Day 2 – Clonegal to Shillelagh
The next day, refreshed after a good night’s sleep, we were eager to set off on our adventure. Dressed in our wet weather gear, we were driven by Darina to Clonegal for the start of our walk.
Some visitors won’t be able to walk the whole way but, if you can, you do get a tremendous sense of achievement. The southernmost stretch of the Way certainly has more road walking but you can cover distances a lot quicker on tarmac. This enabled us to get most of the roads out of the way on the first day.
The scenery between Clonegal and Shillelagh is very attractive with small fields of cows and sheep, wild flowers and shrubs in hedgerows and small farms. A certificate is available from Osborne’s Bar in Clonegal on completion of the Wicklow Way. As we were beginning from there Darina offered to fetch our certificates for us if we let her know when we’ve completed the walk.
We had three choices of where to stop at the end of our first day’s walking. As the sun had now come out we decided to walk to the furthest one so we would be well set for the next day and it also meant we finished the day at a pub where we could enjoy a welcome drink. The pub known as The Dying Cow is so called after the grandmother of the current licensee was in trouble with the Garda for serving drinks out of hours. She told them she was only giving drinks to people who were helping with her dying cow. An amazingly old pub, it holds a traditional music night every other Thursday so plan your trip to be there then if you can.
Liam, our host for that night, picked us up from the trail and drove us down into the village. We were staying at the Old Shillelagh and our accommodation for that night was in one of the farm’s outbuildings which had been renovated to a high standard and had the bonus of a fridge. We had a look round the village and ate a well priced meal at the village restaurant. We then went on the the village pub and learnt a bit about the sports of hurling and gaelic football.