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The 2022 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

The 2022 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

Day 3 (Wicklow) – Taking our Ireland road trip to the mountains

Day 3 is brilliant.

It’s got something for everyone and there are several options that you can choose from based on fitness levels and the weather.

You should be nice and fresh on the morning of day 3, so get up early, check out, and be on the road for 08:00.

1 – Gallivanting around Glendalough

// Dublin to the Glendalough Visitor Centre – 1-hour drive (leave at 08:00, arrive for 09:00) //

koh

Standing out at Lough Ouler on a not-so-sunny May morning

There’s an endless number of walks and hikes to do in Wicklow on your Ireland road trip.

In this guide, we’re going to recommend the Spinc Loop, but there’s another lovely climb nearby that’ll take you up for a view out over Lough Ouler.

The Glendalough Spinc Loop

This is the first of many hikes over the next three weeks.

The Spinc Loop (see our Glendalough walks guide) is challenging enough to give you a good workout, but not too strenuous in that you can still chat away and have a laugh with friends as you climb.

The hike begins at the Upper Lake carpark and follows the Poulanass Waterfall before entering the Lugduff Valley.

the spin loop in glendalough

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

From here, climb the steep wooden steps (this’ll get the blood flowing!) to the top of the boardwalk that runs along the top of The Spinc.

This path is around 500m and it takes you up to a section of the boardwalk that overlooks the Upper Lake. This is a lovely spot to take a breather and admire a view that’s stopped many a walker in their tracks.

Here’s a look at some of what you can expect.

I’ve done this in 3 and a half hours a couple of times, but take it at your own pace and enjoy the views.

2 – A big aul feed in Roundwood

// Glendalough Visitor Centre to Roundwood – 10-minute drive (spend up to 4 hours in Glendalough and arrive at Roundwood for 13:00) //

At this stage, you’ll be in need of a post-hike feed – so we’re off for FOOOOOOD.

We’re going to take the short spin to the little village of Roundwood and head straight for the Coach House (there’s a car park).

the coach house wicklow

Photo via the Coach House

Fuel up, chill and rest the legs for an hour.

If you’re here in the winter, you’ll be able to grab some heat by an enormous open fire.

Related read: Check out 37 of the best things to do in Wicklow.

3 – Lough Tay and the Sally Gap drive

// Roundwood to Lough Tay – 10-minute drive (arrive for 14:20) //

lough tay in wicklow

Photo by Chris Hill

Lough Tay

Lough Tay is easily one of my favourite places in Ireland.

Mainly because it’s a short drive from where I live in Dublin and you generally have the whole place to yourself (basing this on the past 4 times that I’ve been).

lough tay wicklow

Photo © the Irish Road Trip

As you drive towards Lough Tay from Roundwood, you’ll eventually come to a little makeshift car park on the right where you can park the car.

Cross the road and walk down the grassy hill until you’re treated to the incredible view above (be careful with small children).

The Sally Gap

So, this is a looped drive rather than a stop. Leave Lough Tay and head in the direction of Glenmacnass Waterfall and then Laragh.

I’ve done this drive twice over the past 12 months, and many times over the years, and it never fails to disappoint.

Here’s how this looks on a map.

The enormous, isolated and often deserted (depending on when you visit) landscape that engulfs you as you spin along the Sally Gap Drive has the knack of making you feel like you’re the only person left on earth.

Watch the video below from pixel.flights and you’ll see what I mean.

Take your time with this drive and just soak it all up.

4 – A tour of the Wicklow Brewery, a pint and a feed

// Laragh to the Wicklow Brewery – 30-minute drive (arrive for 16:00) //

Our final stop of day 3 of our Ireland road trip takes us to Mickey Finn’s Pub in Redcross – home to the Wicklow Brewery.

the wicklow brewery tour

Photo © the Irish Road Trip

The Wicklow Brewery opened its doors on September 5th, 2014.

Those that opt to take the tour will be brought through the story of the Wicklow Brewery and given an insight into how they brew their beers, from the milling of the grain in the malt mill to the kegging at the end.

mickey finns pub wicklow

Photo © the Irish Road Trip

Hopefully it goes without saying that if you visit the brewery, you shouldn’t drink and drive!

We’re going to round the day off with a bite to eat in the pub. If you can, grab a seat in the cosy little snug area.

5 – A nest for night 3 of our Ireland road trip

So, where you stay in Wicklow is totally up to you.

I’m going to recommend Lochside B&B as it’s nice and close to Redcross, which is where the Wicklow Brewery is.

Check into the B&B and chill for the evening.

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Barbara Nelson Jameson

Monday 26th of September 2022

I've been following your website and the information is invaluable! We are beginning a 30 day Wild Atlantic Way trip on Sept 29. I would love to download your 28 day itinerary so it's available in a pdf we can use without wifi, but I cannot find the link that you reference?? Can you send me the link?

Barbara Nelson Jameson

Monday 26th of September 2022

I would love to download the pdf of the 28 day tour, we are starting our 30 day tour on Sept. 29 but cannot find the link that you reference. I have been following the Irish Road Trip and your information is invaluable!!!!

Barbara Jameson

elisa

Monday 29th of August 2022

This is literally the best travel guide I have read in my entire life. You are an absolute hero, I hope great things only happen to you - like FOREVER! Now I am even more excited to come to Ireland.

Mary

Sunday 24th of July 2022

Not sure if you are still monitoring this but if you are please send me email with this fabulous guide. I recently spent two weeks in the Republic and cannot wait to go back and see Northern Ireland.

Amanda Boone

Monday 27th of June 2022

Hi Keith, I enjoyed spending a few hours reading through this amazing itinerary of Ireland and I can't wait to get to my road trip this Fall. It will be my first time visiting Ireland :) Thank you for sharing all the information and pictures! ~Amanda in California, USA

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