What a day for one of our favorite hill walks in the Glendalough Valley, we have crystal clear skies so we are making the most of it by being outdoors. Glendalough is one of the most popular places in Wicklow and today it is living up to all expectations. We arrive to the visitors centre car park at 10am and already it’s beginning to fill up! There are buses, coaches and cars all dispensing their passengers for a day of relaxing or adventure seeking, it’s all available in Glendalough.
Today, for our group it’s a looped hill walk around the southern section of the National Park. We walk towards the upper lake, taking the Wicklow Way track but continue on to the lakeside to take in the vista. Then it’s up the track by the Poulanass Waterfall, where our ascent is aided by a cooling shade from the forest overhead. We move on to what looks like a gap between two trees, but this is the start of the boardwalk steps which will take us to the top of the Spink. This boardwalk is a steep set of steps through forest which bring us out to a viewing platform, we stop for breathers along the way which is not surprising considering the glorious weather! We then continue along the boardwalk which skirts the cliff tops around the upper lake until we finally reach the Spink Summit.
We move off boardwalks and onto more traditional tracks and journey towards Mullacor Mountain which today is bone dry. We encounter two other groups as we make our ascent, passing the usual pleasantries as we continue. From Mullacor we have fantastic views of the Derrybawn Ridge, our next destination. We stroll down the easy eastern side of the mountain hop over a style and continue to a small hollow just at the beginning of the Ridge and stop for a well earned lunch or as we call it “drum up”. There’s no hurry on a summers day like today, relax and enjoy the break have a cuppa and replenish the body before we take on the wonderful Derrybawn Ridge.
We start up the south western aspect of the ridge which quickly offers views of Derrybawn Mountain and nearly all of Wicklow as it’s so clear today. We move on with the ground giving great grip, our footsteps raising dust as we progress. At points the ridge is steep on both sides, not knife edge but certainly impressive. We stop on the summit of Derrybawn and take in the surrounding areas, we can see for miles and the views are, again, fantastic. Our descent off Derrybawn is direct, straight down the track to rejoin the Wicklow Way, we continue on past the waterfall again and back to Glendalough visitor centre. Refreshments are readily available locally, and the monastic village and National Park are teeming with visitors out enjoying the sunshine and amenities. What a great day out in one of Ireland’s best locations.
Hill Walk Statistics
Distance: 16.5K, Height ascended 730m, Duration 5 hours. Difficulty: moderate
We can provide mountain leaders / guides for this hill walk, on a date that suits your
family, group, organisation, sport club or social club.
This walk can be customised to suite your requirements