Today we’re looking just south of Dublin, to the scenic region of County Wicklow to see what it offers those looking to start a new life in Ireland.
For this month’s area guide, we’re venturing south of Dublin to the scenic region of County Wicklow. This is the perfect area for lovers of the outside who don’t fancy venturing too far from their creature comforts. County Wicklow is known for historic monuments, crashing coastline, colourful woodland and quaint villages, all against a stunning mountain backdrop. The region is so attractive and so conveniently located that many a film and television production has ventured here – Ballykissangel was filmed in County Wicklow, as were Hollywood hits, In the Name of the Father and P.S. I Love You. Today we’re looking at what the region has to offer and the types of property you can secure for your money.
The perfect area for lovers of the outside who don’t fancy venturing too far from their creature comforts.
County Wicklow – an overview
Often referred to as the Garden of Ireland, this is a region just perfect for lovers of the outdoors. If you love nothing more than packing a sandwich, strapping on your walking boots and heading out into the great unknown, you may have just found your dream location. Here you’ll be able to amble alongside lakes and rivers and up hills and along mountain passes. This is the home of the Wicklow Way, one of Ireland’s most famous walking routes, which starts in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains in South Dublin and takes you 132km over some of the County’s highest peaks, including Lugnaquilla (3,018 ft), Mullaghcleevaun (2,785 ft), and Djouce (2,379 ft) to County Carlow.
Glendalough is a historic monastic site and village in a spectacular lakeside setting that is one of the region’s most popular tourist destinations. If you visit during the week you’ll be able to avoid the coach parties showing up from Dublin at the weekends and Bank Holidays. Much of the region’s charm is found in its small country villages and hamlets, the majority of which will exceed your expectations of typical Irish villages.
Angling is a very popular activity in the Avonmore, Aughrim and Avoca Rivers. The mountainous scenery and peaceful roads make the county a favourite with cyclists. If you enjoy horse riding, this is a wonderful way to explore the countryside. Golf lovers can enjoy 18-holes at 25 different courses, Druids Glen and The European Club being considered two of the best. While you’re forbidden from swimming in the Glendalough Lakes, it’s possible to take a dip in the pools at Bray, Arklow, Brittas Bay and Wicklow Town. Being so close to the sea also means you’re able to enjoy watersports, including windsurfing and sailing.
County Wicklow is close enough to Dublin that many residents commute into the city every day. This means that you’ll be able to access Dublin’s job market, while living in the peace and quiet of the countryside.
Wicklow’s most popular areas
Enniskerry is a fashionable spot, which has attracted an ex-Dublin crowd. Here you can expect city style boutiques, restaurants and organic cafés, all in quaint village surroundings. Enniskerry is just a 40-minute drive from the centre of the city, and 15 minutes from Bray, a lovely town on the coast.
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This charming old school house has mountain views from each of its three bedrooms, and is set in two acres of mature gardens. Enjoy high ceilings throughout, open fires, a wood burning stove, and a wonderful decking area at the back offering more picture-perfect views of the Wicklow countryside. On the market for €745,000 (£400,000).
A 20-minute drive south of Dublin is the coastal town of Greystones. Once a small fishing village and Victorian seaside resort, the town now boasts a lovely harbour and town centre full of vintage shops, independent boutiques, cafés and a couple of excellent restaurants. This is a great choice for watersports lovers, particular windsurfers. There are also two sandy Blue Flag beaches close by.
This four-bed family home, on the market for €849,000 (£748,000), is fantastically located within strolling distance from Greystone’s town centre, the marina and the DART station, which gets you into the heart of Dublin in no time. Well-maintained throughout, the property boasts a large kitchen/dining area, a fantastic outdoor terrace and a large garden.
Blessington is a lovely location in western Wicklow, characterised by 18th century houses and delightful shops and pubs. The town is close to Blessington Lake, Ireland’s largest artificial lake, also known as the Poulaphouca Reservoir, which is a popular spot for fishing and boating.
If you want a Wicklow home for an affordable price you’re going to need all your negotiating skills. Download our guide: How to Negotiate Abroad for advice and insider tips from an estate agent.
This spacious three-bedroom home may look like a standard cottage from the outside, but it has in fact undergone a significant extension making it sun-filled and really rather impressive. The property boasts a large sunroom, a huge back garden, and is on the market for just €330,000 (£290,000).
The Ireland Buying Guide takes you through each stage of the property buying process, with practical recommendations from our experts who have been through the process themselves. The guide will help you to: