> Hillwalk Tours Blog > Hiking in Ireland > 6 Irish villages & towns along the Wicklow Way
POSTED BY March 25, 2021

Rich mountain paths, expansive moorlands and green valleys – the Wicklow Way takes walkers through some of Ireland’s most beautiful natural areas. In addition, this famous walking route takes you past several Irish villages and towns worth visiting for historical sights, top restaurants or cultural significance.

Located just south of Dublin, you will discover the dramatic landscapes of the Wicklow Mountains and the welcoming Irish villages and towns of the region. In this post, we investigate six of the best Irish villages and towns along the Wicklow Way hiking route! A world of sumptuous mansions, beautiful gardens, quaint military barracks and inviting pubs awaits.

Wicklow Way Hillwalk Tours
The Wicklow Way

1. Bunclody

Close to the starting point of the Wicklow Way, at the foot of Mount Leinster, lies this bustling town. Bunclody is a real sports village with opportunities for golfers, anglers, cyclists and of course hikers. 

However, it is also an ideal place to unwind – cozy cafes, restaurants and shops invite visitors to experience the Irish village atmosphere.

2. Clonegal

This starting point of the Wicklow Way trail is a town of just one street. Clonegal is a lovely, typical Irish village in County Carlow. 

A visit to the 17th century Huntington Castle is certainly worthwhile for history buffs. This impressive building has traditionally decorated rooms and a cellar that was converted into a temple to the Egyptian goddess Isis in the 1970s.

Huntington Castle, Clonegal. Photo: IrishFireside / CC BY 2.0

3. Glencree

This village near the Wicklow Way is a place steeped in history. In the nineteenth century, after the failed Irish Rebellion of 1798, the British army built a military road through Wicklow. 

A typical barracks that lined this road can still be visited in Glencree, including an exhibit on the region’s history. Moreover, there is also a cemetery here for German soldiers and prisoners who died during the Second World War. Most are Luftwaffe (air force) or Kriegsmarine (navy) personnel whose bodies were recovered and buried here.

4. Roundwood

Located 238 meters above sea level, this is one of Ireland’s highest villages. The village itself is quite small and has few attractions, but the nearby Vartry reservoir is an interesting area attraction. This dam was built in the nineteenth century to supply Dublin with fresh water.

The Coach House, Roundwood

5. Rathdrum

Set in the valley of the River Avonmore, this lively town offers a good variety of shops and pubs. The main attraction is Avondale House, the home where the important Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell (1846–91) was born. The five hundred hectares of woodland around the estate provide a beautiful environment for walks.

6. Enniskerry

Charming Enniskerry is located east of the Wicklow Way route and south of Dublin in a green, natural setting. The village is also called “the garden of Ireland”. 

Nestled between Wicklow Mountains National Park and Ireland’s eastern coastline, Enniskerry is an attractive destination for nature lovers. A major attraction in the area is the Powerscourt estate – both the manor and gardens here are world famous.

Powerscourt Estate on the Wicklow Way
Powerscourt Estate on the Wicklow Way

For more information on the villages and towns along the Wicklow Way, check out our Wicklow Way walking tours.