Walking Hiking

Wales & Wicklow – Guided Walking Tour – 8 Days

Guided Walking Tour – Wales & Wicklow

‘A tour that combines two Celtic Nations to make one great hiking adventure!’

We combined two of our most successful hiking destinations, the Wicklow Mountains and Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, into a spectacular 8-day guided walking experience of two cultures, two histories, and two landscapes. This is a great opportunity to observe the differences as well as the similarities between these two ancient Celtic regions and all they have to offer.

For our time in Wales, we will stay in Old Colwyn Bay, right outside of the Snowdonia National Park. The National Park is the second largest in the UK with 2,171 protected square kilometres (838 square miles) of oak woodlands, wild flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls, tranquil lakes, rocky mountains and moorland. The Park has some of the best walks in Britain, all dominated by Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in England, Ireland, and Wales at 1085m (3560 ft). Whether you love nature, the great outdoors, culture or history, Wales has it all.

Our second half of the adventure takes place in the Wicklow Mountains. We will be staying just outside of the famous and majestic Glendalough, a seat of ancient culture and education and one of the most visited sites in Ireland. Wicklow holds a proud tradition of walking aided by the presence of the “Wicklow Way”, the oldest way-marked trail and the largest National Park in Ireland. The National Park protects some of Europe’s oldest peat bogs, heather-clad mountains, broad-leafed woodlands and native mammal species. After a few days of walking here, you will understand why the county has earned the title ‘The Garden of Ireland’.

 

Tour Pricing & Dates

8 Day Tour €1,118 per person sharing
Sunday to Sunday
Single supplement €350
Tour Dates
2020/2021
Sunday, 2nd August to Sunday 9th August 2020

—  —  —  —  —  —

Sunday, 1st August to Sunday 8th August 2021

Tour Grade Easy to Moderate
Accommodation Family Operated Guesthouses
BOOKING BOOK THIS TOUR

Video

Map

Itinerary

Day 1 / Dublin to Wales

We will meet you at Dublin Airport at 12.00 pm and then drive to Dublin Port for the ferry journey to Holyhead in Wales. Alternatively, you can meet us in Wales. Travel time on the sea is approximately 3hrs 15min. Once we reach Holyhead, we drive for approximately 50 minutes down through North Wales to our accommodation in the lively town of Old Colwyn Bay. 

Day 2 / Seaside Resorts & Ancient History

Our first walk begins in the coastal town of Llandudno, one of Britain’s finest Victorian seaside resorts and takes us around the Great Orme peninsula for fascinating views of mountains over the ocean. We will explore the world’s only publicly open Bronze Age copper mine, first mined over 3,500 years ago and visit one of the finest examples of fortress architecture in the world at the walled town of Conwy. Conwy Castle, with 22 towers and nearly a mile of battlements wall, was built by Edward the 1st in 1283 during the conquest of Wales. We will stay overnight in Old Colwyn Bay.

Distance: 10 km / 6 miles, Ascent: 207 m / 620 ft.

Day 3 / Peaceful Valleys

Beginning at the foothills of Moel Siabod, Y Glyderau and Y Carneddau in the cosy village of Capel Curig, we follow an old pass through the mountains and down into the peaceful valley of Cornel. We will walk through Hendre Forest and walk around to the once natural lake Llyn Cowlyd. In the 19th century, the lake was made into a reservoir for the region. Our homeward track is along the water, around the base of Pen Llithrig and back to Capel Curig. We will stay overnight in Old Colwyn Bay.

Distance: 16 km / 10 miles, Ascent: 580 m / 1740 ft. 

 

Day 4 / The Snowdon Challenge

The climb up the tallest mountain in Ireland, Wales, and England is quite a challenge but you will feel an amazing sense of accomplishment on arrival at the summit of Mount Snowdon.  We make our ascent on the Pyg Track, an old miner's track which is well maintained by the National Trust. From the summit on a clear day, we will enjoy incredible sweeping views in all directions. We descend using the old sightseers’ railway track. The railway has been running for over 100 years, a modern replacement for the ponies previously used to carry visitors to the summit. We will stay overnight in Colwyn Bay. 

Distance up the Pyg Track and down to Llanberis: 13 km / 6.5 miles, Ascent: 727 m / 2181 ft.

 

Day 5 / Swallow Falls and Trefriw Woollen Mills

Our final day in Wales includes a short nature walk to the famous and lovely Swallow Falls in Betws-y-Code. Here the river Llugwy rushes down from the mountains. Crags and jagged rocks divide the stream into a number of foaming cascades. We will take a guided tour of the Trefriw Woollen Mills where you might even have an opportunity to try your hand at weaving. We then head back to Holyhead to catch the ferry to Ireland and drive South to our new accommodation in Laragh village, nestled in the Wicklow Mountains.

Distance: 5 km / 3 miles, Ascent: 150 m / 450 ft.

 

Day 6 / Glendalough & The Spinc

We start the day at the famous Glendalough Monastic Settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. We will have a guided tour of the area to learn its regional and global significance as a former hub of learning in Europe. Its fully intact round tower overlooks the two lakes that gave Glendalough (“Gleann Dá Loch”, The Glen of the Two Lakes) its name. We will follow part of the Wicklow Way, onto Lugduff Mountain for spectacular views of the lakes and surrounding wild hills. Our trail crosses The Spinc, down through a deserted miners’ village and back to Glendalough. We will stay overnight in Laragh village. 

Distance: 11.5 km / 7.2 miles, Ascent: 410 m / 1230 ft. 

 

Day 7 / Trooperstown Hill & the Vale of Clara

Starting from our village accommodation, our trail leads us through Ballard Forest and up onto Trooperstown Hill. This hill is a hidden gem and on a clear day almost every peak of the Wicklow range and some of the Welsh mountains are visible. At the base of Trooperstown is our Footfalls Walking Holidays headquarters but our trail moves the opposite direction to the beautiful Vale of Clara for lunch on the banks of the Avonmore River. After lunch, we will follow the Avonmore River through the Vale’s Oak Forest into the town of Rathdrum. We will be picked up in Rathdrum and go to visit the world-famous Avoca Woollen Mills original location. We will stay overnight in Laragh. 

Distance: 12.5 km / 7.8 miles, Ascent: 430 m / 1290 ft. 

 

Day 8 / Depart

After a hearty Irish breakfast, we will depart for Dublin Airport, arriving at 12.30 pm.

Included

  • 7 nights bed and breakfast in family run guesthouses with all rooms en-suite
  • 5 packed lunches
  • Pickup and return to Dublin Airport
  • Ferry to and from Wales
  • All transport to and from walks and evenings out

Not Included

  • Evening meals
  • Entry fees to Conway Castle
  • Packed lunch on Day 5

Testimonials

  • Dear Christopher,
    And thank YOU, our fearless leader!   You did a great job tending your flock!
    I had a most wonderful time, albeit a little more challenging than I had expected.
    But, I am grateful that the wind only knocked me down on some Valencia heather and not over a cliff! ;
    The scenery was stunning and the lodgings (particularly Casey’s and The Grand) and meals were superb!!
    And the icing on the cake was the pleasure of your company and great sense of humor!
    A perfect package all together!!
    I have more compliments to pay, but I will save them for the next time we connect.  Perhaps you, Teresa and I can
    chat via Facetime after the New Year.  I’d also like to talk a little bit more about the Wicklow Mountains Tour.
    Hope you have a wonderful and well earned holiday in New Zealand!!
    Take care and all the best,
    Carmel
    Wild Atlantic Way South West
  • Dear Christopher, thank you for another wonderful vacation! I really enjoyed seeing another area of your beautiful country. Thank you for leading us on some amazing hikes, and for taking care of everything while we were here. It was a very relaxing week, and we’re going home renewed and rejuvenated. Until we meet again!

    Nicole
  • Christopher, as the official Irish Tourism Board’s representative, it gladdens me to award you the Golden Shamrock, our top tourism award. That last part was bullshit. I had an amazing experience and I am so glad that I got to see Ireland’s most intimate spots. Thank you for a wonderful trip and all of your knowledge and humour. Looking forward to doing another trip together!

    Adam
  • Christopher, thank you for a second tour through your beautiful Ireland. It was another amazing experience of hiking and food and laughter. What a wonderful week and I can’t wait to return soon for another Footfalls tour. Thank you for everything!

    Erin
  • Dear Christopher, thank you so much for another beautiful journey in your Ireland. We loved our first walking holidays with you, so much that we couldn’t wait to do it again! And this second time in Connemara and the Burren Way didn’t disappoint. You make each trip so special with your warmth, quick wit and what I like to think of your Irish spirit. Thank you for another week of memories that I will always treasure, for your friendship and coring.

    Radha

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