Looking for a walk in the forest that was not too challenging, or to short, I came across Devil’s Glen in Wicklow. Located just outside of Ashford we first gave it a shot last October but made a mistake on the route and ended up putting a few extra kilometers on ourselves and those of us with little legs. Here’s my guide to Devil’s Glen if you have smallies in tow!
Driving southbound on the M11, take the turn for Ashford and drive directly into the village, passing the school and church on your right continue on and you will come to a small roundabout, take the right turn here and continue towards Glendalough. The turn for Devil’s Glen is about five minutes drive up this road. Pass the car park at the entrance and continue on down the track for two kilometers to a bigger car park and picnic area. This is where the red track starts and is the walk to the waterfall. The car park that you pass on the way in is the start of the Seamus Heaney walk, and is signposted yellow.
Head for the picnic area and keeping it on your right follow the red markers, it is possible to bring a buggy with you, but it is hilly so you can’t be shy of a good workout. The path isn’t completely smooth, but it is manageable. Continue on and you will come to this signpost:
If you want to do this with a buggy or have people in your group who do not wish to climb (more of a clambour) then turn left to take the cliff walk, you can get to and from the waterfall this way, and it is the shortest walk to take. If you have a bit more energy and are up for getting a little dirty, then take the right turn, it will take you down the hillside and then back along the river to the waterfall. It is slightly longer than going on the cliff walk there and back.
Beautiful views abound no matter what way you take, Devil’s Glen is undoubtedly an area of exceptional natural beauty. The return cliff walk to the waterfall took us two hours in total, at a slow amble. It is slightly hilly in parts, but overall flat. Hiking boots are not needed, but perhaps and old pair of runners or wellies if it has been raining.
When the cliff walk starts to descend, you meet the other trail at the river. Continue on this trail and you will find the viewing point for the main event, the waterfall. There are some steep steps up to this, but our three year old managed them with a little assistance. And it was worth it, what a view!
Upon returning from the waterfall, you have the option of returning back along the cliff walk, or coming back alongside the river (signposted car park) and then climbing up the hillside to return to your starting point (the signpost for cliff walk/car park). The cliff walk is doable with a buggy, the path isn’t completely smooth but there are no major obstacles in the way bar the odd steepish hill.
There is plenty of exploring to be done, and we have well worked up an appetite for our picnic by the time we had returned!