For those of you that don’t know, Wexford is situated on the south-east coast of Ireland. The most exciting way to visit the best on what Wexford has to offer is to get out be it by car or foot depending on weather of course! In County Wexford, there are numerous sites, be it historical or recreational, that visitors to the county can see in the matter of a few days. We have narrowed all the amazing places in this country down to 10 in this article.
1. Hook Lighthouse, Hook Peninsula
Hook Lighthouse is situated at the tip of the Hook Peninsula in south County Wexford. It is beautiful to see especially on a clear and sunny day, it is accessible by car or foot so for you walkers this is worth a visit. The Lighthouse itself is one of the oldest in the world and is the second oldest working lighthouse that is still operating to this day.
2. Ferns Castle, Ferns
Another historic site in Co Wexford. Ferns itself is a small village between Gorey and Enniscorthy in the North of the county. The castle itself was built in the early thirteenth century. The castle was originally square shaped, but it was destroyed by Cromwell in 1649. However, guided tours of the castle do take place with the southeastern tower still intact. The castle is accessible by foot or by car and is situated just off the N11.
3. Dunbrody Famine Ship, New Ross
Situated in New Ross the Dunbrody Famine Ship is probably one of most historic sites in the South East of Ireland. The ship itself is a reproduction of an 1840’s emigrant vessel. Many people emigrated Ireland due to the famine to America and the UK to try make a better life for themselves on a ship like this. The ship itself shows what conditions people had to deal with. The guided tour is amazing, and it really gives the visitor a look at how tough times were in the 1840’s. Again, it is accessible and is close to Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford itself. They also have a café on board for visitors who want to relax and enjoy a bite to eat after their guided tour.
4. Loftus Hall, Hook Peninsula
This is one of Wexford’s most visited sites in recent years. It is a large country house which is built on the site of Redmond Hall. Locals have said it is haunted by the devil and by the ghost of a young woman. It got its name Redmond Hall from Raymond Le Gros who landed to fight the 2nd Earl of Pembroke in 1170. He acquired lands and then built the hall known as Redmond Hall. The hall was bought by the Sister of Providence in 1917 and turned into a convent before Michael Devereaux bought it in 1983. However, it is now owned by the Quigley family. Guided tours, seasonal events and paranormal investigations all take place here now.
5. Kilmore Quay Harbour, Kilmore
Probably the most scenic little village in the county, Kilmore is famous for its harbour. It’s a lovely location and attracts many visitors especially throughout the summer months. The village depends on the fishing industry a lot, but it also has lovely sea shore walks, sea side cafes and sea side fish and chip restaurants. There are plenty of free parking spaces and a child play area which would be good if you had children with you on your visit.
6. Johnstown Castle and Gardens
Situated just outside of Wexford Johnstown Castle and Gardens is an ideal place to bring all the family for a day out. The castle was built was the Esmonde family in 1169. The Grogan family acquired the castle and the surrounding grounds, and they developed it even further. The gardens and hothouses which were laid out in 1844 to 1851 are still the same today. There is a magnificent lake also as well lovely walking trails throughout the estate.
7. Wexford Wildfowl Reserve
If you like your wildlife well, then this is the place to go while visiting Wexford. It is home to thousands of ducks, geese, swans and waders. Many birds flock here to feed and breed. At the reserve, a guided tour is provided at 3pm Monday to Friday. The tour is suitable for all ages. There is no cost for the tour also so its something fun and free for all the family to do on a visit to Wexford.
8. The National Opera House
Located in the heart of Wexford town the National Opera House is Ireland’s first custom-built multi-purpose opera house. There are two diverse performance spaces at the venue the John and Aileen O’Reilly Theatre and the Jerome Hynes Theatre. Every autumn Wexford Festival Opera takes place, it offers a wide range on entertainment, from music by top-class performers to comedy and to international tours. Again, it is something for all the family on a short or long-term visit to the county.
9. Irish National Heritage Park
Located on the outskirts of Wexford town this 35-acre site has a lot to offer for visitors. It takes you through 9000 years of Irish Heritage from places of ritual, burial modes and homesteads. This is the place to go for all those interested in Irish history. It caters for all the family, with several activities for children such activity scramble, archery and playgrounds. It’s a short journey to Kilkenny and Waterford, while it’s less than a half hour drive to Rosslare Europort.
10. John F Kennedy Park & Arboretum, New Ross
Situated in New Ross the John F Kennedy Park and Arboretum is a place to go for all the family. It consists of 622 acres, including 4,500 shrubs and flowers and loads of different trees and hedges. The park also has a lake which is a haven for waterfowl. There is also a visitor’s centre and an audio-visual show for those interested. There are also guided tours, signposted walks, picnic areas and a playground for all the family to enjoy.