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27th Aug 2019

Wicklow Bucket List: 11 Things You Should Do, See And Eat In The Garden Of Ireland

Brian Dillon

Wicklow Area article feature image

It’s called ‘The Garden of Ireland’ for a reason: its beautiful nature, colourful landscapes and laid-back feel. Of course, I’m talking about the glorious corner of the country that is Wicklow.

In a previous article, we laid out the reasons you should walk Mangan’s Loop in Tinahely.

Given its views of the village of Tinahely and the surrounding Wicklow landscapes, Mangan’s Loop is an amazing representation of the truly unique beauty that is to be found in this county.

While you’re in this part of the country, you’re going to want to make a few days out of it. Trust me, there is far too much to do, see, eat and drink in this area that you’re really not going to want to miss out on.

While County Wicklow is probably best known for more famous attractions such as Glendalough, this lesser-known part of the county is just waiting for you to discover it.

So, this year, make sure Mangan’s Loop is on your list of trips away – because you don’t want to miss all of the amazing experiences to be had in this neck of the woods.

Enjoy a comfortable stay at Murphy’s Hotel

If you’re in the market for proper Irish hospitality in a luxurious Wicklow hotel, then make sure you stay at Murphy’s Hotel in Tinahely.

This hotel puts comfort at the forefront of your experience with all ten of their bedrooms finished to a very high standard It’s the perfect spot to rest your head in between all of your walking and exploring, so all you have to worry about is getting out and making the most of your few days in the area.

Their restaurant serves up Irish favourites such as sirloin steaks, bacon and cabbage and roast duck as well as international cuisines like tacos, curries and falafel.

You’ll also get a hearty full Irish to fuel you for your day of walking.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance from Mangan’s Loop: 2 minutes

Murphys hotel

Have a proper Irish B&B experience at Madeleine’s

If there is one thing that Irish people are good at, it’s being incredible hosts. And that’s what you’ll get at Madeleine’s B&B in Tinahely.

This gorgeous historic house, which was originally built in 1843, makes for an easy and enjoyable stay.

Located in the heart of Tinahely, Madeline serves up a fantastic breakfast, lunch and dinner at Madeline’s restaurant.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance from Mangan’s Loop: 2 minutes.

Go horse-riding at Bloomfield Equestrian Centre

Whether you consider yourself a pro or you’ve never even been on the back of a horse, you may as well give it a go while you’re in the area.

At Bloomfield Equestrian Centre just 2km outside of Enniscorthy, you’ll have absolutely great craic knowing you’re in the safe hands of their expert teachers.

A class takes visitors on hacks through their wood and grassland, and you can do that as part of a group booking or privately.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance from Mangan’s Loop: 48 minutes.

Visit the Chocolate Garden of Ireland

Nothing screams ‘treat yourself’ quite like some indulgent chocolate. So, what if I told you that Wicklow is home to the Chocolate Garden of Ireland?

Nestled on the Carlow/Wicklow border, The Chocolate Garden of Ireland is an award-winning family business making gorgeous hand-made chocolates, premium ice cream and other fabulous sweet treats.

They also offer a range of visitor experiences, including a workshop experience and a chocolate-making session.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance from Mangan’s Loop: 19 minutes.

Check out Tinahely Farm Shop and Activity Centre

The Tinahely Farm Shop and Activity Centre is owned and run by Philip and Rebecca Hadden and their three kids, and makes for a great day out during your stay in the area.

You can enjoy traditional Irish grub in their restaurant, where they use home-grown ingredients to produce delicious meals and baked goods, making it a foodie heaven.

Then, you can have a gander in their farm shop, where you’re likely to walk away with farm fresh vegetables, artisan food, traditional toys, arts and crafts and even their own pottery range.

There is also a children’s activity barn that features go-karting, Wicklow’s largest indoor beach, giant Chess and giant Connect 4.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance from Mangan’s Loop: 2 minutes.

Visit Raheenleagh Wind Farm

Raheenleagh Wind Farm has three walking trails measuring a total of 15km. And each trail leads up to or passes by the gargantuan wind turbines and give you fantastic views over the Wicklow Mountains.

Croghan Trail (blue trail) passes close by the turbines and leads up to a viewing point from which you can see the old gold mining area in Ballinagore bridge.

Forde’s Farmhouse trail (green trail), which is named after the Forde family who owned most of the land on Raheenleagh up until the early 1940s, takes walkers to a viewing point on Croghan Hill, which also provides stellar views.

Bann River trail (red trail) separates from the Forde Farmhouse trail just after it passes over the source of the Bann, which actually provides a lot of the drinking water for North Wexford.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance to Mangan’s Loop: 27 minutes

Explore Tomnafinnoge Woods

Tomnafinnoge Woods is an experience that simply cannot be missed while you’re in Wicklow.

Just a couple of miles outside the town of Tinahely, Tomnafinnoge Wood is an ancient forest dominated by giant oak trees.

There are three walks in the forest, with the most popular being the River Walk which is 2km long. Other walks in the forest are the 4km Oak Loop and the 1.3km Hazel Loop Walk.

The three trails are very well sign-posted and there is plenty of parking space at the trailhead of each.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance to Mangan’s Loop: 8 minutes

Visit Tinahely Courthouse Arts Centre

The Courthouse Arts Centre in Tinahely always has a fantastic line up of music, theatre and comedy. The centre prides itself on being a not-for-profit organisation that promotes creative expression and cultural diversity.

When visiting, you might catch an indie film screening, or perhaps a visual arts exhibition.

It’s located in the heart of Tinahely on Dwyer Square and is open Tuesday to Saturday between 9.30am and 5pm and Sundays between 4pm and 6pm.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance from Mangan’s Loop: 3 minutes–7gi3rk/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Eat and Drink at O’Connor’s Bar and Lounge

Like any proper Irish pub, O’Connor’s Bar and Lounge has a warm, ambient atmosphere.

Serving up great pints and traditional pub grub, it’s everything you need after a long day of walking in Tinahely.

They also regularly host live music nights and screen all major sporting events and have quite a nice beer garden for those summer nights.

The food here is served Monday to Friday from 11.30am to 9pm and Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 9pm.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance from Mangan’s Loop: 1 minute

Head to the Dying Cow

Looking to have a pint and the best craic after your day out in Tinahely? Then you should head to the Dying Cow, just outside Tinahely.

It fits maybe 10 to 20 people, but it’s friendly and cosy and one of the best spots to chill with a pint around this neck of the woods.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance to Mangan’s Loop: 7 minutes

Stay at Kyle House B&B

Kyle House is a 19th Century 4th generation farmhouse bed and breakfast that will make your stay in Tinahely as relaxed and enjoyable as it can get.

It’s situated on a working Irish dairy farm, so it really gives you that rural Irish experience.

All of their cosy rooms feature en-suite bathrooms comfortable orthopaedic beds, and your stay will see you being treated to a stunning breakfast menu, home-baked treats and packed lunches for your day of walking.

Click HERE for more info.

Distance from Mangan’s Loop: 11 minutes

 For spectacular sights, invigorating sensations and unforgettable experiences, make your next short break a walking break in Ireland’s Ancient East. Walking makes your break.

For more information, visit

For more information or to plan your walking break in Ireland’s Ancient East, visit the Tales and Trails hub here.