Why move to Wicklow ?October 27, 2017
Wicklow Town was first founded by the Vikings in the 8th century. The Norse called it Wykinglo, roughly translating as “meadow of the Viking”.
Just east of the N11, and linked by dual carriageway and motorway to the capital 42km away, Wicklow Town has long been popular with house hunters from Dublin and beyond. In addition, regular commuter train services to the city along with connections to Arklow, Wexford and Rosslare Europort, not to mention the odd fixer upper available for as little as €200,000 and you can see what the attraction is.
The ruins of a monastery dating back to Norman times can be found at Abbey Grounds. The Black Castle, founded by the Vikings, was destroyed in 1641 in an attack which led to the massacre of the parish priest and his congregation, it is claimed, in the vicinity of what is now known as Melancholy Lane.
At the northern end of the town, which has a population of 10,500, lies The Murrough, a 15km-long coastal grassy wetland area stretching north almost to Greystones, and where the waters of the Broad Lough enter the sea via the Vartry River. This magnificent wildlife haven is also a popular walking area and as well as hosting the obvious water sports activities, there is a fine children’s playground.
The town has also been boosted by completion of both the Wicklow Port Access Road and the Town Relief Road, which has opened up it up for local car owners and visitors.
In from the harbour, the land rises into rolling hills to the west, going on to meet the Wicklow Mountains in the centre of the county. The dominant feature to the south is the rocky headlands of Bride’s Head and Wicklow Head, the easternmost mainland point of Ireland. The natural elevation of the town means more than the usual access to sea views for dwellers.
Considerable residential development has taken place to the west of the town along Marlton Road (R751). More recently, housing developments have been concentrated to the northwest of the town, towards neighbouring Rathnew.
The county town hosts the headquarters of Wicklow County Council and the offices of Wicklow Urban District Council. Industrial activity (light, medium and heavy) is accommodated in an industrial zone discretely located to the north of the town.
Wicklow county is known as the Garden of Ireland and is home to some of Ireland’s most beautiful gardens, including Mount Usher in Ashford, the National Botanic Gardens at Kilmacurragh and Kilruddery Gardens. There are also the famous Powerscourt Gardens (voted the third best garden in the world by National Geographic), and Avondale House and Forest Park.
The mountains, lakes and coastal areas all offer a vast range of leisure options for Wicklow Town residents, including swimming, diving, climbing, walking, riding, fishing, golf (Wicklow Town GC and Blainroe), GAA (St Patrick’s caters for 19 teams from nursery to minor level), rugby, soccer, hockey and tennis (Wicklow Town TC has Tiger Turf Advantage surface and Philips 1kw court lights).
Meantime, the Wicklow Boat Hire Kayaking and Tackle Shop, based on The Murrough, continues to develop water activity opportunities in the area.
The annual Taste of Wicklow festival, held in June, attracts over 5,000 people to the town, with more than 30 stallholders offering the best in local food in association with TV chef Neven Maguire.
Transport: Bus Éireann (133) and Irish Rail both operate through the town. Bus Éireann provides an hourly (half-hourly at peak time) service to Dublin Connolly and Dublin Airport. Trains also operate to Rosslare Europort.
Schools: The brand new Wicklow Educate Together primary school complex, on the Town Relief Road, near the Rocky Road junction is now open. It has an Early Intervention Pre-School unit, including a sensory garden. Glebe National School, on Church Hill is also highly regarded. At secondary level we have Colaiste Cill Mhantain, a brand new co-ed, the Dominican Convent for girls and East Glendalough School, a co-ed Church Of Ireland option.
Property: Prices in Wicklow are rising, but an average house price of €315,994 still makes it an attractive option for both first time buyers and trader-uppers/downsizers from Dublin. With the easy access afforded via the excellent road network and rail links, more and more people are considering Wicklow town and its environs for their new home.
The best value is to be found in Rathnew or Wicklow town. Houses in Kirvin Hill, a new scheme of A-rated, three-bed homes are selling from €275,000. Comparable schemes in Greystones cost between €395,000 and €420,000. That 10-15 minute journey down the N11 will buy you a lot more house.