We have some long weekends coming up – St. Patrick’s Day and plus there’s the Easter break as well. It’s a good time to explore some of the beauty that we have right here in our backyard – so to speak. If you are visiting Ireland, and wanted to put 24 hours to good use, this is also for you. Wicklow, known as the Garden of Ireland is so gorgeous, so perfect that you will feel that you have invested a day, and returned with some amazing times and memories.
So what is it that you can do in 24 hours (or more) in Wicklow?
To begin with, you can book yourself in to a nice hotel, especially if you’re driving in from afar. So that it gives you a good base to explore Wicklow.
Here’s a handy link for you to browse through different options if you are looking to say for a night or more.
Powerscourt Gardens – Full of beauty and timeless charm
Now, to get your date with Wicklow in place, we recommend you start with Powerscourt Gardens. The Gardens are absolutely delightful in any season, and stretching over 47 acres, they are truly something. A blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces with some gorgeous views, lakes, walks, secret hollows and some amazing statues – they are perfect for a family day out.
You could easily spend an entire day there but we recommend that you at least put aside 90 minutes for it if not more. I personally loved the Walled Gardens, but you could choose to go to the Italian Garden or the Japanese Gardens and be equally charmed. (We visited the Powerscourt Gardens in summer, and the Walled Gardens were still in bloom but if you were to go during spring, you would obviously get more out of your visit.)
No wonder then, that the Powerscourt Gardens were voted No.3 in the World’s Top Ten Gardens by National Geographic in 2010. Your Wicklow trip would be seriously amiss if you didn’t devote time to this gem of a place which is popular with locals and tourists alike.
Find out more about the Powerscourt Gardens here.
Check out our TikTok of the stunning Powerscourt Waterfall below
Russborough House and Parklands – Art, and beautiful days out
Russborough is well-known across the world as being Ireland most beautiful Georgian house. You will find a world class private collection of art, fine and decorative arts and there are also some hidden treasures from the Renaissance to the 20th century to be found here.
Plus you can feast your eyes on exquisite furniture, silver, porcelain and also get a glimpse of the glamorous and luxurious lifestyle of its residents down the centuries.
It earns its place in your Wicklow itinerary for sure.
Find a booking link here.
Wicklow Gaol – Watch history come alive
A prison isn’t a nice place to be in, but gaols are witnesses to history and to the lives of men and women who found themselves there for numerous reasons. The Wicklow Gaol tour is very insightful – it represents the stories of the men, women and children who were imprisoned under the British rule over two centuries of turbulent history.
Get your tickets here.
Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough – For all seasons, and all reasons
Of course, you cannot let the surreal beauty of Wicklow mountains and Glendalough escape your must-see list.
Glendalough and the Wicklow mountains have been our favourites ever since we moved to Dublin. There are simply so many ways to experience the Wicklow Mountains – you could choose an easy to moderate trail, or go hiking to see the heart-shaped lake or simply take a drive. (I would highly recommend taking a drive to Sally Gap as well. It offers spectacular views of the surrounding blanket bog and the Wicklow Mountains.)
Glendalough is a location for all seasons. The monastic site is one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. Plus there are the two lakes – the Upper and the Lower lake. These are very popular with locals and tourists alike, and if you visit during the warmer months, you could also go for a nice little dip.
Places to eat
Wicklow has lots of good places to eat and drink, but here’s quick little list for you to try out.
The Brass Fox
Halpin’s Bridge Café and Bistro
The Wicklow Heather
We have covered Wicklow and its many charms extensively over the years, and should you want more information, here are a few stories for you to explore.