Powerscourt Waterfall is part of the Powerscourt Estate and is located 6km from Powerscourt House. The waterfall stands at 121m (397ft) tall and forms part of the River Dargle. The closest town to the waterfall is Enniskerry which is 5km away.
A lot of sources (visitwicklow.ie, discoverireland.ie and powerscourt.com among them) claim that Powerscourt is the highest waterfall in Ireland. I don’t believe this is true however. The Sruth in Aghaidh an Aird Waterfall, also known as the Devil’s Chimney, in County Sligo seems to have a better claim to this title at 150m (490ft).
Nonetheless, Powerscourt is a spectacular natural phenomenon and well worth a visit and the entrance fee.
Walking at Powerscourt Waterfall
- Distance: A nice 1.5km stroll around the walking paths surrounding Powerscourt Waterfall
- Time Required: Give yourself 1 to 1.5 hours at least
- Elevation: A few small inclines but generally nice and flat
- Difficulty Level: Easy
Opening Times at Powerscourt Waterfall
The opening times at Powerscourt Waterfall differ depending on the time of year. During the Summer months (May-August) you can visit Powerscourt Waterfall between 09:30 and 19:00. The opening hours reduce slightly then for more off peak periods of the year. Check out powerscourt.com for full opening time information.
You should note that the last entrance to Powerscourt Waterfall is 1 hour before closing in the peak Summer period. Then it’s 30 minutes before the stated closing times between September and April. Also, entrance to the Waterfall is completely closed between 11th and 25th December.
At the time of writing, the entrance fee to Powerscourt Waterfall costs €6.50 per adult and €3.50 per child. Small discounts are available to students and old age pensioners. Also, you can purchase a family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) for €16.
Again powerscourt.com provides full information on ticket prices. Rather annoyingly, they don’t offer ticket bundles to allow you to visit both the Powerscourt Waterfall and Powerscourt Gardens on the same day. So, if you want to do this, you will need to pay separate entrance fees to both.
Facilities at Powerscourt Waterfall
We were very impressed with the facilities available at Powerscourt Waterfall. We parked in the main car park. While the car park was busy, we had no problem getting a space. We noted signs for separate overflow car parks too to accommodate large numbers of visitors during the peak summer months.
Beside the car park are toilet and baby changing facilities as well as a kiosk servings drinks and refreshments. We saw a nice looking children’s playground in this area too.
We took the short walk from the car park to the main attraction and could see a number of picnic benches and barbecue facilities along the way.
Best Time to Visit Powerscourt Waterfall
The best time to visit Powerscourt Waterfall really depends on what you’re looking to get out of the trip. Summer months and good weather (hopefully) gives you the opportunity for a lovely family day. You can make the most of the picnic facilities available and spend the whole day if you want.
However, if you’re looking to experience the most of the raw power of the Waterfall, then water levels are highest in the winter months. The waterfall can be mesmerizing after periods of heavy rain.
Some History of the Waterfall
The waterfall is recorded as a tourist attraction as far back as 1741. Since that time, previous owners of the Waterfall have attempted to get the best of both worlds for some select visitors.
In August 1821, the King of England visited Powerscourt House. Before the visit, the Viscount of Powerscourt dammed the Dargle river. The rationale for same was to magnify the power of the waterfall during the dryer Summer months.
The effort didn’t prove worthwhile however. King George IV decided he would rather spend his time enjoying the festivities in Powerscourt House rather than visit the nearby waterfall. This proved a lucky escape for the rotund royal. When staff released the dam, the specially constructed viewing platform at the base of the waterfall was violently swept away.
The Waterfall Itself
We experienced no such issues at the base of the Waterfall. The water powered down but all gathered safely in the rock pool below.
After spending a number of minutes taking in the splendor of the cascading water, we continued along the walking path. We really enjoyed the different angles of the waterfall that the trail afforded us.
The waterfall is spectacular and definitely well worth the entrance price. I highly recommend to everyone to go and visit this majestic area of Wicklow.
If you would prefer not to pay the entrance fee, other options are available. I think the best alternative is to hike to the Ride Rock viewing platform in Crone Woods. I wrote about hiking through Crone Woods as part of my 22km from Enniskerry to Roundwood on my second day of walking the Wicklow Way.
For other waterfall related walks, check out my post on the Devil’s Glen Waterfall.