This week, guest contributor David Scales took a walk at Glendalough’s Spinc Walk and Glenealo Valley. Here are his highlights from the day:
This famous walk or hike –depending on your point of view– offers spectacular views over Glendalough and the surrounding Wicklow Mountains. Access is from the Upper Lake Car Park and there are facilities of all kinds available here.
A 2km walk along the lake shore on The Miners Way takes you to an abandoned mining village with outbuilding still standing and ancient mining works also to be explored. There were plenty of people taking the October air on a public holiday in Ireland: couples, families, walking groups, and plenty of visitors from across the globe were all enjoying the amazing scenery.
After the Miners Village, the rising path is paved with large slabs of granite, and as it climbs the challenging nature of this walk reveals itself. A brackish mountain stream runs alongside the trail and is forded by plank bridges which allow for excellent photo opportunities.
The surface is uneven at this point, but is kept pristine. I have seen volunteers clearing the drains in the winter as the path rises to drain away the sudden rain showers that give the valley its spectacular colour of grasses, heathers, and ferns.
The trail twists around the mountain stream and offers many stopping places for a short rest or picnic, or even to let more experienced hikers pass out – but the scenery is the real star.
The trail is naturally divided at a bridge over the brook about 5km in. I’m proud to say that I made it to this point in just under an hour, but I was going hard and loving the exertion in the clear mountain air.
This hike demands good ankle supporting boots and rain gear to ensure the safety of your family or group. It’s also a good idea to bring some food to snack along the way.
After the bridge, there is still another 4.5km along the ridge overlooking Glendalough Upper Lake and St Kevin’s Bed, offering the most amazing views of the day.
Enjoy this invigorating hike and stop in Glendalough Village for some refreshments – we recommend Casey’s Bar and Bistro at the Glendalough Hotel. If you’re visiting on a weekend, try to arrive a bit earlier, as the car park fills up quickly.