Details of Day 4 of my Wicklow Way walk from Glenmalure to Moyne.
After possibly one too many pints of Guinness in the Glenmalure Lodge the night before, we got a nice breakfast in the Lodge on the morning of Day 4. They were also more than happy to fill up our water bottles and provide sandwiches for our packed lunch. The sandwiches were €3.50 each and very tasty.
Our plan for the day was that my Mam would join me for the Wicklow Way walk from Glenmalure while my Dad would take the bags and collect us at the end of today’s leg in Moyne.
I have to say that having someone with a car doing this for us made the whole thing an awful lot easier. It gave us a wider choice of accommodation in the area and also meant that we could cut out the additional kilometres walking to accommodation not directly on the trail.
Leaving the Glenmalure Lodge we crossed the Avonbeg River.
Quickly we arrived at the halfway-point of the Wicklow Way which is marked by a small plaque at the entrance to the forest.
Day 4 is one of the toughest days on the Wicklow Way. It’s tough on the legs and there are a lot of steep uphill climbs. Total elevation for the day is 865m. The last significant climb was very steep and we completed this after doing 20km of walking already that day. So be warned, a moderate level of fitness is required. My mother found it tough but she is in her early 70’s and was still able for it. I was very proud of her for completing it and to be honest I think the difficulty and subsequent sense of achievement made the day more memorable for us.
The first ascent is through the forested slopes of Slieve Maan. 30 minutes of forest walking brought us to our first scenic views of the day. These views would be pretty much a constant for the day, the valley below you and surrounded by other mountains covered in either forests, gorse or fields. A multitude of greenery everywhere you looked.
It’s back to forest walking soon after. A wooden boardwalk makes a nice change of pace from the gravel forest roads. It’s steep though!
The trail continues on towards the Military Road. This is a busy road. For a section the Wicklow Way follows a grass path parallel to the road. The path is overgrown and sloped however and were I to do the Wicklow Way again I think I would simply have walked along the road for this c. 300m stretch. We eventually crossed the military road and as we did so happened across Dad who randomly was driving along the road at exactly our time of crossing. He had checked out of Glenmalure Lodge at this stage and was doing his own exploring in a much more comfortable fashion.
We crossed the road towards Carrickashane. Unfortunately, pretty early on we came across a warning sign stating that there was tree felling taking place ahead and a diversion was in place for Wicklow Way walkers. This was a real pity as the new route was a rough gravel road for the most part and I was never quite 100% sure if we were on the correct route. I.e. I couldn’t place any of the Wicklow Way landmarks I had researched prior to the trip. However, along the detour we did get to see a Deer and Fawn that crossed the path in front of us at one stage. This made up for it somewhat.
We eventually rejoined the Wicklow Way at the Mucklagh Hut. It was downhill from there until we reached the Ow River valley at Iron Bridge (75km).
The descent as you near Ironbridge is particularly steep. We had streams of water pouring down the hill with us too. Iron Bridge itself is very picturesque. We were lucky enough to see two red squirrels along here.
Leaving Iron Bridge there is a 500m walk along a busy road before turning right on to a laneway. We made the gradual climb upwards and then came out to a very quiet roadway. Soon we crossed the Ballyteigue Bridge.
This is where the walk got quite tough for us, with the added kilometres of the detour we had already walked over 18km at this stage. Now we were tasked with a steep incline for another 2-3km as we moved south-westwards between Ballygobban mountain and Sheilstown Hill.
The last 2.5km of the day involved a quiet road walk southwards to Moyne at 84km.
As I mentioned, here is where having a driver really made things easier for us. Dad met us in Moyne. He drove us the 6km to our accommodation for the night in the Rath Bán Farmhouse. We had sourced this through AirBnB. You can check out other AirBnB options in the area via www.airbnb.com. We found the Rath Bán farmhouse to be very comfortable.
Day 4 was 24.5km in total. However with detours, we only completed 22km of the actual Wicklow Way. Overall it was 7 hours and 42 minutes to complete.
Elevation of Wicklow Way Walk from Glenmalure
Check out my previous post on Day 3 of the Wicklow Way.