Wicklow – On Monday of this week, I was lucky enough to find myself in the Garden of Ireland, making a rare trip across the country to the county of mountains and forests.


U-nail studded railway sleeper boardwalk at The Wicklow Gap

Over the Wicklow Gap I went, down through Laragh, with its wonderful broadleaf and well-spaced conifer forests and on towards Glenealy, to the beautiful and serene organic farm at Carraig Dúlra.

On their plot up on the hill, with impressive Red Kites soaring overhead, Mike and Suzie Cahn deliver organic farming training, specialising in how to grow fruit and vegetables. Indeed, my friend Tina Pommer, from Leitrim, will be giving a talk and walk on mushrooms over there sometime this coming autumn. The trip offered me my first views of the newly reintroduced birds of prey, with three of them happily circling above our little group.

Wicklow - Laragh

Coniferous forest with good ground vegetation at Laragh

I was there to deliver an awareness course in Leave No Trace. I had a lovely day, passing most of it outdoors in the nearby wood. Even our ‘indoor’ section of the session could hardly accurately be described as such – it was spent in a wonderful large and airy tent! I would really recommend getting up to Carraig Dúlra, taking a practical, educational and, above all, interesting course in the outdoors, of whichever type you prefer yourself. Mike and Suzie are excellent hosts, so you’ll have a great day.

Wicklow is a funny old county, divided as it is between east and west by the mountain range. There’s a world of diiference between Bray, Greystones and Wicklow towns, all by the sea on the one hand, and Blessington, Baltinglass and Hollywood, on the other. Go hike around Glendalough, Laragh and up Lugnaquilla, Leinster’s highest mountain and the highest anywhere outside Kerry.

Wicklow - Carraig Dúlra, Glenealy

Suzie talks about vegetable growing, Carraig Dúlra, Glenealy

Visit Carraig Dúlra’s website here.

Visit Leave No Trace Ireland here.