Stage 7 South: Shillelagh (Raheenakit) to Clonegall G-H.
Stage 2 North: Clonegall to Shillelagh (Raheenakit) H-G.

Distance: 17km (approx.)

The final day, but not to be underestimated.
Starting at Raheenakit forest, the route climbs and meanders through the forest before reaching the public road. 2km of quiet road though lush farmland brings us to next forest entrance and our last climb. The final 4.5km follow the country roads as we reach Clonegall and end of the Wicklow Way.

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  Shillelagh (Raheenakit)

The Wicklow Way diverts in from the country lane, along the edge of Raheenakit forest before turning right, leading you deeper into the forestry.
Shillelagh, like Tinahely, is a pretty former estate village of the Earls of Fitzwilliam. With the local quarry to thank for the attractive stone buildings, this planned estate village once belonged to Coolattin Estate, the largest in Wicklow at over 85,000 acres, encompassing a fifth of the county and around 20,000 tenants. Unlike many tenants, they were treated fairly and with respect. During the Great Famine, Fitzwilliam offered ‘assisted emigration’ to tenants who could no longer afford their rates. Granted, this was to avoid bankruptcy on his own part, but out of well over 2 million Irish citizens who emigrated to British North America (Canada) at the time, only 50,000 received any financial support from their landlords. 6,000 of those tenants were from the Coolattin Estate.
Shillelagh is also famous for its’ walking sticks and clubs, fashioned from Blackthorn. These are still made locally today.

After exiting Mangan’s Wood, descend past Hawthorn trees (significant to Irish Mythology and Folklore), continue down Coolafunshoge lane through a tunnel of gorse and bramble and after crossing the Derry River, the stage ends at the R747 road to Tinahely at Curravanish. It is a further 2km by road to reach Tinahely village.
Tinahely is a thriving village nestled in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. This vibrant community offer visitors a wonderful Wicklow welcome with a great range of food and entertainment options for such a small place. A walking destination in its’ own right, there are walks here to suit all levels of ability – and disability.

Dining, Shops & Supplies:

  • Tinahely offers a great variety of place to eat including restaurants, cafes and take-aways.
  • You’ll find supermarkets, grocers and various local shops offering local produces.
  • Service in Tinahely include a bank (with ATM), Garda/Police station, Pharmacy, Library and more.
  • Further information at http://visitwicklow.ie/towns-villages/tinahely/

Things to do & see near here:

  • Take in a concert or show at The Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely is a walking hub in its’ own right, a free map is available at most establishments or downloadable here. Visit The Riverside Art Gallery. Take in the Tinahely Agricultural Show if you happen to be around in August. Even if you have decided to finish your Wicklow Way journey here, it’s well worth your while continuing on to Stranakelly to visit The Dying Cow Pub, an historic landmark right on Stage 6 of the Wicklow Way.

Transport Options:

  • Wicklow Way Bus service from Tinahely, either Curravanish or Tinahely village towards Rathdrum train station or Ironbridge. Please note, this service is not a scheduled service and must be pre-booked.
  • Thursdays only: Bus Éireann 132 Bus Service 10:00 from Tinahely to Dublin, 19:35 from Tinahely to Rosslare Europort.
  • Wicklow Rural Transport service to Gorey (Saturday only) which has bus and rail links to Dublin and Carlow (Saturday only) which has bus links to Dublin.
  • Many accommodation providers offer pick-ups and drop offs as a value-added service or for a small fee.
  • Carparking available at the GAA Carpark on the School Road.

  Exit Point 15 – Aghowle/Moylisha:

The Wicklow Way circumnavigates Aghowle Upper from Raheenakit. You descend out of the woods and turn onto a pretty country lane with moss covered walls and farm houses. After a few hundred metres, you reach a Y junction.
Exit The Wicklow Way at this point by turning left. A 30 minute walk (3km approx.), will bring you to Parkbridge.

Dining & Things to do:

  • Egan’s Bar: Its’ association with traditional Irish music sets this bar apart. With both formal organised events and informal spontaneous traditional Irish music sessions, if you’re in the vicinity, be sure to check it out. Egan’s are particularly ‘Walker friendly’ offering free WiFi and phone charging facilities, free spring well to refill water bottles, toilet facilites and even some hiking supplies if you are stuck!

Transport Options:

  • Egan’s will organise a taxi for you. Otherwise, the following taxi services run here: Oakridge Cabs Pat Murphy (aka Buggy) Tel: +353 87 9469978 or Paul’s Cab on +353 87 7516870
  • Many accommodation providers offer pick-ups and drop offs as a value-added service or for a small fee.

  Clonegall:

The Wicklow Way finishes over the border in County Carlow in the colourful, floral village of Clonegal/Clonegall. Cluain na nGall, or ‘Meadow of the Stranger’ as it translates to, rests at the meeting point of the counties of Wexford, Carlow and of course, Wicklow. With the confluence of the Slaney and Derry Rivers, and the backdrop of the Wicklow Mountains, it is certainly a picturesque place to finish your journey.
Over the River Derry, which acts as the county border between Carlow and Wexford, lies Watch House Village which was instrumental in the 1798 United Irishmen Rebellion.
Accommodation is very limited in Clonegall. Further accommodation is available in Bunclody, Co. Wexford located 5km from the trailhead. Bunclody is a small town serviced by the national bus service Bus Éireann.

Transport Options:

  • Most of the accommodation providers offer pick-ups and drop offs as a value-added service or for a small fee.
  • Public Transport: Bus Éireann 132 to Dublin operates regular daily services. It is also possible to get the Local Link Wexford 369 or 368 to Enniscorthy (Templeshannon) and then catch the Bus Éireann 2 to Dublin Airport via Dublin City Centre.

POINTS OF INTEREST

  Shillelagh Stick

Passing through the pretty village of Shillelagh, you’ll be reminded of the original ‘Shillelagh Stick’ which has its origins in the forests nearby. The walking stick is famous the world over and was made from the blackthorn tree. The club often used in battle in times past, is now being used in martial arts.

  Huntington Castle Clonegall

Originally built as a garrison (round tower) in the 15th century by an old Irish clan, the Caviness. The house and gardens were then greatly extended by the Esmond family. The castle is still occupied by the family and is open to the public during summer months.
Google Maps: 53.690532, -6.649625

  Geology:  Upheaval the creation of the hills and mountains

The Wicklow Uplands and its periphery hills were formed by the massive power of tectonic plates colliding against each other some 450 million years ago. Originally the mountains would have been much higher, but erosion and the effect of several ice ages have reduced their size. The effects of the enormous power that created these mountains is still be felt occasionally with minor earthquakes along the East Coast.

  Flora: Farming

The first settlers in Ireland (10,000 years ago) were hunter gatherers. It wasn’t until about 6,500 years ago that that agriculture was developed. Ireland was once made of 100,000s of small farm holdings, each taking a meagre living from the land. There is evidence that Ireland was exporting produce to the UK in the 12th century. At the time of the famine in Ireland (1840s) two thirds of the population of Ireland depended on farming. The legacy of this time is the tapestry of small fields that still dominate the landscape. Since the famine, the size of holdings has gradually increased. Today’s farms are generally large (>30 hectares) and Wicklow’s farmers see a mix of tillage and pasture.