From the haven of the heathery hills to the seaside summer sessions, the uplands' panoramic wilds to the blossoming beauty of the formal gardens, Wicklow wows with its romantic landscapes and wins you over with its charming character. But it's not just stunning scenery that Wicklow has to offer. From thrilling biking trails and fun parks to relaxing outdoor experiences, there's no shortage of summer activities to try your hand at here. Just a short journey from Dublin, it really is the perfect day trip for anyone looking to discover somewhere new this summer.
Need some destination inspiration? Here are some amazing activities to enjoy in Wicklow.
Take a captivating journey through the heart of Ireland's Ancient East with a trip to Wicklow.
Beyond the Trees at Avondale Forest Park is home to the longest treetop walk in Ireland, which you'll find at the end of a beautiful walled garden.
The treetop walk begins with a leisurely stroll along a fully accessible 1.3km walkway. Along the way, you will weave your way up and down through the trees where you will rise above the canopy. The spiral ramped boardwalk, which rises slowly through the forest, is fully wheelchair and pram accessible with resting points along the way.
At the end of the walkway, the next part of your adventure will begin. As you emerge from the underground tunnel below the forest floor you will see the spectacular Viewing Tower, which you can ascend to the very top.
When ready to return to terra firma, adventurous types can whizz back down on the giant spiral slide in the middle of the structure. Apart from being great craic, the tower is a stunning piece of design — a must-see summer attraction.
But that's not all there is to do in this beautiful spot. You can wander the walking trails and relax in the walled garden and the autism-friendly sensory garden. You can explore the Coillte Pavilion, where you can learn about the essential role forests play in the environment and all our futures.
Feeling peckish? The lovely Seed Café serves a seasonal menu with dishes made with locally sourced, fresh Wicklow ingredients.
Beyond the Trees Avondale – Tree Top Walk
Belmont Demesne - Outdoor Adventure Experience
Get off the beaten track in the heart of Ireland's Ancient East at this new outdoor adventure experience.
Belmont Demesne has 15km of fantastic walking and bike trails that cover a diverse range of natural routes to suit all levels and abilities.
The Belmont Bike Trail Network features family-friendly off-road trails that make walking or cycling with little ones safe and fun. You can spend quality time together enjoying the gentle loops that meander through the beautiful estate and working farm.
Are you looking for something a bit more action-packed? Serious bikers can get their thrills tearing through the more challenging woodland terrain or on the pump track with its circuit of rollers and swoopy, banked turns.
Tackling those trails creates a serious hunger. You can satisfy a rumbling tummy in Arthur's Barn, which serves delicious dishes and coffee with a side order of fantastic views of the Sugar Loaf.
Kilmacurragh Botanic Garden - Gardens and Cafe
Living up to its name as The Garden of Ireland, Wicklow has some blooming beautiful spots, including The Botanic Gardens in Kilmacurragh.
Built in 1697, Kilmacurragh House sadly sits in ruins waiting to be restored to its former glory, but the gardens and grounds are thriving and flourishing with numerous plant species worldwide.
Wander at your leisure and pleasure, or join the terrific tours to get the most out of your visit. The story of the house, family and gardens is fascinating, and the knowledgeable guides tell you all the tales that bring this place alive.
The gardens date from the 19th century, and you can meander through the wildflower meadows, rejoice in the beauty of the rhododendron avenue, delight in the double herbaceous borders, and enjoy the tranquillity of the Yew Walk, the Oak Avenue and the Fossil Lawn.
Apart from the beautiful botanics, there are serene pasture views and plenty of places to perch and enjoy a picnic or the silence. You can also grab a bite to eat in the lovely Acton Cafe, named after Thomas Acton II, who built the house using stones from the ruins of a mediaeval abbey that once stood on the land.
Ballinastoe Mountain Biking - Mountain Bike Trails
Ballinastoe, located in the heart of the wild Wicklow Mountains, is one of Ireland's most scenic places for memorable mountain biking experiences.
Get the adrenaline pumping as you power those pedals, tackling the terrain through the steep forest and open heather moorland. The twisty tracks provide rapid descents, ups and downs, tight turns, and technical sections - all of which you'll undoubtedly do with a smile on your face and probably some mud on there too. Make sure you pause to admire the beautiful vistas over the Irish Sea and Lough Tay.
With eight single tracks and 14km of trails of varying length and difficulty, there is something here for everyone. But all offer a good time and a good leg workout!
Lacken Mass Path - Walking Trails
The Lacken Mass Path runs 4.2km over mountain terrain from Lacken village to the next valley. Years ago, the locals of Blackrock and Lugnagun used this pathway as a shortcut to go to mass, school, the shops and the pub.
The Lacken Mass Path takes around one and a half hours to walk, and there are stunning views over the Blessington Lakes. The start of the route ascends a stone walled boreen before passing through a field to reach the Coillte forestry network of trails at Lugnagun above Lacken. You can then follow the unmarked open mountain trails to Sorrel Hill and the Wicklow Mountains.
Clara Lara Fun Park - Family Fun Park
Clara Lara is a legendary fun park that conjures fond memories of school tours and long childhood summer days for many of us who grew up in Ireland.
It is a great destination full of fun family activities where you can escape from the busy, bustling world. The beautiful outdoor adventure park allows children to play outdoors, run around, and be imaginative and creative.
Surrounded by spectacular oak trees and water, the park brims with assault courses, water slides, boating lakes, kiddie-karts, tree houses and woodland playgrounds. It's also home to the aqua shuttle, the biggest water slide in Ireland.
When you have worked up a hunger, there is a picnic restaurant serving burgers, chips, sandwiches, ice cream, teas and coffee, and other snacks. You can also bring your own food and enjoy al fresco dining in the extensive picnic areas.
Go on! Make the most of the summer. Bring the kids on one last adventure before they have to go back to school.
Chester Beatty Inn and Restaurant - Eating and Drinking
Set in Ashford in the heart of County Wicklow, The Chester Beatty Inn is a family-run hotel, restaurant, bar and lounge where you can tuck into great food, relax with a good drink and sleep soundly in comfortable accommodation.
The Chester Beatty Inn began life as a hardware and grocery store in the early 1800s. It became a popular stagecoach inn in 1854 and, since then, has been an authentic Irish bar, retaining much of its charm.
The food menu allows you to savour traditional dishes like creamy chowder with homemade brown bread, beef and Guinness pie, and warm apple tart with ice cream. There are also plenty of veggie options.
Too full to move? Grab a cuppa or a nightcap, settle down by the roaring fire, and soak up the social atmosphere.
On summer days, you can relax and enjoy a quiet drink or dine al fresco in the beautiful sun-trapped courtyard. Surrounded by flowers, mature trees and shrubs, and the sound of the nearby waterfall, you'll feel like you are in a tropical paradise, not a traditional pub.
Book a break this summer
So, what are you waiting for? If you're searching for exciting summer activities and stunning scenic surrounds, now is the perfect time to discover everything Wicklow has to offer.
The Leave No Trace principles help us make as little an impact as possible on the incredible Irish landscape as we explore the outdoors this summer and beyond. Keep outdoor areas safe, clean and free from waste/hazards, and help protect the natural environment. Love this place, leave no trace.
Start your discovery at DiscoverIreland.ie