Glencullen farm is on Dublin’s doorstep, in the foothills of the Dublin mountains. A hop skip and a jump from the southern suburbs of Dundrum, Knocklyon, Carrickmines and Sandyford, Glencullen Farm is not only in of itself a natural sanctuary, but sits at the head of one of Ireland’s most pristine nature reserves below the fairy castle of Three Rock mountain. Knocksink Woods is a hidden treasure and a rare treat that, thankfully, is utterly unspoilt by tourism or development. The ancient woodland canopy shadowing Glencullen river is breathtaking. To stroll and explore the valley pathways is one of life’s great pleasures. No matter what’s going on in the world, here is a place of timeless peace and quiet, a place where you can truly feel at one with nature. To spend time here is contemplative, soothing, sensory and stimulating, it’s a place where time forgot and long may it last.
The website Walking Routes describes a good day out from Marley Park to Enniskerry taking in Knocksink Wood. Here, I’ve created a looped 10km version of the walk starting and finishing at Glencullen Farm. The uninterrupted views of the sugar loaf and Carrickgollogan (Lead Mines) along bridge road as you walk to Kilmolin are special, the village of Enniskerry always a worthwhile destination, and the trails in to Knocksink Wood from the R117 exciting and alluring. The National Parks and Wildlife Services of Ireland describe Knocksink Woods Nature Reserve as follows:
Some of the valley slopes are dominated by sessile oak, while other areas are characterised by mixed woodland. Notable features of the slopes are the frequent and extensive springs and seepage areas within the woodland. These petrifying springs are listed as a priority habitat in the EU Habitats Directive. The site has one of the most diverse woodland invertebrate faunas in Ireland, incorporating wet woodland organisms threatened internationally within the EU.
For more information, take a look at the Wicklow Country Walks website. Please tread very lightly on this ancient area on special conservation. Even better, bring a bag with you and collect rubbish as you go to take home for waste & recycling. Leave no trace.