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County Town: Wicklow
Population: 114,676
Area: 2,024 sq km
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South of Dublin sits County Wicklow, presided over by the imposing Wicklow Mountains that sweep through the county from north to south. Glencree, immediately south of Dublin, is where the scenery dramatically changes and urban sprawl gives way to desolate mountain roads. For 30km you travel across heather-clad mountains, moors and bogs, with small lakes dotting the route. Military Road winds through the remotest parks of the County, taking in Sally Gap, Glenmacnass, and Glendalough and on to Glenmalure and Aghavannagh. Sitting between two dark lakes and overshadowed by the sheer walls of a deep valley, magical Glendalough is the site of one of the most significant ancient monastic settlements and is a hugely popular tourist destination.

If you’ve got your walking boots you can take advantage of the Wicklow Way – the country’s longest walking trail that runs north to south through the best of the scenery. The western slopes of the Wicklow Mountains were less deeply glaciated than the eastern ones and are less spectacular. However, the upper reaches of the River Liffey provide some picturesque, wild scenery. Wicklow’s narrow coastal strip runs south from Dublin towards Wexford with some stunning beaches along the way. The northerly section is home to many of Dublin’s feeder towns such as Bray and Greystones but further south you reach Wicklow Town and beyond that, perhaps the best of the beaches at Brittas Bay.

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