The Wicklow Mountains border the south of Dublin City. For visitors with their own transport there are numerous access points across the range. The main roads running parallel to the range are the N11 to the east and the N81 to the west. Secondary roads cross the mountains and have a number of small unmanned car parks from which you can commence a hillwalk or just enjoy the views. In winter, the mountain roads may become impassable and warning signs should be heeded.
Glendalough is located in the south-eastern end of the Park. There are three main routes to Glendalough Village where the Monastic City and Visitor Centre are located. The Upper Lake is another 1.5km further up the valley.
Take the N11 south to Kilmacanogue village (24km). Glendalough is signposted from here. Take the slip-road from the N11 and follow the R755 to Laragh village (25km). Stay on the main road through Laragh which becomes the R756 to Glendalough village (2km). Total distance is 51km.
Take the N11 north to Arklow town (83km). Follow the R747 to Woodenbridge. Turn right onto the R752, go through Avoca village and turn left onto the R755 into Rathdrum town and proceed through to Laragh village (Woodenbridge to Laragh 25km). From Laragh, turn left on to the R756 and it is 2km to Glendalough village. Total distance is 109km
The main route from the western lowlands through the mountains to Glendalough is via the 'Wicklow Gap' pass which can be accessed from the village of Hollywood. From the crossroads on the N81 located 11km south of Blessington town proceed east through the village of Hollywood along the R756. The road gradually climbs into the mountains and drops down into Glendalough Valley where you will meet a T-junction (26km). Taking the sharp turn right and you are in Glendalough village.
The Military Road is a scenic route through the centre of the mountains. Starting in the Dublin Hills the road (R115) runs south all the way to Laragh village near Glendalough and continues further south through Glenmalure and Aghavannagh. It is along this road that you will see the unpopulated and extensive heath and boglands that make up most of the Park. This is the first ever purpose built road in Ireland constructed by the British Army in the early 1800's to drive rebels out of the Wicklow Mountains. The road is narrow, windy and at times quite bumpy. A detour from the Military Road at the Sally Gap crossroads towards Roundwood along the R759 will bring you above Lough Tay. The estate below is privately owned but the views from the road are outstanding.
Often during the winter there are road closures due to snow and ice. Occasionally there are difficulties due to flooding or fallen trees. If in doubt contact the Duty Ranger (087 9803899) or the National Park Information Office (0404 45425). Many rescues occur because of poor decisions on the roads – please err on the side of caution.