A path of Christian pilgrimage since the route’s namesake travelled along it to reach a life of solitude and prayer in the late 6th/early 7th century, Saint Kevin’s Way has remained a popular trail among the spiritual as well as the secular ever since.
The ancient route begins at Saint Kevin’s Church in the pretty Wicklow valley village of Hollywood, traversing varying terrain on its way to the unforgettably atmospheric Glendalough.
Follow the black posts with yellow pilgrims as you trek along a mix of minor roads, forest and pasture tracks, open mountainside and boardwalks laid through boggier sections of the trail. With a total ascent of 334m, the going is moderate and very pleasing, taking in the dramatic Wicklow Gap - the highest point along the way - and the tumbling Glendasan River before culminating in the monastic city at Glendalough.
- The monastic city at Glendalough offers much to explore, including Saint Kevin’s tomb, a compelling cemetery with a number of high crosses, and monastic ruins which include the 30m round tower, possibly one of the most photographed sites in Ireland’s Ancient East.
- Saint Kevin’s Way forms part of a set of five ancient Irish pilgrim route stamps you can collect in your very own Pilgrim Passport. Learn more at pilgrimpath.ie.
- When in Glendalough, don’t miss a visit to the interpretative centre, which offers fascinating insights into the rich history of the area.
- An alternative trailhead at Valleymount provides the curious walker yet more to explore in the area, including the long abandoned lead mines at the northwest corner of the glacial Upper Lake.