Here are eleven of the best things to do in the Model County.
There’s so much to explore throughout the estate at Johnstown Castle that it’s worth putting aside at least half a day to enjoy it all. Wander through the impressive ornamental gardens, have a picnic by the lake if the weather’s fine, or book a tour of the castle – the old servants’ tunnel is a highlight. Don’t leave before checking out The Irish Agricultural Museum which showcases rural life in Wexford since the 18th century, complete with vintage tools and tractors.
Just 20-minutes outside Gorey, Wells House is a beautifully restored, private home set on 450 acres of pretty gardens, farmland and woods. Grownups will love the house tours and woodland walks, while little ones will have a ball exploring the fairy finding trail, at the adventure playground and visiting the farm animals. Keep an eye out for their frequent, year-round events like the Open Air Theatre, Fairy Tale Days and BBQs.
You’re sure to smell Wexford Lavender Farm before you see it. It’s a photographers dream, with two sprawling fields of fragrant lavender that look every bit as good as they smell. The free entry farm opens in spring and summer and features woodland walks, crafting, plant sales and play areas for kids – including the popular ‘Billy the Bull’ quad barrel train ride.
It’s hard to beat the feel-good factor of a visit to Seal Rescue Ireland. The team at SRI rescue, rehabilitate and release dozens of injured or sick animals from all over Ireland’s coasts, each year. Pop in, seven days a week, to meet the seals and learn their stories.
The open-air museum at The National Heritage Park brings Ireland’s ancient past to life with accurate reconstructions of the crannógs, forts and portal dolmens we learned about in our school days. Explore life-sized buildings and settlements, forage like a pre-historic farmer, or even spend the night in their medieval ring fort, where you’ll party like it’s 2,000 BC.
Departing from beautiful Kilmore Quay, an exhilarating 20-minute boat ride brings you to Great Saltee. On the tiny private island, you’ll meet seals, puffins and thousands of noisy gannets gathered on rocks to greet you. Pack a picnic or, better still, continue the theme back on the shore, with salty chips from the famous Little Saltee takeaway at Kilmore Quay.
25 minutes out the road at the very tip of the stunning Hook Peninsula, Hook Lighthouse is the oldest working lighthouse in the world, with fun, informative tours daily. The spectacular sea views from the top are worth every one of the 115 steps - particularly if you’re lucky enough to visit at sunset.
Setting off from Fethard-On-Sea, Hook Head Adventures will guide you safely past steep, rugged cliffs, tiny golden beaches and into deep, echoing caves. Challenging, but not exhausting, kayaking is a really unique way to explore the coastline from a whole new angle.
After your Hook lighthouse tour, pay a visit to neighbouring Loftus Hall, allegedly, the most haunted house in Ireland. The interactive tour features re-enactments of the house’s dark past by enthusiastic actors.
With costumed performances on board, Dunbrody Famine Ship provides a unique insight into the Irish emigrant experience during the famine, culminating in a visit to the ‘arrivals hall’, revealing the fate that awaited those who survived the harrowing journey.
If you’ve been to New Ross, you’ve probably visited the Kennedy Homestead, but the nearby 600 acre JFK Arboretum is a lesser explored treasure. Go for a woodland walk or a ramble around the lake and watch out for the miniature train and pony rides during the summer.
With so much to choose from, year-round you’ll want to plan another trip there very soon. Head over to our Wexford destination page for even more fantastic things to do in Wexford.