Wicklow’s Wonderful Playlist

The walk from the Dargle River to Arklow on the Avoca is about 54k, taking in, near enough, the coastline of County Wicklow. After Arklow, there is a short stretch to Clogga Beach after which Kilmichael Point marks the border with Wexford. I haven’t done that yet, but it’s on my list.

All the way to Wicklow Town we kept to the coast, though after that access was restricted to select entry points. It’s been an epic in seventeen parts. The first seven were in Bray which certainly offers plenty, though we had barely covered a mile of our journey before embarking on the cliff walk to Greystones. That’s about a 7k stretch and you’d do it easily in ninety minutes. If you want to do it via Bray Head and Summit, it will take a bit longer with a climb to 240 metres. You can make it a loop walk or go station to station and take DART in one direction. 

Greystones all the way to Wicklow is along the beach for a little over 20k. Detours to Newcastle and the East Coast Bird Sanctuary were taken. The Bird Sanctuary is a good outing of itself. Greystones to Newcastle is around 8k, and it’s another 13k to Wicklow.

Wicklow was good for a bit of exploration. South of the town you can navigate the headland by way of the Black Castle and join the Glen Beach Cliff Walk as far as the Lighthouses. Wicklow to Arklow is a distance of about 25k, but there’s no one coastal path. We drove it and dropped into Magheramore Beach and Brittas Bay, the latter a splendid walk end to end of about 5k. After Mizen Head, the road runs close to the sea for 12k all the way into Arklow.

And of course, what kept us going was the travellers tales, the myths and legends, and the songs playing in our heads. Much of the playlist is provided by local artists, some a bit further afield. 

Double Cross, (Fintan Coughlan), Tired and Emotional/Mary Coughlan (1985)

Telstar, (Joe Meek) The Original Telstar – The Sounds of the Tornados/The Tornados (1962)

The Wanderer, (Ernie Maresca ), Dion (1961)

Mr Tambourine Man, (Bob Dylan), Mr Tambourine Man/The Byrds (1965)

Teenage Kicks, (John O’Neill), Teenage Kicks/The Undertones (1978)

Nothing Compares 2U, (Prince), I do not want what I haven’t got/Sinead O’Connor (1990)

Meetings of the Waters (Fionn Regan), Meetings of the Waters/Fionn Regan (2017)

Sloop John B, (Trad,. Arr. Brian Wilson), Pet Sounds/The Beachboys (1966)

Candle in the Wind, (John/Taupin), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road/Elton John (1973)

Wish You Were Here, (Gilmour/Waters), Wish You were Here/Pink Floyd (1975)

Holy Moses (Slattery/McCabe), The Cujo Family/The Cujo Family (2010)

The Herring (Trad), Drinkin’ and Courtin’/The Dubliners (1968)

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Robert Hazzard), She’s So Unusual/Cyndi Lauper (1983)

Zephyr Song (Balzary/Fruscianti/Kiedis/Smith), By the Way/Red Hot Chilli Peppers (2002)

Come Fly With Me (Cahn/Van Heusen), In the Wee Small Hours/Frank Sinatra (1955)

The Parting Glass (Trad), Hozier (2021)

Anchorage (Michelle Shocked), Short, Sharp, Shocked/Michelle Shocked (1988)

Suzanne (Leonard Cohen) Songs of Leonard Cohen/Leonard Cohen (1967)

Follow Me Up to Carlow (P.J. McCall), Planxty/Planxty (1973)

Do It Again (Brian Wilson/Mike Love), The Beachboys (1968)

The Meeting of the Waters (Thomas Moore), John McCormack.

The Streets of Arklow (Van Morrison), Veedon Fleece/Van Morrison (1974)

4 thoughts on “Wicklow’s Wonderful Playlist

  1. Hi Shane

    What a brilliant Wicklow odyssey you have brought us on from the darkest days of January to the brighter days of July. I have really enjoyed every instalment. Thanks for all of the interesting facts and, most of all, thanks for the paintings and the soundtrack. You have lifted the mood of what was otherwise a challenging enough year. Fair play.

    Paul Hickey

    • Thanks Paul. Walking and writing on Wicklow’s coast has helped me through these dark times, and I am delighted to hear your views and positive comments. As you have said, we live in a great part of the world (even if we are confined to it). I topped this with a painting of the Harbour Bar as it is a favourite haunt of mine. I was there today. Can recommend the pints!

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