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Glendalough on a summer day!

Luciann Photography, at pexels.

As someone who has been traveling for around 5 years, and has done many beautiful walks, without a doubt, Glendalough is one of the most magnificent places I have ever been to. And there I had, believe it or not, one of the most “tropical” experiences in Ireland, where people were enjoying the sun and taking a swim in the river. It’s like having the countryside’s beauty and wildlife while also enjoying the sun!

For some Glendaloch is only a historical place, and when scrolling through the internet images most show the historical ruins. Don’t get me wrong, I love the historical side of this park, but there’s way more to it. The number of walks you can have at the park is countless, from horizontal hikes to more challenging climbings. I stayed two days in Glendaloch and there was still much to be discovered.

Before anything one must reinforce that when visiting places in Ireland, one must respect the environment, this quasi-sacred area must be respected, and we must as possible try not to disturb animals, the ones that call Glendaloch home. Also if bringing any food, do not forget to leave the place spotless. Also, do not give your human condiments to any of the animals you might come across at the park. Well, after that let’s dive in!

The Upper Lake


One for the doubtful dudes, the beach near the car park at the upper lake it is permitted to swim (at your own risk, there’s no lifeguard), no water sports or inflatables allowed but swimming and paddling is, check the Wicklow national park website if you’d prefer an official source! The water gets very deep very suddenly about 10 metres out so watch kids like a hawk but it is a stunning spot for a swim, picnic and relaxing on the beach. And if you do go, for goodness sake take your rubbish home with you if the bins are full 😭. #wicklow #glendalough #lakeswim #wildswimming

♬ original sound – Becca 🍉

The upper lake can be a magnificent place to get a sun bath, an incredibly beautiful spot to get into the water, that is not very cold during summer days and one can enjoy a great time! Glendalough is also located not very distant from many beaches, in case you’re driving.

Contrary to popular belief the Upper lake is allowed for swimming, and it’s known for getting quite crowded on the best summer days! The whole environment resembles a beach during this specific moment of the year. However one must be very careful when swimming at the place, and children should not be left unattended.

In any case, the constant presence of water around you, while attending to many of the hiking in Glendalough is already something that brings an overall distinctive aspect to the experience, and on a warm summer day getting to the water might be an interesting step to make.

The wild Life

Instead of seeing the deer at Phoenix Park here you can if lucky see them running through the forest, those animals look way wilder than the ones in Dublin’s famous Phoenix Park. And I have myself experienced,  an exciting encounter, that lasted a few seconds, but one that I will never forget.

Seeing an animal in a more natural habitat, surrounded by big trees and lakes, is something unique, and makes one wonder about how ancient Ireland looked like in a distant past. If you are someone like me who likes to write or sketch things, this is the place for you.

Glendalough Hotel

In Glendalough, you have the option of taking the bus that will leave you right at the entrance of the park, and at the end of the day, you get the same bus at the same spot, but be mindful that the last bus leaves soon, therefore staying for the night and enjoying two days, might be the best option. I have personally gone to the park by bus once, but I find this method limiting since you will have only 5 hours maximum to stay at the part (if one gets the first bus and the last).

Right at the entrance is located the Glendalough Hotel, with a restaurant outside, vending beers and ice cream. The presence of the hotel gives a place to take a break from the adventures in the park, offering toilets and comfort.

The hotel has restaurants outside, you’ll find yourself on a warmer summer day, enjoying your pint while at the same time, listening to the water creak coming from the river, while beautiful species of birds might land right around you!

Right in front of the hotel that is situated at the park. The hotel had a great breakfast, the coffee was good as well as the food with interesting sort of deals for beverages, and at night expect some good stargazing and tranquility. The park has a limit of hours of access to cars and parking, creating a universe of peace but at the same time be aware that one might be stuck at the hotel/park at night, therefore bringing some games or some sort of entertainment might be a good option.

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