If you’re sick of big city life and want to get back to the Irish countryside, take a short train journey or drive to the Garden of Ireland. When in Wicklow, It would be a pity not to go a little further and discover some of what Irelands Ancient East has to offer. Here are some of our highlights.
Wicklow GaolWicklow Gaol (pronounced ‘jail’) is a former prison, turned museum, located in Co. Wicklow. The Gaol had been in operation since the 18th- century and opened as a tourist attraction 20 years ago. It is of specific historical significance considering it stood through some of Irelands political and economic hardships including the 1798 Rebellion, the Great Famine in the 1840s and from 1916 – Irelands Independence Era until its closure in 1924. It is a truly interesting and educational experience for both adults and children alike and was even voted Irelands best interactive jail museum experience.
Huntingbrook and GardensHuntingbrook is a private residence and gardens of Jimi Blake, noted horticulturist and owner of one of Ireland’s largest private collections of plants. His garden is filled with bursts of colourful blooms, some of the most unusual greenery and hills and valleys that could only be found in the Garden of Ireland. Jimi’s house also doubles as a classroom; he opens his doors to all sorts of gardening and health and wellbeing workshops. You can book groups in for tours and if you’re lucky Jimi might take you around in person.
GlendaloughBy far one of Irelands most scenic and beautiful places to visit, not just on the East. The thing that draws visitors to the ‘Valley of the Two Lakes’ is its rich monastic history, the fascinating wildlife and of course the absolutely stunning scenery at every turn. The Glendalough Valley is located in the Wicklow Mountains National Park which has many scenic walks and trails, enough to fill a whole day. Its free to visit and only a half hours drive from the hotel and it really would be a shame to miss it.
NewgrangeNewgrange is a 5,200-year-old passage tomb, built by Stone Age farmers and surrounded by 97 large kerbstones. It is a circular mound, 85 meters in diameter and 13.5 meters high with a 19 meter stone passageway and chambers inside. Every year on 21st December, beginning at 9am and lasting 17-minutes the chamber and passageways are illuminated by the winter solstice sun. We can only guess how the builders accurately calculated the time and date considering how primitive their materials were compared to our modern devices. Believe it or not, Newgrange is 500-years older than the Great Pyramids, we’re not called the Ancient East for nothing!
If you’re planning a trip to Irelands Ancient East, make Tulfarris Hotel your base to stay. We offer luxury, class and a history of our own for you to explore. Check our special offers page for all of the latest deals or to make a booking.