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Fancy Mountain
Luggala and Lough Tay, Wicklow, Ireland.jpg
Luggala behind Lough Tay.
Highest point
Elevation595 m (1,952 ft) [1]
Prominence110 m (360 ft) [1]
Coordinates53°06′21″N 6°17′01″W / 53.10583°N 6.28361°W / 53.10583; -6.28361
Native nameLog an Lágh (Irish)
English translationHollow of the hill
Irish: [ˈl̪ˠɔɡ ə ˈl̪ˠaː]
Luggala is located in island of Ireland
Location in Ireland
LocationWicklow, Republic of Ireland
Parent rangeWicklow Mountains
OSI/OSNI gridO1501307403
Topo mapOSi Discovery 56
Mountain typeGranite with microcline phenocrysts[1]
Easiest routeWicklow Way, from R759 north
Lough Tay (l), Luggala (c), and Luggala Lodge (r)

Luggala (Irish: Log an Lá, meaning "Hollow of the hill"), also called Fancy Mountain (from Irish Fuinnse, meaning 'ash-tree')[2] at 595 metres (1,952 ft), is the 230th–highest peak in Ireland on the Arderin scale,[3] however, being below 600 m it does not rank on the Vandeleur-Lynam or Hewitt scales.[4][5] Luggala is in the northeastern section of the Wicklow Mountains, and overlooks Lough Tay; the mountain and lake are part of the larger 5,000 acre Guinness Estate (including Luggala Lodge).[6][7] The east-facing cliffs of Luggala, that look into Lough Tay, have many recognised graded rock-climbing routes.[8]


According to Irish academic Paul Tempan, "Price's interpretation of this name as Log an Lágh, or 'hollow of the hill', is doubtful";[2] pointing out that there is no evidence in any Irish language dictionaries for the existence of the term "lágh".[2] He also notes that the other term "Lá" is unlikely to be a translation of "day"; instead, Tempan records the translation as unresolved listing it in Irish Hill and Mountain Names as "hollow of the [obscure element]".[2]

Luggala Estate[edit]

Luggala Lodge

Luggala forms a part of the 25 km2 (9.7 sq mi) 5,000 acre Luggala Estate (also known as the Guinness Estate), which was owned by wealthy arts patron Garech Browne, the great-great-great-grandson of Arthur Guinness, until his death in 2018.[9][10] In 2018, the Luggala Estate included the mountains of Luggala and Knocknacloghoge, the entire lake of Lough Tay, and part of the lake of Lough Dan.[11]

The estate was developed by the La Touche family, who founded Bank of Ireland.[12][13] In 1787, Peter LaTouche built the gothic Luggala Lodge (or "Luggala Castle"), as a hunting lodge which he modeled on Strawberry Hill House in London.[9][14][12] In 1937, Arthur Ernest Guinness purchased the Luggala Estate and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter Oonagh on her second marriage to Lord Oranmore and Browne; she then gifted the property to her son Garech in 1970.[9][13][10] By 2018, Luggala Lodge was a 7,437 square feet, 7-bedroom property, and the Estate had 16,379 square feet of total property.[9][11]

The buildings on the estate, including the Lodge, have been rented out commercially, and have included famous guests such as Mick Jagger, The Beatles and latterly, Michael Jackson.[9][15] The estate and grounds have been used as the location of some films, including Zardoz, Braveheart, Excalibur, and King Authur, as well as the historical drama television series Vikings, where it is featured as the fictional village of Kattegat.[16][9]

In 2017, before his death, Browne put the entire estate up for sale with an asking price of Euro 28 million.[9][13] In 2006, Browne had sold 1,600 acres of the estate to the Irish state for Euro 1.6 million, which is now part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park.[17]

On 27 August 2019, the Irish Times reported that the estate had been sold to an overseas buyer at a "substantial discount" to the asking price.[18]


Looking down on to the Cloghoge River in the estate, to which hill-walkers have been allowed access

In 2018, the Barbican International Corporation (BIC), a Guinness family Guernsey-based trust who controlled the Luggala Estate, erected new "private property" signage and a notice on a gate just off the R759 road frequently used by the public – called the "Pier gate" – that it would be locked after 5.30 pm.[17]

The BIC trust clarified in a statement that: "There are no public rights of way or rights of access to any of the estate. However, successive owners over recent years permitted public access to certain parts of the estate via the present pedestrian access gate [the Pier gate]".[19]

The action led to protests by hill-walking groups, and calls on the Irish state to purchase the Luggala Estate – which was being offered for sale by the BIC trust for Euro 28 million – and which was bordered on three sides by the Wicklow Mountains National Park.[20][21][22]



Access permitting, the most common route to the summit of Luggala is from the public access gate on the R759 – known as the "Pier gates" (O173065). This 7-kilometre, circa 2.5-hour route (to the summit and back), descends a tarmac road down to the bridge of Cloghoge River, where it then leaves the road (that continues on to Lough Dan), to ascend up the 400-metre long shoulder to the summit ridge of Luggala; the path is then retraced back to the Pier gates.[23] There is a sandy/gravel mountain path from just beyond the bridge of Cloghoge River, that cuts through the ferns and heathers on Luggala, to the final summit ridge, however, it can be difficult to find in poor weather or low visibility.[24]

A longer 12-kilometre, circa 5-hour route, incorporates the neighbouring peak of Knocknacloghoge 534 metres (1,752 ft) and Lough Dan, before returning to the Pier gates; it is described as "surely one of the most scenic walks in the Wicklow Mountains".[24]

Rock climbing[edit]

Cliffs used by rock climbers

Luggala's east-facing granite cliffs are a rock-climbing location, however, route-finding can be difficult and the conditions are described as a "serious mountain crag".[8] As of July 2019, the online climbing database lists 129 climbs, with the majority in the VS 4c to E1 5b grade categories, however, there are also several extreme routes such as Precious Metal (E7 6c), and The Great Roof (E6 5c, 6c).[8]

The Irish Online Climbing Database records 5 major sections: G & H Buttresses, Woody Wall & Conifer Buttress (Creag Conaisreach), South Buttress (Creag Fasra), Main Face, and North Buttress (Creag Thuaidh).[25] It notes the rock is coarser with better friction than that of Glendalough, however, in contrast to Glendalough, the routes are less direct and don't follow obvious crack-lines; it also notes that the zig-zag nature of routes means that an ability to use double-rope techniques is important to avoid friction drag.[25] Classic climbs are Pine Tree Buttress (S 4a), Muskrat Ramble (HVC 4b,5a,4c), and Dance of the Tumblers (E1 5b).[8][25][26]



  • O'Byrne, Robert (September 2018). Luggala Days: The story of a Guinness house. CICO Books. ISBN 978-1782496342.

Hill walking[edit]

Rock climbing[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Luggala". MountainViews Online Database. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Paul Tempan (February 2012). "Irish Hill and Mountain Names" (PDF).
  3. ^ Simon Stewart (October 2018). "Arderins: Irish mountains of 500+m with a prominence of 30m". MountainViews Online Database.
  4. ^ Simon Stewart (October 2018). "Vandeleur-Lynams: Irish mountains of 600+m with a prominence of 15m". MountainViews Online Database.
  5. ^ Mountainviews, (September 2013), "A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits: The Vandeleur-Lynams & the Arderins", Collins Books, Cork, ISBN 978-1-84889-164-7
  6. ^ Dillion, Paddy (1993). The Mountains of Ireland: A Guide to Walking the Summits. Cicerone. ISBN 978-1852841102.
  7. ^ Simon Stewart (2018). "Arderins + Arderin Begs: Irish mountains of 500+m with a prominence of 15+m". MountainViews. Listing selection: All summits (531) in list Arderins + Arderin Begs
  8. ^ a b c d "Luggala". Retrieved 12 July 2019. Luggala is a serious 'mountain crag'. Most routes are rarely climbed and route finding can be a challenge. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Lyons, Madeline (2017-01-25). "Guinness ancestral home in Wicklow goes on sale for €28m". Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
  10. ^ a b O'Byrne, Robert (September 2018). Luggala Days: The story of a Guinness house. CICO Books. ISBN 978-1782496342.
  11. ^ a b "Luggala Estate, Roundwood, County Wicklow, Ireland" (PDF). Sotheby's. Retrieved 14 July 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  12. ^ a b "Legacy lives on". Irish Independent. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  13. ^ a b c Penny Churchill (9 February 2017). "The Guinness family's incredible estate outside Dublin goes up for sale". Country Life. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  14. ^ Turtle Bunbury. "La Touche of Harristown, Co. Kildare". Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  15. ^ Mark Keenan (2014-03-14). "€80,000 per month...the real price of disappearing". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
  16. ^ Penny Walker (29 November 2019). "The Irish lough masquerading as a Scandinavian fjord". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  17. ^ a b Tim O'Brien (1 October 2018). "Closure warning sign at Luggala disappoints hillwalkers". Irish Times. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  18. ^ Orna Mulcahy (28 August 2019). "Vast Luggala estate in Wicklow sold at discount to overseas buyer". Irish Times.
  19. ^ Kevin O'Sullivan (14 October 2018). "No change to public access at Luggala Estate, say owners". Irish Times. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  20. ^ Myles Buchanan (20 October 2018). "Protest over Luggala access gate". Irish Independent. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  21. ^ "Mountaineering Ireland supports petition seeking State purchase of Luggala". Mountaineering Ireland. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  22. ^ Lorna Siggins (10 August 2018). "State urged to buy 4,000 acres of Luggala estate for public use". Irish Times. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  23. ^ Michael Guilfoyle. "Walk for the Weekend: Luggala, Co Wicklow". Irish Times. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  24. ^ a b Fairbairn, Helen (2014). Ireland's Best Walks: A Walking Guide. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892118. Route 59: Luggala and Knocknacloghoge
  25. ^ a b c "Luggala". Irish Online Climbing Database. Retrieved 12 July 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  26. ^ Flanagan, David (2014). Rock Climbing in Ireland. Three Rock Books. ISBN 978-0956787422.

External links[edit]