The Sally Gap, Co. Wicklow
Put Dublin in the rearview and head south to the ‘Garden of Ireland’, County Wicklow. The Sally Gap is a straight road leading to the peat bogs of the Wicklow mountains, past shooting locations for the film Braveheart, and the stunning Lough Tay (known as The Guinness Lake because its peat-coloured water and manmade beach resemble the dark and creamy stout). Suddenly, expansive fields and bog turn to lush, green valleys and you’ll find yourself in the history, serenity and downright beauty that is Glendalough.
The Sally Gap
Known as the ‘valley of the two lakes’, Glendalough inhabits a serene pocket of rich history and spectacular scenery in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. The round tower makes a piercing silhouette against the rolling hills, and indicates the area’s purpose as one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland since St Kevin founded his settlement in the 6th century. Swap the car for two feet and explore some of many monastic remains including a 12th Century Romanesque Priest’s House, cathedral, large granite cross from 6th or 7th Century and St Kevin’s Church. The lakes will then beckon for a walk.
Take the N81 out of Dublin, and after about 30 minutes turn onto the R759 at Manor Kilbride. It’s a pleasant hour’s drive to Glendalough from here – follow the sign for it at the Sally Gap.
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