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Braveheart Drive - Wicklow

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Self Drive Tour of the Breavheart Drive, County Wicklow. Renowned for its scenery, Wicklow is a beautiful mix of golden sandy beaches, rolling mountains, wooded glens, cascading waterfalls and lakes.

Wicklow’s landscape provides a perfect backdrop for a range of activities such as golf, walking and angling as well as scenic drives. Over the last 85 years hundreds of films have been made in County Wicklow.

This scenic route starts in a little village called Hollywood and sets off in the direction of the Wicklow Gap, which is a scenic drive in itself. After 5 miles the drive veers off to the left on the R758 to Ballyknocken and Laken. These towns border the beautiful Blessington Lakes. A worthwhile stop over would be the town of Blessington. Blessington is a small peaceful town and is the gateway to the Poulaphouca Lakes also known as the Blessington Lakes. In 1940 the Liffey Valley was flooded to create these lakes. Today many different water sports are available on the lakes. This town is also home to Russborough House, which dates from 1741.

The house is built from granite from a nearby quarry and is in the Palladian style, with a central block with colonnades and two wings. This house is home to the Beit Collection of paintings. It is beautifully maintained with fine displays of silver, bronze and porcelain.

From Blessington, drive to Manor Kilbride. From Manor Kilbride the drive brings you right through the west Wicklow mountains past the peat bogs of the Sally Gap. The Sally Gap (R115) is another scenic drive through the Wicklow Mountains with breath-taking views from all sides. At the end of the Sally Gap you will arrive in a little village of Laragh.

Laragh has many tearooms where you can stop for refreshments or a bite to eat. Then on into Glendalough where you will find the 5th Century St. Kevin’s Monastic City, with one of the best preserved and highest round towers in Europe. Glendalough means ' the valley of two lakes '. It is steeped in spiritual and archaeological history. In recent times Glendalough is best known for the many various walks and treks around the lakes and mountains and attracts vast numbers of visitors each year.

From here the drive brings you onto the Wicklow Gap and returns to the village of Hollywood where you can sample a pint in one of the traditional pubs in the village.