2 to 4 Hours Walks
Wicklow Town

Glen Beach Cliff Walk – Wicklow Head

Glen Beach Car Park - GPS: 52.972282, -6.023768

This Grade 4 way marked walk begins at the Glen Beach on the outskirts of Wicklow town and continues south to Lime-Kiln Bay and on towards the Lighthouse road before doubling back again in a loop, a total distance of four kilometres.

Type:  Loop
Distance:  4km
Total Climb:  50m
Grading:  Difficult (in parts)/Moderate

The Walk has some climbs and runs close to exposed cliff edges where walking in single file is required.  The trail surface is uneven and rough underfoot with some obstacles such as protruding rocks.  The route is appropriate for people with a moderate level of fitness and some walking experience.  Specific outdoor walking footwear and clothing is recommended.

A wonderful variety of habitats are evident on the walk and sightings of individual Grey Seals swimming among the rocky shore are common from the trail while the very observant may be occasionally rewarded with glimpses of porpoise and dolphins further offshore.

The trail traverses a landscape of rich cultural interest. The main archaeological sites occur on the southern section of this walk. There is a rock shelter where prehistoric flints were found, the remains of a Lime Kiln (which gives the bay its name), the ruins of a small church which local lore records as dating from Penal Times and a Holy Well ‘Tobar Bríde’.  Local tradition maintains that fishermen would drink from this well in the belief that it would protect them whilst at sea. There is also evidence of a 19th century Rifle Range on the walk.

This area is part of Wicklow Head Special Protection Area (SPA), designated under the EU Habitats Directive for the nationally important breeding population of Kittiwake. Fulmar, Shag, Guillemot, Herring Gull, Black Guillemot, Razor Bill, Peregrine Falcon and Raven also breed nearby. Other species such Stonechat, Whitethroat, Rock Pippet and Linnet may be seen along the trail.

Grey seal have been recorded in increasing numbers at Lime Kiln Bay in recent years. They breed here annually and require undisturbed areas from September to December. During this period they are particularly vulnerable to disturbance by people and dogs and are best observed from a distance.

The rocky outcrops overlooking Lime Kiln bay provide ideal viewing sites for birds and seals, however you are advised to keep your profile low to avoid drawing attention to your presence and keep dogs on a lead and never allow them to approach seals.

The trail encompasses one of the most spectacular stretches of the Wicklow coastline, offering a unique opportunity to experience nature and to explore local history and archaeology.

GPS Starting Point:   52.972282, -6.023768

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