/ The Dublin Guide
Dublin — By Jessica Colley on April 29, 2010 at 5:31 am
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Daytrip Outside Dublin: Glendalough

Any visit to Dublin must also include seeing some of the countryside. The difficult choice will be which way to go – and what to see? There are historical monuments, seaside walks, mountains to climb, and in the case of Glendalough, a 6th century monastic settlement to explore. (map)

St. Kevin founded a monastery in this serene location of County Wicklow beside two lakes. Today, this attraction is not only popular with history buffs, but is a spectacular place to hit the trails with a picnic. Start off your day exploring the monastic ruins and graveyards before heading out on one of the many paths into the forest, along the lakes, or into the hills.

The one downside to visiting Glendalough (Valley of the Two Lakes in Irish) is that it is a very popular attraction and can sometimes be crowded. If you would rather stroll along the waterside beneath tall pine trees on your own, and not surrounded by loud families, then avoid weekends and visit during the week. If the only time you can visit is on the weekend, try and arrive early to avoid the crowds and tour buses that can arrive by mid-afternoon.

Despite the crowds, Glendalough remains in the hearts of local people. Many Dubliners visit during the different seasons to see the spring flowers or the fall foliage at its most brilliant. Stop into the visitor information center for a free map if you intend on doing some of the walks or hikes, as the paths can be winding. Even if it is sunny when you depart, pack along a little rain gear in case of the random shower – these usually occur even when there isn’t a cloud in the sky in the morning!

The drive to Glendalough is one of my favorite parts as well – the winding country roads, roundabouts through small villages, and small groups of people who consistently take advantage of what ‘The Garden of Ireland’ has to offer – a chance to escape the chaos of the city and into the quiet of nature.

Photo Credit: Jessica Colley

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