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Being right on the seafront patio of The Garden of Ireland means we lucky, lucky Greystonians can, within fifteen minutes of the town centre, be Deliverance deep in Wicklow countryside.
And the beauty of it is, there’s just so much to choose from.
Which is why we’ve decided to try and pull together in one handy guide all the many nature trails, cliff walks, hill climbs, waterfalls, sandy beaches and ancient paths around here.
Naturally, during the Covid-19 lockdown, these walks are going to have to be virtual. Lots of pics and videos to trek through on the links…
Even as we look at the list above, we know full well that there are far, far more hidden gems and world famous beauty spots to be charted still, and we’ll hopefully get around to just about all of them before these boots are no longer fit for walkin’.
For now, we’ve broken the walks down into areas, so you can check out your options where’er you should go. And join the beauty spots for those long, long walks.
Around Greystones itself – handy town map here, by the way – you can stay pretty close to home with a journey through Ireland’s first-ever planned estate, The Burnaby, or go explore the seafront, from The South Beach to The Men’s, The Cove (where you might meet the lone piper, Keith, or maybe even budding mermaid Ruth Fitzmaurice) and on to The Harbour and the North Beach. And if you’re feeling energetic, you can keep on going along the coast, The Cliff Walk being our very own Camino Walk. Only, you know, with ice cream cones and chips at either end.
Oh, and just as you start out on The Cliff Walk, don’t forget to give St Crispin’s Cell a quick hug.
If you feel like going inland, you can always take the newly-opened Greystones Way, which leads you up past Kindlestown and Bellevue Woods, and on to the beginning of The Sugar Loaf Way over in Kilmacanogue. And whilst you’re there, check out those beautiful mountains, as well as the nearby Downs Hill, Bellevue’s Plain Jane cousin.
Talk of Bellevue Woods leads us to Delgany and its surrounding treks and fascinating history, including the ruins of the once-towering Bellevue House, and the nearby smorgasbord of treks that is the Belmont Demesne estate (where there are free bike trails), whilst The Blind Lane is a fine dirt track off Blackberry Lane that will lead you down to The Glebe, and its quiet, hidden beauty. And steep steps.
Oh, and whilst you’re up in that neck of Scott’s Wood, you might want to venture further uphill, to those iconic Drummin Trees. Also up on Blackberry Lane, you’ll find the remaining one of two 350-year-old cottages that once faced one another, Hill’s old home bulldozed back in August 2010, the Byrne’s old home just about still standing, as the battle to save it from the same fate continues.
And since you’re venturing beyond the town border, the newly-opened Belmont Demesne has everything, from free walking trails and fat bike hire to a grand nosh-up available at Bak’d At Arthur’s Barn. Nice.
A jump over to Kilcoole – along the ancient Mass Path, of course – will lead you to their 12th century landmark church right in the middle of town, and on further to the beach, along the recently-reopened Ballydonarea Loop.
We’re just beginning to explore Bray beyond its town centre, with that Cliff Walk proving the vital tourist link between here and there, but there’s also beauty aplenty to be found up on Bray Head, and you’re one step closer to the bould and the beautiful Enniskerry, and Killiney Hill and its neighbouring White Rock Beach, whilst heading south, into Wicklow, and the whole county opens up, with the magnificent Devil’s Glen, Kilmacurragh House & Gardens, Djouce Woods and Powerscourt Waterfall competing for your complete and utter day, the siren call of the sea hard to resist at Magheramore or Wicklow Town’s very own Cliff Walk.
And once you’re down that deep in the wilds, how can you not indulge in a little Glendalough? For about 10 hours.
And, yes, we know we haven’t covered the half of it here – next stop: The Sally Gap! – but, that’s the beauty of Wicklow – and the interweb, of course. We can just keep adding and adding.
And, every now and then, we can even subtract.
Let us know if you have a favourite trek around these parts, and we’ll get it covered. One day, we’ll join all the dots together, and we need never go home again…