Glendalough Spink Walk: Spink and Glenealo Valley Hike (White Route)

The Glendalough Spink Walk (White Route) in the Wicklow Mountains National Park is a  moderate 10 km loop walk that will bring you around the north side of the Glendalough  Upper Lac, pass the old Miner Village, up along a rocky trail along the Glenealo falls until you cross the same river on a  bridge  towards the boardwalk on the Spinc ridge that overlooks the spectacular Glendalough Valley.

Or if you want to get to the spink first, take the trails going up the Poulanass waterfall and climb the steps that will lead you to the top of the spink and reward you with one of the most amazing view you have experienced.

This Glendalough Spink Walk offers some breathtaking views on the Valley and is undoubtedly  of of the best hike to do just an hour away from  Dublin.

This spink loop trail is the most spectacular hike among the nine different hikes that can be done around Glendalough. Again I think, it is no doubt the perfect day hike near Dublin.

Explore the full Glendalough Spink Walk profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure around the two Glendalough Lakes and the Glenealo Valley.

And don’t forget to let me know what you think about this hike by leaving a review at the end of this post! Thanks!

Glendalough Spink Walk Snapshot

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Glendalough Upper Lake

Glendalough Upper Lake Courtesy of Fearghal

Parking and Glendalough Spink Walk loop hike information

Glendalough is just an 1 hour drive from Dublin and  is definitely the best place to go  if you want a day out of the city and see one of the most beautiful place near Dublin. The Glendalough Valley located in the Wicklow Mountain offers the most dramatics landscapes and beautiful scenery just on the doorstep from Dublin.

Glendalough by bus:

To get to Glendalough from Dublin, you can take the St. Kevins bus at 11.30 am from St Stephen Green North opposite Stephen Court(Starbucks). The bus journey is approximately  1h20.   Then for the way back to Dublin, the bus leave Glendalough at 7.00 pm to arrive in Dublin at 8.45.The bus Return Fare  is € 20.00 and the single Fare is € 13.00.

Check full routes detail and time table on

Telephone: +353 (0)1 281 8119

Glendalough by car:

The Glendalough Spink walk can start from the free Lower Car park locate beside the visitor center and the amazing 6th Century Glendalough Medieval Monastic site .The obvious advantage is that this car park is free but  also it allows you to visit and see the Glendalough  Monastic site, its round tower and beautiful graveyard before heading for the trail head.

Alternatively, you can also park at the Upper Car park ( €4 per car) just beside the Upper Lake and shave off 15 min of the walk.

To get to to Glendalough from Dublin, take the M50 southbound then the M11 toward Wexford. You then merge onto  the N11. Just after the Kilmacanoge petrol station, take the N11/R755 exit toward Dublin/Roundwood/Glendalough .

Stay on the R755 and keep following sign for Glendalough. The road starts to climb, first ascending between the Great and Little Sugar Loaf mountains,passing by Djouce Mountain (check out the Djouce walks). Next you pass by the lovely village of Roundwood, known to be the highest village in Ireland, and you continue through the winding road of the Annamoe valley, into Laragh village, to finally reach Glendalough Lower Car Park just before the Glendalough Hotel.

If you rather park at the Upper Car Park, then carry on driving, pass the Glendalough Hotel and the Monastic site, along the Lower Lake for 2.5 km and you will see the car park on your left.

glendalough hikes

Glendalough Upper Lake courtesy of Fearghal

Glendalough Spink Walk: Spink and Glenealo Valley Hike (White Route)

Starting from the Lower Car park,  you walk through the amazing stone ruins of the  monastic settlement  originally built in the 6th century by St. Kevin. Admire the 33 meters high Glendalough round tower build by the monks of St Kevin monastery almost 1000 years ago. Make your way through the graveyard and pass by St Kevin Church, cross the little bridge and turn right on the nice forest trail.

Glendalough round tower

Glendalough round tower Courtesy of Fearghal

From there, you can enjoy a lovely walk along the Lower Lake and make your way to the trail head beside the Upper Lake.

You can do the Spink walk loop clockwise or anti-clockwise.

If you choose to do it clockwise, it is the quickest way to get  up to the spinc ridge and admire the view from up there. Take the way up towards the Poulanass waterfall (you will see the sign for it), cross the bridge and follow the path uphill that runs beside the waterfall. The Poulanass Waterfall is a small but beautiful waterfall surrounded by the lush green oak forest.

As you reach the top the path splits, keep on the path going right.Always follow the white arrows, very soon you will leave the main track and take the path on the right that leads you into the forest of spruce trees. Now  a steady and strenuous climb on a boardwalk of 600 or so steps is awaiting you. It might seem a lot but enchanted atmosphere of the forest and the breathtaking view at the top when you come out of the forest is well worth the effort.

Poulanass waterfall

Poulanass waterfall Courtesy of Fearghal

Follow the level path on the boardwalk that runs  west along the the Glendalough Upper Lake and take your time to take it all in. The view up there is absolutely amazing. In is not rare to come across  wild goats with thick furs, deer and Peregrine birds.

You soon go over the Spink and start to go down away from the cliff towards the wooden bridge that goes over the Glenealo river. Stop there for a while and observer the dramatic view of Glenealo Valley and its granite and schist rock formation, the view of the Glendalough Lakes afar.

Once you pass over that bridge, follow the rocky trail that zigzag down the valley following the Glenealo river cascading down until the old Miners Village and the Glendalough lead Mines . There, as I just mention, the trail is very rocky and it is recommended to wear good hiking boots with proper ankle support.

Did you Know?

Mining in Glendalough dates back to the 1790’s where lead, zinc and silver were mined both in the Glendalough Valley and the next adjacent Valley, Glendasan. Mining in this area took place for over 150 years and at the peak of production 2,000 miners were employed. Mining continued up until 1957. Check the history of mining in the Wicklow Mountains

After the miners village, the trail carry on along the north side of the Upper Lake back to car park. You can finish up the hike by walking from the Upper Car Park towards the Lower Car Park using the boardwalk as oppose to the forestry trail that you took on the way in.


The Glendalough Spink walk is a truly special hike and I will highly recommend it to anyone. River, Lacs, Waterfall,Forest, spectacular mountain views, old miner village…everything is in there!

Please review this hike and leave a comment below. Thanks!!

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Route map for Glendalough Spink Walk (White Route) by romuald kieffer on


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