Wexford Town is the county’s ancient capital. A friendly and lively town with winding streets, a pretty quayside, great shopping, and an array of pubs, cafes and fine restaurants. Wexford’s origins date back to the 2nd century. Wexford Town is within easy reach of many fine beaches, coastal drives and listed walks, and so is the ideal base from where to explore the county and region.
Wexford Fringe Festival
- in its 59th year is the largest annual fringe festival in the southeast of Ireland, taking place each October in the medieval town of Wexford.The Fringe Festival is co-ordinated by the Wexford Chamber. Wexford’s Fringe Festival combined with Wexford Festival Opera, one of the top three festivals of opera in the world, transforms Wexford into a vibrant hub each October. Wexford Fringe Festival has become a vital showcase for Irish Arts nationally and internationally. Over the past 58 years the Fringe Festival has grown into one of Ireland's largest cultural events featuring dramas, light opera, exhibitions, the Guinness Singing and Swinging Pubs Competition, trad sessions, workshops and much more.
Irish National Heritage Park - Ferrycarrig.
Fittingly described as the flagship exhibition in the South East, this extensive heritage park covers 35 acres. Full scale reconstruction of ancient houses, forts, and tombs, Christian monastery, mill, cooking place, Viking boatyard and boats, woodland trails, wildlife, plants and flowers. A multi-lingual audiovisual presentation.
Children’s activities include panning for gold, wattle your own house and rock art to name but a few. A restaurant, craft and gift shop are also on site. Open: 7 days: May-Aug 9:30am to 6:30pm (last admission 5pm) 7 days: Sept-April 9:30am to 5:30pm (last admission 3pm-4pm).
West Gate Heritage Tower
This tower once guarded the western entrance to the walled town. It was built c1300 by Sir Stephen Devereux on instructions of King Henry. Like the other town gates, it consisted of a toll-taking area, cells for offenders and accommodation for guards.
is said to be one of the oldest sites of worship in Wexford. An abbey was built on the site by Alexander Roche who upon returning from the Crusades was informed of the decision of his true love to enter a convent believing him dead. The abbey, the tower of which still stands, was the scene of synods and parliaments over the centuries. The roofless church is of much later construction.
Wexford Opera House
This venue in the High Street is the headquarters of the world renowned international Wexford Festival Opera. The original theatre opened in January 1832. In 2006, it closed it’s doors to undergo a major reconstruction which took just over 2 years to complete. On Friday 5th September 2008 the Wexford Opera House was officially opened by the then Taoiseach, Brian Cowan. This was a historic moment for Wexford and Ireland. The impressive landmark building (Ireland’s first custom built opera house) was designed and project managed by the office of public works. The skyline changing building hosts a multitude of events all year round of theatre, dance, concerts and other events in addition to the Wexford Festival Opera.
The Bull Ring
The Bull Ring got its present name from the medieval sport of Bull-baiting, introduced to the town by the Butchers’ guild. From 1621 until 1770, bulls were baited twice a year and their hides presented to the Mayor. During the 1798 rebellion, the Bull Ring became an open air factory, making and repairing pikes and other weapons for insurgents. The Bull Ring has been the venue of many political rallies and protests: Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and Eamonn de Valera are among the many political figures who have addressedaudiences in this historic square.
Dominating the Wexford skyline are the twin churches - the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rowe Street, and the Church of the Assumption, Bride Street. These two churches built between 1851 and 1858, just years
after the great Famine, are a monument to the devotion of Wexford people and the determination of Father James Roche who saw them to completion. An interesting feature at the main door of both churches is the cobble mosaic showing relevant names and dates. Although referred to as twin churches one difference is the clock on Rowe Street Church.
The Franciscans are the oldest established religious order in Wexford, having first come in c1240. Since then have attended to the spiritual needs of the town through good times and bad. For many years, theirs was the only Catholic Church in Wexford town. Friaries are reptued to be among the victims of Cromwellian soldiers in 1649. The grounds of the church were the venue of huge Temperance rallies in the 1840’s. One of the features of the friary is the effigy of the young boy St Adjutor, Roman martyr “The Little Saint”. This life like character shows the wounds inflicted by the youths father. It is a much visited shrine.
Church of St Iberius
Located on Wexford’s busy Main Street and dating back to the 18th century. This attractive church presents many interesting features for the visitor including a number of memorial tablets of historical provenance.
Ann’s Angels is a family run Giftware, Angel Shop & Holistic Centre set in the heart of Wexford town. Often described as an Aladdin’s Cave of treasures, you are bound to find the perfect gift for a loved one or indeed something special for yourself. Our highly trained, friendly staff are always on hand to advise you on gift options, healings, treatments and readings available. When you call to visit make sure to visit our Angel Sanctuary located on the first floor of our shop which is open to the public daily, free of charge. In the Angel Sanctuary you will experience a tranquil setting where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and relax, meditate or simply just be in the presence of the Angels. We look forward to welcoming you to Ann’s Angels.
McDonalds Drive Thru
Rosslare Road Roundabout, Drinagh Retail Park, Wexford,
Tel: 053-9168010 Opening Hours: 7am-11.30pm 7 days a week.
The National 1798 Rebellion Centre
Enniscorthy. Tel: 053 9237596 - This award-winning centre offers a fascinating insight into the birth of modern democracy in Ireland. The family friendly centre tells the epic and heroic tale of the 1798 Rebellion and its aftermath using the latest multimedia and interactive computers and an audiovisual presentation. After your tour, relax in the restaurant or browse around the craft shop.
Open: Summer (Apr-Sep) Mon-Fri 09.30-17.00; Sat, Sun & Bank Hols 12.00-17.00 Winter (Oct-Mar) Mon-Fri 10.00-16.00;
Sat, Sun & Bank Hols 12.00-17.00.
Last admission 1 hour before close
Dunbrody Heritage Ship
New Ross. Tel: 051 425239 www.dunbrody.com
Contact: Sean Reidy
The Dunbrody Famine ship is one of the premier tourist attractions in the South East of Ireland. Centred on an authentic reproduction of an 1840’s emigrant vessel, it provides a world-class interpretation of the famine emigrant experience. Incorporating guided tour, costumed performers and themed exhibitions of the highest quality, The Dunbrody provides a unique insight into the bravery and fortitude with which Irish people faced up to a desperate situation.
As well as the Ship’s Tour, the Dunbrody Visitor Centre houses a charming river-view cafe and the Irish-American Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame commemorates the critical contribution of Irish men and women to US history, as well as acknowledging the continuing contribution of contemporary Irish-Americans. Each year the Hall of Fame inducts new members; most recently Donald Keough, Michael Flatley and Maureen O’Hara. The attraction is located in New Ross, County Wexford. Central to the South East, New Ross is conveniently close to the towns of
Wexford, Kilkenny, Waterford and Enniscorthy. As such the Dunbrody is a perfectly placed stop on any tour of the region.
John F. Kennedy Arboretum -
New Ross. Tel: 051 388171 www.heritageireland.ie - The John F. Kennedy Arboretum celebrates US President John F. Kennedy's links with New Ross. The Arboretum contains some 4,500 types of trees and shrubs from quite literally each nation on earth. Slieve Coillte Hill has a viewing point with spectacular views.
Open: All year, October to March daily 10am to 5pm,
April 10am to 6.30pm, May to August 10am to 8pm,
September 10am to 6.30pm. Last admission is 45 minutes before closing. Admission applies.
Duncannon. Tel: 051 389454 - An Iron Age fortification once occupied the site of this imposing military fort which dates from the era of the Spanish Armada (1588), with some modern additions. Attractions include a cafŽ, craft shop, maritime museum, craft centre and artist studio. Cockleshell Art Gallery and Pirates Den. Open: April to September, daily, 9.30am to 5.30pm. Guided tours daily, rest of year, please phone for appointment. Admission applies.
Irish Agricultural Museum
Johnstown Castle, Wexford. Tel: 053 9171247 The Irish Agricultural Museum is set in the extensive farm building of the former farmyard of Johnstown Castle and features many aspects of rural life. The exhibitions cover farm and rural transport, rural crafts, all the major farming and farm dwelling activities. The adjoining extension houses a large exhibition on the Potato Famine and the 1840’s Great Famine.
Open: April to May & September to Nov 5th: Mon-Fri, 9am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 5pm. Sat & Sun, 2pm to 5pm. June to August: Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm, Sat & Sun 11am to 5pm. Nov 6th to March 31st: Mon-Fri, 9am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 5pm. Admission applies.
The Wexford Wildfowl Reserve
North Sloblands. Tel: 053 912 3129 - Ireland’s premier wildfowl reserve, the Wexford Slobs and Harbour are a natural haven for birds. Home to large flocks of geese, ducks and wading birds during the winter, as many as 8,000 (1/3 of the world’s total population) Greenland White-Fronted Geese come here for the winter. There are hides and other facilities for bird watching as well as guided tours, on request. Open: Daily 9am to 5pm. Closed on Christmas Day.
Hook Lighthouse Visitor Centre
Hook Head. Tel: 051 397054/5 www.hookheritage.ie firstname.lastname@example.org
A light on Hook Head has marked the entrance to Waterford Harbour for at least two thousand years. The present structure, the medieval tower of Hook, is about 800 years old - one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world. The splendour of the isolated setting at the southern extremity of a long and historic peninsula helps to capture and convey the essence of its colourful story. Guided tours are provided of the lighthouse and there is a café, gift shop, car and coach parking area.
Visitor Centre is Open: All year round, daily, 9.30am to 5pm.
Cois na h’Abhann (Award Winning Garden Centre)
Camolin, Co Wexford.Tel: 053 93 82970 -www.coisnahabhann.ie
Cois na hAbhann is a spectacular destination centre which comprises a five star Gold, Garden Home & Lifestyle Centre as well as The Bay Tree Cafe which specialises in tasty lunches and delicious home baked cakes. Winner of Bord Bia Garden Centre of the Year (small) for the past three years. Situated on the N11, only one hour and ten minutes from Dublin with ample free parking & full wheelchair access.
Enniscorthy Castle A View from the Keep
The recently renovated and refurbished, Enniscorthy Castle through its exhibition “View from the Keep” explores the development of the Castle and town from its earliest Anglo-Norman origins (12th Century) through to the 20th century. See what life was like living in the Castle, discover Enniscorthy’s role in the 1916 Rising and open your eyes to the works of internationally renowned furniture designer and architect Eileen Gray, born in 1878 just outside the town. The roof of the castle is also accessible, with spectacular views of the surrounding buildings, Vinegar Hill, and countryside.
Summer (Apr-Sep) Mon-Fri 09.30-17.00;
Sat, Sun & Bank Hols 12.00-17.00
Winter (Oct-Mar) Mon-Fri 10.00 –16.00;
Sat, Sun & Bank Hols 12.00 –17.00
Last admission 30mins before close
Secret Valley Adventure Farm
Great value family fun - www.secretvalley.ie Tel: 053 9244023
Wells House and Gardens
Waiting to be explored is the beautiful house and ground of Wells House, Ballyedmond, Co Wexford. With something for all the family including our woodland walk, Victorian terrace gardens, adventure playground, House tour, Archery, Craft Courtyard and Mrs Stone’s Tearooms - A great house, a grand adventure for all the family www.wellshouse.ie
Xtreme Adventure at Forest Park - Book Online Tel: 053 94 24849
Fun for everyone log onto www.forestpark.ie