Below is an overview of my lodgings over the course of my 6 day journey on the Wicklow Way. One of the Challenges the Wicklow Way presents is its remoteness (also a positive). This makes booking Wicklow Way accommodation more difficult because in some locations there is not a huge amount of choice available. All of my Wicklow Way Accommodation was clean and comfortable. These are the two most important factors for me. There was a bit of uncertainty due to Covid Restrictions when I was completing the Wicklow Way and this led to a couple of places cancelling the original accommodation I had booked. While a bit of a headache, it was easy enough to find an alternative in the surrounding areas.
All views expressed below are my personal opinions. Please visit www.tripadvisor.com if you want to do further research on any of the Wicklow Way Accommodation listed below.
Enniskerry and the Enniskerry Inn
Enniskerry is about a 25km drive to Dublin City Centre. Similar to a lot of picturesque Wicklow villages in close proximity to the Capital, there is a very Dublin vibe to the place. It’s all nice cars and people sipping on coffees.
I stayed in the Enniskerry Inn which is located in the centre of the village. I reached the Inn at about quarter past 3. There’s no reception area so I went into the bar to enquire about my room. The bar man was functional if not the most overly friendly person in the world. I accessed my room through a side entrance and up an outside stairs to the first floor of the building. The room was over the bar and looking out on the street below.
The shower was refreshing after a day hiking in mostly rain and the water was thankfully nice and hot.
Normally after a long day’s walking I would love to have a pint in the bar itself to reward myself. The pub downstairs only allowed customers in who were also eating food due to Covid Restrictions during the timing of my visit. As such, I decided to see if I could grab a beer from the Spar Shop I had noticed just around the corner. Unfortunately this shop did not stock beers! The shop assistant informed me there was nowhere in the village that did beer off license sales! So I had to settle for a mini bottle of red wine and some snacks.
Back to my room I went. It was a little strange sipping on my wine alone in the room but I had calls and texts to catch up on, posted some pictures of my day on Social Media and did a bit of reading of the book that I had brought along with me. This kept me busy until my dinner booking downstairs later that evening.
Again the staff were functional but not too chatty downstairs. I guess it could be a result of Covid that small talk just isn’t practised as much these days. The food was good (I just got a chicken burger and chips) and the Guinness was pretty great. I have not went out to pubs much over the last 6 months so ended up having a few of them. Tiredness soon came over me though after the day’s exertions so I was glad of the comfortable bed just upstairs.
The Enniskerry Inn was room only and they directed me to Poppy’s Café just around the corner for breakfast. The waitress was friendly and it was obvious she had a great rapport with the locals coming in for their morning coffees. I was also able to get a takeaway sandwich from the Café for my packed lunch. I had noticed a deli counter in my previous day’s trip to Spar so that would also have been an option.
Cost for the Enniskerry Inn was €95 per room.
Roundwood and The Coach House
Roundwood is a busy little tourist village. I reached there around 4.45pm and headed straight to The Coach House. Terry was manning the reception table at the entrance to the main bar area. He remembered from when I had called last week to reserve a table for dinner which was a nice touch. I paid for the room on arrival. I also bought a couple of bottles of Peroni from newly set-up Coach House off licence (also manned by Terry) and went up to my room.
The room itself was clean and I had no complaints about it. It had a tiny television in the corner of the room which looked a little out of place.
Meeting the Locals
When I went downstairs for dinner in the bar, there were three other small groups getting food there. They all seemed to be local. I was chatting briefly to some of them. One guy had a pretty memorable response when I complimented the local area as being a lovely part of the country. He answered that “every part of the country is lovely” and that he just happened to know this part well. It struck me as a nice thing to say and made me think about the good walks and hikes I had been on throughout my locality in the midlands. He wasn’t wrong.
The food was very good. I ate a steak sandwich which had lashings of garlic butter. The obligatory few pints of Guinness were had too. They were also top notch.
The breakfast in the Coach House was very tasty with large portions provided. I got a sandwich from the Centra Shop just up the road before heading on my way back to the Wicklow Way.
Cost for Bed and Breakfast in the Coach House was €115 per room.
Glenmalure and The Glenmalure Lodge
The Glenmalure Lodge car park seems to be a focal spot for outdoor enthusiasts. It was still quite busy when I arrived in Glenmalure just before 6pm. The Lodge itself was the first place on my trip that appeared to be fully booked.
I met my parents who were sitting in one of the many picnic benches in front of the Lodge. After a good catch up I went for a shower to wash off the dust of the road. The room was nice with both a double and single bed. My parents’ room had the same.
We had dinner booked in the bar downstairs. The tables in the bar were very busy. Luckily the staff were excellent and there were never any delays with anything. Our waitress was extremely helpful and friendly.
I ordered what turned out to be a very large steak. While slightly overdone it was still delicious. It was great to finally be in a pub in the company of loved ones and we had a right time altogether.
There was a separate breakfast room downstairs the next morning. We had a good hearty breakfast to set us up for the day. With no shops close by, the Lodge will make up packed lunches/sandwiches for customers on request. I got a chicken, cheese and lettuce sambo for €3.50 which I thought was very reasonable. Overall, I found the Glenmalure Lodge to be the nicest Wicklow Way Accommodation that I stayed in.
Cost for Bed and Breakfast in the Glenmalure Lodge was €100 per room.
Wicklow Way Accommodation: Rath Bán Farmhouse
The Rath Bán Farmhouse is in the middle of nowhere. We put the location into google maps and it was easy to find thankfully. We had booked the place through Airbnb where it had received some very good reviews. See www.airbnb.com for more information.
Two lovely dogs came from the owners house next door came running out to meet us. They were very friendly and very interested in us. They had no problem coming into the house too when we left the doors open.
The cottage was very warm when we arrived with a central heating system on a timer. Padraig, the owner also offered to provide firewood if we wanted to light the stove in the sitting room. We declined as we were heading out for a dinner reservation. It would have been lovely to cosy up in the sitting room in front of an open fire for the evening though.
The house itself had two bedrooms, one bathroom, a sitting room and a long kitchen/dining area.
Padraig had recommended O’Connor’s Bar in the nearby town of Tinahely for dinner. My wife had joined the party at this stage and so the four of us headed into Tinahely after relaxing in the cottage for a while.
Tinahely is a small country town with a few shops, pubs and takeaway options. We stopped in a Centra in the middle of town and picked up provisions for breakfast and lunch the next day.
We left O’Connor’s very happy with the food we had received. I had a very large portion of chicken wings and a side of chips.
The local football team had just won a championship semi-final so there was a bit of a buzz around the town which was nice to see.
Overall, we found Padraig (the Airbnb host) very helpful and we had no issues with our stay. If you had any queries about getting to Rath Bán from the Wicklow Way I would direct them to Padraig before booking. I noted some reviews had mentioned he could provide lifts to and from the Wicklow Way but this may have changed since Covid.
Rath Bán was a nice change of scene from the other Wicklow Way Accommodation that I stayed in.
Total cost for renting the cottage was €164.30
Tinahely and Murphy’s Hotel
We were back to Tinahely the following day. Originally we had planned to stay in Shillelagh but our accommodation had fallen through and we needed to make alternative arrangements. Tinahely in fairness is a good central spot for the last few legs of the Wicklow Way. We were lucky enough to have a driver to enable us to use the town as a base.
Murphy’s Hotel is basic but clean so we didn’t have any issues on that front. The Hotel is family run with the beef on the menu coming from the family farm. The food was nice. The bar area did not seem as good as other places we had been in meeting all of the Covid related rules for establishments serving food but still felt safe.
We didn’t see anyone else for breakfast the next day. My suspicion is that we were the only guests the previous night. We again went to the local Centra for lunch supplies.
Total cost for bed and breakfast was €119 per room. This was the most expensive place for Wicklow Way Accommodation on my trip.
Wicklow Way Accommodation: The Clody Lodge
Bunclody is approximately 5km from the end of the Wicklow Way in Clonegal. Despite being a large enough town we found it to be very quiet. We were there on a Monday night so this added to the quietness. Clody Lodge is a room only establishment so didn’t offer any food or restaurant facilities.
As the town was so quiet there were very few options available to us for food. We actually only had two choices. Both were takeaway type places with small sit-down areas. We ended up choosing the Mango Tree (beside the SuperValu). It is a chinese but has a little bit of everything on the menu (which I always find a bit odd). The food was as you’d expect but nothing wrong with it. The waiter was very friendly and helpful. He allowed us to keep the bottle of wine we had brought in a fridge in the kitchen, topping us up as required which was very good of him.
We finished our meal and were in good spirits at the end of the meal. Unfortunately the Clody Lodge didn’t have any common areas for us to enjoy. As such, we ended up finishing our wine in one of the rooms. It was a very strange end to the Wicklow Way but we were all happy with finishing our adventure and enjoyed the night.
The rooms themselves in the Clody Lodge were lovely. Probably the nicest of the whole trip. The rainfall shower head was also very impressive.
We needed to venture out into the town again the following morning for breakfast. Just down the road we found the Sugar and Spice Cafe. The cafe has a busy mid morning trade. However they were very efficient and we were served a tasty breakfast in no time.
Total cost for the Clody Lodge was €75 per room. This was the cheapest Wicklow Way Accommodation I stayed in.
See a detailed review of Day 1 walking the Wicklow Way.