The Sugar Loaf hike in Wicklow, Ireland is a popular hike and for good reason. Not only is it a very scenic walk, but it’s also a short one. The mountain gives panoramic views of the surrounding countryside as well as views over Dublin City and the Irish Sea. Whether you’re a regular hiker or just looking for a nice Sunday walk, the Sugar Loaf is a great choice. Let me tell you all about it!
Where is the Sugar Loaf Hike in Wicklow
Well as the title of this posts suggests, the Sugar Loaf Hike is in Wicklow, but it’s not far from the Dublin Boarder either. In fact, it’s just 45 minute drive from Dublin City Centre to the Sugar Loaf. It’s also just 13 minutes away from Bray on the Wicklow Coast.
How to get to the Sugar Loaf
Driving to the Sugar Loaf
Firstly, if you’re using Google Maps, be sure to put “The Sugar Loaf car park” into maps, otherwise, it might being you to the wrong location! In terms of driving vs public transport, I can’t lie, I drive everywhere so I would say this is the best way. There is a car park at the entrance. Normally you’ll get a place there but on the weekends it can get a little busy.
Public Transport – Does Public Transport go to the Sugar Loaf
I have never used public transport to get here. While I did find a bus that leaves from Dublin, the closest it seems to get to the mountain is the Village of Kilmacanogue, which is still a 7-minute drive or 1-hour walk to the Sugar Loaf. However, if you know how to get a lift from the village or want to get your 10k steps in before you even start the hike, see this site for the timetable.
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The Sugar Loaf Trail
The reason I love this hike is because you can say you got a hike in, but you won’t be feeling like death afterwards! That’s right, it’s a very doable hike, but you’re still rewarded by incredible views.
How long is the hike? You might ask.
Well, it takes about 45 minutes to reach the top. That is if you don’t need to stop every 5 minutes for a “catch-my-breath” break. The first 10 minutes is through the field from the car park to the bottom of the mountain. It’s a very gentle slope but it can also get incredibly mucky, so wear the proper footwear.
Once you reach the incline, it gets very rough and rocky, so again, footwear is important.
The last 5 – 10 minutes is pretty steep. In fact, it’s quite the scramble to the top. This part would not be suitalbe for anyone with mobility issues or very small children. It can seem quite daunting when you get to this part, but it is very doable and only takes a few minutes to the top. From there, it is all worth it.
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How difficult is the Sugar Loaf Hike? Is the sugar loaf hard to climb?
Overall on difficulty, I’d say it’s on the easy-moderate side. While it’s super short and the first half is basically just a stroll, the top is certainly not a walk in the park. You need to concentrate on your footing, and coming down this part is equally as tricky.
If you find yourself asking “what do I need to bring on the Sugar Loaf Hike”?
Honestly, you don’t need much for this hike. Make sure you have warm/waterproof clothing however as the location is very exposed. After your breath returns at the top, you’ll get cold fast.
You can bring water and a snack but it’s not that important, as if you don’t dally at the top, you could be up and down in an hour and a half.
Enjoy the view though!
After giving your lungs and legs a workout on the way up, you might as well take some time to enjoy the views, which as you’ll see from my video, are absolutely beautiful. There is a mound of rocks at the summit which is the perfect location for a picture before you make the journey back down again.
What is the best time to do the hike?
This hike is pretty quiet during the week but it can be really busy on the weekends. However, if you do decide to go on a weekend, I recommend going for just before sunset time, as generally, at this time, people are all making their way back down.
As coming down is difficult, it’s best to do this when no hoard of people are trying to get up the mountain passed you. BUT if you are doing it for sunset, be sure to have a head torch with you, just incase you spend a little too long at the top.
So what do ya think? Are you going to head for a sunset hike of the Sugar Loaf any time soon?
What other attractions are near the Sugar Loaf?
Well Wicklow is also known as “The Garden of Ireland” and for good reason. If you’re an ourdoor or nature lover, you’ll have plenty to see and do!
Lough Tay/ Guinness Lake
Lough Tay is famous for being the shape and colour of a pint of Guinness. Do you like the black stuff? Then why not head over and take a look for youreslf.
Glendalough is a glacial valley in Co.Wicklow. The landscape here is absolutely stunning. There’s Medieval monuments on the grounds, views of the upper and lower lakes and fabulous walking trails if you want to get another hike in!
Bray & Bray Head
Bray is a great seaside town in Wicklow. There is a seafront walk, a pepple beach and plenty of restaurants should you get peckish. You can also give Bray Head a go, another easy hike in Wicklow!
Where to eat near the Sugar Loaf
Well Bray is just a 10 minute drive away and there are a tonne of pubs and restaurants along the sea front, perfect for a post-hike bite!