Lots of people visit Wexford when they’re kids, staying in campervans and going to the beach in the summer and as a result they have a certain fondness for the place.
But a lot of people don’t realise that it is one of the most beautiful and interesting counties in Ireland.
Often overlooked, Wexford is one of the most historic places in Ireland and has some great sights for people with an interest in history.
It’s also got a lot of great pubs and restaurants, with a speciality of seafood.
If you haven’t been before, or haven’t been in a while, it’s definitely worth revisiting. Here’s some suggestions for things to do.
1. Have a pint in The Local
Built in the old horse stables of the Dunbrody House, The Local has attracted people with its old-style interior, simple menu and roaring fire.
You can wander around the grounds after if the mood strikes.
2. Go to Hook Head
Wandering around the cliffs of the oldest lighthouse in Europe is definitely worth doing alone, as well as the tour of the lighthouse itself.
If you want to go for a longer walk, there is a trail you can take that will lead you to Slade. It’s about 2.5km.
3. Tour Loftus Hall
Supposedly the most haunted building in all of Ireland. According to legend the devil visited in disguise and played cards until a woman saw his cloven foot and then he flew through the ceiling, leaving a hole that couldn’t be repaired. The woman went mad and had to be locked in a room until she died, and she now haunts the place.
If you’re really brave, you can even stay there over Halloween.
4. Have the smoked salmon in The Hollow
The Hollow is a local pub/restaurant in Ramsgrange. Mary who owns the place is one of the nicest people you’ll meet, and all of their fish is freshly caught nearby.
They also make their own brown bread, perfect to have a slice of the best smoked salmon ever on.
5. Visit the Duncannon Sand Sculpting Festival
Every year the Sand Sculpting Festival is hosted on the Duncannon Beach in August. As well as the professional sculpture, there’s always the sand sculpting competition which is always loads of craic.
There’s also a few events on in the local Strand Tavern, including live ceilí music, a quiz night and dress-up competitions.
6. Walk around Tintern Abbey
Surrounding the old abbey are recently cleared paths, each marked with how long it will take to complete, which take you through woods, along the river, around fields and back over the bridge to the car park.
There’s also the Colclough walled garden where they grow their own fruit and vegetables and the abbey coffee shop.
7. Have a quiet one in the Templars
Templars is a classic Irish pub. While enjoying a pint you can also look out the window at the old Templar’s Church which is still in pretty good shape given it’s 700 years old.
Their chowder is also delightful.
8. Go to Baginbun beach
Baginbun is a great beach to rock up to on a sunny day. The sand is nice and soft, there’s no steep drop into the clear water, and if it’s windy then you can shelter between the cliffs.
9. Take a turn around the walled gardens of Kilmokea
A family bought up and restored Kilmokea House and Gardens in 1997, which they then opened to the public. They’re especially proud of their gardens, including an organic fruit and vegetable garden and a fairy woodland garden.
You can get a tea in the conservatory overlooking the gardens if you would prefer that to walking around.
10. Visit the Irish National Heritage Park at Ferrycarrig
The park is all outdoors so you’ll want to go on a clear day. You’re taken on a tour around the park, which showcases ancient Irish history, from the end of the Ice Age in 7000 BC, through the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, to the arrival of Christianity from 400 AD, and the invasion of the Vikings and the Normans.
It’s a very interesting tour, and after you can eat in the award-winning Fulacht Fia restaurant on-site or at the nearby Ferrycarrig Hotel.
11. Walk along Curracloe Beach
One of the most popular beaches in Ireland, Curracloe is long and sheltered by sand dunes - perfect for walking on.
12. Visit the Dunbrody Famine Ship
New Ross have recreated the Dunbrody ship that set sail for North America as people emigrated due to the famine.
As well as a guided tour of the ship, including actors playing parts of people who were on board the ship at the time, there’s also visitors centre and a café.
12. Take a tour around Wells House
Wells House and Gardens in Gorey can’t be accused of resting on its laurels. As well as a tour around the Victorian house and the gardens, they also have an ‘adventure playground’, archery, clay pigeon shooting, tea rooms and an animal farm.
During the summer they also host events like barbecues and outdoors screenings.
13. Visit the National 1798 Rebellion Centre
Before the 1916 Rising, there was the 1798 Rebellion and the battle of Vinegar Hill, where 20,000 rebels were cut down by the much better armed 10,000 British soldiers.
The Centre provide an interactive experience, showing how the battle played out, the weapons used, what life was like back then, and what happened after.
14. Get a treatment in Monart
Monart is not only one of the best spas in Ireland, it’s in the top three best spas in the world according to Conde Nast Traveller magazine.
If you have the time and the money, take advantage and get yourself down there for a facial or massage.
15. Eat in La Côte restaurant
La Côte doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside lies a pretty restaurant and amazing food. It’s so good, in fact, that it’s known as the best restaurant in the county.
Yet despite the fine dining, you can still get three courses for €27. Bargain.
16. Have wine and cheese in Greenacres
Greenacres is a restaurant, wine merchants, delicatessen and art gallery all in one. The building is beautiful, and if you like fine food there’s no better place to while away a few hours.
Have any recommendations for things to do in Wexford? Let us know in the comments.