“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”Jawaharlal Nehru
Visited Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough and Kilkenny In Ireland in December 2018. We booked this trip through ‘Wild Rover Tours’. The details of the tour can be seen in the link below:
This is a full day trip from Dublin, Ireland and the booking can be done online.
During online booking, they give you some discounts (10-15%) on other similar tour packages operated by the same company.
They have 3 Pickup points in Dublin and the trip starts at 8:10 AM
8:10am at Gresham Hotel, O’Connell St Dublin 1
8:20am at Ulster Bank Bus Stop, Dame Street / College Green Dublin 2
8:30am at Jurys Inn, Christ Church Dublin 8
Note: They have only 1 Drop point near O’Connell street (will be back by 6PM)
Charges: Adult: €33.00
Child (under 12): €25.00 (they don’t accept reservations for babies under 2)
Place 1: As a part of this trip, we first visited ‘Richard Collen’s Working Sheep Farm.
Mr Richard and his wife explains how they run the farm.
Also a very interesting ‘Sheep Herding Demonstration Using Border Collies’. It’s an interesting one, for people like me who have not seen this before. This is a wonderful experience not to be missed!
After demonstration, they hand us the baby lambs for hugs and cuddles and you can take pictures with the baby lamps.
You can see the demonstration in the video here:
Place 2: The next place is the famous heritage site of Glendalough; a glacial valley and medieval monastic settlement. Its just a 5 minutes drive from the sheep farm.
The Bus will be parked there for 2 hours (expected to be back in bus by around 12PM)and we can visit the Glendalough Monastic Site. Nick (our guide) from the Tour operator side will explain about the place and once the walking tour is over, we can walk till the Glendalough Upper and Lower Lake. Please not the walking distance is around 1.6 Kms+ (one side) from the parking area. The views are stunning and I would personally recommend this.
You can see some more videos here:
There are restaurant and bathroom facilities available in the ‘Glendalough Hotel’.
I would personally suggest you to take some light food from here as the bus would stop only at the next attraction at around 1:45 PM.
Enroute to the place 3, we will pass through the beautiful scenic mountains (Wicklow Gap) lying both sides of the Braveheart Drive road. You will also pass through very small town like ‘Holly Wood’. The bus will also stop for 10 minutes, for you to take some beautiful snaps of the mountains. You will also get a chance to see a lot of ‘Fairy trees’ enroute.
Place 3: The last and final place of visit is ‘Kilkenny’ Medieval City. We might reach here around 1:45 PM and bus will be parked near the Kilkenny Castle till 4PM. Before reaching Kilkenny, the guide will provide all the information related to the various attractions in that area.
If you are a person who is not fond of History, this is not a location that you might enjoy.
My decision was to visit the St. Canice’s Medieval Cathedral and Round Tower. You need to pay a small fees for getting onto the top of the Round Tower from where you can get a 360 view of the town. Beware that there are around 100 steps and it’s a risky one for the elders and young kids.
There is also a small ticket for seeing the inside of the Cathedral.
Based on individual preference, you can also decide between:
Rothe House & Garden
Saint Francis’s Abbey Brewery
National Craft Gallery
You will be back in the City Center by 6PM, if the bus starts around 4.15 PM from Kikenny.
Overall, I feel that the trip is very economical. The Travel Guide ‘Nick’ and the pilot ‘Paddy’ were very supportive and caring. Nick has spend more than 30 years in Ireland and he gives a lot of information (using Mic and speaker) about the History of Ireland, Dublin and the attractions that we visit. He was amazing – not only was he informative but hosted walking tours along the way which was interesting, he also brought along some instruments and entertained us with his music along the way.
The only thing what you have to keep in mind is that the operator doesn’t spend/waste time by stopping the bus in front of the restaurants. Anyway food is not included in this package. So be prepared to grab a short menu like Burgers or sandwich wherever the bus parks. This is quite a busy journey throughout the complete day. In case, if you want to save some money, you can also pack food from your home/hotel. The tour operator don’t block you from having outside food inside the coaches.
Overall, I would recommend this one-day package to my fellow travellers.
As for the tour itself, everything was great except time. But I guess that’s the same thing for all day tours; there’s little time for so many things to see and do. All in all, it was a great tour, and we were lucky to have a beautiful weather to make it more enjoyable.
Anyway, there are some other tour operators like ‘Paddywagon’ who are also operating in the same route.
But they don’t take you to the sheep farm, I guess.
In Winter time, we might not see the real beauty of this place. But in Summer, these are must see destinations.