top of page

River Swimming Guide to The Slaney, Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow

With Summer turning into Autumn many people are starting to spend more of their time indoors. Those long Summer nights that we’ve become accustomed to are starting to drift away. The evenings are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder. That being said, if you’re brave enough to keep up your outdoor swimming definitely check out the Slaney River!

Stretching from the Western slopes of Lugnaquilla in the Wicklow Mountains down to Wexford Town in the South East of Ireland the river Slaney is one of Ireland's hidden wonders. In ancient times the Slaney was known as one of Ireland's “Rivers of Knowledge“ and since then it has sustained communities for thousands of years. In Baltinglass alone there are 9 hillforts in the immediate area, the abbey is over 800 years old, and the town itself is where the West Wicklow community is still thriving! So why not jump right in for a swim and see what it's all about?

Before your Slaney swim, you'll have to find parking! I'd suggest parking at Baltinglass Abbey, (click on the image above) which is right by the river park and you can check out the ruins beforehand. After parking follow the short path down to the park by the river.

There are loads of benches in the park if you want to sit down with your change of clothes or you can just relax by the river bank and watch the mute swans. Along this side of the river, there are 2 Kayak launches and they’re perfect for taking your first steps into the river. It’s usually not too deep but keep an eye on the river conditions. If you don’t feel comfortable going for a swim you can always just put your feet in and try again another day, the river isn’t going anywhere.

When you’re all finished and you find yourself wanting to spend some quiet time in nature why not head to the very end of the park? Recently a sign has been posted allowing you to take part in a research project run through British and Irish Universities. Just take out your phone, scan the QR code, and follow the easy steps as part of their survey, it’s that simple! Once that’s done I’d recommend heading into Baltinglass and grabbing a coffee and some food in The Little Acorn Cafe. This relatively new restaurant brings exceptional food to the area, and it's definitely worth checking out.

A well-earned breakfast after the swim!

So next time you’re thinking about staying instead give it a second thought. The river Slaney and Baltinglass have a huge amount to offer. Even if it’s a bit cold, wet, and not as bright as it used to be, you can still go and have an incredible time in the outdoors!

24 views0 comments
bottom of page