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Log na Coille
Lugnaquilla from Glenmalure.jpg
Looking into the Fraughan Rock Glen (river) and the summit of Lugnaquilla (back, centre)
Highest point
Elevation925 m (3,035 ft) [1][2][3]
Prominence905 m (2,969 ft) [1]
ListingCounty top (Wicklow), P600, Marilyn, Furth, Hewitt, Arderin, Simm, Vandeleur-Lynam
Coordinates52°58′02″N 6°27′53″W / 52.96714°N 6.464618°W / 52.96714; -6.464618Coordinates: 52°58′02″N 6°27′53″W / 52.96714°N 6.464618°W / 52.96714; -6.464618[1]
English translationhollow of the wood
Language of nameIrish
Lugnaquilla is located in island of Ireland
Location in Ireland
LocationCounty Wicklow,
Parent rangeWicklow Mountains
OSI/OSNI gridT032917
Topo mapOSI Discovery 56
Mountain typeAphyric granodiorite, (Percys Table Granodiorite)[1]
Easiest routeGlen of Imaal Route

Lugnaquilla[4] (from Irish: Log na Coille, meaning "hollow of the wood")[5] at 925 metres (3,035 ft), is the 11th–highest peak in Ireland on the Arderin scale,[6] and the 13th–highest peak on the Vandeleur-Lynam scale,[7] and the highest mountain outside of Kerry on all scales.[8] Lugnaquilla is the County Top for Wicklow, and the Provincial Top for Leinster. Lugnaquilla is in the Wicklow Mountains, and overlooks the Glen of Imaal to the west and Glenmalure to the east.


The Geological Survey of Ireland ("GSI") describe Lugnaquilla as a "slate capped, granite rooted, relatively flat–topped mountain".[9] Crags of dark–grey schist protrude from the upper cliff walls of Lugnaquilla's corries which are Ordovician in age.[9] The protrusions of lighter grey rock are granite. The cap of schist overlying Lugnaquilla's granite core is the remnant roof of the magma chamber into which the Lugnaquilla granites were emplaced.[9] Cosmogenic dating on exposed bedrock showed that these schists were not covered by ice during the Last Glacial Maximum, and thus Lugnaquilla was a nunatak.[9]


Lugnaquilla is described as a "bulky mountain", with a large plateau–type grassy summit (known as Percy's Table), bounded on two sides by steep glacial corries called the "North Prison" and the "South Prison".[10] On Lugnaquilla's eastern side is the cliff–lined hanging valley of Fraughan Rock Glen, which then falls into the glacial U-shaped valley of Glenmalure.[11] Lugnaquilla does not have a rocky summit or summit ridge, and is instead described as a "sprawling mountain moorland".[12]

Lugnaquilla is also the source of the River Slaney.[13]

Lugnaquilla is the highest mountain of the Wicklow Mountains range, and the highest mountain in Ireland outside County Kerry.[8] Lugnaquila's large prominence qualifies it to meet the P600 classification (mountains known as the "Majors" in Britain and Ireland), and the Britain and Ireland Marilyn classification.[14] Lugnaquilla is the fourth highest mountain in the MountainViews Online Database, 100 Highest Irish Mountains.[15][8]

It is the 432nd–highest mountain, and 21st most prominent mountain, in Britain and Ireland, on the Simms classification.[14] Lugnaquilla is regarded by the Scottish Mountaineering Club ("SMC") as one of 34 Furths, which is a mountain above 3,000 ft (914 m) in elevation, and meets the other SMC criteria for a Munro (e.g. "sufficient separation"), but which is outside of (or furth) Scotland;[16] which is why Lugnaquilla is referred to as one of the 13 Irish Munros.[17][18]


Irish academic Paul Tempan wrote in his 2010 Irish Hill and Mountain Names, that the summit plateau is marked as Percy's Table, named after an 18th–century local landowner, Colonel Percy.[5][11] This is similar to Dawson's Table on the summit of Galtymore. Tempan also notes that P.W. Joyce gave the original form as Log na Coilleach, which translates as "hollow of the (grouse) cocks", however, Tempan says that "this seems doubtful".

Tempan clarifies the name has no connection with the deity Lug, despite the common use of the term Lug as shorthand for Lugnaquilla,[5] and that in some spellings of the name, several OS maps and guidebooks for example (e.g. Paddy Dillion's guidebooks[10]), an "i" is added to give "Lugnaquillia"; however Tempan settles on "Lugnaquilla" as the proper name for the mountain.[5]

Hill walking[edit]

Looking into the "north prison" of Lug from Camarahill in the Glen of Imaal.

The shortest route to the summit of Lugnaquilla is the 13–kilometre 4–5 hour Glen of Imaal Route (the "Tourist Route"), that starts at Fenton's Pub in the Glen of Imaal, and goes along the military access road via a grassy hill to Camarahill (S998924) 480 metres (1,570 ft), and then up to the summit of Lugnaquilla.[11] The route crosses into the military artillery range, so walkers should check the range operating times in advance.[19][10]

Arts Lough below the summit of Lug, looking across the Fraughan Rock Glen

The 15–kilometre 5–6 hour Glenmalure Loop is described as "the most scenic circuit to Lugnaquilla".[11] It starts in the Baravore car park (T066942) at the head of the Glenmalure valley and summits Lugnaquilla via the cliff–fringed hanging valley, Fraughan Rock Glen (the Glen is entered via the path at the Glenmalure Hostel); but returning via Cloghernagh 800 metres (2,600 ft), and down to the scenic Arts Lough 511 metres (1,677 ft), described as "one of the region's most beautiful sights", before descending back to the start of the Fraughan Rock Glen.[11]

Summit of Lugnaquilla from the Fraughan Rock Glen path

The third, and least frequented route is the 16–kilometre 6 hour Aghavannagh Route, which starts at the Aghavannagh Bridge (T056861) and walks the long forest tracks along the River Ow to the dramatic "South Prison" of Lugnaquilla, which is exited via the grassy–ramp of Green Street; return via same route. The 12–kilometres of forest trails (getting to the south prison, and then on the return to the bridge) can be cycled instead.[11]


  • Fairbairn, Helen (2014). Dublin & Wicklow: A Walking Guide. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892019.
  • Fairbairn, Helen (2014). Ireland's Best Walks: A Walking Guide. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892118.
  • MountainViews Online Database (Simon Stewart) (2013). A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits: The Vandeleur-Lynams & the Arderins. Collins Books. ISBN 978-1-84889-164-7.
  • Dillion, Paddy (2005). Irish Coast to Coast : Dublin to Bray Head. Cicerone. ISBN 978-1852844332.
  • Dillion, Paddy (1993). The Mountains of Ireland: A Guide to Walking the Summits. Cicerone. ISBN 978-1852841102.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d MountainViews: Lugnaquilla
  2. ^ Peakbagger
  3. ^ Ordnance Survey Ireland :: Mapping :: Aerial photography Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Lugnaquilla. Placenames Database of Ireland.
  5. ^ a b c d Paul Tempan (February 2012). "Irish Hill and Mountain Names" (PDF).
  6. ^ Simon Stewart (October 2018). "Arderins: Irish mountains of 500+m with a prominence of 30m". MountainViews Online Database.
  7. ^ Simon Stewart (October 2018). "Vandeleur-Lynams: Irish mountains of 600+m with a prominence of 15m". MountainViews Online Database.
  8. ^ a b c Mountainviews, (September 2013), "A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits: The Vandeleur-Lynams & the Arderins", Collins Books, Cork, ISBN 978-1-84889-164-7
  9. ^ a b c d "Lugnaquilla" (PDF). Geological Survey of Ireland. 1 January 2014.
  10. ^ a b c Dillon, Paddy (2001) [1993]. The Mountains of Ireland. Milnthorpe: Cicerone. pp. 47–48. ISBN 1-85284-110-9.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Fairbairn, Helen (2014). Dublin & Wicklow: A Walking Guide. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892019.
  12. ^ Dillion, Paddy (2005). Irish Coast to Coast : Dublin to Bray Head. Cicerone. ISBN 978-1852844332.
  13. ^ Derek Evans (11 December 2006). "Bridging the Slaney from source to sea". Irish Times. The Slaney begins at Lugnaquilla in Co Wicklow and 13 bridges later flows through Co Carlow from where it commences a leisurely journey through the rich farmlands of Co Wexford.
  14. ^ a b Chris Cocker; Graham Jackson (2018). "The Database of British and Irish Hills". Database of British and Irish Hills.
  15. ^ "Irish Highest 100: The highest 100 Irish mountains with a prominence of +100m". MountainViews Online Database. September 2018.
  16. ^ Mountains – Key Facts. The Munros, Corbetts, Grahams, Donalds & Furths at Accessed on 5 Feb 2013.
  17. ^ "Hill Lists: Furths". Scottish Mountaineering Club. The list of peaks of 3000ft or more within the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland outside (furth) of Scotland. There are currently 34 Furths.
  18. ^ "Ireland's Munros". Ireland's Own. 26 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Hiking Lugnaquilla: Everything You Need to Know". 2018. Another quite popular and slightly easier approach to the mountain is from the Glen of Imaal, starting near Fenton’s Pub (Approx 11/12km return). This is the shortest route. You walk up along the military access road via a grassy hill to Camara Hill, but again be careful of the artillery range as this route goes straight through it.

External links[edit]