Updated: Aug 25, 2022
It’s not difficult to visualise that the Arklow Rock, which dominates the skyline to the South Coast, was once an active volcano. The lava erupting from the earth’s core left impermeable igneous stone, the most valuable of which was blue basalt and speckled grey granite, attracting quarrying at the site since Parnell’s time in the 19th Century.
The quarry is still active however walkers can now enjoy a trail that has been developed by current quarry operators Roadstone, along the higher point of Arklow Rock that skirts around the quarrys’ edge. Follow the gravel path to the rear of The Cove carpark and continue past the tall concrete silos of the quarry. On the right you will see a metal gate and quite a steep incline which is the start of the walk. After this initial climb the gravel trail gently undulates as it hugs the coastline. The linear walk is approximately 5km out and back with stunning views south towards Wexford and the Wicklow Mountains northwards.
The rocky headlands in this area support important breeding colonies of seabirds such as Kittiwake, Guillemot, Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Shag, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull and Fulmar. This is a popular spot for birdwatchers, photographers and walkers.
Parking: Car Park at The Cove – (free)
Nearest public toilets: 5 minute walk – South Beach