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From undulating countryside to rolling waves, Wexford has it all. Rolling rich green fields that blanket the peaceful idyll of rural Wexford slope gently downwards to a golden coast where the soft sand is in a timeless dance with the Irish Sea. County Wexford has been a tourism mecca for Irish people for well over 130 years now!
Elsewhere, the county’s towns and villages are busy contemporary centres where historical buildings nod knowingly at modern architecture as locals and visitors alike partake in the rich tapestry of life that is Wexford today. Things to do in Wexford? Look no further!
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Curracloe beach is over 11km (7 miles) long of pure Blue Flag magnificence, backed by an ancient dune system. The pale gold deserted sands stretch from Raven Point to Ballyconigar near Blackwater. This is where the opening scenes (the Normandy landing) of Saving Private Ryan were filmed. Lifeguards patrol the beach during weekends in June and daily in July and August.
Wexford Opera House
Wexford Opera House is Ireland’s first custom-built, multi-purpose opera house. The stunning landmark building is nestled in the heart of the beautiful Harbour town of Wexford and offers two diverse performance spaces, The John and Aileen O’Reilly Theatre and the Jerome Hynes Theatre. Each autumn it becomes the focus of cultural tourism in the south east during the Opera festival.
It offers a wide range of entertainment, from light opera to popular culture, amateur drama, top comedy acts and international tours.
Enjoy a behind the scenes tour and take in the orchestra pit, artists' dressing rooms, backstage areas and sample the acoustics of our two diverse performance spaces, the O'Reilly Theatre and the Jerome Hynes Theatre.
Book online at www.wexfordoperahouse.ie or call the Box Office on 053 912 2144
Location: High Street, Wexford
Telephone: +353 (0) 53 912 2144
The harmony between great Victorian revival castles and their surrounding ornamental grounds is rarely seen to such perfection as at Johnstown Castle. The whole site is a jewel in the crown of Wexford Tourism.
The mature woodlands and lakes of this demesne provide the perfect setting for this turreted, battlemented and machicolated castle of gleaming silver-grey ashlar, built for the Grogan Morgan family between 1810 and 1855 and incorporating part of a more ancient castle.
The Irish Agricultural Museum is a premier cultural institution within the South East. It showcases country life and displays a vast array of artefacts relating to a bygone era including carts, ploughs, country dressers and sugan chairs.
Location: Johnstown Castle Estate
The Hook Lighthouse & Peninsula
The Visitor Centre at Hook Lighthouse is at the tip of the Hook Peninsula, Lonely Planet describes it as one of the top 14 attractions in Ireland. The centre offers guided tours of the lighthouse tower, one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world.
The lighthouse is a 13th Century Norman structure, built by the Earl of Pembroke as part of the development of his Lordship of Leinster, culminating with the spectacular view from the balcony.
Relax by the sea and keep an eye out for seals, dolphins and even whales - check out this youtube video of humpbacks off the hook! In clear weather, you can see for miles, and in a storm the spray often reaches the top of the lighthouse!
Location: Hook Head
Telephone: +353 (0) 51 397054
Dunbrody Famine Ship
Recently renovated and refurbished, Enniscorthy Castle explores the development of the castle and town from its earliest 12th Century Anglo-Norman origins, through the 16th century, with recreations of the rooms of Mr. Henry J. Roche and his family who lived there from 1903 to 1951. The exhibitions also explore the 1916 Rising in Enniscorthy and the work of Irish furniture designer and architect Eileen Gray born in 1878 just outside Enniscorthy.
The roof of the castle is also accessible, with spectacular views of the surrounding buildings, Vinegar Hill, and countryside.
Location: Town centre, Enniscorthy.
Telephone: 353 (0) 53 92 34699
The Dunbrody was a 19th Century three-masted sailing ship that brought many emigrants from Ireland to North America during and after the Great Famine. An exact replica of this 176ft long 19th century ship was constructed and completed in 2001. Today she rests at the New Ross quay beside a fascinating state-of-the -art visitor centre which is a key focus for tourism in the area.
Location: New Ross.
Telephone: +353 (0)51 425239
Sat Nav: N: 52.393823,-6.947855
The Kennedy Homestead, birthplace of President John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy, celebrates the story of five generations of the Kennedy dynasty and is still today farmed by his descendants.
The Kennedy Homestead, a unique cultural museum is dedicated to “the Kennedys who went away and the Kennedys who stayed behind” and plays a vital part in the continued preservation of the Kennedy legacy in Ireland.
Location: Dunganstown, New Ross, Co.Wexford.
Irish National Heritage Park
A visit to the Irish National Heritage Park is like no other you can imagine. Surprises await around every turn as you explore 35 acres of this remarkable heritage trail. From campsite to Ringfort, from mill to Fulacht Fiadh, from Crannog to Viking house, every activity is an unexpected adventure into 9,000 years.
The world you enter is an authentic recreation of Ireland’s heritage. Homesteads, places of ritual, burial modes and long forgotten remains will enlighten the casual visitor and interest the scholar.
Telephone: +353 (0) 53 912 0733
National 1798 Centre
This distinctive centre is located just off the N30 and N11 in the shadow of Vinegar Hill, beside the picturesque river Slaney and just 500 meters from the thriving market town of Enniscorthy. The Centre tells the epic and heroic tale of the 1798 Rebellion and its aftermath using the latest multi-media and interactive exhibits. A spectacular audio-visual presentation places the story in an international context and state-of-the-art exhibition techniques are used to give visitors a glimpse of our fascinating journey to modern democracy.
Telephone: +353 (0) 53 923 7596
The haunting beauty of the Hook Peninsula provides the backdrop for Loftus Hall. It is reputed to be the most haunted house in Ireland but the only way you’ll find out is to come and visit Loftus Hall. Loftus Hall for the most part has been untouched since it was abandoned. Our tour guides will direct you through the ground floor of the house on an hour long interactive tour and recount the grim and gruesome history behind Loftus Hall, including it's notorious visitor! Be ready, Be brave, Beware! Hot beverages, meals and snacks can be enjoyed in our café while you take in the spectacular views across the peninsula. Mementos of your visit to Loftus Hall are also available in our retail area. Loftus Hall is accessible for wheelchairs. Toilet facilities, WiFi and secure parking are also available on site. Loftus Hall also have it's own private beach for picnics and play!
Location: Hook Peninsula, Co. Wexford
Telephone +353 (0)51 397728
Duncannon Fort & Museum
Duncannon Fort dates from 1588, built to repel the Spanish Armada, and to stop the pirates plundering the merchant ships of their riches on their way up Waterford Harbour. Built on the site of a Norman Fortress, which had previously been an Iron Age site. Captured by Thomas Preston Kilkenny Confederates in 1645 after a three month siege was successfully defended against Oliver Cromwell. Played host to King James the second and William of Orange. Played a major role during 1798 when captured croppies were held in Duncannon Fort before transfer to Geneva Barracks. The Fort was refurbished at the time of Napoleon, handed over by the British in 1922 and refurbished once again by the Irish Army during WW2. It is now a successful visitor Centre with Cafe, Craft Shop, Military and Maritime Museum, Pirates and Mermaids Den, Cockleshell Art Gallery, Photographic and Artist's Studio's.
Open 7 days June to Mid September 10a.m. to 5.30p.m. Guided tours daily 10 to 4.45p.m.open 5 days all year around. Admission Adult €5 Senior/Student €3 Family €12 group discount available. Check out Duncannon Fort YouTube
Telephone: +353 (0) 51 389454
Ferns Castle was built in the 13th century, possibly by William, Earl Marshall. Originally, the castle formed a square, with large corner towers. Now, only half of the castle now remains. The most complete tower contains a fine circular chapel, with carved ornaments. The tower also has several original fireplaces and a vaulted basement. Archaeological excavations revealed a rock-cut ditch outside the castle walls.
This beautiful medieval village was once the capital of the powerful Kings of Leinster and the remnants of those days dominate today’s village landscape. Choose between a 12th Century Augustinian Abbey; the remains of a 13th century Cathedral; a small nave and chancel church; a Norman Castle, and High Crosses which stand in the Cathedral grounds. Visit the grave of a King who changed Irish history or the miraculous well of a great Irish saint. Experience living tradition at St. Aidan’s Monastery with its iconic chapel and hermitages.
Free guided tours: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.fernsvillage.ie
Telephone: +353 (0) 53 936 6411
Selskar Abbey is one of Wexford’s most significant medieval ruins, and abuts directly onto the old town walls. The curving line of the adjacent streets may reflect the circular enclosure of a much earlier ‘Celtic’ monastery.
Opening Times: April – October, 3pm
Entrance Fee: See website for details.
Guided tours: c/o Wexford Walking Tours. Contact Monica Crofton on 086 107 9497
Enniscorthy Greyhound Track
Experience a night at the dogs! Open every Monday and Thursday at 8p.m., outside January.
Telephone: +353 (0) 53 92 33172
Enjoy an exciting days racing at Wexford Racecourse. Meetings (Day and Evening) are held regularly throughout the year.
Location: Wexford Town
Telephone: +353 (0) 53 9142307