Although Glencree is 5km off the Wicklow Way, walkers that are interested in learning more about Irish History are encouraged to take a day off the trail and visit somewhere that is truely unique. After the 1798 Irish Rebellion, the Military Road and Glencree Barracks were built. In a little over 200 years, the Great Famine and both World Wars have all had reprecussions for this quiet corner of Wicklow.
Set amidst all of this history is the Armoury Café which is located in one of the wings of the Military Barracks. An exhibition area on the upper floor of the café puts into perspective all of the main historic events and their effect on the surrounding area.
Because of its remote location in the Wicklow Mountains, the Armoury Café plays an important role for the outdoor enthusiast. Walkers and cyclists are welcome to use the campus as a base for their days activities. The café can be used as a meeting point in the morning for breakfast and a place where a packed lunch can also be purchased. The adjoining shop stocks important items that are easily forgotten, such as warm hiking socks, a woolly hat and local maps.
Later in the afternoon, upon completion of the walk or cycle, a reviving cup of coffee and a muffin are available or those with a larger appetite can opt for a hot meal. The Armoury Café is also licensed to sell wine or beer. In addition to the indoor seating areas, diners are welcome to sit outside on the verandah and bask in the afternoon sun.
Walking groups that are looking for a unique venue for a Christmas party, birthday celebration or even an AGM, can enquire about the function areas within the café. Each of the two floors can comfortably seat 40 people and an extra marquee area can be erected outside for larger events.
More information about the history of Glencree can be read in the Glencree Story, which is available to buy in the shop.