Kilkenny, Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough Day Tour From Dublin
Travel with us through the rugged gems of the East Coast. From Kilkenny, a charming medieval city, and the vast expanse of the Wicklow Mountains, to the glacial valley Glendalough, rich in stunning scenery and monastic artefacts. Explore the wild, powerful beauty of quintessential Ireland and delve deep into the beating heart of our ancient country.
GET READY FOR THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME!
Join us on one of our Kilkenny, Glendalough and Wicklow Mountain tours. Enjoy stunning scenery, flora and fauna as we travel through the countryside to Kilkenny before continuing on to the wild and rugged Wicklow Mountains. We’ll depart Dublin between 8:00 and 8:30am (dependent on pick up location) to arrive at the famous heritage site of Glendalough; a glacial valley and medieval monastic settlement which played an important role in the religious and cultural history of Europe. Afterwards, we stop at a working sheep farm on our Wicklow Mountain tour. Having taken in the sights of one of the most beautiful parts of the island, sit back, relax as we begin our return journey to Dublin.
With human activity and settlements in the area dating back to the Mesolithic Period, Kilkenny is a city which is as historic as it is charming. There are plenty of tales to be told around every corner; from kings and sieges to witch trials and murder. As part of your one day tour, you will arrive in Kilkenny at 10:00am for a walking tour of Ireland’s medieval capital. But first, we have a quick break to stop for a coffee and recharge the batteries after the bus ride. Your 45 minute guided walking tour of Kilkenny City will take you through the narrow and winding cobbled streets and under the city’s many medieval arches as you explore all the main attractions and landmarks. Along the way, your tour guide will entertain and inform you with the history of the city.
After the walking tour, you will have a further 1 hour 45 minutes to explore Kilkenny at your own leisure. The city’s compact nature means that all the points of interest are easily accessible by foot and you will have plenty of time to visit an attraction if you wish (admission is not included). You may choose to visit the famous 12th century Kilkenny Castle. The castle is the signature symbol of the city and is majestically located on the banks of the River Nore. Kilkenny Castle has a storied past and was once the Irish stronghold of the legendary Strongbow. Alternately, you could visit Rothe House, a magnificent example of a wealthy silk merchant’s home built in 159. The house contains multiple medieval exhibits; including priceless Viking artefacts and a medieval garden which contains plants of the era including Gortahork cabbage and Blood of the Boyne apples.
Kilkenny has a proud food heritage and you will have the opportunity to enjoy lunch while in the city. There is plenty to choose from including artisan cafés and charming gastropubs. You tour guide will be happy to make lunch recommendations once you arrive in the city. Depart Kilkenny at 12:30pm.
WICKLOW MOUNTAIN TOUR
After lunch, we travel through the county of Carlow into the wild and rugged Wicklow Mountains, specifically the Wicklow Gap and its scenery, which is the most varied on the island of Ireland. The landscape on your Wicklow Mountains tour will change from lush green rich pasture with gentle valleys, to the dramatic and the breathtaking ancient glacial valleys of the Wicklow Gap. The journey through the mountains will bring you through spectacular locations where famous movies such as Braveheart and PS I Love You were filmed.
Enjoy a 20 minute stop for a stroll and photographic opportunities on top of the Wicklow Mountains overlooking the glens and valleys of County Wicklow.
Continuing over the mountains as part of your Glendalough day tour, we arrive at the world famous heritage site of Glendalough (Glen of two lakes) at 14:30pm. The landscape here is dominated by oak, Scots Pine and mixed woodland, and of course, the two lakes from which the name Glendalough is derived. The lower lake takes under an hour to walk and the upper just over an hour.
On arrival in Glendalough, you can join your tour guide on a 30-minute guided tour of Glendalough’s Monastic City, an ancient window into the golden era of Irish history – the Early Christian period. The Monastic city is heralded as a national monument of immense importance and it is here that Irish monks ‘saved civilisation’ while the rest of Europe went through the Dark Ages. The monastic site dates back to 600 AD and played an important role in reintroducing Christianity to Northern and Central Europe after the Dark Ages. It was here that the famous Irish monk Saint Kevin founded his monastery and round tower. This location later acted as a shelter for Christian manuscripts to protect them from the barbarous marauding Vikings.
Our guides will leave you with some of the folklore and legendary stories of Glendalough’s past and direct you towards the stunning Upper Lake. You will have ample time take in the walk and fully appreciate the beauty of the area’s natural wonders.
ANNAMOE: SHEEP FARM AND DOG TRIALS
Our visitors have the opportunity to visit the village of Annamoe located at the foot of the Wicklow Mountains, where you get the unique chance to experience a Shepherd at work with his best friend the Border Collie Sheep Dog.
The dog, listening to the whistling sounds from the Shepherd, will herd the sheep across fields, through gates and fencing into corrals, out again over ditches around trees to your feet. If you want an idea of what to expect, here is a short clip of the Irish sheep dog trials where shepherds and their dogs complete for sport: Depending on the time of the year you will also have the opportunity to hold and feed a little lamb. This is an experience not to be missed!
Departing Annamoe at 17:10, we journey through the highest village in Ireland known as Roundwood. From there you can see the Sugarloaf Mountains, which prior to the Ice Age were higher than the Alps. You can also catch a glimpse of the Powerscourt Estate and the Glen of Imaal just before reaching Kilmacanogue. Now it’s time to sit back and relax as we begin our return journey and arrive back in Dublin city at approximately 6:15pm.
8:10am at Gresham Hotel, O’Connell St Dublin 1
8:20am at Ulster Bank Bus Stop, Dame Street / College Green Dublin 2
8:30am at Jurys Inn, Christ Church Dublin 8
18:15pm at Dublin City, Eden Quay, Dublin 1
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What is included
Transport, guides and all admissions
THINGS TO BRING:
All weather clothing and a smile on your face! Check out our Packing for a Winter Trip to the Cliffs of Moher for tips and inspiration.
We offer luggage storage services at our Tourist Office situated at 33 Bachelor’s walk, Dublin 1 (beside O’Connell bridge).
Not included: Lunch. You will have the opportunity to try delicious traditional cuisine on your tour.
Meeting Point Information
TOUR STARTS FROM
8.10 Gresham Hotel, O’Connell Street (23 O'Connell Street Upper, North City, Dublin, D01 C3W7, Ireland).
8.20 Ulster Bank Bus Stop, 33 College Green / Dame Street, Dublin 2. (next to Abercrombie & Fitch) (33 College Green, Dublin, Ireland)
8.30 Outside Jurys Inn Hotel, opposite Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin 8.
Please be at your pickup location 10 minutes early.