Ireland day 0655. Saturday 15 July 2023- Devils Glen Seamus Heaney *

Ireland day 0655. Saturday 15 July 2023- Devils Glen Seamus Heaney
Today’s summary Drove to Co Wicklow to complete the Devil’s Glen and Seamus Heaney loop walks in the rain
Today’s weather Cool windy and wet with only about five minutes of sun.   Strong to gale force westerly wind.   Appx 16C
Today’s overview location
(The green mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The orange line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Devils Glen Seamus Heaney walks

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

Weatherwise, today threatened to be a bit of a re-run of yesterday – i.e. cold and wet.   So when we got up and saw the rain teeming down, we ummed- and aahed- a bit about what to do.   Then we just thought – it’s only a bit of rain – our plans were thwarted yesterday, so let’s just get our wet weather gear together, pack our lunches, and set off.   So we did just that – and headed off in the trusty Yaris down to Co Wicklow to do the walks we had failed to tackle yesterday because of the rain.

Our destination was the Devil’s Glen – which is a steep glacial meltwater gorge, located today in thick forest between Annamoe and Ashford.   It took us just over an hour to get there, but we couldn’t actually drive the last hundred meters to the car park because a tree had recently fallen – presumably dislodged last night by heavy rain and near gale-force winds – and blocked the road.   So we parked on the roadside close by and set off first to complete the Devil’s Glen walk.

It was absolutely beautiful today – the rain had put most people off, so there was hardly anybody about – but by the time we were walking, the rain had eased a lot and we didn’t get too soaked. The waterfall at the head of the valley isn’t massive but it’s still quite impressive.   We paused there for lunch while the rain dripped down, then returned to the car on a higher path above the valley, which has wood sculptures and panoramic viewing platforms along the way.  Almost Swiss-feeling.

When we got back to the car, we didn’t stop, but continued in a figure-of-eight type of fashion to complete another loop walk – this one named in honour of the poet Seamus Heaney who latterly lived in this area.   Another impressive stroll through stunning trees, and with occasional seats inscribed with Heaney’s poems, and often with expansive vistas to enjoy.

The whole hike – Devil’s Glen and Seamus Heaney together – was about 11km, and we both agreed it was definitely worth braving the elements to go out and enjoy it.   And another thing.  The weather feels very end-of-summer-ish at the moment and perhaps actually it is.   The Irish season of fómhar (Autumn) starts on 1 August, and that’s only a little over 2 weeks away..

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Fallen tree blocking the road.   Fortunately it was only a few metres from the car park and the start of the walk, so we left the car on the roadside verge near the treefall and set off from there Another fallen tree, this one of a slightly older vintage I think
Walking up the Devil’s Glen alongside the River Vartry High above the glen – superb lofty viewpoint overlooking the whole glen
Part way round the Seamus Heaney walk, looking out to sea near Wicklow Down in the fields, there’s even a horse-riding course (I think)
The waterfall in the river Vartry at the head of the glen.   The river is nowadays dammed upstream of the glen by the Vartry Reservoir, but pre-reservoir (which was built in the mid-1800s) apparently there was so much water in it that it roared fearsomely – which is why it became known as the Devil’s Glen
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 10280 m
Max elevation: 240 m
Min elevation: 73 m
Total climbing: 635 m
Total descent: -636 m
Total time: 03:04:00
Download file: Devils Glen and Seamus Heaney walks compressed corrected.gpx

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