Silvia Bernal walks through Co. Wicklow, known as‘the garden of Ireland’
The geography of Ireland offers a great diversity of landscapes throughout its territory. There is a great combination of rivers, lakes, bays, peninsulas, as well as islands and the mountains allow visitors the opportunity to explore. For those who want to discover Ireland through its mountains, moving away from the bustle of the city, the Wicklow Way is one of the most popular sites. Indeed it’s one of the first trails, in Ireland, established since 1980.
Today the Wicklow Way is part of a network of trails over a long distance and is well signposted. The route combines mountain roads with easy access to a diversity of landscapes and panoramic views on its way. The Wayfarer will discover the many natural attractions throughout this part of the country. Without going too far from Dublin, you will witness forests and considerable wildlife along the Wicklow Way.
HISTORY OF THE WICKLOW WAY
The Wicklow way, or Slí Cualann Nua in Irish, means “New way of Cuala” and stretches a lengthy 129 km. The concept of hiking the long distance through the Wicklow Mountains was first introduced by John James Bernard (JB) Malone. Malone was responsible for popularisng this pastime in Ireland through publications and television programs. In 1966 he proposed the creation of Wicklow way, initially as a circular route known as “The twelve days of Wicklow”, and compared the trip with the renowned path of the Pennine way, in England.
Malone presented a series of television documentaries on RTE called Mountain and Meadow, in the 1960s and introduced the public to a variety of strolls through the Wicklow Mountains and nearby counties. Finally, in 1980 he presented the Wicklow Way, newly opened, as one of the recognised paths of Ireland. Malone has been honoured for his contribution to a better knowledge of the Wicklow Way and a plaque was put there in his honor. The site of the plaque offers a beautiful view of Lough Tay, a small but picturesque lake located in the Wicklow Mountains.
The Wicklow Way was one of the first signposted roads in Ireland and, because of its proximity to Dublin, became one of the most popular routes for hiking in the country. Signals are characterised by the yellow color of a man walking and an arrow indicating the direction. This has been adapted from the Ulster Way and has become the traditional symbol of hiking in Ireland. The Wicklow Way, through its 129 km, easily combines stunning scenery, crossing hills, green valleys and transports us to the depths of the so-called garden of Ireland.
A JOURNEY OF SEVEN DAYS
Traditionally, the Wicklow Way is the route from North to South Wicklow. Its base is located at Marlay Park, which is to the south of Dublin and the trail ends in Clonegal, County Carlow; however this path can also be vice versa. Its route can be completed over a period of 7 days, during which the route offers the opportunity to rest along the trail. The seven-day trek is specifically for those who are well prepared for the journey of 129 km. However, once you complete the trail, tiredness is forgotten and there is great satisfaction in taking in some wonderful views and landscapes. Few walks in Ireland are as memorable as the Wicklow Way.
By Silvia Bernal
Yeah! English its belong to Yeah magazines is an online and physically magazine for the international student in Ireland.