Seamus Heaney Walk

Trail description

The Seamus Heaney Walk is so named in honour of the poet and Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Seamus Heaney. It was formerly known as "The Upland Walk". It starts and finishes at the information boards at the main entrance to the site. It is approximately 4 km of rough walking with steep sections and you should allow at least 1.5 hours completing it. Highlights include the views over the surrounding countryside, diverse woodland cover, history and Sculpture in Woodland pieces. Details of the sculptures are to be found in the visitors guide produced by Sculpture in Woodland which was produced with the support of the Forest Service's Neighbour Wood Scheme is available from Coillte's office at Newtownmountkennedy.

As you leave the information board you rise through a majestic stand of western hemlock set in a natural amphitheatre. Visitors often get the feeling of being in a cathedral. Follow the forest track past the first sculpture and turn left at the next junction.  Continue until you come to a T-junction where you turn right. You are now on the upper section of the walk: one, which affords views over the Wicklow countryside at a number of vantage points.

The Seamus Heaney Walk will take you through a diverse mixture of open space and mixed woodland. Many of the tree species in the area have been introduced to Ireland from different parts of the world, primarily as important timber production trees. These include: Sitka spruce, western red cedar, lodgepole pine, western hemlock, and Douglas fir from North America; Norway spruce, silver fir , beech and sycamore from Europe; the larches from Japan and Europe. You will see a number of native trees including ash, sessile oak, Scots pine, silver birch, and holly, which colonised Ireland after the last Ice Age about 10,000 years ago.

As you continue along the walk, you will get an opportunity to see the magnificent Glanmore Castle, seat of John Millington Synge's family until the 1930's. Synge (1871 - 1909) was one of Ireland's most influential playwrights and a leading figure of the Irish Literary Revival. This upper stretch of the walk runs beneath a hilltop, which represents one of the highest points of the glen. Dramatic views towards the Irish Sea can be gleaned here and it is easy to imagine insurgents from the 1798 Rebellion using this vantage point when they took refuge in the glen. After the hilltop, the walk you come on a steep stretch that descends all the way to the main forest road running through the site. Turn right on the forest road continue in the direction of the main entrance for approximately 600 metres before the Seamus Heaney Walk leaves the road and ascends to the junction near the first piece of sculpture. Here you retrace your steps to descend through the cathedral like stand of western hemlock to emerge once again at the main entrance.

Trail Name: Seamus Heaney Walk
Recreation Site: The Devil's Glen  [view site]
Trail Start Point: Car Park
Length:4 km
Time: 2 hrs
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate   View Trail Grade Definitions
Metres Climb: 50
Attributes: Loop Trail (Returns to Starting Point)
Finish Point: Car Park
Trail Way marking:yellow