As you probably know from my Instagram stories, last Thursday saw yet another picturesque region of Ireland being ticked off my lengthy travel bucket list. Myself and my gal Lorna drove up to beautiful county Wicklow to celebrate the launch of the Garden Rooms & Bar at Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort.
While this was the main motivation behind cruising on the M50 to Chill Mhantáin, that didn’t stop us from making the most out of our day out of Dublin. Prior to our arrival at the stunning Druids Glen, we drove up the Wicklow Mountains and toured some the most precious gems in the county.
For those of you who don’t have a travel bucket list for Ireland, it probably wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to consider compiling one now. With promising blue skies and a heatwave ahead of next week, this is the perfect time to start exploring the scenic hidden treasures of the Emerald Isle.
Without further ado, here are 3 reasons why you should visit Wicklow this summer:
1. Lough Tay
Lough Tay is one of the most iconic places in Wicklow, along with Glendalough. Also known as ‘the Guinness Lake,’ the northern coastline of this small but stunning lake is part of an estate owned by the Guinness family. But that’s not the only reason for the infamous nickname. If you have an eye for detail, you will notice that some of the lake is edged with a white sandy beach. The dark water that follows creates a remarkable semblance to a pint of Guinness – hence ‘the Guinness Lake.’
How to get there:
Driving up from Dublin via M50 took us just under an hour due to light traffic on the motorway. We did however meet clusters of cyclists on the small countryside roads upon arriving to Wicklow – typical! Other than that, it is an easy drive. If you don’t have access to a car then a tourist bus would be your best bet – we came across a group of tourists when we were enjoying the beautiful views of The Guinness Lake over the Wicklow Mountains.
2. Powerscourt House & Gardens
Powerscourt Gardens was voted #3 in the top 10 gardens of the world by National Geographic. After spending an afternoon enjoying lunch at its Avoca Terrace Cafe and exploring over 200 varieties of flowers, shrubs and trees, I wouldn’t be surprised for a second!
The infamous gardens is not a place you want to visit without being camera ready. Powerscourt Gardens date back to over 150 years and it now has many little treasures to discover including The Japanese Garden, The Dolphin Pond and The Tower Valley.
How to get there:
Powerscourt House & Gardens is about a 20 km drive south of Dublin City Centre. It is located within the 1,000 acre Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, against the backdrop of the famous Sugarloaf Mountain. For specific directions, opening times and fees, visit the website.
3. Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort
This five-star hotel & golf resort combines nature and leisure to provide a next-to-paradise experience. Located in a beautiful setting of 400 acres between Wicklow Mountains and The Irish Sea, Druids Glen is the perfect place to get in touch with your inner zen in a stunning luxury setting. Although we didn’t make use of the unique golf courses, we did have an evening of luxury at the launch of the new Garden Rooms and Bar: mouth-watering nibbles, cocktails, live music – it truly was a magical evening.
The following morning, we made use of the health club and swimming area before indulging in the wide selection of top quality breakfast. The staff were incredibly accommodating throughout our stay, so much so that neither of us wanted to leave. If you want to experience paradise in South East Ireland then Druids Glen will not disappoint!
How to get there:
Druids Glen is just a 30 minute journey from Dublin. For full directions or bookings, visit the website. Note: They have limited mid-week summer madness offers at the moment – be sure to check that out!
While there was so much more to see and do in the county known as “The Garden of Ireland,” the little time we did spend in Wicklow did not disappoint. We made the most out of what we had and if I’m being completely honest, part of me thinks skipping a few tourist attractions in the first visit comes with its advantages because it gives us an excuse to go back again! Yes, our visit to Wicklow was short. But it was also very memorable….and who knows, maybe next time we’ll get to indulge in summer afternoon tea at Druids Glen! 😉