Best Things to do in Wexford
Just 2 hours from Dublin, Wexford is a thriving coastal county with endless opportunities. During the day, you can go sightseeing, buy local crafts and dive into the culture. Once the sun sets over Kilmore Quay, you can enjoy an old fashioned traditional Irish pub-session!
From nature to nurture, adventurous to educational opportunities, Wexford is a great place to immerse yourself into modern Irish culture while still getting the best of the historical and geographical beauty the Irish coastline has to offer.
This beautiful natural soft-sand beach is a bustling hub of activity during Summer months. Its proximity to Dublin and an impressive array of holiday homes, campsites and B&Bs make it a perfect destination for a family getaway.
The beach itself holds a Blue Flag certification (meaning it’s safe to swim in). Even in colder months, it’s a popular location for joggers, hillwalkers and nature enthusiasts.
It’s a welcome change from the more common pebble and stone-beaches found around Ireland’s coastline with white sand running as far as the eye can see. Nearby, the family-friendly Curracloe village is a refreshing middle ground between busy city-life and remote rural towns.
We love this beach so much that we included it in our list of the best beach towns in Ireland.
The impressive 800-year old Hook Lighthouse on the Hook Peninsula in the South of County Wexford is the second oldest operating lighthouse in the entire world.
It also hosted the reincarnated IMBOLC festival. Imbolic is the old Celtic Springtime festival on February 1st. Definitely worth a visit, and most definitely one of the best things to do in Wexford.
Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience
For a change of pace that will entertain the more historically minded visitors to Wexford, the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience is a haunting and hugely insightful way to get a glimpse into the realities of Ireland’s struggles during the Great Famine of the 1800s.
Located at the port of New Ross, this reimagined ship is a lifesize way to experience the realities of what life on board would have been like for the hundreds of thousands of Irish people who emigrated on the ‘Famine Ships’ during this traumatic period of Irish history.
This is a must-see when you’re in Wexford, no matter what your heritage!
Another unmissable stop in New Ross is the John F. Kennedy Arboretum. It’s a public park dedicated to the memory of the late US president. You’ll find 623 acres of green flora and parklands, with flowers from all over the world brought together to celebrate in JFK’s legacy. All of these things combine to create a beautiful family-friendly day out in nature.
This microcosm of the ideal world is a stunning place to experience the best of modern nature walks, including over 4,500 types of trees and shrubs, an Ericaceous Garden a lake and a 271m peak to gaze over it all.
Guided tours are available, as well as playgrounds and picnic areas also on site.
Visit a Local Bar
This one might sound like a straightforward option – and that’s because it is. The high quality of local bars in Wexford Town is such that it might be difficult NOT to find yourself out on the town a bit longer than you might have planned.
Our favourites include The Sky and The Ground, The Loch and Key, and The Antique Tavern – but these are just the foam at the top of that perfectly poured pint of Guinness. Go out for the music, stay for the craic and the company you’ll meet! You can’t go too far wrong in Wexford.
The National Opera House
Ireland’s first purpose-built opera house is in the heart of Wexford town. Tickets cost between €20 and €150, meaning that if you book in advance, it can accommodate any budget!
This stunning venue is now the home of opera in Ireland and also hosts dramas, musicals and more musical genres from all over the world on a daily basis. If you’re lucky you might catch an opera or at least a top class show during your visit!
Built in 1812, Wexford Gaol is historically where criminals and wrong-doers were housed, trialled and executed for their crimes. The last execution in Wexford Gaol was in 1892, nearly 60 years before capital punishment became illegal in Ireland.
After the prison closed, it was transformed into a women’s rehabilitation centre, during which time several adjustments were made to the design and layout. The changes didn’t stop there, and ot became a military barracks after the War of Independence ended in 1921.
A Garden of Remembrance commemorates martyrs who lost their lives in anti-treaty protests in 1923 at the Wexford Gaol.
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Visited this place today, Wexford Gaol, as part of a project we are doing on the Irish Civil War and the archaeology of conflict. Three young anti-treaty Republican men were executed against this wall in 1923. Some bullet holes still remain as a visible reminder of that difficult period in modern Irish history #wexford #civilwar #execution #wexfordgaol #conflictarchaeology
Last on our list of amazing things to do in Wexford is the incredible Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. Over 250 species of bird visit this conservational site throughout the year. Species like the Greenland White-Fronted Goose chooses it as their annual migration spot – you can see them between October and April.
Other species of wildfowl and seabirds gather around Wexford Harbour and provide onlookers and bird-enthusiasts with beautiful opportunities to observe both unusual and native species in close-up natural surroundings. An observation tower and some hideouts are available for nature lovers to watch birds in their natural habitat, guided tours are available, and it’s also just a short drive away to reach the Raven Nature Reserve.
The best part is that entry and tours are free and are suitable for all ages.
Best Places to stay in Wexford
Seafield Hotel & Spa
A more luxurious and self-indulgent stay in Wexford you will not find anywhere else – Seafield Hotel and Spa is a resort whose adjoining speciality spa has been named European Residential Spa of the Year for several years running.
Oceo Spa boasts 14 treatment rooms, thermal suites, a 16-metre hydrotherapy swimming pool, vitality pool and sunken spa gardens, and a whole host of treatment options and packages from massage to skin and beauty treatments, tanning, mud chambers, and even a hairdressers. There’s no aspect of health and beauty that isn’t covered here.
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