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Wicklow (Cill Mhantáin) Gazetteer

Wicklow is probably less well known outside Ireland than the more dramatic west coast, but it has plenty to offer the visitor: The high hills of the Wicklow Mountains, the relatively low lying but picturesque coast with its fine beaches, the grand houses of the English aristocrats, the ecclesiastical ruins of Glendalough and the many fine pubs and restaurants.

All this in striking distance of Dublin with its many attractions.

Arklow (An Tinbhear Mór)

Location

Wicklow Map

OS Ref: T 255 741

Last Visited: 1999

Unspoiled, is the word that comes to mind. Arklow is a busy work-a-day place with its harbour and many local industries. However, it can also boast a picturesque main street, the longest stone arch bridge in Ireland, two fine beaches and plenty to attract the tourists, including a number of fine pubs.

It also has a large Tescos which, despite whatever misgivings one might have about globalisation and the power of the supermarkets, does a lot to commend the place if you are staying in self-catering accommodation.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • The Official Website of Arklow
      The Chamber of Commerce's site has a lot of information on the town and its surrounding area.
      http://www.arklow.ie/
    • Visit Wicklow - Arklow
      Useful information and a town map on the Wicklow County Tourism Web Site
      http://visitwicklow.ie/towns-villages/arklow/

Comments

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Ralph

Being a big fan of Ruby Murray (and I know she's from Belfast), I've been wondering where or what is Arklow House, in the lyrics of "The Kellys" as sung by Ruby.

Strolling Guide

Sorry can't help you there

Avoca

Location

Wicklow Map

OS Ref: T 203 801

Last Visited: 1999

Spoilt, is not a word that springs to the lips when thinking about Avoca either, but there is certainly something of the tourist honey-pot about it. Better known in the UK as Ballykissangel from the eponymous TV series, the village is undoubtedly pretty, despite the plethora of souvenir shops and the like.

Perhaps its greatest claim to fame, however, should be the Avoca Handweavers. Now an internationally known brand, it has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the 1760s. There are free tours of the weaving sheds, along with the café and the extensive shop.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Avoca Store, Cafe & Mill Tour
      Opening times and other information from the Avoca Handweavers' site.
      http://www.avoca.com/home/explore/stores/?id=2
    • Visit Wicklow - Avoca
      Information on the Wicklow County Tourism Web Site
      http://visitwicklow.ie/towns-villages/avoca/

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Harold Clarke

One mile from Avoca is the lovely Knockanree garden which is open to the public on the mornings of Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 1 April to mid-July until 1 30

Devil's Glen

Location

Wicklow Map

OS Ref: T 242 987

Last Visited: 1999

RoundMaurice MacDonagh

Round
Maurice MacDonagh

UntitledJorge du Bon

Untitled
Jorge du Bon

The Devilʼs Glen Wood near Ashford, Co Wicklow is (or at least was when I was there) home of the aptly named Sculpture in Woodland which featured over 16 contemporary sculptures by Irish and international artists.

The woods consist of both native woodlands and introduced species. The glen was formed during the ice ages and has a spectacular waterfall where the River Vartry enters the Glen.

View from Devil's Glen

View from Devil's Glen

It is a nice spot for a walk or a picnic with some fine views down to the coast. There are various way-marked walks (ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours).

Further information is available from the Coillte web site detailed below.

External Links and References

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Glenmacnass Waterfall

Location

Wicklow Map

OS Ref: O 113 028

Last Visited: 1999

Glenmacnass

Glenmacnass

Glenmacnass

Glenmacnass

The Glenmacnass Waterfall is more of a water-slide than a waterfall, but impressive nevertheless.

It is situated on the old Military Road about halfway between Laragh and the Sally Gap and makes a pleasant spot for a picnic.

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Hollywood (Cillin Chaomhín) and St Kevin's Shrine

Location

Wicklow Map

OS Ref: N 939 052

Last Visited: 1999

St Kevin's Shrine

St Kevin's Shrine

The tiny village of Hollywood consists of little more than a post office stores, two pubs, a church, oh and a few houses.

In 1999 it did, however, boast a very large "Hollywood" sign above the village in deference to its more famous American name sake.

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

Looking on Google Street View, however, it would appear that the sign is no longer there.

It has long associations with St Kevin of Glendalough, and round the back of the post office a long valley leads to St Kevinʼs Shrine, along with rock formations known as St Kevinʼs Chair and St Kevinʼs Bed. Although I suspect that several pints of Guinness are needed before you can make out either of the latter.

External Links and References

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Meeting of the Waters

Location

Wicklow Map

OS Ref: T 189 830

Last Visited: 1999

The point were the Avonmor and Avonbeg rivers meet outside Avoca was immortalised by Irelandʼs national poet Thomas Moore in his poem The Meeting of the Waters which has now been adopted by this undoubtedly pretty spot.

Although it has to be said that, other than the local craft-shop cum restaurant, there is not a lot to do here.

External Links and References

  • External Links

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Wicklow (Cill Mhantáin) Gaol

Location

Wicklow Map

OS Ref: T 317 938

Last Visited: 1999

Wicklow Gaol

Wicklow Gaol

Wicklow Gaol

Wicklow Gaol

Wicklow Gaol is beautifully preserved and presented with costumed staff in character explaining the terrible suffering inflicted on the Irish by the English in the eighteenth century, when Irishmen were transported to Australian in appalling conditions for offences as minor as sheep-stealing.

Wicklow Gaol

Wicklow Gaol

And there, as someone who lives not far for Tolpuddle, lies my only problem with the place. As I explain in my item on the Red Post, at that time the English Aristocracy were inflicting similar punishments on the English peasantry for purely political offences, and sheep stealers were being hanged.

To be fair this point is covered in the Gaolʼs literature and web site, but does not seem to have got through to all the cast members.

Whilst presenting what was essentially a socio-economic conflict, in purely sectarian and ethnic terms is not helpful, one does come away with a sense of the deep resentment still felt by many Irish against the English in general. Donʼt let that put you off visiting though; itʼs a fascinating place.

External Links and References

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