Planning Your Time
Most people who explore Dublin Environs base themselves in the capital and sample the very different landscapes on day trips. Driving distances from downtown are less than two hours (in decent traffic). Just don't plan on visiting both the north and south of Dublin in the same day—each region is worth its own day or half-day trip.
Visits to Newgrange and Glendalough are musts, and the latter could be combined with a country house visit to Powerscourt. For more active visitors, a one-day walk along the Wicklow Way might pair best with an overnight stay in the cozy Hunter’s Hotel.