Read on for some great ways to spend your short stay in The Model County.
Close by to Wexford Town
The Irish National Heritage Park
Kids love a fort, so imagine the excitement of staying in one overnight?! Just ten minutes from Wexford Town, at The Irish National Heritage Park, you can bed down in a medieval ringfort, complete with stone-walled, thatch-roofed house with a cosy central hearth. By day, you’ll journey through 9,000 years of Irish life at the reconstructed, ancient settlement.
Just 20 minutes up the road, the white sands of the epic Curracloe Beach stretch from Raven Point to Blackwater. If you’re braving a dip, this is a Blue Flag beach, but exploring the nature trail and running through the enormous dunes is enough to keep everyone entertained.
Wells House & Gardens
While you’re in the area, head inland for 15 minutes to let the kids run free at Wells House & Gardens. They can swing high and climb even higher in the adventure playground, or meet furry friends like raccoons, rabbits and pygmy goats at the animal farm. Inspire the younger kids’ imaginations with the fairy trails or Gruffalo Walk, while older kids can hone their skills at Ireland’s only 3D archery course.
Get some country air
Kia Ora Mini Farm
Another short drive up the coast at the Kia Ora Mini Farm, the kids can hold and feed the animals. And we’re not just talking cows and sheep — making pals with micropigs, parrots, llamas, emus and alpacas is something they’ll remember, and talk about, for a long time afterwards. They can also hop onto a real digger, ride in a genuine fire engine and take to the go-kart track, while you picnic nearby.
Wexford Lavender Farm
As a final stop on your journey up the coast, wake up and smell the lavender at Wexford Lavender Farm. Get some country air with a walk through the pretty woodlands and four acres of lavender fields or look behind the curtain with a distillery tour showcasing how lavender oil is processed during bloom-time in July and August. Kids can get crafting at a ‘Claymazing’ workshop or create tasty treats at baking classes, though these must be booked in advance.
Drive 40 minutes south, cross country, and dress up as knights at Enniscorthy Castle. The costume area will entertain the kids as you take the self-guided tour. Play like an early 1900s child with old-school toys of the Roche family, who lived at the Castle until 1950. Head up to the roof to take in stunning views as far as the battleground at Vinegar Hill and see authentic bullet holes – sure to impress the kids.
The Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience
Another half-hour inland, board the replica 1840s emigrant boat at The Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience in New Ross. Immerse yourself in life below deck as costumed performers guide you through the fateful journey taken by too many, in 1840s Ireland. You can get a family ticket and their riverside restaurant makes an ideal lunch pit stop, with a reasonable kids’ menu.
Dunbrody Abbey and Visitor Centre
While you’re local, Dunbrody Abbey and Visitor Centre is an impressive, ruined Cistercians Abbey where you’ll learn all about Strongbow’s commission and the Abbey’s demise. Get lost in one of only two full-size mazes in Ireland, or get some healthy competition going with pitch n’ putt, all on the grounds.
Hook Lighthouse and Loftus Hall
Continue south to Hook Head Peninsula, at Wexford’s southern-most tip. The iconic striped Hook Lighthouse is the main draw, with daily tours and epic sea views, but the area also has a dark past that’s fun to explore.
Start the ghost stories on the way to neighbouring Loftus Hall, said to be the most haunted house in Ireland. Prepare to be spooked as you uncover the building’s past during the 45-minute interactive tour. Wear warm clothes and pack a sense of humour. It’s advised the tour is not suitable for children under 5.
If you have time in Wexford…
Kayak around Hook Head
While you’re in the area…
Take the Ferry to Dunmore East
The Passage East Ferry will take the whole family, car and all, across the water to Dunmore East in Waterford. See who gets knocked out first at Wibit Wipeout; the country’s biggest inflatable obstacle course on water, at Dunmore Adventure.
Whether you pack it all in or pick some favourites, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to family fun in County Wexford.