKLOW MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK extends over 20,000 hectares of upland mountain scenery on the doorstep of Dublin. The landscape is a product of the interaction between man and nature over thousands of years, but you can still get a real feeling of wilderness. The primary purpose of the Park is to conserve the natural flora and fauna of the Wicklow Mountains. The Park consists primarily of heath and bog cloaked uplands along with woodland in the river valleys. The rounded granite mountains forged some 500 million years ago now support a wide diversity of wildlife, some common, some threatened. The National Park welcomes visitors all year round.
For more information on natural conservation areas- National Parks & Wildlife Service
WAF does not take responsibility for inaccurate or outdated info. If you'd like to amend a link or add one please email us & we'd be happy to oblige!