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The Garden of Ireland, Wicklow is one of the most romantic locations in Ireland. An easy day trip from Dublin, Wicklow combines pretty seaside towns, rugged mountains, and magical forested valleys to create a unique experience for every visitor.
Drive just half an hour south of Dublin and you’re already in the wild Wicklow Mountains. Tucked away among the peaks are early religious sites and tranquil river valleys, giving you the perfect escape from the Big Smoke. A monastic atmosphere lingers among the tranquil monastery ruins and impressive 10th-century Round Tower of Glendalough (Glen of the Two Lakes).
For an alternative taste of Wicklow's scenic countryside, head for the imposing house and gardens of Powerscourt Estate. Originally planted in the 18th century, Powerscourt’s gardens were designed to form part of the surrounding landscape. Having been gutted by fire in the 1970s, the 18th-century Powerscourt House has been restored to fit in with its magnificent surroundings.
Beyond the Wicklow Gap and Blessington Lakes is the fairytale village of Avoca. Made famous as the setting for the BBC series Ballykissangel (featuring a very young Colin Farrell), Avoca is a location scout’s dream. Visit Fitzgerald’s pub and the post office, which are not just sets but actual buildings, with real customers. For beautifully crafted souvenirs, browse the range at Avoca Handweavers.
Set in the Wicklow Mountains, the Blessington Lakes are a glorious watery expanse covering 500 acres. Formed artificially when the Poulaphouca Dam and hydroelectric station were built, the lakes have since developed into a popular local amenity, with boat hire and fishing available locally.
When it comes to Palladian mansions, you won’t find any finer than Russborough House. Take a guided tour and marvel at beauties including a microscope given to Marie Antoinette as a wedding gift, furniture from Louis X, and exquisite Lafranchini ceilings.
The birthplace of legendary 19th-century Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell, Avondale House nestles among 500 acres of majestic forests, with paths and trails offering walks of between one and five hours. The elegant Georgian house, designed by James Wyatt and dating from 1777, is decorated with exceptional plasterwork and original furnishings.
Lushly planted along the banks of the River Vartry, Mount Usher Gardens are designed along the principles of William Robinson, the famous Irish garden designer who believed in natural planting. The winner of multiple awards, Mount Usher offers a variety of delights throughout the year, from rhododendrons in spring to regal winter trees.
Wicklow Mountains National Park extends across most of the Wicklow Mountains, an area of stunning peaks overlooking wooded valleys, heaths, bogs, and gushing streams. Head to Glendalough, a hub for a network of 9 waymarked trails. The park is one of Ireland’s major deer habitats and hosts birds from ravens to red grouse.
Established in 1981, Bray Summerfest remains Ireland’s biggest free summer festival, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to the seaside town. The Air Spectacular draws the biggest crowds, but the entertainment encompasses everything from food to funfairs to fireworks.
County Wicklow has developed into Ireland’s answer to Hollywood, with hundreds of films set here in the past century. The drama and versatility of the scenery is one factor, but another is the presence of the celebrated Ardmore Studios. Three self-drive Wicklow Film Trails have been created, encompassing the settings for Excalibur, Braveheart, and Michael Collins.
1.5km from Arklow
Located in the vibrant seaside town of Arklow in County Wicklow, this holiday home is located just minutes from the beach and town centre - making it ideal for a family holiday. This beautifully furnished home sleeps six in comfort, with three bedrooms offering four single beds and one double bed. Bed linen and towels are provided free during your stay. Other features include ground floor bedrooms, a garden for guests' use, and private car parking. Oil-fired central heating and electricity are extra.
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2.6km from Glendalough
For a truly memorable holiday, stay at one of these beautiful 4-star cottages, set in the glorious historical surroundings of Glendalough in County Wicklow. The interiors of these cottages are comfortable and homely, with an open-plan kitchen/living room and a log fire for a cosy ambience. The cottages have three bedrooms, one of which is ensuite. Bed linen and towels are supplied free.
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6.8km from Hollywood
Set in the splendid isolation of Hollywood, County Wicklow, one of the most beautiful areas in Ireland, this enchanting traditional cottage offers superb accommodation in glorious surroundings. You can enjoy the essence of country living far away from life's hustle and bustle. The cottage is well-equipped for your holiday, and its delightful rustic décor will make you feel at home.
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4km from Arklow
Offering exceptional accommodation in the idyllic surroundings of County Wicklow, this is the perfect destination for a special holiday. The exclusive holiday home is set among beautiful landscaped gardens in peaceful rural surroundings near the colourful seaside town of Arklow. The house has two ensuite bedrooms with flat-screen TV's, and it can accommodate up to five people.
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0.3km from Aughrim
This exclusive development of luxury 3-bedroom town houses enjoys a riverbank setting on the edge of Aughrim Village and beside Lawless's Hotel in County Wicklow. Each house has an entrance hall leading to a large sitting room/lounge with open fireplace. There is a downstairs toilet and wash-hand basin. French doors lead from the kitchen/dinning room to a private south west facing patio.
1.3km from Donard
Nestled at the foot of Lugnaguilla, the third-highest mountain in Ireland, these enchanting little stone cottages offer accommodation in one of the most naturally beautiful areas of Ireland. Tucked away in Donard, County Wicklow, they are wonderfully remote, making them the ideal choice for a romantic holiday.
The cottages were originally a barn and have been lovingly restored and beautifully furnished creating a cosy retreat for two.
2.7km from Ashford
Enjoy every modern convenience at this stone-built, country-style coach house in Wicklow. This unusual 2-bedroom holiday rental nestles in a country estate among the Wicklow Mountains, overlooking Wicklow Bay. Facilities include a barbecue, conference area, indoor court, and walks. Breakfast can be provided.
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10.7km from Blessington
Built within the Victorian walled garden of an estate, these superb holiday homes enjoy a peaceful and unique setting, overlooking landscaped gardens and some of County Wicklow's highest mountains. There are nine Athdown houses with three bedrooms each, all of which are ensuite. The houses are contemporarily furnished and have their own private patio with wooden decking.
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5.8km from Aughrim
Nestled in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, this recently refurbished 3-bedroom cottage is just a few miles from the picturesque villages of Aughrim and Tinahely. The cottage is wheelchair accessible, beautifully decorated, and fully equipped. There are lovely seating areas outdoors, and a real turf fire makes for a cosy night in. This quiet and peaceful location is the ideal base for touring Wicklow and the east coast, and all the amenities required are available within easy reach in the local towns and villages.
0.1km from Arklow
Located in the centre of Arklow, this lovely dormer-style bunglow includes four bedrooms and is decorated to a high standard. There is a large, enclosed, south-facing garden with private parking, and the property is within walking distance of the town centre, harbour, golf links, south beach, and the new Bridgewater shopping centre and cinema.
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