Hillwalking in Glendalough

15 September, 2008

On Sunday I joined two carloads of archaeology students on a trip to Glendalough in County Wicklow.

Ian used to work there so he gave us an unofficial Guided Tour (thanks Ian 🙂 ). Rough synopsis: Saint Kevin arrived to live there as a hermit, but ended up sharing the area with an entire religious community who defended against Vikings, made Celtic crosses, educated people and so forth.

Chapel of Saint Kevin

Chapel of Saint Kevin

Pausing only to fuel up on chips, we set off in the rain on the Spinc and Glenealo Valley trail.

Archaeology students are not afraid of rain.

Archaeology students are not afraid of rain.

This is a 9km trail going 380m up past a waterfall;

Poulanass Waterfall

Poulanass Waterfall

over the bogs on a boardwalk to the top;

View from the top

View from the top

past the ruins of the lead miners’ village and back around the lake.

Soggy but pretty

Soggy but pretty

On the way we discussed Dutch wildlife, sang French songs, listened to tales of wild Italian parties and greeted the people going the other way in English and Spanish.

Despite the constant rain, my feet stayed dry. Oh happy day.



  1. Congratulations on the dry feet 🙂

  2. I just realised I did the exact same walk, years ago. Strange.

    Defining memory: board walks, made of old railway sleepers wrapped in chicken wire for grip, are a fantastic solution to the timeless ‘how do I cross this bog’ problem. The British Isles need more of them 🙂

    • That’s the route! I was pretty tired when I got to the top, and was very glad I was not employed to carry railway sleepers all the way up there.

      I was unable to learn the words but now my internal jukebox is playing the tune of the French round. Strange how these things stick.

  3. […] #5, County Wicklow. Since I didn’t manage to get a postcard from Glendalough, this county is represented by Charlie’s hometown […]

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