Welcome to Wicklow, the Hollywood of Europe.
Discover the fantastic landscape behind some of Hollywood best movies:
BRAVEHEART DRIVE – 80km
The Braveheart Drive is centred around the west of the Wicklow Mountains and covers approximately 80km. The route starts in Hollywood, film set of Dancing a Lughnasa which brought Meryl Streep and Michael Gambon to the local pub and sets off in the direction of the Wicklow Gap. Hollywood Glen was also the location of the ice valley scene King Arthur. After a couple of miles the Braveheart Drive veers off left to Ballyknockan, Lacken, film set for PS I Love You and Manor Kilbride, with a possible whistle stop bustling Blessington, set on the spectacular Blessington LAKES. From Manor Kilbride the drive brings you right through the West Wicklow Mountains past the peat bogs of the Sally Gap and Kippure Estate, which was used extensively for Braveheart. The Sally Gap road features in many Irish made films like The General, PS I Love You, Reign of Fire, Veronica Guerin and continues past spectacular Glenmacnass Waterfall on the villages of Laragh and Glendalough and then returns to Hollywood by the Wicklow Gap, used as location for Reign of Fire and King Arthur
EXCALIBUR DRIVE – 68km
This drive starts and finishes in the picturesque mountain village of Roundwood and brings you through some of the most spectacular and varied landscape in County Wicklow. The Isolated Wicklow Mountains with their domed granite peaks reach heights of over 2,500 feet, and form the largest undisturbed uplands blanket of bog in Ireland. There is an abundance of flora and fauna to be found here amongst the hidden lakes rivers and numerous waterfalls. Look out for deer, foxes, badgers, falcons and merlins. Lough Tay and Lough Dan have been used as film location by many of the period films and dramas such as Becoming Jane, The Tudors, Camelot, King Arthur and many more. No wonder this area is so popular with filmmakers as the scenery shows the very best of the Irish landscape. However, the mountains, towns, woods, lakes and beaches in County Wicklow Have also served as backdrop for places in countries as diverse as France, America, Russia, Italy and Germany. The Excalibur Drive also brings you past the impressive Powerscourt Estate and Waterfall, famous for some Excalibur scenes and in Bray past Killruddery House and Gardens which is used as a film location so much that it’s a living set.
MICHAEL COLLINS DRIVE – 72km
The Michael Collins Drive starts in Wicklow Town and covers 72km while it brings you through a landscape of rolling hills and lush valleys dotted with picturesque villages. The Michael Collins Drive starts in Fitzwilliam Square in Wicklow Town, film location for the Guard with Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle and brisgs you through Rathnew and Glenealy to Rathdrum, the film capital of Ireland. Some famous scenes from the film Michael Collins with Liam Neeson and Julia Robersts were shot here. Next on the drive is the now world famous Avoca, the living television set for the BBC series Ballykissangel. The beautiful lush Vale of Avoca brings you downs to historic Woodendbridge and next to Arklow, a seaside resort exuding a warm welcome to visitors looking for entertainment and activities and location for Angela’s Ashes. After the buzz of Arklow the drive returns to the peaceful countryside and rolling hills of Redcross, film set for Cracks, a Boarding School drama with Eva Green, and further on the mile long golden beach of Brittas Bay used for the Count of Monte Cristo, The Tudors and Camelot. The Michael Collins Drive brings you past Wicklow Gaol which is world famous for being one of the most haunted prisons and has been featured on countless television documentaries.