The weekend has arrived, you want to move but also eat great food. I recommend the Greystones to Bray walk, this is an easy long walk that is a great way to spend a day shaking off the past week and then treating yourself afterwards in a great restaurant.This coastal walk is gorgeous, from the Dublin coast you can see Bray but the Greystones cliffs are hidden so it’s really nice to see a different side of Wicklow. You follow the dart line all the way to Bray and it really is a walk for all ages, I saw every age group on this path so it’s fun for the whole family.Once you are finished your long walk you deserve a treat! So even though you have to walk along the Bray promenade and your feet may be a bit tired, walking the extra way to Dockland N°8 is a must! Just be warned you might have to wait a little bit but there is a pub next door to rest your feet and grab a drink. Once again, as my test, I chose the eggs Benedict and it was oh so delicious, with perfect eggs and spiced ham, I also liked the wings and they have sweet baked goods that are always a must after a good two hour walk! I had such a nice day getting out in the fresh air and then having really yummy food! I definitely recommend you do both of these things on one of your days off. It’s a great combination, so enjoy!
So for many reasons, most notably I am very grateful for the ability to move and the fact that I am reasonably healthy, I decided to go for a hike on Sunday. I have decided to get out and do more on the weekends since I sit at a desk all week.
I left the house at 7:30am to do the 45 minute drive to Glendalough, somewhere I love and go to an awful lot. I was the first person in the car park, I love being the first person in a car park. This hike is a part of the white route in Glendalough, there are a lot of rocks as the path winds up the hill. I see various outfits whenever I’ve walked up here. I’ve seen hiking poles, I’ve been waterproofs and thick coats, I’ve seen shorts and gym gear. My suggestion is you wear any shoe with good enough ankle support, bring gloves because the wind comes down this valley and it can get quite cold, especially in winter. Also wear something that is comfortable, I’ve done this hike in jeans in the height of summer…terrible terrible decision! Like awful! Just wear exercise clothes or sweatpants, be comfy! I also recommend water and a clementine. Clementines are fantastic! Take note, in this area there is lots of wildlife! I love looking at the side of the hill and spotting all the deer and the feral goats. I like the feral goats, I was hiking in a spot close to here and I heard a noise above me, I look up to see a line of goats wandering on the side of the hill. I then called the person I was with and they thought I was mad but believe me there are goats, look out for them they are pretty cool! The hike up is fun, there is a gorgeous waterfall that is now strong and thunderous, it’s pretty great! The view from the top is amazing and I love it. I have so many memories around this place! Once I reached the top I realised how much snow had fallen the night before. I knew that the fact I am like a new born giraffe on ice meant that I probably shouldn’t walk up the mountain ridge. I met two dogs and their human said that it was quite icy on the walk so that only confirmed that I should venture any further. Once I descended the hill I got back to my car and drove up to the top of Glendalough to see more snow. I got to see the most gorgeous view of the Wicklow gap. Snow makes me ridiculously happy! Ever since 2010 I have learnt that in Wicklow it snows and that if it’s not too bad I can drive around and go see it. I love snow, it makes all my memories happier and warm. Although I was giddy at the prospect of new powder hugging the ground, my heels at this point were on fire! I needed to break in those Mendel boots I bought for Iceland, I did walking in Iceland but I didn’t do any hiking, so this was their first proper outing…ouchy!I then drove home with a stupidly big smile on my face and donned some blister plasters and spent the rest of the day relaxing.
So I love birds, they are fascinating and beautiful and the more knowledge I can gain about them, the better. I asked for a falconry experience for christmas. Falconry Ireland is where I decided to go. You can often find some great deals on Groupon. How to get there: The easiest way to get there is putting the coordinates 52.801529,-6.255436 into a sat nav. The building is down an unmarked dirt road, off a number of unnamed roads. So definitely use the coordinates as it will get you there directly.
I went on the falconry experience for one but you are not alone, there is a large group of you. Whats included is a briefing on the hawks and the day, then a hawk walk, a falcon show and finishes with a showcase of the other birds that live on the property. First up the Hawk Walk. This is where we walked up to a field and went into a patch of trees and saw the hawks fly. We all got a glove and our guide, Jim, put a small amount of meat onto the glove and Vinny the hawk flew to us. I liked Vinny a lot. He also liked my Langy bag! Also it started to lash rain when we were out there which is why Vinny looks wet.
Next up the Falcon Show, this is where the guide and owner, Darragh Brennan, showcased the beautiful Lanner Falcon. Unfortunately the weather was not on our side and we only got to see one dive but you could tell that they are incredible hunters! We then got to hold a lanner falcon and they are just stunning up close.
Lastly was the showcase of the other birds that live on the land. There are lots of owls, it was great to hear information of where they come from, how they hunt, their species quirks and differences. It was really fascinating.
Hedwig!! There was also a kite that flew around the property, it’s amazing seeing these birds swoop and catch food in the air. How some of them close their eyes when they eat, how inquisitive some species are. It’s great to get so up close with these birds. I think they had four species of Owls on the property. Eurasian Eagle Owl, Snowy Owl, Burrowing Owl and Barn Owl. All beautiful creatures. You can tell the people who work here love and are dedicated to their birds. They are open on Thursdays and Saturdays at 11:15 and are not open to the public because the birds are flown everyday for exercise and natural prey feeding.
The Hawks do not peck or preen but they may land on your head, so maybe bring a hat. It also makes for great photos!
Look like you are interested and Jim will put meat on your glove. People were giving me daggers because I stepped forward, to have Vinny fly to me, many times.
If you get too close to the birds aviaries, they hiss at you, that is their safe space so keep that in mind when you stick a camera through the mesh, they may also bite.
Bring waterproof shoes if it has been raining. The tour is 2 hours and you are walking through a field.
Park your car to the left of the house by the field, don’t park to the right by the wall, a huge tractor came through with hay and couldn’t get pass.
I definitely recommend this experience, you learn a lot, they are incredible birds and it’s wonderful to see them in the open and flying. I really think is a great present to give someone interested in birds of prey. Remember to check out Groupon and get vouchers for you and a friend! Have you had a falconry experience?
I like to start my hikes very early in the morning. Especially in Summer when it is hot and sunny out. I got up at 5:30am to catch the sunrise. As I have mentioned on my facebook I am trying to see more beautiful things during my day. That morning was particularly stunning at 6am, no one is around and it was really peaceful.
Bray Head is clearly seen from a lot of angles, it’s a hill that is surrounded by amazing cliffs and has some great walks for you to do! There is the Bray to Greystones walk which I have never actually completed and there is the Bray Head Loop.The path leading up to the top can be both rocky and paved. I always opt for the more uneven, steep path because it’s more fun. There are gorgeous trees and tiny streams that I like hopping over and around. You can keep going once you reach the top but the last time I did that a fog descended and I went off track and I got a little lost so I recommend you stay on the path and if fog comes down just turn back. The views from the top are beautiful you can see beautiful hills, all of Bray town and the gorgeous bay. I like sitting at the top under the cross and just taking it all in. I recommend you bring proper foot wear as there is a lot of uneven surfaces as you go up, it can also get steep so just be carful of twisting your ankle. It doesn’t take long at all to get to the cross so you don’t need to bring food and water but if it is a hot sunny day then water is a good idea.
This location is a great spot for some exercise and beautiful views. I definitely recommend you stop off here as you start your trip into Wicklow.
I don’t know what it is but when I am out driving, to clear my head, to get away from everything, I end up here. Possibly because of it’s beauty, maybe the breeze from the valley blows away the cobwebs or maybe because I have really happy memories attached to this place. Whatever it is it is a definite must see if you are travelling around Wicklow.
If you are travelling in Winter it will be very cold, do you see my face? I thought my fingers were going to fall off. Bring all of your layers! You will need them. Something I really recommend if you are freezing is to go for a walk, the Ballinastoe walk right by Lough Tay is the perfect walk to do if you need to get the feeling back in your body.
This walk is great for a tourist because of the boardwalk, if you are afraid of getting lost, don’t worry the path will guide you. It protects the landscape because it is such a travelled route. Bring some ankle support because the boards can get uneven in places and you don’t want to twist your ankle.
The boardwalk goes all the way up to the base of the mountain, and because there has been so many visitors they have carved out the path in the mountain so it is very easy to follow. The main attraction is Lough Tay, this beautiful lake can be seen all along the road so there are many places to view it. Stopping off at any of them will give you the most amazing pictures! This area is amazing at all times of the year so whenever you are visiting you are sure to experience the best of the area. I love this area, it’s not far from South Dublin at all, it’s really accessible, lots of space to park your car and a great place to explore and get some great images! Have you been to this area?
One of my best friends and I went to Glendalough, Co. Wicklow recently. We are both bloggers/youtubers and it is great that we can come together and create and hang out while getting content to show all of you. So here are a few shots from that day. There are lots of trails, paths you can go on, I haven’t actually explored all of them yet, I can’t wait to do the top trail, I was waiting for it to become a little bit nicer weather. I will probably make a video of it on my channel some time in the future.
Glendalough is a Monastic site, it’s ruins are located near the lower lake. The most well intact and impressive is the round tower a classic site of Glendalough.
What I love most about this area is the wildlife and the colours. This patch of forest has always been covered in green moss when I go. It is always beautiful.
In winter the hills and the ground turn brown and will slowly get more colourful as the months go on. There are birds everywhere, it is great to stop and wait by the upper lake to see different species fly around and hear their calls.
There is something I look for every time I come to Glendalough. The first time I came here, I saw a stag and a doe. They were beautiful and ever since I always keep an eye out in case the deer are hiding in the tall grass. Can you spot the deer in this picture?
There is also some resident mallards that are always up for being in pictures.
Glendalough is a perfect place in Summer or in Winter. I love spending time here all year round. I go on birthdays or days off, if I want some exercise or I take a picnic with some friends. It is a must do in Wicklow. When you visit it you’ll know why they call it the Garden of Ireland.