Ah, Dublin!  Friendly people, incredible pubs, great music, and literary history surrounds you in this vibrant city.  While I loved our time in Dublin, it’s always nice to take a break from the city and get away.  It was really a hard decision, do we go to Kilkenny and Glendalough, do we visit the Aran Islands, or do we go on a Dublin to Cliffs of Moher tour?  After doing some research, we decided that we definitely wanted to see the charming town of Kilkenny and the beautiful monastic site in Glendalough.  For this outing, we selected the Kilkenny, Wicklow Mountains & Glendalough Day Tour from Wild Rover Tours and boy were we glad we did!  Read on to hear all about our perfect day trip from Dublin!  If you find yourself short on time while visiting Dublin, then you definitely want to check out these Dublin stopovers!

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Meeting Our Guide

We began our day bright and early by meeting our guide at one of the three convenient locations right in the heart of Dublin.  After boarding our tour bus and meeting some of our fellow travelers, we set out on our journey.  Our guide, Conner, did a fabulous job of immediately engaging us in some of Dublin’s fascinating history.  I found myself intrigued by the stories of the hard-working spirit of the Irish people and loved the stamina they portrayed throughout a turbulent history.   Don’t worry, you won’t be bored though.  Conner did a great job of sliding in some humor and fun facts into his stories.

Getting out of Dublin and into the Irish countryside seemed to take no time at all.  Listening to Irish tunes and watching the beautiful green fields out the windows made time literally fly by.  Before I knew it, Conner was back on the microphone telling us about the town of Kilkenny, our first stop.  Not only did he share some of the history of the town, but he also advised us on all of the things that are available to do in the town as well as giving us food recommendations.

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Kilkenny

Upon arriving in the charming town of Kilkenny, we had the option to explore on our own or to take a walking tour with Conner.  Of course, we chose to take the walking tour.  Conner taught us all about the history of Kilkenny Castle, including it’s ties to some of the characters in The Game of Thrones!

Walking through the town I couldn’t help but notice all of the fabulous shops and cafes we were passing along the way.  Note to self must come back!

Stopping across the street from one of the town’s attractions, the Rothe House, Conner told us all about the ‘witch of Kilkenny’, Dame Alice Kyteler.  Born into nobility in 1280, Dame Alice was married four times.  Suspiciously, all four of her husbands died, making her the heir to their estate.  Accused of rejecting the Christian faith and after being tried for heresy, Dame Alice fled to England in 1325 never to be heard of again.  However, her servant, Petronella de Meath, wasn’t so lucky.  Petronella was burned at the stake in 1325, making her the first person in Ireland to be accused of heresy and burned at the stake!!!

Yeah, so after that fun story, Conner advised us that we have about an hour to tour the town.  He gave us tips on where to visit and off we went.  Marty and I chose to just roam around the streets, admiring the architecture and beauty of the city before grabbing a picnic lunch and of course, and ice cream from Murphy’s.

Kilkenny Castle

Murphy's Ice Cream

Wicklow Mountains

Upon leaving Kilkenny, our awesome driver, Joe, strategically navigates our tour bus into the Wicklow Mountains.  As we make our way into the mountains, I quickly understand why so many movies choose to use this stunning area as backdrops for their films.  Surrounded by gentle slopes and rounded peaks that are covered in green, I find myself lost in the beauty of nature.  Stopping for a quick stretch and photo opportunity, I can see why millions of visitors come to this area every year.  It’s absolutely stunning!

Wicklow Mountains

Wicklow Mountains

Glendalough

Upon arriving in Glendalough, we joined Conner on another walk as he explained the history and importance of this beautiful monastic site.  I was fascinated at the story of how the hermit, St. Kevin, gained many followers, thus creating the monastic site that we see today.  The 33-meter tall round tower was said to have been built as a landmark so that locals could locate the monastery even from far away.  I loved hearing all about how the tower was used by the monks as a defense against the invading Vikings.

Wandering around the site, surrounded by the beautiful Celtic crosses that dot the graveyard, I didn’t think I was ever going to get Marty from out behind the lens.  LOL!

Glendalough

Glendalough

Glendalough

Glendalough

Pulling Marty away, we wander down to one of the lakes on the site.  We chose to take the boardwalk through the marshes to the southern lake, but you could also choose the upper path by the forest.  No matter what path you choose to take, you end at the gorgeous lake nestled in the valley of the Wicklow Mountains.  There was a serenity that seemed to surround us at this site, inviting us to stay all day.

Glendalough lakes

Glendalough lakes

Glendalough lakes

Irish Sheep Dog Demonstration

The highlight of our trip was the final stop on our tour, and something that is completely unique to Wild Rover Tours, a sheepdog demonstration!  Upon arriving at the sheep farm, we are introduced to a family of sheep farmers that explain the unique process of training these fabulous pups.  After answering all of our questions, then we are treated to two different demonstrations.  I could not get over how smart these dogs were.  Marty and I truly loved this part of our tour!

Ireland Sheep Dog Demo

Ireland Sheep Dog Demo

Concluding Our Tour

After a great day touring the Irish countryside, we relaxed on our drive back to Dublin, reflecting on all of the memories we created.  Conner advised of places to eat and visit in Dublin as we reentered the city, and gave directions to everyone as needed.  He and Joe were so helpful and professional during our journey.  I felt like we were 100% taken care of the entire time and will totally book another tour with Wild Rover Tours.

Please note, this was a sponsored post.  Marty and I were provided with a complimentary tour, but as always, all opinions are our own.  

We would love to hear from you!  Be sure and comment below and let us know what you think about our day trip from Dublin.  And while you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get our fun travel freebies!

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The charming town of Kilkenny and the historic monastic site of Glendalough make for the perfect day trip from Dublin! Read all about our great day trip here! #dublin #ireland #kilkenny #glendalough #daytripfromdublin #visitireland #visitkilkenny #glendaloughmonasticsite

The charming town of Kilkenny and the historic monastic site of Glendalough make for the perfect day trip from Dublin! Read all about our great day trip here! #dublin #ireland #kilkenny #glendalough #daytripfromdublin #visitireland #visitkilkenny #glendaloughmonasticsite

The charming town of Kilkenny and the historic monastic site of Glendalough make for the perfect day trip from Dublin! Read all about our great day trip here! #dublin #ireland #kilkenny #glendalough #daytripfromdublin #visitireland #visitkilkenny #glendaloughmonasticsite

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40 Comments

  1. I can’t believe I haven’t visited Ireland yet. Both Kilkenny and Glendalough look amazing and I’m adding them to my list! Thank you for sharing <3

  2. As you mentioned above “it’s always nice to take a break from the city and get away”. And this was right place for that, little bit of history and lots of nature 🙂 Well done!

    • Thanks for reading, Suzana!

  3. That tower looks like it came from Rapunzel! Everything here just looks like a fairytale!

    • Ha-ha! I didn’t think of that, but you’re so right!!

  4. That’s a very extensive tour covering a lot of ground, and good for people visiting Dublin. It’s good to mix urban Kilkenny with rural Wicklow on a tour.

    • Yes, it was a pretty extensive tour, and I loved the fact that it mixed city with country as you said 🙂

  5. Brought back memories of my trip to Ireland several years ago! I did not have a chance to explore outside of Dublin then, but reading this makes me want to go back and see more! Great hearing from another Texan!

    • We had so much fun, Kristen. Thanks for reading my fellow Texan!!

  6. Thanks for this helpful post! I’m going to Ireland this Tuesday actually (for 10 days) and I think I can squeeze in Kilkenny and possibly also Glendalough!

    • Oh, Sanne, that sounds great! I hope you can fit them in!

  7. This looks like an awesome day! I would love to see the sheepdogs in action!

  8. I have seen those sheepdogs at work and those dogs are mindblowing! It’s incredible how smart they are. Thank you for your lovely post!

    • I agree, Mo, the sheepdogs were fabulous!
      Thanks for reading!

  9. Sadly, I have never been to Dublin but would love to see the city and the countryside. Looks like an amazing day trip and tour company. Also love a good guide like Conner who engages you and really makes it fun!

    • Hopefully, you will get to go one day, Kelly. It was really fun and the people were so nice. And we agree, the guide can make or break a tour!

  10. I just love exploring Ireland. I think it’s really smart you did the tour. Driving in Ireland is not easy! We rented a car but only because my husband is used to driving on the wrong side (as I call it).

    • We rented a car in Scotland and did OK with it, but I wanted Ireland to be more relaxing. LOL!

  11. This sounds like a great day trip! I’ve never actually seen a sheepdog in action, so that would be really awesome to watch!

  12. I have lots of family in Ireland who I have never even met! I have only been to Northern Ireland previously but I’d love to see Dublin, and also Cork and Limerick.

  13. Ah Dublin seems so nice! I’ve only been once and feel I only got the urban experience (with hip streets and a pizza bus with great pizza). Would love to see the mountains and visit Glendalough.

    • We did enjoy the urban experience as well, but I generally prefer the smaller towns :).

  14. This sounds like a great tour. I like to visit popular cities in Europe but I also like to explore its surroundings or places that are located nearby. Plus, sightseeing is way better when you have a capable and nice guide. I would like to see the sheepdog demonstration. For what I have read, it is not necessarily that easy to control the sheep. I can see why this was your favorite part of the day.

    • It really was a fun tour, and have a great guide helped to make that possible.

  15. I love Ireland so much. We’ve been twice! I’d go back again in a heartbeat.

    • Oh wow, that’s great, Laura. Think of how lucky we are. Some people only get to dream of visiting!

  16. I adore the old buildings, especially the Smithwick’s one with the painted signage! Looks like a beautiful spot! So much history.

    • Us too, Emily. The old buildings are so full of charm and character!

  17. Looks like a beautiful place to visit, must make sure I get over to Ireland soon!

    • You really should, it’s beautiful!

  18. Great tips! Wish I had this guide when I was visiting Dublin! Keeping it for my next trip though as it is so useful.

    • Thank you, Amy!

  19. We were just in Ireland in January and did the northern 2/3. Now we just have to go back and cover the bottom 1/3. This region is definitely on our list, I just love how the old cemeteries and crumbly castles photograph!

    • Oh, wow! That sounds like a great trip, Lindsay. Thanks for reading and the compliment on the pic!

  20. I was in Dublin earlier this year for St Patrick’s Day and I absolutely loved it! I never got the chance to do any day trips out but it looks like you had such a great time. The countryside of Ireland is just so green and so beautiful.

    • I bet Dublin during St. Patrick’s was a blast! I’d love to hear about that!

  21. Glad to hear you enjoyed my country, I’m from Cork a little further South. I do love Dublin as a city, it has a great vibe and Glendalough is a gorgeous (very green) place.

    • You have a beautiful homeland, Aimee. And with fabulous people. Everyone was so nice.

  22. Ireland is high on my list for its splendid castles and its windswept landscape. Your photographs are amazing! Did you get to pet those cute sheep?

    • Thank you so much, Mohana. My husband is the official photographer so I will be sure to pass along the compliment. Ireland was gorgeous and yes, we got to pet the sheep, including lambs 🙂