Lugnaquilla….what on earth


Annie, missing the company of various mutts got a welcome invite to join some mates in a clamber up Ireland’s 13th highest mountain, at 925 metres and with views across the Irish sea to Snowdonia on a sunny day, the march up Lugnaquilla was a trip not to be missed.

Getting up at the crackle of dawn (in Ireland this appears to be just past 09.00 hrs) and jumping in a somewhat iconic car, a great beast of an old Citroen, the adventure was already underway.  Nearing Glenmalure from Dublin, via Glendalough, (a few detours avoided with the GPS of an old iPhone) we arrived at the first car park, then the second and the ….fourth, yes keep going to the end of the valley and you will be in the right place, we know this as a fell runner from New Zealand told us.  Taking a map should have been a prerequisite but hey this team was being led by Irish so sensible did not feature.

Ummm a few signs and a little reading taught us that the road we were on was built by the military, very narrow with the steep walls of the u-shaped valley climbing up-up-up it feels like miles before you hit the final car park.  (It was only when reading up on the walk, after a few days, that we realised we had walked across a firing range in error….)

The route from the car took us across a footbridge and then striding out we passed a quaint little hostel, stopped for a chat with the landlady who bizarrely has never climbed the mountain, did not know where the path was and had no idea how long it might take…why is she running the hostel?

After a while we hung a left up a forest track and dived straight into the glen and it’s beautfiul river and waterfall, we then spent most of our time looking for the obvious path up, it wasn’t obvious, was very boggy and pretty dangerous….thank the Lord for my new shoes, waterproof with extra grip.

At the top of the Wicklow mountains

We met a total of three other people in our five hour trek, this is not like the English hills, much more remote and untrodden and our decision to make out our own route on the way down was not very wise, or was it?  We scrambled down cliffs and peat bogs, almost fell into rivers and got a few scrapes and bruises, but eventually found a dry grassy spot for our lunch stop totally surrounded by steep hills with stunning views right across to Wicklow and the Irish Sea.If you have mates in Dublin make sure they take you up the Lug, but don’t try to pronounce that in front of the local linguist who was in charge of guiding and all things picnic, and proud of it, or you will be shamed….I was.  Another great stride out but I missed having the company of a mutt or two.

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2 Responses

  1. Love your comments about the hostel!
    Great hike – just completed it myself last Sunday.

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