If you looking for a scenic not crowded trail in the Wicklow area, then explore Glen Beach Cliff Walk. It`s an amazing trail with stunning views of the cliffs and beaches where you can see grey seals.
Far less popular then Wicklow’s famous cliff walk spans between Bray and Greystones. But just as beautiful is the Glen Beach Cliff Walk.
The trail encompasses one of the most spectacular stretches of the Wicklow coastline. This way marked walk begins at the Glen Beach on the outskirts of Wicklow town.
The beach which gives the trail its name is tiny. It’s not a sandy beach, it’s better, covered in smooth multicoloured stones and pebbles.
The trail begins at the free car park and descends a few flights of stairs and footpaths past the Glen View Golf Course. Continues south to Lime-Kiln Bay and on towards the Lighthouse road. Before doubling back again in a loop, a total distance of about four kilometres.
Generally Glen Beach Cliff Walk is considered a moderately challenging route. It takes an average of 1 h 32 min to complete.
The walk has some climbs and runs close to exposed cliff edges where walking in single file is required. The trail surface is uneven and rough underfoot with some obstacles such as protruding rocks. The route is appropriate for people with a moderate level of fitness and some walking experience.
Glen Beach Cliff Walk traverses a landscape of rich cultural interest. The main archaeological sites occur on the southern section of this walk. There is a rock shelter where prehistoric flints were found, the remains of a Lime Kiln (which gives the bay its name), the ruins of a small church which local lore records as dating from Penal Times and a Holy Well ‘Tobar Bríde’. Local tradition maintains that fishermen would drink from this well in the belief that it would protect them whilst at sea. There is also evidence of a 19th century Rifle Range on the walk.
This area is part of Wicklow Head Special Protection Area (SPA), designated under the EU Habitats Directive for the nationally important breeding population of Kittiwake. Fulmar, Shag, Guillemot, Herring Gull, Black Guillemot, Razor Bill, Peregrine Falcon and Raven also breed nearby. Other species such Stonechat, Whitethroat, Rock Pippet and Linnet may be seen along the trail.
Grey seal have been recorded in increasing numbers at Lime Kiln Bay in recent years. They breed here annually and require undisturbed areas from September to December.
Location of Glen Beach Cliff Walk:
Below my photos taken in August 2022.