The Braveheart Drive covers the western portion of County Wicklow.  Many of the spectacular fighting and panoramic scenes from this Oscar-winning film (Braveheart) were shot on location in the scenic hills and valleys of the Wicklow Mountains. Hundreds of soldiers of the Irish Army Reserves acted as extras in this legendary tale of Scottish history and Scottish hero, William Wallace.

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The 50-mile long driving route begins in the small village of Hollywood (yes, this is the original Hollywood after which California’s Hollywood was named!) and sets off in the direction of the Wicklow Gap, a scenic wonder in itself.

Blessington is also the site of the historic Russborough House which dates from 1741.  The house was built in the Palladian style using granite from a nearby quarry, and is now a gallery and museum housing the Beit Collection of paintings and fine displays of silver, bronze and porcelain.

From Blessington the drive continues to Manor Kilbride and through the western Wicklow Mountain range past the peat bogs of the Sally Gap.  The Sally Gap (along route R115) is another spectacular scenic wonder of the Wicklow Mountains with breathtaking views in all directions.  At the end of the Sally Gap you reach the village of Laragh, a good place for a traditional tea or a meal in one of the village’s numerous tearooms.

The drive continues on to Glendalough, site of the 5th Century St. Kevin’s Monastery and settlement, which includes one of the best-preserved and tallest round towers in Europe.  Glendalough is steeped in spiritual and archaeological history and has become one of the best known and most popular sites in Ireland; definitely a place to stop and take a magical walk through history. It is also not difficult to understand why filmmakers are drawn to these beautifully preserved ruins and pristine surroundings which have a mythical quality and no hint of modern life.

Leaving Glendalough, the drive heads back onto the route through the Wicklow Gap and returns to the village of Hollywood to end the drive.  Now is the time to stop for a pint in one of the traditional pubs in the village.

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