Ireland is known for its gorgeous scenery. Just 40 minutes outside Dublin you will encounter luscious green mountains, hundreds of grazing sheep by the grassy hills, and streams teeming with wildlife. Unfortunately, it can be a little hard to enjoy the scenery if you are unprepared for the weather. Weather in Ireland is entirely unpredictable. Locals often joke that Ireland can experience all four seasons in one day! This is a completely factual statement. While hiking outside of Dublin, we experienced freezing rain for a few minutes which stopped to transform into a gorgeous sunny day, back to freezing rain a few hours later. Again, this is important; The weather is very unpredictable! I have learned not to trust the weather app. If you ever travel to Ireland, make sure you bring layers. This is important because if you bring a single heavy jacket, it is not adequate for the weather. The temperature changes so much during the day that it is better to bring a bag filled with an extra sweater or two. A rain jacket is a must bring item! Rain jackets are typically light, so it is never too much of an inconvenience to bring in your bag. I would advise everyone traveling to Ireland to also bring sunglasses. One key item I wish I had brought with me were wool socks. If you have hiking shoes, make sure to bring those as well. I would advise to bring hiking shoes that have already been broken into, just to avoid any possible issues with pain of the shoes being too small.
There are several amazing hiking spots in Ireland, but my favorite has to be at the Wicklow Mountains. Being in this area makes it feel almost as if you are on an alien planet. Mountains encompass the land, enclosing you in a green world. Located there is a lake called the Guinness Lake, named for its dark color that closely resembles the color of the Guinness drink. The movie “P.S. I Love You,” was filmed here.
In the middle of the mountainous area is the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. It is a remote little building that has the purpose of holding peace making discussions with terrorist and political groups. This non profit has worked especially hard with assisting people affected by the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland political issues. It is located in the Wicklow Mountains to remain is a more neutral area. If it were located in Northern Ireland, that would pose more issues to bring in people from both sides of the issue. Being in such a beautiful area must also have an effect on those who come to reconcile their issues.