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Hiking Ireland

Neither Wind, Nor Rain, Nor Rain, Nor...more Rain...Hmmm.

Hiking Some of Ireland's Most Scenic Trails

(Above) The Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk

Over the years we've talked about getting out and hiking some of the areas we have visited, and this year we were able to do that, and we hope to continue adding to this blog over time. We have done the Bray Cliff Walk over the years starting in Greystones and walking the 7 kilomtres (4.5 miles) along the cliff-side to Bray. Rick Steves has always recommended starting in Greystones and ending in Bray only because the Greystones side was not as scenic, and it is nicer to finish in a scenic town. However, over the years a lot of work has been done on the Greystones side and you can start from either end and have a scenic end to your walk no matter which direction you travel. We did enjoy going from Bray to Greystones this time and ending with lunch at The Happy Pear in Greystones. The other difference this year was a rock slide that closed the cliff walk, so we went up top of the little mountain with the cross on it and walked along the ridgeline and down the backside to the road going in to Greystones. On top of the mountain is gorgeous. Once you hit the road it is less scenic and a lot of traffic for a good 2.5 kilometres. Even with the traffic it is a fantastic walk up to the top and along the ridge - the views are even more stellar than along the cliff walk, and that is something we did not think possible. You can check out our hike along the ridge here -

Starting out along the oceanside in Bray. Bray began as a small settlement that developed outside the 'de Riddlesford' manour and castle in 1171 A.C.E.

From the top of the mountain by the cross looking down on Bray.

From the same spot looking over at Greystones

When you get to the top and start heading down it is private land. You can go in - be respectful and say 'hi' to the farmer when you see him. He has sheep grazing up here.

From up here you are looking directly over at the Wickow Mountains - including Sugarloaf (middle pointy mountain), which is near Powerscourt.

Even on a nice day like we had it is really windy. If you are wearing a hat make sure to put it in your pocket. Check out our video of our hike up here - here.

Glendalough Ridge Hike in the Wicklow Mountains

This is one of our all-time favourite hikes. It is one we've thought about doing for the past five years, but time did not permit. This time we landed in Dublin and grabbed a car and headed directly for the hostel in Glendalough. This is the Spinc and Glenealo Valley Hike up along the ridge and down at the far end to the 'Miner's Village' and back along the lake. The scenery is breathtaking, and even though you are not that high in elevation - because of the vegetation and the way everything is situated it feels like you are kilometres above the alpine. This is also the hike we got the wettest we've ever been. In fact, had we walked in to the ocean with all of our gear we would have been drier than how we ended this hike with the heavy, steady rain throughout the day. Even with the rain it was a lot of fun, and we almost had the right gear for it. Almost. Rain or shine it is a rewarding, and moderately challenging hike to do in Glendalough. You will see a lot of deer, and stags with impressive horns - though it is a matter of perspective. From a distance they seem huge, and as you get closer their size diminishes. We are from Canada and are used to sizable deer, elk and moose. Ireland has deer, just not as large. Still beautiful - and a different experience. This is a highly recommended hike. You can check out our video of this hike here:

The hostel in Glendalough has a fun bridge across the creek that takes you along a path in to Glendalough. When we came back it had rained so much that the water was 4 cm (2 in) over the rocks.

The boardwalk extends for several kilometres along the ridge.

Looking down on the Upper Lough in Glendalough.

These are 'Fallow Deer'

Getting down in to the valley at the far end of Glendalough's Upper Lough.

The water filtres through the peat bogs above and by the time it gets to the River Liffey it is black. This is because it takes on the colour of the peat.

The far end of the valley just before heading down beside the Upper Lough.

The remnants of the 'Miner's Village' from 1790 where zinc, lead and silver were mined.

Don't forget to check out our video of this hike here

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