Like most websites, Insight Guides uses cookies. Ours are completely safe and are just used to improve the site. To continue to use this site is to agree to our use of cookies. More Info


Bite Studio - Visual Editor

County Wicklow travel guide

Wicklow, to the south of Dublin, is a county of contrasts, with rugged highlands and sheltered river valleys with lush vegetation that have given it the nickname ‘the garden of Ireland’. The beautifully sited monastic remains at Glendalough and the enormous Powerscourt Estate are the main attractions.

Places to visit in County Wicklow


tel: 0404-45325

In a narrow, wooded valley with two lakes stand the evocative ruins of the ancient monastic settlement of Glendalough. The hermit St Kevin founded the monastery here in the 6th century, evidently inspired by the breathtaking, remote scenery. He planned it as a small, contemplative institution, but as its fame spread far and wide, Glendalough of the Seven Churches became an important monastic centre, until 1398, when it was destroyed by Anglo-Normans.

The buildings which survive date from the 8th and 12th centuries. The most famous is the round tower, which is 34m (112ft) high and 16m (52ft) in circumference at the base. This was the place to sit out any sieges; its doorway is built 31⁄2m (11ft) above the ground – enough to discourage even Vikings from invading. 

Powerscourt Estate

tel: 01-204 6000

Near Enniskerry, is the grand estate of Powerscourt. Covering 20 hectares (47 acres) of glorious countryside and gardens, the estate has an 18th- century, 100-room mansion at its centre, which was damaged in a fire in 1974. Today it contains an exhibition devoted to the history of the estate. From the house, disciplined terraces descend to a lake with a fountain in the middle. The garden centre is also worth a visit, as is the Powerscourt Waterfall, 5km (3 miles) south of the house.


The picturesque village of Avoca, with its multicoloured houses and working weaving mill gained new fame as the location for the 1990s BBC series Ballykissangel.


Loved Ballykissangel? Read about more of Ireland's appearances on-screen

Read more about Ireland

Read more about Ireland in Insight Guides: Ireland

Insight Guides: Ireland

With its unique mix of jaw-dropping landscapes, lively cities, friendly people and buzzing nightlife, it's hard to beat a holiday in Ireland. This book is the perfect companion to this alluring countr...

Read full description
View all products
Craghoppers ad

From the Insight travel blog

Six bars in Ireland worth toasting

26 Jul 2013

Ireland, Copyright: Apa As part of this month's focus on the Emerald Isle, we look at one of the highlights of Irish culture and indeed any trip t...

This is the year to discover your Irish heritage

24 Jul 2013

The fourteen flags of Galway, Copyright: Corrie Wingate/Apa Publications Ltd Insight's Ireland author, Alannah Hopkin, explores some of the festivals taking place in Ireland this year and explain...

Don't leave without an Aran sweater! Shopping in Ireland

23 Jul 2013

Waterford crystal, Copyright: Corrie Wingate/Apa Publications Ltd Continuing our journey this month through the best of Ireland, it's not just the friendly people you'll meet and the lush ...

Irish sports

19 Jul 2013

 , Copyright: Peter Mooney via Creative Commons with thanks The most popular sports in Ireland are the native ones of hurling and Gaelic football. These are fast-paced, thrilling, hi...
PageId: 26017 UserId: 5