Glendalough - way to go
MAP: OS of Ireland 1:50,000 Discovery 56, or 1:25,000 Glendalough & Glenmalure; Glendalough site and trails map (from Wicklow Mountains National Park Information Office, Upper Lake car park); downloadable map/instructions at discoverireland.ie/walking.
TRAVEL: Train (irishrail.ie) to Rathdrum (10 miles); bus (glendaloughbus.com) -- St Kevin's Bus daily from Dublin; road -- from Dublin, M50 Jct 12; R115 to Laragh; right to car park at Glendalough Visitor Centre.
WALK DIRECTIONS: From Visitor Centre, follow yellow 'walking man'/WM waymarks across river; turn right ('Green Road to Upper Lake') past monastery, to Wicklow Mountains National Park Information Office between lakes. 50 yards past office, left over stream ('Poulanass Waterfall'). Follow yellow arrows up by Poulanass fall, and on up Wicklow Way.
Where it turns left across river, bear right (white arrow/WA). On second bend, right (WA), up steep stepped path through trees. At top, follow WA along Spinc cliffs and into Glenealo. Cross footbridge; right; steep rocky path down to Upper Lake; follow paths back to car park.
LENGTH: Eight-and-a half miles -- allow four hours.
BUGGY-FRIENDLY: Lakeside paths.
CONDITIONS: Very steep ascent to cliff path; steep rocky descent to Upper Lake.
DON'T MISS: Glendalough Monastery; the view down lakes from Spinc cliffs; St Kevin's Bed.
REFRESHMENTS: Plenty around Glendalough.
INFORMATION: Glendalough Visitor Centre (0404 45352; glendalough.ie).
WALKING NEWS: Ballyhoura Walking Festival, Co Limerick, May 1-3 (bally houracountry.com/events); Dunmore East Walking Weekend, Waterford, May 21-23 (dunmorewalks. com); Midlands Walking Festival, Westmeath, May 7-9 (email@example.com).