The Belmont Way is a 5.5km route that offers a varied, and at times, challenging walk, through some of north Wicklow’s most interesting landscape that includes native woodland, farmland and the shoulder of The Little Sugarloaf and its commanding views.
As a liner route it can be enjoyed from either direction. Sitting neatly between the Bray Head Loop and the Sugar Loaf Way, the trail also forms a central section of the new Wicklow Uplands Way allowing for a longer, more vigorous challenge when combined with either or both options (please see the video below for more on these connected trails).
If starting from the eastern entrance of the Belmont Demesne, the trail commences at the gateway of the 18th century estate along a meandering path through the mature woodland made up of a collection of lofty native trees.
Leaving the leafy paths behind, The Belmont Way meets the heart of the estate, which includes a number of outdoor-based activities set around the grounds of the old stone-walled garden. It is here, in the courtyard, that refreshments can be found in Arthur’s Barn – an oak building recreated using traditional building techniques for the 2004 Disney film ‘King Arthur’. Ample picnic table seating, toilets and occasional exhibitions may be a welcome momentary distraction.
Leaving this humming activity behind, the route continues upward through working farmland, with livestock and seasonable lambs likely to appear as a welcoming party. Dogs must be on a leash and under control at all times.
Hugging the fields along an old stone wall, the route enters its most strenuous section as it climbs the eastern side of the Little Sugar Loaf – the twin sister of the Great Sugar Loaf located across the valley. The ever-moving stone surface can be uneven in places, as the trail emerges around the southern slopes where commanding views of the uplands and many of it’s popular peaks can be viewed in a panoramic vista stretching south to north.
It is at this point, that a walker can diverge to the double peaks of the Little Sugar Loaf to delight in a truly 360 degree experience that incorporates the Wicklow coastline, the iconic Bray Head and the uplands of counties Wicklow and Dublin.
The Belmont Way follows a well-trodden stoney path to descend towards the village of Kilmacanogue, where it connects to some of the area’s old public roadways to reach the heart of the village and the historic gateway to Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains.
It is here that the yellow walking man guides walkers safely across the busy N11 road with the use of a pedestrian bridge before emerging in front of the impressive early 19th century St. Mochonog’s Church and graveyard.
A recent addition to the village, is its centenary garden, built by the local community to commemorate the 1916 rising, where walkers could perhaps enjoy a well-deserved break on one of its seats. It is here that that the trailhead can be found, next to a parking area that offers ample spaces for The Belmont Way and also The Sugar Loaf Way that commences across the road.
Commencing at Belmont Demesne – Parking is available at a nominal charge inside the estate grounds. Please note the seasonal closing times on signage.
Commencing at Kilmacanogue Village – Public parking is available at the trailhead of both the Belmont Way and the Sugar Loaf Way.
Length: 5.5 km
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Format: Linear Trail
Dogs Allowed: On a lead as it crosses areas of recreational activities, picnic dining and parking areas. Grazing sheep and cattle are present.
Waymarking: Yellow Walking Man