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A Guide To The Glendalough Green Road Walk

A Guide To The Glendalough Green Road Walk

The Glendalough Green Road Walk is a trail that is ideal for all the family.

Taking in views of the Lower Lake and the surrounding oak forest, it features a superb boardwalk section over the wetlands. 

Below, you’ll find info on everything from parking and a map of the trail to what to look out for along the way.

Some quick need-to-knows about the Glendalough Green Road Walk

waterfall walk glendalough

Photos via Shutterstock

Enjoying the Green Road Walk is a piece of cake, but it’s worth going over the essentials first:

1. Location

Glendalough sits in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, about 5 minutes from Laragh, the nearest village. It’ll take about an hour to drive from Dublin. If you’re staying in Wicklow Town, it’ll normally take around 30 minutes or so to drive.

2. Parking

There are two large car parks at Glendalough, the Upper and the Lower. The Upper car park is the larger of the two and boasts two food trucks with seating. The Upper car park has a toilet and it costs €4 per day for parking. Alternatively, the Glendalough Bus from Dublin is a handy option.

3. Length + Difficulty

The Green Road Trail is one of the easiest walks in Glendalough. It covers 3 km of mostly flat, well-paved tracks and boardwalks, meaning it’s stroller and wheelchair friendly. On average, you can complete the walk in around an hour but plan for longer if you want to take photos or soak up the scenery.

About the Glendalough Green Road Walk

view of upper lake in glendalough

Photo via Shutterstock

The Green Road Walk is a loop that essentially runs between the Upper Lake and the Lower Lake while circling the latter.

It also passes through the fascinating Glendalough Monastery, a landscape strewn with the ruins of numerous churches, friary buildings, and gravestones.

Dating back to the 600s, it’s steeped in history and offers a real sense of tranquillity. As you amble along, you’ll be rewarded by gorgeous scenery across the Lower Lake, passing through the mighty oak forest and the lower slopes of Derrybawn Mountain.

Crossing over to the other side of the lake and onto the boardwalk, you’ll be surrounded by the wetland on the lake’s edge. Keep your eyes peeled for lizards basking in the sun and dragonflies zipping through the air.

An overview of the Green Road Walk

Green Road Walk

Map with thanks to Wicklow Mountains National Park

Well-signed and with an easy-going surface, the Green Road Walk is an easy one to follow.

Here’s what to expect along the way (see the green dots on the map above for the route).

Kicking Things Off

Starting at the Upper car park, head to the information office to grab a printed map of the area that highlights all of the trails.

From here, you’ll soon see signs pointing you towards the Green Road, just look for the green arrows.

Once you’ve found them, head towards the Lower Lake cutting through the gorgeous oak forest as you pass the lake’s southern shore.

Into the Monastic City

After you’ve left the lake behind you, you’ll arrive at the Deer Stone. Turn left here and cross over the bridge towards the monastic city.

You’ll start seeing the well-preserved ruins almost immediately as various churches loom up, surrounded by ancient gravestones and the rubble of buildings long forgotten.

As you wander among the tombs and churches, you’ll see information boards dotted about, describing the history of the site. Soon enough, you’ll pass the impressive round tower, before turning left and back towards the lake.

The Wetlands

As you continue along the path, you’ll soon reach another bridge and the wooden boardwalk that takes you right along the lake’s edge.

The boards can be a little slippery in the rain, but mostly they’ve been reinforced to provide a better grip.

The views up the valley at this point are absolutely breathtaking, so make sure you’ve got your camera handy! Soon enough, the boards run out and you’ll find yourself back at the car park for a tasty treat or maybe even another walk.

Things to do after the Glendalough Green Walk

One of the beauties of this trail is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best things to do in Glendalough.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from the trail end.

1. Post-hike food

wicklow heather breakfast

Photos by The Irish Road Trip

You’ll find two food trucks in the Upper car park and there’s also a restaurant in the Glendalough Hotel. If you want to leave Glendalough, it’s worth dropping by Laragh, where you’ll find the Wicklow Heather.

Visiting Wicklow? Check out our guide to the best things to do in Wicklow and our guide to the best hikes in Wicklow

2. Glendalough Monastic Site

round tower in Glendalough

Photo via Shutterstock

With ruins that are over 1,000 years old, this ancient site was founded by St. Kevin in the 600s and soon grew into a veritable monastic city, awash with churches, priest houses, and towers. You’ll see many of these, like Glendalough Round Tower, still in fairly good condition as you explore this spiritual and tranquil site.

3. Sally Gap Drive

Sally Gap Drive

Photos via Shutterstock

Sally Gap marks the crossroads of the Wicklow Mountains and offers some fantastic driving or cycling. Some of the main stops are Guinness Lake, Ballinastoe Woods and Djouce Mountain.

FAQs about the Glendalough Green Route

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where does it start?’ to ‘Where do you park?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

How long does the Glendalough Green Route take?

This 3 km trail will take you around 1 hour max to complete. However, allow longer if it’s your first visit, as you’ll likely linger in places.

Is this Green Road Walk easy?

Yes. This is a relatively flat trail and it should prove too difficult for those with a reasonable level of mobility.

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