Best route to Glendalough from Dublin?

Feb 6th, 2007, 08:01 PM
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Best route to Glendalough from Dublin?

After leaving Dublin, we have some plans on visiting Glendalough as we work our way to County Kilkenny, and I would like some opinions on the best route.

Should we follow the coast through Wicklow, then head inland, or how about going inland first via the N81 and coming across the mountains? I'm guessing following the coast then going inland might serve to better route us for the Kilkenny area -- but I'm open to suggestions and reasons to choose one over the other.

Also, since we're heading toward Kilkenny, if we included several hours for the stop at Glendalough (and elsewhere along the way, like the Wicklow Gap), is getting to Kilkenny that day a viable plan?

Heh, and one more question while I'm at it, but what's the word on Graiguenamanagh? Looks like a nice town with a few nice places to stay - and still close enough to see the things we'd like to see in the area.

jefe is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 01:09 AM
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There is a third option for getting to Glendalough that I think better: the R115 which runs between the two roads you identified -- very scenic.
Padraig is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 04:21 AM
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If you get an early jump (good for a misty morning visit to Glendalough anyway), then I think getting to Kilkenny that day is entirely possible. I've done it. Not saying you couldn't spend more time in Co. Wicklow if you wished.

Agree completely with Padraig about the R115. That's a beautiful drive across the Sally Gap and along side a good sized waterfall. I thought a little tricky to find you way onto the 115 from the M50 ring, but a little faith that a direction sign would come along paid off. For a bit there right at the ring road, it seemed a few roads branched off from one spot, and that was a little confusing, but not bad.

When you leave Glendalough, you could head out west on the R756, through the Wicklow Gap to the N81. A nice drive as well, but I thought not quite as nice as the sally gap. Anyway, once on the N81, you have a good fast road into Kilkenny.
Clifton is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 04:28 AM
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Sorry, lost my mind a little. N81 will take you south, but not all the way to Kilkenny. You will eventually have to hop over a couple of miles on a westbound intersecting road to the N9 (which leads to the 10) to get into Kilkenny. We cut over around the Carlow area (where there's a dolman to see, by the way).
Clifton is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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Brilliant - just checked my OSI map, and it didn't even occur to me to head down the R115 - guess I was focused on the time issue for that first day on the road. Thanks for the idea, folks!

I think I'll have a plan B for that day, as far as places to stay go, in case we do decide to linger for a period of time along the way.

Also, the dolman in Carlow is noted and penciled in if timing works out.

Initially I hadn't given much thought to this part of Ireland, but the more I research, the more I am finding of interest - as if people are keeping quiet about the Southeast to keep it to themselves!
jefe is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 05:25 PM
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I am planning a trip in the opposite direction going to Dublin, so I've noted your points of interest. Whats the dolman at Carlow? pardon my ignornance.
RosieR is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 11:11 PM
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I assume that jefe did not mean the relatively new Dolmen Hotel, but the megalithic monument. You can find a picture on
Padraig is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 04:17 AM
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Just humble opinion...I would not make a detour to see the dolmen. If you do choose to stop, it won't take long.
xxxx is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 08:11 PM
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That's the dolman I was thinking of. Good link, Padraig. I didn't find it as impressive as the one on the Burren due to the less dramatic setting, but I can't help but be interested in something that ancient all the same. Everyone's different though. I do agree that it likely wouldn't take too much of your time.

I'd like to see a bit more of the SE myself. Seen some of it, but some cousins recently moved from Kildare to Wexford, so maybe we'll visit some day. Wasn't a huge fan of Waterford though but some towns around it are nice.
Clifton is offline  
Feb 29th, 2012, 06:55 AM
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Hi Jefe,

Don't know if you are still monitoring this post, but my family and I will be visiting Glendalough and Kilkenny by car from Dublin in April and I wanted to see if you have any advice. I had thought to drive straight to Kilkenny in the morning to get the longest part of the drive out of the way. Then head to Glendalough after lunch. Then back to Dublin either via the Wicklow Gap or Sally Gap. We haven't decided which, although Sally Gap seems to be the more scenic of the two. Any advice? Thanks!
SilverSun27 is offline  
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