Wicklow is often overshadowed by neighbouring Dublin, but missing out on this county during your trip to Ireland would be a big mistake. It is renowned for its namesake mountains, country estates, Irish Sea coastline and the Wicklow Way. You’ll find plenty of things to do in Wicklow, and the difficult part will be choosing between them all. So we’ve tried to help by narrowing it down to our top 5 things to do in Wicklow. So start reading, start planning, and don’t be shocked if camping in Wicklow comes up as one!
#1 Visit Wicklow National Park
Just south of Dublin you’ll find Wicklow National Park, covering 20,000 hectares of mountain scenery. Most of the Park is remote, with few facilities, and the most popular location for visitors to the National Park is the scenic and historic valley of Glendalough. There is no entry fee to the Park, and there are both parking options and public transport to the Park. The Wicklow National Park differs to others through its primary focus on the conservation of biodiversity and landscape. There are no serviced camping and caravan sites within the National Park, however you may wild camp beyond the valley of Glendalough - as long as you follow the Wild Camping Code!
#2 Rent a Bike
County Wicklow is a stunning region, and the only way to explore it properly is by bike! You’ll find your best bike rental options at Fatbike Adventures, a bike company offering all-terrain-all-weather bikes, all properly equipped and ready to ensure a reliable ride. They have a wide selection of bikes, and are there to help you find the one best suited for your needs, including test runs! Aside from bike rentals, they also offer off-road guided fatbike tours, taking you through the most incredible scenery that Ireland’s Ancient East has to offer, including beaches, forest and mountain trails. Renting a Fatbike will ensure fun for the entire family, and the most convenient method to explore the beauty of Wicklow.
Need yet another reason to head to Fatbike Adventures? They’re located in Belmont, which has been used as a location for the following movies. So on their tour you’ll get to see the set of:
PS I Love You
Into the Badlands
King Arthur (This is Arthurs Barn, built by the same construction company as Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London and has a lovely cafe within!)
#3 Learn the History
It is important to learn about the past of a region to understand their present s, and so you should aim to spend at least an afternoon dipping your toe into the rich history Wicklow has to offer. Make a trip to Wicklow Gaol… if you dare! The Wicklow Gaol tells the story of past prisoners through an interactive tour led by passionate and experienced actor guides. This glimpse into the dark past will both educate and entertain you, the perfect combination for a rainy day! If the sun is shining for once, make the most of it at Killruddery’s 17th Century Garden. You can head there to enjoy the gorgeous lawns and grassy banks, bring a picnic or partake in some bird watching. They also have events throughout the year, from pumpkin patches to Santa’s workshop, theatre performances to Heritage tours. There is truly something for everyone!
#4 Tour the Mountains
A trip to this region wouldn’t be complete without a Wicklow mountains tour. There are dozens of options, ranging from only morning tour to full day trips and including various nearby areas - such as Glendalough or Kilkenny. There are also a variety of transport options for tours, such as the Wicklow Mountains, Avoca and Glendalough Rail Tour which gives you a full day of the best of rural Ireland on a tight schedule. Families may opt for the Horse Riding Wicklow Day Trip, getting to see the scenery firsthand through riding and stopping for lunch in the quaint village of Enniskerry. Or if you feel more comfortable on foot, then the Guided Walking Day Trip will allow you to enjoy a leisurely 1.5 hour hike through the park and visit the medieval ambiance of Glendalough.
#5 Camping in Wicklow
Given how stunning this county is, the best Wicklow accommodation you’ll find is right there in the beauty of it! Camping in Wicklow will allow you to escape the bustle of daily life and truly sit back and relax. As mentioned previously, wild camping is possible within certain regions of the Wicklow National Park. But perhaps you’d prefer a campsite, for electrical hook up or the social aspect, and so here are a few campsite options for your Wicklow accommodation! Derrybawn Mountain Ecolabs is an eco-friendly site on the edge of the National Park, allowing you to spend your days exploring the Park and your evenings in the games room or cooking with fellow travellers. Wolohan’s Caravan & Camping Park is situated only 4.3km from Wicklow town, and overlooking the famous Silver Strand beach. Pitching your motorhome here will provide you with both a sea view and the tranquility of this rural farmland campsite. If you’re not looking for a simple campsite, but rather an entire experience, look no further than Hidden Valley Holiday Park. You’ll find every type of accommodation here, as well as a range of activities from fishing to cinema nights to kayaking! Your kids will love it and you’ll love the quiet nights that accompany their satisfied exhaustion.
Derrybawn Mountain Ecolabs: 52.991452, -6.310300
Wolohan's Caravan & Camping Park: 52.954671, -6.016508
Hidden Valley Holiday Park: 52.939131, -6.227340
Between exploring the many things to do and camping in Wicklow, your holiday will be an unforgettable one! Motorhome hire in Ireland will allow you to take in as much of this country as possible, and get the most out of your holiday. Just be sure to pack a raincoat for the unpredictable Irish weather and loose pants for all the delicious Irish food you’ll be scoffing down!