Written by John Kelleher.
I started walking with HilltopTreks over ten years ago, and over the years have enjoyed many walks both here in Ireland and in recent years in Europe.
While Wicklow is usually where we conduct most of our walks, we have over the years spent pleasant week-ends away walking in the Comeraghs, Galtees, Slievenamon, Donard, Mournes, Connemara, Ben Bulbin to name just some. In recent years we have travelled to the Dolomites in Northern Italy, Bratislavia in Romania and a group of us also hill walked in Southern Spain near Marbella.
One of my favourite walks, which I keep returning to is Scarr mountain near Roundwood in Wicklow. I start near the scout’s den at Oldbridge beside Lough Dan and head up the laneway rising gradually until reaching the field at the foot of the hill. From there it is a gradually climb for about one hour to reach the peak. Stopping occasionally to look back over the Irish Sea and back towards Djouce. On reaching the summit at Scarr (641 metres) it is usually time for a short rest with a well-deserved cup of tea and a sandwich. The views from the summit are always enjoyable with ships sailing on the Irish Sea or over to Camaderry near Glendalough.
At the summit there is a choice of routes. South towards Paddock Hill and the Wicklow Way and then East when you reach the Wicklow Way to get on to the road way to lead back to the car parked at Lough Dan. While this is a nice walk the last 30 minutes or so are on roadway. However, my preferred route is over towards Kanturk (523 metres) and back by Lough Dan. Approaching Kanturk, with its scattering of rocks there is a beautiful view of Glenmacnass Waterfall.
At Kanturk heading East the walk is now very level and leads eventually to a beautiful view overlooking Lough Dan, a dog-leg shaped Lake. A stop here is essential to take in the views of both the lake and some of the adjoining hills and mountains all around. The final section of this walk is back by the hill overlooking Lough Dan all the way until reaching the road which passes the scouts den and back to the car. The final stretch of road is about 15 minutes duration. The walk generally takes 3.5 to 4 hours to complete and is well worthwhile just for the variety of views and scenery. On one recent walk back towards the scout’s den I spotted a Red Squirrel, the first I have seen in years.
The walk is usually followed by a stop at the Coachhouse in Roundwood for some liquid refreshments and a chat with my fellow walkers.
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See you on the Hills again soon.