Find out why this special county is known as the Garden of Ireland.
Start your break in North Wicklow
Killruddery House and Gardens
The 17th century Killruddery House and Gardens and its magnificent 800-acre estate in Bray is one of Wicklow’s secret treasures and a favourite with location scouts from The Tudors to Camelot. Step back in time with a house tour, wander the stunning gardens designed by the French gardener Bonet or sample something delicious in the tea room, cafe and farm shop.
Visit from April on a Saturday between 10am and 3pm to catch the farmers market in the charming horse yard, where you can pick up local honey, street food, organic vegetables, bakery and crafts. Or put together an impromptu picnic of local foods and find a hidden spot in the gardens to enjoy.
While you’re in Bray sample the locally produced beers at the Wicklow Wolf brewery, near the Victorian promenade along the seafront. The brewery takes its name from the hop that they use, Humulus Lupulus, which means ‘little wolf’ in Latin, and this part of the country was also one of the last places that wolves freely roamed.
Bray to Greystones
The beautiful village of Greystones is just a short stop from Bray and one of the most memorable ways to get there is along the famous 7km cliff walk which winds around the dramatic coast. Start your walk on Bray Head at the end of the prom and enjoy great sea views before reaching the harbour in Greystones. This picturesque place is also known for its great food, so you’ll have plenty of choices for lunch or dinner.
Stop off for some food and wine
The Happy Pear
You may not have visited Greystones before but you’ve probably heard of The Happy Pear on Church Road where you can enjoy their popular vegetarian menu. Treat yourself to the daily special in the restaurant and stock up on local produce at the wholefood store. Owners Steve and Dave Flynn are local celebrities, and if you don’t spot them at the restaurant or store, you might see them chatting to locals and visitors or enjoying a sunrise sea swim.
Wicklow Way Wines
Not far from Greystones in the heart of the Wicklow countryside you’ll find Wicklow Way Wines in Newtownmountkennedy. It’s the only winery in Ireland where you’ll find handmade, small-batch berry wines. Meet the owners and producers, stroll around the winery and experience the flavours, colours and aromas before visiting the tasting room.
Halpin’s Bridge Cafe
Just 15 minutes south from Newtownmountkennedy you’ll reach Wicklow town, a lovely place for shopping and relaxing. After a stroll around the town stop at the award-winning Halpin’s Bridge Cafe, a cosy spot known for its home-cooked bread, pastries and scones.
Strawberry Tree Restaurant
For a memorable culinary experience on your visit to Wicklow make your reservation at the award-winning Strawberry Tree Restaurant at the Brooklodge & Macreddin Village near Aughrim. Known for its organic and wild produce, the menus here are crafted every morning based on what the local organic farmers and producers bring to the kitchen.
National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh
Journey from Wicklow Town towards Rathdrum and along the way you’ll find the spectacular National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh at the heart of an 18th century estate. Amble through impressive displays, wonder at the extensive collection of plants such as rhododendrons, and float through wildflower meadows. Choose a guided tour or explore the garden by yourself.
Uncover West Wicklow wonders
Glendalough, Sally Gap and Hunting Brook Gardens
From Kilmacurragh it’s an hour’s drive through legendary Glendalough and the jaw dropping Sally Gap to reach Hunting Brook Gardens in Blessington. Here you’ll find one of Ireland’s largest collections of plants in the tropical, prairie and woodland gardens and take in dramatic views of the stunning Wicklow mountains as you listen to the babble of Hunting Brook mountain stream.
From beaches to mountains, towns to farmlands, it’s easy to see why Wicklow is the Garden of Ireland. With so much gourmet goodness and great gardens to enjoy, it’s time to plan your short visit. Check out our Wicklow destination page for the must-see places in this spectacular county.
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