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Departure Time: 08:45am (Arrive 10 minutes before)
Departure Location: 23, O'Connell St. Upper (In front of The Gresham Hotel) - MAP HERE
HIGHLIGHTS: WICKLOW MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK* GLENDALOUGH* WICKLOW GAP* KILKENNY CITY* KILKENNY CASTLE (ADMISSION NOT INCLUDED – OPTIONAL)* BLACK ABBEY
We depart to commence our tour of COUNTY WICKLOW, otherwise known as THE GARDEN OF IRELAND.
Glendalough, a rough translation of the old Gaelic “Gleann-Da-Locha”, meaning The Glen of Two Lakes. This valley is very significant in early Christian Ireland as the famous St. Kevin came here in the 6th Century AD and was soon followed by acolytes and clerics who established the famous monastery east of the Lower Lake. St Kevin was a hermit who insisted on living alone and he lived in a cave above the Upper Lake, called "St. Kevin’s Bed”. Your guide will give you a guided walking tour of the ancient monastery grounds and cemetery and give you a full account of the history of the place. After this you are free to walk the beautiful scenic paths to the beautiful Upper Lake. BRING YOUR CAMERA!
We leave Glendalough and make our way up the beautiful GLENALO VALLEY towards the magnificent WICKLOW GAP where we pause for a photo stop.
Time to explore the City, Castle Gardens and take a Guided Walking Tour of the City (included) through Kilkenny’s medieval side streets and visit the ‘Black Abbey’.
Kilkenny is is a picturesque and historic city established at a weir and crossing point on the River Nore. The name Kilkenny (or Cill Channaigh in Gaelic Irish) means The Church of St. Canice, a saint from early Irish Christian times. The city was fortified by the Normans and became dominated by one Norman family of power and influence – the Butlers of Ormond.
The famous Kilkenny Castle was constructed by William Marshall as a stronghold of Anglo Norman power in the region. Then in 1391 the castle was taken over by the influential Norman family, the Fitzwalters. The Fitzwalters became enormously wealthy as they were appointed as collectors of the royal tax duty collected on ALL wine imported into Ireland. In this role they appointed themselves “Butlers to the King”. Very soon they became known as the Butlers of Ormonde and the Fitzwalter name vanished. The castle was occupied by the Butler family until it diminished to very few. In the 1950's the Butler family handed over Kilkenny Castle to the Irish State. It is now a National Monument held in trust and maintained by the Office of Public Works. Apart from the castle Kilkenny also has the famous 16th century Rothe House which is a perfectly preserved house of the style favoured by the wealthy business people of that time.
Depart Kilkenny City
Arrive back in Dublin – drop off point Westmoreland Street (near Trinity College)