A Guide To Powerscourt Waterfall In Wicklow (What To See + Handy Info)

powerscourt waterfall wicklow
Photo by Eimantas Juskevicius (Shutterstock)

The mighty Powerscourt Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Ireland and it’s one of the most popular attractions in Wicklow.

At 121m high, it’s an incredible sight and one of the most beautiful natural attractions in the Wicklow Mountains National Park

Offering the perfect backdrop for a summer picnic, Powerscourt makes a great destination for a day out (just get there early when visiting at the weekend!).

In the guide below, you’ll find everything you need to know about visiting Powerscourt Waterfall in Wicklow, from things to do and midgets… yes, midgets!

Some quick need-to-knows before you visit Powerscourt Waterfall in Wicklow

Powerscourt
Photo by Eleni Mavrandoni (Shutterstock)

Although a visit to Powerscourt Waterfall in Wicklow is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

The incredible Powerscourt Waterfall is located inside the Powerscourt Estate at the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. The waterfall is in fact 6km from the main estate and just 9km from the town of Bray in northern County Wicklow.

2. Opening hours

From November to February, it’s open from 10.30am to 4pm. For the months of March, April, September and October, it’s open from 10.30am to 5.30pm. For the warmer months from May until August, it’s open longer, from 9.30am to 7pm.

3. Admission

In terms of ticket prices, an adult ticket is €6.50, students and seniors pay €5.50 and children under 16 years are €3.50. A family ticket for two adults and three children can save you a bit of money and cost €16 (prices may change).

4. Parking

There is a large parking area near the waterfall, with toilet facilities and refreshments available there too. Powerscourt Waterfall gets busy at the weekends, so we’d recommend that you arrive early.

5. Midges

Yes, midges! If you visit Powerscourt Waterfall during the warmer months of the year, expect midgets… lots and lots of midgets. They can, at times, ruin a trip, so make sure to bring midget repellant and be prepared to eat in the car.

About Powerscourt Waterfall

 

Powerscourt Waterfall is inside a beautiful estate of Beech, Oak, Larch and Pine trees, some of which are over 200 years old. You can enjoy these incredible trees on the drive towards the waterfall, which flows into the Dargle River at the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains.

The estate is also a haven for a range of birds, including the Chaffinch, Cuckoo, Raven and the Willow Warbler. You can also spot Sika Deer, where were introduced to Ireland in 1858 by the 7th Viscount Powerscourt, as well as the native Irish red squirrel. 

The waterfall is the perfect place for a summer picnic, with barbecues available for use at the picnic areas. There’s also a playground for the kids to play on while you prepare the food.

If you prefer to purchase some refreshments, there’s a kiosk that serves coffee, tea, hot dogs and ice cream during the warmer months from June until August near the car park.

Things to do at Powerscourt Waterfall 

There’s plenty of things to do at Powerscourt, from walks and gardens to a scenic trail that’s often overlooked.

Later in the guide, you’ll find places to visit a stone’s throw from Powerscourt, for those of you that fancy seeing what else Wicklow has to offer.

1. Get an eyeful of the waterfall (no sh*t, I know…)

powerscourt waterfall
Photo by Eleni Mavrandoni (Shutterstock)

Likely the reason you came in the first place, you’ll get the chance to enjoy the sight of the waterfall itself. It really is a stunning drop of water that tumbles 121m down over the rocky escarpment into the river below.

It’s just a short walk from the carpark, and there are a few picnic tables where you can sit back and enjoy the spray of the water on a warm day.

2. Take the scenic trail

powerscourt waterfall walk
Photo by Eleni Mavrandoni (Shutterstock)

If you want to stretch your legs for a bit, there is a scenic walking trail which is one of the better short walks in Wicklow (it takes about 30 minutes across the river and back).

Along the way you can enjoy different views of the waterfall from various vantage points and is worth the extra effort.

Don’t forget good walking shoes for this one though, as the walk involves some inclines. Dogs are also welcome to join your walk, as long as you keep them on a leash. 

3. Visit the gardens

powerscourt gardens
Photos by trabantos (Shutterstock)

While the rest of the estate is a few kilometres away from the waterfall, you can make a day of it by visiting the gardens and house as well. The gardens of the Powerscourt Estate are one of the most beautiful in Ireland and cover an incredible 47 acres of land. 

You can wander through the formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and secret hollows. The gardens were designed from 1731 onwards, with various sections worth exploring. It requires a separate entrance ticket to the waterfalls though, costing €11.50 per adult and €5 per child.

4. Head for a ramble around Powerscourt House

powerscourt gardens wicklow
Photo by Chris Hill via Ireland’s Content Pool

Powerscourt House has been voted as one of the top houses and mansions worldwide by Lonely Planet, so you can probably guess that it’s worth a visit. Overlooking Sugarloaf Mountain, you can tour through the house and enjoy some bespoke shopping with stores such as Design Loft, Global Village and Avoca Stores located inside. 

The House is also home to the Avoca Terrace Café, which is the perfect place for a relaxing coffee overlooking the gardens below. The menu changes daily, so be sure to check it out on your visit. 

Things to do near Powerscourt Waterfall

One of the beauties of Powerscourt Waterfall is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best things to do in Wicklow.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Powerscourt (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).

1. Wicklow Mountains National Park

lough tay walk wicklow
Photo by Lukas Fendek/Shutterstock.com

The Wicklow Mountains National Park cover an expansive area of almost 20, 000 hectares. It’s the largest area of continuous high ground in Ireland, making it a popular place to head for outdoor enthusiasts. It covers most of central County Wicklow and beyond.

The stunning scenery of the national park can be explored on foot or bicycle by the many trials that meander through the various landscapes on offer. From forests to bogland and epic viewpoints, there’s no shortage of breathtaking nature. 

2. Walks and hikes galore

Djouce walk
Photo by Semmick Photo (Shutterstock)

Whether you just want to stretch your legs or you’re an avid hiker, Wicklow is an outdoor playground with trails galore. From long walks and challenging trails to gentle rambles, here are some hike guides to dip into:

3. Bray

bray head walk
Photo by Algirdas Gelazius (Shutterstock)

Just 9km from Powerscourt Waterfall is the coastal town of Bray, located an hour from Dublin. There are plenty of things to do in this vibrant town, from having a pint at the iconic Harbour Bar to more active things like the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk and climbing up to Bray Head

4. Loads more attractions 

Djouce Woods car park
Photo by CTatiana (Shutterstock)

I could go on and on about things to do nearby because there’s loads! If you’re looking for more, then you might want to head to Lough Tay or Glenmacnass Waterfall, both of which you can see on the Sally Gap Drive.

FAQs about Powerscourt Waterfall

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from the parking at the waterfall to what there is to do.

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 much is it into Powerscourt Waterfall?

In terms of ticket prices, an adult ticket is €6.50, students and seniors pay €5.50 and children under 16 years are €3.50. A family ticket for two adults and three children can save you a bit of money and cost €16 (prices may change).

Is there much to see at the waterfall?

Aside from the waterfall itself, there’s the scenic trail around it. 

How long is the walk to Powerscourt Waterfall from the car park?

If you park in the car park beside the toilets, it’s between 5 and 10 minutes max. If you park in the overflow, it’s around the same.

Elisha is a freelance writer, content creator and blogger and her work can be read in Lonely Planet, Remote Lands and Matador Network. You’ll usually find her travelling in offbeat places or hiking wherever there are mountains; always with a camera in hand.

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