STAGE 1 South: Marlay Park – Knockree (A-B) Stage

STAGE 7 North: Knockree – Marlay (B-A)

Distance: 20.5km (approx.)

The Wicklow Way starts from the information board near the car park in the Marlay Park. From there the ‘yellow man’ points the way to Clonegall some 127km to the south. There are two markers to follow: brown fingerboards and black posts with yellow man & arrow. As we leave Marlay the route takes a busy road for about 2km before entering the forest at Kilmashogue. On entering the forest don’t forget to turn to your right and explore the 5,000-year burial tomb.

The first climb is now underway, as we climb higher we leave the forest and enter the open mountain along well-maintained track. Stunning views over the city now open out behind you before we descend to pick up the public in the direction of Glencullen. We turn right as the route tackles the second climb of the day with the tough ascent to Prince Williams Seat. The descent leads to the public road at Curtlestown as we follow a small but busy lane to Knockree forest. A short climb here leads us to our finish point and a short stroll down to Knockree Hostel.

Open Stage Map

 Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16:

Transport Options:

  • Dublin Bus routes 116, 161, 16 and 16c drop off on Grange Road side of Marlay Park, close to WW start/finish. 15d drops off on Whitechurch Road side.
  • 116 Whitechurch to Parnell Sq and return
  • 161 Rockbrook/Tibradden to Dundrum Luas and return
  • 16 Ballinteer to Dublin airport and return.
  • 16c Ballinteer or Airport to City Centre and return.
  • Schedules and maps available from www.dublinbus.ie
  • Particularly if travelling South to North, the 161 Dublin Bus passes along the road section at Rockbrook & Rathfarnham Golf Course after exiting Kilmashogue Forest (arguably the last interesting part of the route heading North) This passes Marley Park anyway with options for city centre and airport buses and cuts out the road

 Exit Point 1 – Glencullen:

Glencullen is a typical Irish country crossroads, not exactly a village, but a renowned landmark on the map for Irish folk and international visitors alike. A visit to Johnny Foxes Pub on these crossroads is an absolute must for anyone! (Free WIFI)

  • Distance from Wicklow Way to Glencullen Crossroads: 2km (approx.)

Distance walked on this stage so far:

  • Stage 1: N – S: Distance walked from Marlay Park: 10km (approx.)
  • Stage 7: S – N: Distance walked from Knockree: 10.5km (approx.)

Transport Options:

  • Where the route turns on to the R116 road, there are bus stops for the 44B to Dundrum Luas Station, from where you can return to Dublin city centre. Walk in the direction of Glencullen crossroads until you find one. Some walkers choose to start/finish The Wicklow Way at this point.
  • Car park on the R116 approximately 250m from the Boranaraltry Lane junction.
  • Taxi options from Johnnie Foxes Pub.

Shops & Supplies:

  • None in Glencullen. Closest shop is in Stepaside Village (4km)

Things to do & see near here:

  Exit Point 2 – Enniskerry (Curtlestown Wood):

Enniskerry village is a quaint, pretty village nestled in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains, yet only a stone throw from the M11(the main artery into Dublin city), and the Victorian seaside town of Bray. Despite this proximity attracting many people to live in the area, strict planning laws have ensured that this idyllic village has retained its’ rural getaway vibe whilst being stuffed to the rafters with all the conveniences of modern living, craft shops, wine stores etc. Ireland’s ancient, and not so ancient past is dotted all around the village and its’ outskirts. It makes an ideal stop along the Wicklow Way.

Distance from Wicklow Way Car Park at Curtlestown Wood (Annacrivey) to Enniskerry Village: 4.8km (approx.)

Distance walked on this stage so far:

  • Stage 1: N – S: Distance walked from Marlay Park: 18km (approx.)
  • Stage 7: S – N: Distance walked from Knockree: 2.5km (approx.)


 Transport Options:

  • Car park at entrance to Curtlestown Wood (Annacrivey).
  • At Curtlestown Wood, it is possible to walk 2.5km (approx.) on the road (about 30 mins) to reach the bus stop for Dublin Bus 185 to Bray Rail & DART station at Shop River. Alternatively, you can continue to walk into the village itself to catch Dublin Bus 44 towards DCU via the city centre.
  • Public transport following the route southbound is more difficult. To do so requires catching the 185 bus to Bray DART station, leaving enough time to walk to the St. Kevin’s Bus stop at the Town Hall (McDonald’s) in order to catch one of only two buses per day. This makes a taxi (same listings as above)– or just continuing the route on foot – much more attractive.

Shops & Supplies:

Things to do & see near here:

  Knockree

You have reached Knockree when you reach the road head. A small informal carpark and a spray-painted sign on the road indicating the direction to Knockree hostel nearby are the only indicators that you have reached the end of this stage.

Knockree Youth Hostel is located just a few hundred metres from the end of this stage of the Wicklow Way with a congratulatory sign above the door to welcome Wicklow Way walkers.  Located about 5.5km from Enniskerry Village. Internet access, but limited WiFi and mobile phone coverage due to the location.

 Transport Options:

  • Car park at Knockree end stage.
  • From the end of the stage, it is possible to walk 3km (approx.) on the road, past the hostel to reach the bus stop for Dublin Bus 185 to Bray Rail & DART station at Shop River. Alternatively, you can continue to walk into the village itself (5.5km approx.) to catch Dublin Bus 44 towards DCU via the city centre.
  • Public transport following the route southbound is as above when leaving Enniskerry. To do so requires catching the 185 bus to Bray DART station, leaving enough time to walk to the St. Kevin’s Bus stop at the Town Hall (McDonald’s) in order to catch one of only two buses per day. This makes a taxi (same listings as above) –  or just continuing the route on foot – much more attractive.

Shops & Supplies:

  • Knockree Youth Hostel has a ‘mini shop’ which stocks some foodstuffs and toiletries for guests.  Otherwise the nearest shop is the Mini Market & Post Office 5km away.

Things to do & see near here:

POINTS OF INTEREST

  Marlay House & Park

The origins of Marlay House can be traced back to the Anglo Norman conquest of Ireland with the existing house, known as Marlay Grange, being built in the 18th century. Marlay Park now has over 300 acres of parkland and is the starting point of the 127 km Wicklow Way.
Google Maps: 53.277914, -6.269304

  Kilmashogue Wedgetomb

At the point where the public roadway meets the entrance to Kilmashogue Forest lie the remains of a 4,000 year old burial tomb. Originally the tomb would have been a much larger structure covered in stones to form a large cairn. Many of these stones were removed as building materials down through the years. The tomb had several burial spaces and triple wall construction which is an unusual feature. Most tombs of this type have double walls. Bronze Age urns were discovered here during excavations.
Google Maps: 53.258202, -6.275956

  Fairy Castle (Two Rock Mountain)

As our route reaches the open mountain, the summit of Fairy Castle (also known as Two Rock Mountain) comes into view between us and the masts on Three Rock Mountain. The summit of Fairy Castle is crowned with an ancient cairn. Buried deep under this 4,000 year old pile of rocks, are the burial cists for some very important people from a time long ago. The short deviation to the summit is worth it, not just to see the cairn but also for the amazing views over the Dublin City & Bay.
Google Maps: 53.239134, -6.245089

  Stubb’s Gamekeeper Cottage

The Wicklow Mountains are dotted with old hunting lodges and game keeper cottages. Many no longer exist, a few have been restored. Stubb’s Gamekeeper Cottage is lying in ruins and worthy of an explore as it is conveniently located along the Wicklow Way just after the route heads north off the R116. There are several buildings, care is required.
Google Map: 53.229944, -6.26458

  Powerscourt Estate

Powerscourt Estate boasts over 800 years of history, now with acres of forestry, parkland and Powerscourt House & Gardens. The Wicklow Way skirts the edges of the estate at the map point below, as it progresses through the steeply sided Glensoulan Valley and the crosses the Glensoulan River just before it plunges to become Ireland’s highest waterfall: Powerscourt Waterfall.
Google Maps: 53.146167, -6.218335

  Flora: Lackan Wood

As you approach the end of Stage 1, through Lackan Wood, Sitka Spruce is by far the dominant species, enlivened occasionally with Holly, Rowan, Douglas Fir, Larch (hybrid) and Silver Birch. The Holly brings colour and festive cheer at Christmas with its’ bright red berries and deep green prickly leaves. Rowan likes the light and is usually found alone in sunlit areas, hence it’s love of the mountains. Douglas Fir was introduced to Ireland from North America in 1827. The Larch, one of just two conifers to lose its’ needles in the winter is easily identified by the deep bed of brown needles on the ground under its canopy. The Silver Birch is easily recognised by its silver/white scaly bark.

  Geology:  Powerscourt Waterfall

As the trail meanders through Crone Forest we are rewarded with views of the aforementioned Powerscourt Waterfall. Ireland’s highest waterfall at 121 metres. The Wicklow Way crosses the river that feeds the waterfall in the steep sided valley in Glensoulan. (There is no safe access to the waterfall from The Wicklow Way)