Lough Tay

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Lough Tay
The Guinness Lake
Luggala and Lough Tay, Wicklow, Ireland.jpg
Lough Tay with the east-facing granite cliffs of Luggala overlooking behind
Lough Tay is located in Ireland
Lough Tay
Lough Tay
LocationWicklow Mountains, County Wicklow
Coordinates53°06′22″N 6°16′00″W / 53.106014°N 6.266763°W / 53.106014; -6.266763Coordinates: 53°06′22″N 6°16′00″W / 53.106014°N 6.266763°W / 53.106014; -6.266763
Native nameLoch Té  (Irish)
Primary inflowsCloghoge River
Primary outflowsCloghoge River
Basin countriesIreland
Surface area48.1 ha (119 acres)
Average depth10.1 m (33 ft)
Max. depth35 m (115 ft)
Water volume0.005 km3 (0.0012 cu mi)
Surface elevation246 m (807 ft)

Lough Tay (Irish: Loch Té), is a small but scenic lake set on private property in the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland. The lake lies between the mountains of Djouce 725 metres (2,379 ft), and Luggala 595 metres (1,952 ft), and is dominated by Luggala's east-facing granite cliffs.[1] The lough is fed by the Cloghoge River, which then drains into Lough Dan to the south. Lough Tay forms part of the Guinness Estate at Luggala, and has limited public access.[2][3]


The English name derives from the Irish name, Loch Té, meaning 'tea lake', because of its similarity to strong Irish tea. The nickname, 'The Guinness Lake' name comes from the former owners of the land. The lake is part of the former Guinness estate, owned by Arthur Guinness.[4] Another claimed reason for it to be called the "Guinness Lake" is that the Guinness family imported white sand and laid it over a beach on the northern shore of the lake to make it look like a pint of Guinness.[5]

Scenic viewpoint[edit]

The view into Lough Tay (with the cliffs of Luggala behind) is a popular scenic viewpoint in Wicklow and is easily viewed from one of the several car-parks along the R759 road (e.g. Ballinastoe Wood, and the J.B. Malone car-parks). A short hike up the first boardwalked section of the path to the summit of Djouce mountain, to the J.B. Malone memorial stone (part of the 131-kilometre Wicklow Way trail), is another popular scenic viewpoint of the lough.[1][2]


Bertrand Russell[edit]

The philosopher Bertrand Russell said that when he was young he twice visited Ireland with his Aunt Agatha he visited Lough Tay. He visited on his own and with Michael Davitt and he said that the beautiful scenery made a profound impression on him and highlighted the small lake at Lugala. He returned half a century later with his friend Crompton Davies and they revisited Lugala but they looked over it from a wood set above the lake rather than the pebbly shore Russell remembered. This experience convinced Russell that one should not try and renew old memories.[6][7]


Lough Tay is the setting for the fictional village of Kattegat in the 2013 television historical drama series Vikings.[8][9]

Other film usage[edit]

Lough Tay features prominently in other films including the 1974 film Zardoz and 1981 film Excalibur by John Boorman.[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dillion, Paddy (1993). The Mountains of Ireland: A Guide to Walking the Summits. Cicerone. ISBN 978-1852841102. Walk 1:White Hill, Djouce Mountain, War Hill
  2. ^ a b Fairbairn, Helen (2014). Dublin & Wicklow: A Walking Guide. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892019.
  3. ^ Lorna Siggins (10 August 2018). "State urged to buy 4,000 acres of Luggala estate for public use". Irish Times. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Lough Tay, Ireland". mytouristmaps.com.
  5. ^ "Lough tay - The Guinness Lake". Visit Wicklow. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  6. ^ Russell, Bertrand (1951). Autobiography. p. 35.
  7. ^ Daniel Farrell. "Lough Tay – A jewel in Wicklow's crown". Coast Monkey. Coast Monkey. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  8. ^ Penny Walker (29 November 2019). "The Irish lough masquerading as a Scandinavian fjord". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  9. ^ Neela Debnath (24 January 2018). "Vikings season 5 location: Where is Vikings filmed? Where is it set?". Daily Express. Retrieved 12 July 2019. Previous filming locations for Vikings include Lough Tay - which is also known as the Guinness Lake due to being owned by the famous family - stands in for Kattegat Village, which is home to Ragnar Lothbrok (played by Travis Fimmel) and his family.
  10. ^ "Chasing Wicklow's vibrant filming trail". independent.ie. 10 September 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2020.