Camping in the National Park
There are no serviced camping and caravan sites within the National Park. There are some camp sites close to the Park, and these are listed on www.visitwicklow.ie.
Where Can I Wild Camp?
Within the National Park, camping is not permitted in the valley of Glendalough. This rule is vigorously enforced, and campers will be moved on. Visitors arriving in Glendalough with a tent should be aware that they will need to walk for at least 3 hours before they can find a site that complies with the Wild Camping code.
Once you have hiked beyond the entire valley of Glendalough, into the greater National Park, ‘wild camping’ is permitted. Visitors undertaking multi-day hiking trips and seeking a wilderness experience, are welcome to camp in remote places within the National Park, provided they observe the code of practice known as “the Wild Camping Code”.
Please note that we do not recommend or suggest camping locations. If we were to do so, it would result in the repeated use of the same area which would leave an environmental footprint.
Do I Need To Book?
You do not have to book in or inform the National Park that you intend to wild camp, unless there are ten or more in your group and/or if you wish to light a campfire. If there are ten or more people, or you want to light a fire, then you must apply for a permit.
A written permit is required:
- For groups consisting of more than ten people.
- When it is proposed to light a campfire. (NOTE: The issuing of permits for campfires is currently suspended pending review.)
Applications for a permit should be made to Park Headquarters in writing, in person or by phone at least seven days prior to the proposed event.
Before you apply for a permit, please check on our map that your chosen camping location is within the National Park.
Persons camping under permit must produce that permit on request for inspection by members of the Park Staff.
The Wild Camping Code
The upland habitats within the National Park are very sensitive. All campers should aspire to minimising their impact on the environment by conforming to the following code of conduct:
Campsites must be at least 400m from a road capable of carrying a vehicle.
Campsites must be at least 400m from a building.
Tents must be moved after every second night to allow vegetation to recover.
Campers must remove all food waste and litter, whether or not it is biodegradable. Buried waste is often exposed by foraging animals or by erosion.
Soap and toothpaste must be kept at least 30m away from watercourses.
Dish and utensil washing must be conducted at least 30 metres from water bodies. All waste-water should be strained and scattered. In no circumstances should waste-water used in washing be poured into lakes, streams or rivers.
Campers are required to conduct themselves in a quiet manner, in an effort to avoid disturbing the local community, wildlife or other visitors.
Camp-sites must be kept visually unobtrusive.
Campsites must be left as found, or better.
Catholes for disposal of human waste must be located at least 30m away from watercourses and 50m from walking routes. Human waste must be buried or carried out of the site. No evidence of latrine use should remain visible. All toilet paper and hygiene products must be carried out.
Campfires are not permitted in the National Park. The issuing of permits for campfires is suspended pending review.
Failure to comply with this code will result in withdrawal of permission to camp. In such cases National Park Rangers will demand that the visitors break camp.
More information on sanitation in the outdoors is available from Leave No Trace Ireland and the Mountaineering Council of Ireland.