The Road To Lough Dan
Day Tripping in The Wicklow Mountains
Hidden away and down stony lanes, over grassy hills, banked by screens of bracken fern, walk through the verdant ever changing weather and vista to reach the quiet shores of Lough Dan in Co Wicklow, Ireland.
Along the path, snatched glimpses of the Cloghoge River catch the eye, until it banks curve and wend to greet you as you arrive at the lake shores and the abandoned and forlorn white house. Meanwhile in the fields below herd of Sika deer pause to look before returning to graze.
Flowering heather’s, gorse, nodding golden grasses and jutting stone all add to a warm and colorful landscape.
Fork in the road, take the track to the right for Lough Dan.
Step from shaded pathways into glorious open countryside.
A wind torn pine shaped by the weather and the winds.
Herd of Sika Deer in the near distance
Ancient dry-stone walls frame the grassy pathways to the Lough.
The house and fallen Sycamore in foreground.
There appears to be little information available on either the ownership, or history, of the abandoned white house. From what I could find out it was until not so long ago shaded and kept company by a tall and mature sycamore tree now fallen, the remains of which can be seen in the pictures below. One assumes brought down by the weather. Along the way don’t be alarmed should you come across marauding gangs of swordsmen in suits of armour as many parts of the History channel TV series, The Vikings, is currently being filmed in this wondrous location. The chances are on reaching the lake shore you will have the place to yourself, as we did the day we visited, as not many seem to know of this charming and scheduled spot.
Herons and cormorants are known to nest at the rivers mouth.
The mysterious and abandoned white house by the river.
View across the lake from the sandy shore
What amazed me most during the day trip was how quickly and how often the weather changed. At times although the skies took dark and ominous the rain was never more than a few soft drops followed by sunshine.
Taking the road to, or from, the entrance to Lough Dan be sure stop and stare at the spectacular sight below that is Lough Tay and marvel at its white sand beach, imported by the owners (members of the Guinness dynasty) in order to create a picture resembling that of a pint of the black stuff. At the foot of the valley, and set back from the lake amidst a grove of trees, lies Luggala, an exquisite eighteenth-century house at the center of a 5,000-acre estate, home to Garech de Brun it has a rich history of partying, playing host to such luminaries as the Rolling Stones and John Paul Getty Jr to name but a few.
For more info on the house and its history there is a book by Robert O Byrne, copies of which can easily be found online.
For more info on the TV series The Vikings click this link
For more information on things to do and places to see in Wicklow click this link for the Wicklow tourist info site
For more information on places top see and things to do in Ireland click this link for the Irish Tourist Board
From the UK to the Ireland the 2 main carriers are
Aer Lingus click this link
Ryan Air click this link