Follow @ourlittlehiker on their family day trip to Wexford.
Close by to Wexford Town
Just ten minutes from Wexford Town, you'll find The Irish National Heritage Park. From authentic Norseman huts built with wattle walls and thatched roofs to sword fight reenactments, you and the family are sure to feel like you've been transported back in time. Journey through 9,000 years of Irish life as you make your way through the reconstructed, ancient settlement and greet Oscar, the park's very own owl.
Just 20 minutes up the road, the white sands of the epic Curracloe Beach stretch from Raven Point to Blackwater. This is a Blue Flag beach so get ready to brave the elements for a quick dip in the sea. Or opt for the nature trail nearby and let the kids explore the enormous dunes that line the coastline.
While you’re in the area, head inland for 15 minutes to let the kids run free at Wells House & Gardens. Chill out and watch the little ones swing high and climb even higher in the adventure playground, or meet furry friends like raccoons, rabbits, pygmy goats and meerkats at the animal farm. Fire up the younger kids’ imagination with a walk along fairy trails and across woodland, home to characters like the Gruffalo and Drayco, a new dragon that has made the enchanted woods his new home.
Get some country air
Take another short drive up the coast to the Kia Ora Mini Farm and immerse yourselves in the farm life. Delight in the kids holding and feeding an adorable array of animals, from cows and sheep to parrots, emus and alpacas. Make memories that the kids will definitely want to tell their friends about by hopping on a real digger, taking a ride in a genuine fire engine, or zooming around the go-kart track. Don't forget to feed their appetites with a yummy picnic at the dedicated picnic area before jumping back into the car.
As a final stop on your journey up the coast, wake up and smell the lavender at Wexford Lavender Farm. Get some fresh 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 blooming season in July and August. Sign the kids up for the fun-packed 'Claymazing' workshop and unleash their inner artist. Or book in advance for their popular baking class where they can create their own tasty treats.
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 20th century 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.
If your trip happens to fall between the months of April and September, be sure to check out the National 1798 Rebellion Centre in Enniscorthy. Discover the mind-blowing story of how Irish insurgents went up against the heavily armed crown forces and immerse yourselves in this part of Irish history with their new 4D Battle of Vinegar Hill Experience.
While the tales of Vinegar Hill are still fresh in all of your minds, head over to Oulart Hill where another infamous clash between Irish insurgents and crown forces took place. Marvel at the Tulach a’ tSolais, or 'Mound of Light' monument (composed of two concrete cleaves that cut through the grassy hill) and reenact the Battle of Oulart Hill with the kids. Or if you're a family that loves a hike, follow one of the three walking trails and soak up views of the beautiful natural landscape.
Board the 1840s emigrant boat replica at The Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience in New Ross and learn about life below deck. Follow along as costumed performers guide you through the fateful journey taken by 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.
While you’re local, head over to the Dunbrody Abbey and Visitor Centre, 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.
Known for its sprawling gardens and its stunning architecture, Johnstown Castle Estate and Gardens also provides a fun day out for the whole family. Wander through the manicured lawns and keep an eye out for the resident peacocks that move around freely. Or take a tour through the castle itself and unlock secret doors and underground tunnels that are sure to spark the kids' imaginations. Don't forget to check out the Irish Agricultural Museum, which is located on the grounds, and browse the restored farming equipment from past generations with the kids.
Continue south to Hook Head Peninsula, at Wexford’s southern-most tip for a visit of the iconic striped Hook Lighthouse. Join one of the daily tours and marvel at the panoramic sea views. To make your visit even more unforgettable, drop by during the winter months to catch a glimpse of the colossal whales that frequently leap out of the chilly waters.
If you have time in Wexford…
When the sun is out to play, Morriscastle Beach near the lovely village of Kilmuckridge is the ideal spot for a relaxing stroll while the kids let off some steam. Stretching over 5km, get ready to explore its wealth of secluded coves and thriving birdlife.
While you're at Hook Head Peninsula, take your family adventure to the ocean. Hop in a kayak for a family-friendly mini tour with The Irish Experience and discover sea caves and hidden beaches around Baginbun Bay.
If you have a family filled with adrenaline junkies, plan a fun day at Quadventure for a thrilling ride on an off-road vehicle. Buckle up the kids and take them on a child-friendly spin around a field, or go on an exciting cross country journey through a variety of incredible landscapes.
For a change of pace, bring the kids to the Village farm just on the outskirts of Enniscorthy. Say 'hello' to the resident pigs, sheep and chickens and ramble the gorgeous Woodland Walk. If you get hungry, grab a basket and get to picking your very own juicy strawberries, or visit the on-site café and farm shop to stock up on fresh jam, fruit and artisan food.
Despite no longer operating as a post office, the Old Post Office in the heart of Ballycarney is still filled with its fair share of charm. Admire the expertly thatched roof before heading around the side of the building to see the main attraction, the donkeys. Don't worry, they're perfectly friendly so feel free to offer them a scratch, and be sure to bring a few carrots for the kids to give them a little a snack.
While you’re in the area…
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.