Your home from home with a warm Irish welcome
You might not arrive by horse like our first guests in 1608...
But we’ll still greet you the same way.
With a big, warm Irish welcome to our Wicklow hotel.
So check-in, grab yourself a creamy Guinness or a steaming cuppa and make yourself at home.
In the winter you can sit next to the roaring fire and listen to the locals chat and cackle in our cosy bar. In the summer you’ll probably find yourself down at our lively outdoor BBQ restaurant The Smokehouse — home to some of Ireland’s finest meat platters.
Either way, you’ll enjoy the craic. We are passionate about food, drink, and live music. So you can expect plenty of that. Right in the heart of the Wicklow Way.
A few guests that have enjoyed our historic hospitality…
Charles Stewart Parnell
Éamon de Valera
In the words of our lovely guests
“We felt we were at home”
“A real Irish welcome”
So what’s the story behind Ireland’s oldest hotel?
What started as a small coaching in for tired travellers in the 17th century, is now one of Wicklow’s most loved hotels.
Lovingly owned and managed by the O’Brien family, who bought the hotel in 1993, it’s changed a fair bit over the years.
Take a peek at our timeline below to see it’s 400 year old story…
The Woodenbridge was first licensed as a coaching house — it was one of the first inland stops for people walking or riding in from the coast.
The King’s representative, the ill-fated Earl of Stafford, was a regular guest at Woodenbridge. He normally began his journey at Arklow Castle and travelled to his lodge, staying here en-route. He wrote glowing accounts of the scenery in letters to King Charles I.
The Woodenbridge itself arrived! A strong timber bridge was erected by King William’s army which became known as the wooden bridge...
The new coach roads that came with the bridge gave the inn much more business. Known as the Putland Arms Hotel, it was run by the Bowland family for several generations.
The inn became a key place to stay during the great Wicklow gold rush when gold was discovered on nearby Croghan Mountain. Guests included the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Sir Walter Scott.
Eamon De Valera spent his honeymoon with Sinéad De Valera at the Woodenbridge Hotel. The room they stayed in is now named in their honour.
Across the road from the hotel, John Redmond gave a famous speech at the outbreak of WW1. He called on all Irishmen to fight the war in defence of ‘morality, freedom and religion.’
Michael Collins, the revolutionary hero of the War of Independence, stayed at the hotel while engaging in secret meetings with senior British Army officers.
The O’Brien family bought the hotel and worked hard to refurbish it and bring it up to modern standards, while retaining its original and historic charm.
The family added 12 more rooms to the main hotel, nine of which have their own balconies overlooking Woodenbridge Golf Club and some of the country’s most spectacular scenery.
The Woodenbridge Lodge was opened with 40 new bedrooms besides the scenic Aughrim River.
The Woodenbridge Hotel celebrated its 400th birthday! (Lots of cake was consumed).
After a difficult year for all following the outbreak of Covid-19, we opened our new outdoor barbecue restaurant the Smokehouse and enjoyed a very memorable summer.
Ready to be part of our epic story?
*best rate guaranted