Glendalough (Gleann Dá Loch, meaning “Valley of two lakes”) is a glacial valley in County Wicklow, Ireland, renowned for an early 6th century monastic settlement founded by Saint Kevin. The area is absolutely stunning, and the monastic “city” was on our list of places to visit while in Ireland.
The ancient ruins of Glendalough include several churches and an impressive 30-meter-high round tower. The valley stretches for approximately 3km in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Glendalough’s Upper Lake was the original site of the monastic settlement and features Reefert Church, Temple-na-Skellig, Saint Kevin’s Cell, Saint Kevin’s Bed, the Caher, and several high crosses. ~discoverireland.ie
The most impressive building that could be seen for miles was the Round Tower
The most famous of all the landmarks in Glendalough is the Round Tower which stands 33 meters above the ground. It was built almost 1000 years ago by the monks of St. Kevin’s monastery. The conical roof had to be replaced in 1876 when it was struck by lightning. The towers were called “Cloigtheach”, meaning bell tower, suggesting their main use. The towers were sometimes used as a place of refuge for monks when the monastery was under attack. They also served as both as lookout posts and as beacons foe approaching monks and pilgrims. ~ visitwicklow.ie
St. Kevin’s Kitchen (Church)
St. Kevin’s Church better known as St. Kevin’s Kitchen is a nave-and-chancel church of the 12th century. It is called St Kevin’s kitchen because people believed that the bell tower was a chimney to a kitchen but really no food was ever cooked there. This stone-roofed building originally had a nave only, with entrance at the west end and a small round-headed window in the east gable. The belfry with its conical cap and four small windows rises from the west end of the stone roof in the form of a miniature round tower. ~ visitwicklow.ie
I wish we would have been able to stay longer in the area and hike in the glaciated valley… Maybe next time!
To view Dan’s post from this leg of out trip, click HERE
Hook Peninsula is the “Hook” in “By Hook or by Crook.” Hook and Crook are the names of headlands on either side of a bay by Waterford, Ireland. Hook Head and Crooke are on opposite sides of the Waterford channel.
As we traveled along Hook Peninsula toward Hook Head, we passed Loftus Hall. Loftus Hall is a large mansion built on the site of the original Redmond Hall. It is said by locals to be haunted by the devil and the ghost of a young woman. In most recent times, the house was ran as a tourist attraction with haunted guided tours; I would have loved to see the inside. The Lodgers, a 2017 gothic thriller, was also shot at this location. For those of you that are interested, the mansion is on the market for $2.87 m.
Hook Head Lighthouse
The lighthouse is situated on Hook Head at the tip of the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford, in Ireland. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world and the second oldest operating lighthouse in the world. It is operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the Irish Lighthouse Authority, it marks the eastern entrance to Waterford Harbor. Hook Lighthouse is one of the most fascinating examples of medieval architecture in Ireland. The tower stands four stories high with walls up to 4m thick. The current structure has stood for 849 years as of 2021. ~ Wikipedia
We wandered the grounds of this astounding lighthouse and our breaths were again taken away by the beauty of this location. Looking out to the sea, it was hard to image the ships this lighthouse has warned of the dangerous rocks in the area and brought them to safety. While looking out to the sea, we thought we saw a person at first in the cold Atlantic, but then it was gone as quickly as it appeared. Looking out again, we saw the head appear and we might have thought, “did we just see a mermaid perhaps?” 😉 Nope, not a mermaid, but we had a very curious seal keeping an eye on us. It was fun to watch for a while, but we needed to head on our way.
To see Dan’s post from this leg of our trip, click HERE
Once we crossed the River Barrow on the ferry from Passage East, we stopped at Duncannon Beach to stretch our legs and take in the sites. The beach was so peaceful during our visit; however, knowing this site has been utilized by many to protect from invaders since earlier than the 12th century, I am sure it has seen its share of troubled waters.
A fort was built on this site by Normans in the 12th century, and there may have been an earlier earthen fort built by Gaelic Irish. The present fort was built in 1587–88 by Queen Elizabeth I to defend Waterford from possible invasion from the Spanish Armada.
Duncannon Fort is an impressive presentation of a bastioned fortress perched on the side of the stunning Hook Peninsula, County Wexford, part of Ireland’s Ancient East. This historic structure has gathered countless intriguing and awe-inspiring stories over its 450-year history and holds one of the best vantage points to take in the beautiful Waterford Estuary from. Further information can be found at www.duncannonfort.ie
After some much needed rest, we started our day with a traditional Irish Breakfast at Kilmail Country Chalet. Again our hosts were beyond anything I could have wished for. I hope to one day make it back to this lovely establishment. We had a couple days to explore in this area so we decided to […]
Dan and I had the opportunity to visit Ireland a few years ago and I am finally getting around to working on the numerous albums that were created during our visit. Revisiting these images (there are thousands of them) has been a treat but has made me miss Ireland even more 😉 What can I say about Ireland? It was a magical experience. The people were friendly, the lodging and hospitality was perfect and the beauty of this country is just stunning, absolutely stunning. I cannot wait for the day that we return as there is so much more for us to explore.
We stayed at this lovely bed and breakfast the first two nights we were in Ireland. The owners of this beautiful home (Kilmail Country Chalet) were wonderful hosts, the lodging was extremely comfortable, and the food was AMAZING! We chose this particular bed and breakfast because if their close vicinity to Giants Causeway and The Dark Hedges (The Kingsroad). We were lucky enough to visit the Dark Hedges twice during our stay. After a brief hail shower in the morning of the second day, we headed out to photograph this national treasure again. The comments noted below and the image of the delicious traditional Irish breakfast was taken from Dan’s blog:
The beech tree-line road is one of the most photographed natural landmarks on the island of Ireland. This tourist attraction recently achieved global prominence after it appeared on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. In January 2016, Storm Gertrude damaged several of the 200+ year old trees. The site is still a vision to behold, but it is a fraction of what it once was; only 90 of the approximately 150 trees remain standing.
We had two opportunities to shoot this natural wonder. Our first view of this natural marvel was the morning of day 2 of our trip after a hearty traditional Irish breakfast while we waiting out a brief storm where a wee bit of hail fell. When we arrived at The Dark Hedges it was everything but dark. The sky was bright and full of clouds; the remnants of the earlier hail shower still lingering. The harsh sun cast deep and heavy shadows. You can easily see the gaps that Storm Gertrude made in some of these images,