After striking up a conversation with another hostel guest about the ska band (Boc Social) we had all seen at Leitrim Lounge in Wicklow the night before, we quickly found ourselves with a generous offer to ride along with him and his son as they drove to Laragh to do a hike through the hills around the area. We gladly accepted.
We had one other opportunity to travel into the mountains via private bus, but that only went up on Saturday and cost €20 a person. Until Thomas and Lucas from Switzerland appeared, it seemed that we would have to skip seeing that area.
Around 11:30, we all packed into the rental car and made the short 30 minute journey to Laragh. After a very short time hunting for a trailhead, we found a parking lot near St. Kevin’s Church that we could use as a starting point.
Once started, we headed almost due North out of Laragh on the Wicklow Way. After ascending quickly for the first hour or so, we rounded the top of Paddock Hill at 360 meters and were able to enjoy beautiful panoramic views. As we headed back downhill, we left the Wicklow Way and ended up on some other fire roads and side roads almost the entire rest of the way. We headed east to Annamoe, crossing the river there. We then headed south a while before moving west again. We crossed the river again almost straight east of Laragh and then spent the last 2 km on a fairly busy road.
All in all I would guess that we walked a total of 14 km. I’ll admit that the first portion of the walk climbing up on the hillside was the most breathtaking. Most of the second half was spent amongst the trees and didn’t offer the same views. The whole walk was fun however, and we had great company.
Once back in town we stopped for a quick meal and well deserved pints at The Wicklow Heather in Laragh before heading back to the car. We arrived back at the hostel around 17:30 or 18:00. A good, full day.
ive attached a screenshot map o the area which isn’t too detailed but gives an overview of the area. If you look up the Wicklow Way, it may help define where the trail starts and heads. All of this is being done from memory on an iPod touch, so don’t use it as an actual guide. 😉
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