Stage 6 South: Tinahely to Shillelagh (F-G)
Stage 2 North: Shillelagh (Raheenakit) to Tinahely (G-F)

Distance: 15km (approx.)

This stage provides a mixture of country roads, tracks and forest trails with a very interesting pub half way along!
We climb out from our start point as we skirt around Muskeagh Hill before descending to pick up the road to bring us to the Dying Cow pub. The pub has a rich history and is worth the visit. From here we follow a quiet country road with an easy climb as we aim for the finish point to the west of Shillelagh.

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  Tinahely (Curravanish)

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 12 – Mullinacuffe:

Mullinacuffe, identifiable by the merging of The Wicklow Way with another rural road at a Y junction, and almost immediately followed by another junction where The Wicklow Way takes a left turn.
Exiting The Wicklow Way at this point and continuing straight on, passing the Tudor style Church of Ireland (1844) on your left, will bring you to two accommodation providers in the area.

 Exit Point 13 – Stranakelly Crossroads (Deviation to Shillelagh)

Nestled at Stranakelly Crossroads lies an historic public house, known as The Dying Cow, though the name ‘Tallons’ appears on the sign. The story goes that, when caught by Gardaí (Police) for remaining open well into the night, the local men who had stayed for a late pint claimed they were having a drink after helping the Tallon family with a sick cow! Hence the name.
Reputed to be over 300 years old, it has retained much of its’ character and ancestral links down through the years. Lil Dolan (née Tallon), who inherited the pub in 1963 is often herself behind the bar. Traditional music sessions are a regular occurrence here with an eclectic mix of locals, Irish and International walkers enjoying the entertainment.

At the time of writing, there was no accommodation in the immediate vicinity of Stranakelly Crossroads.
It is possible to take a short-cut towards Shillelagh from here. Instead of turning right at the crossroads to stay on The Wicklow Way, continue straight through, turning right at the first T junction, left at the next one and continuing downhill on a quiet country lane. This merges with another lane beside some pretty, stone cottages and you’ll see the main road ahead. Turn left here and continue in the direction of the church tower to reach the village. This deviation is just over 4.5km in distance.

Services for Stage 6 are all based around Shillelagh village. Where those services are closer to an exit point, they will be listed there.

Distance walked on this stage so far:

  • Stage 4: N – S: Distance walked from Tinahely (Curravanish): 6.5km (approx.)
  • Stage 4: S – N: Distance walked from Shillelagh (Raheenakit): 8.5km (approx.)

  Exit Point 14 – Boley (Deviation to Shillelagh Village):

This is the original deviation from The Wicklow Way, as proposed by J.B. Malone, and noted here for that reason. Continuing to end Stage 6 at Raheenakit, though it means overshooting the village when heading south, brings you along quieter roads and passes accommodation possibilities.

If taking J.B. Malone’s Boley deviation, take extreme care and caution on roads, they are a lot busier today than in the 1980s.
After crossing the R725 at the staggered crossroads, although you can continue along the R725 towards Shillelagh from here, it is nicer to continue along the route, which turns left at the next T junction. From here, after another kilometre or so, The Wicklow Way turns right. To exit at this point, continue straight ahead until you meet the R725 again at Boley Bridge. Shillelagh is approximately 3km from the exit point.

Services for Stage 6 are all based around Shillelagh village. Where those services are closer to an exit point, they will be listed there.

Distance walked on this stage so far:

  • Stage 4: N – S: Distance walked from Tinahely (Curravanish): 13km (approx.)
  • Stage 4: S – N: Distance walked from Shillelagh (Raheenakit): 2km (approx.)

  Shillelagh (Raheenakit)

With Raheenakit forest on your right, continue uphill along the boreen (laneway). Shortly after you begin descending the other side, you will spot the familiar brown signs of The Wicklow Way diverting you in along the edge of the forest. This is the end of Stage 6.
If continuing to Shillelagh village on foot, keep descending until you reach Ballard Crossroads. If staying at Minmore Mews, turn right, otherwise turn left. Passing Minmore Farm Cottages on your left on the way to the village. Additional distance 3km (approx.)
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.

Dining:
Dining options in Shillelag include a Take Away, and Restaurant/Pubdirection of Tullow. Bar menu available. Free WiFi.
Shops & Supplies:
There is a mini market located on the main street in Shillelagh, a fuel station, and for unique souvenir idea, the Olde Shillelag Stick Maker
Things to do & see near here:
No visit to Shillelagh would be complete without a visit to the Olde Shillelagh Stick Makers. Coolattin House and perhaps play a round of golf at Coolattin Golf Club or try some activities at Green Adventure if you are not tired! visit the hair salon, a night out in Kenny’s Bar or music and dancing at The Parkview Venue. Enjoy traditional Irish music at Egan’s of Parkbridge (food available). If you have access to a car, Rathwood Country Shopping and The Chocolate Garden of Ireland are located 10km in the direction of Tullow.

Transport Options:

  • Thursdays only: Bus Éireann 132 Bus Service 09:50 from Shillelagh to Dublin, 19:45 from Shillelagh to Rosslare Europort.
  • Wicklow Rural Transport service to Gorey (Monday to Friday only) which has bus and rail links to Dublin
  • Taxi Services: 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.
  • Limited carparking at Raheenakit Forestry, Shillelagh.

POINTS OF INTEREST

  Tallons The Dying Cow

An unusual name for a pub but this is not to be missed. Located along a road section of the Wicklow Way this pubs history stretches back 300 years and has remained in the same family ever since it first opened. A plaque at the entrance explains the name.
Google Maps: 53.782092, -6.520843

  Geology:  Wicklow Gold

The late 18th century saw a gold rush in the Wicklow with the southern part of the county seeing the most finds. During this time a large nugget weighing in at over 600 grams was found by prospectors. Recent surveys show that gold is still abundant, as is platinum. There is no commercial mining taking place in the area the moment but amateur prospectors are still actively panning the rivers.

  Flora: Heather

In late summer the Wicklow Mountains turn to a spectacular blanket of purple. This is the beautiful Bell heather which shares the mountains with its close relative Ling heather, which also produces a delicate lilac coloured flower. Bees love heather and it gives a distinct flavour to local honey. Heather has long been used as bedding, fuel and basket making. The sheep on the mountains also feed on the tender part of the plants.

  Flora: Lichen

The old stone walls and random boulders you encounter along the route hold a history that many don’t notice. Lichens are a combination of an Algae and a Fungus- the fungus can’t make food but the algae can through photosynthesis. In return for the food the fungus gives shelter; a symbiotic relationship. It is estimated that there are as many as 17,000 different species and that 6% of the earth’s surface is covered in Lichen. Lichens have many uses:

  • Aging of stone, as lichen grows very slowly the age a stone has been exposed can determined by certain lichens and their size. This gives an insight into when landslides occurred etc.
  • Medicinal use started in Greece (word lichen comes from Greek ‘eats what’s around it’). It then spread to the rest of Europe in 1500s. Other cultures across the world used it also. Very wide range of uses from lungs to skin disorders, treating tumours etc.
  • Perfume, it’s a well-kept secret by the industry but tons of Oak Moss and Tree Moss lichens are used each year to make perfumes.
  • Poison against wolves, in days gone by Wolf Lichen Letharia Vulpina was used to kill wolves.
  • Dyes, very commonly used by the Romans and across many cultures.
  • Fire starting, Old Mans Beard makes great tinder.
  • Other uses, birds nesting material, used to make litmus paper.