Having lived in Dublin for almost five years, it is shocking that it has taken me so long to visit Wexford, also known as ‘The Sunny South East’. With blue skies and a bit of annual leave to spare (thank you Pandemic for your only silver lining!) I decided it was finally time to venture down the coast and see what all the fuss was about.
To get to Wexford town only took about two hours and with a new road it was actually a really enjoyable drive. Funnily enough, the nickname for Wexford is totally and utterly true – it really is the sunny south east! Here is a list of things to do and see while you are away in Wexford.
Wexford has an abundance of amazing beaches that you can visit all within close enough distance of each other.
Courtown Beach is the most northerly well known beach in Wexford. For people travelling from Louth, Dublin and Wicklow this beach tends to be extremely popular and lying only 6km from Gorey you can enjoy the stunning seaside while being close to a town.
Curracloe Beach is only fifteen minutes outside of Wexford Town and is a stunning beach that has a strand stretching as far as the eye can see. In the main car park you will find their surf shack and a small arcade. Fun fact, this was the beach used in the film Saving Private Ryan!
Rosslare is most well known in Ireland for it’s harbour, being home to the ferry that will bring you across the Irish Sea to England, but, it is also home to a stunning and large beach.
This is a stunning beach in a small coastal fishing town in Wexford. The best part about Kilmore Quay is that you can choose to relax and unwind in the sun, or you can take a ferry from here to the uninhabited Saltee Islands off the coast which are home to adorable Puffins. The ferry journey is €30 a trip and you can inquire about booking online here.
Grange Beach is a nice and quiet beach nestled in the countryside of Wexford. This beach is vast, beautiful and secluded from the rest of the world making it the perfect place to spend your day.
While Baginbun might be hard to get to, it is a stunning place to visit! There are not many car parking spaces here so even visited midweek it was chaotic enough! That being said, it is a lovely and secluded beach on the Hook Peninsula and it is the perfect place to kayak too.
I found Patrick’s Bay on a map that said there would be seals (and I LOVE Seals!) so I went off on an adventure to find them. I’m not sure if we took a wrong turn, but if we didn’t, getting to Patrick’s Bay involves driving down a very small road that brings you to an opening where you can walk out onto the stones. I wouldn’t say this beach is the most accessible of them all as the walk from the opening is steep on loose stones. This being said, this bay had some of the clearest waters I have ever seen off the coast of Ireland, it was truly magical! If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-track option then this place is definitely your best option.
Dollar Bay is another beach on the Hook Peninsula and is a gorgous little beach to stop on your way around Hook Head, be it for a dip in the sea or to just relax in the sun.
Almost everywhere we went we saw outdoor activities being advertises such as sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and surfing. Two of the main ones that I saw were Hook Head Adventures and Wexford Kayak Safari.
Other than exploring the wonderful coastline of Wexford there are several other ways to spend your time!
Tintern Abbey is a Cistercian monastery was founded c. 1200 by William, Earl Marshal. The nave, chancel, tower, chapel and cloister still stand. In the 16th century the old abbey was granted to the Colclough family and soon after the church was partly converted into living quarters and further adapted over the centuries. The Colcloughs occupied the abbey from the sixteenth century until the mid-twentieth. It’s a really stunning place to visit with several walks on the grounds that you can do if visiting the abbey itself doesn’t appeal to you. Admission to the Abbey is €5 for adults, €3 for a child or €13 for a family.
Colclough Walled Gardens
These gardens are located within Tintern Abbey but they deserve a mention all on their own! The entry to the garden is €5 which goes to the upkeep, but if you visit both the gardens and abbey you can get a joined ticket for €9. It only takes about fifteen minutes to wander through the gardens but they are impeccably kept and are a wonder to walk through.
When leaving the gardens, we took the turn signposted for ‘The Vine Cottage’ that brought up down a pedestrian road roughly 1km to a small pub at the side of the road that serves food and drink, with a gorgeous little outdoor seating are for when weather permits! It is a really nice little stop off while visiting Tintern Abbey and the gardens.
Loftus Hall is famous building in Wexford after legend of a dark stranger approaching the Hall on horseback after his ship was driven into nearby slade Harbour with rough seas was invited in and claims were made he was the devil. I haven’t visited personally as it was fully booked when I arrived, but the attraction is down as a must visit when in the area! Pre-booking for tours during the weekends of September are essentials as there are no tours mid-week currently.
The hall is set to be closed from October 2020 after changing ownership but keep an eye on their website if you are planning a trip after this in case this changes.
I absolutely loved my time exploring the Wexford coast and ended my trip on a high note by taking the car ferry from Ballyhack to Passage East in Waterford to continue on my adventure. The ticket for a standard car will only set you back €8 (and save you a lot of time!). You can either book online here or pay at on arrival.
Let me know in the comments below if there are any activities in Wexford that you would recommend, or if you would like to go there!