Our Lady’s Island
Our Lady’s Island is an ancient place of pilgrimage in the south east corner of Ireland in the diocese of Ferns.The history of Our Lady’s Island dates back to pre -christian times and it is believed to have been inhabited by female druids. In 1903 a list of Irish place-names published in Iris- Leabhar na Gaeilge gave the Irish name for Our Lady’s Island as Cluain-na-mBan – ‘the meadow of the women.
Throughout history Christian history, Our Lady’s Island has remained a very important pilgrimage, more information on Our Lady’s Island can be found at www.ourladysisland.ie.
Johnstown castle gardens and museum is a magnificent 19th Century Victorian Castle surrounded by 50 acres of ornamental grounds. One can amble through the wooded grounds, containing over 200 different kinds of trees and shrubs, or relax by the castle lakeside.
Tacumshin windmill is Ireland’s only original surviving windmill.The windmill was built in 1846, and was used until 1936. It was renovated in the 1950s. The key can be obtained from the nearby shop, “The Millhouse Bar”.
Tacumshin Lake closed naturally in 1972, with a barrier of dunes, The Lake is a favourite with bird watchers. It attracts some rare American waders in Autumn, as well as internationally important concentrations of Bewick’s swans, Brent geese, wigeon, oystercatchers, golden plover and lapwing.
Irish National Heritage Park
Located north of Wexford and near an imposing tower house, the park aims to present a few thousand years of Irish history. The reconstructed buildings, arranged in chronological order in fabulous wood- and wetlands, convey a unique sense of the past. Reconstructed Irish, Viking and Norman buildings from prehistoric to Norman times bring the past to life, using as authentic as possible construction methods and building materials.
Hook lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse in Europe. the light has been maintained on this site for 1,500 years from the first beacon kept alight by ancient monks to the development by Raymond Le Gros in 1245. Before operation was transferred to an automated system in 1996, the lighthouse was manned by 3 keepers. The lighthouse keepers’ houses have been converted to an audio-visual room. Hook Lighthouse offers guided tours of the lighthouse tower. Climb the 115 steps to the walkway at parapet level to feast your senses on the magnificent landscape of Hook peninsula. On your climb to the top your guide will bring you through a series of chambers, introducing you to the fascinating story of Hook Lighthouse, an entrancing audio show retells the story of the monks, the earliest keepers of the light.
After your guided tour, relax and enjoy the sumptuous food in the lighthouse cafe or have a leisurely browse in the craft shop. The former keeper’s houses now play host to visitor facilities, while retaining the elegant facade of their late Victorian build.
Kilmore Quay is a beautiful small fishing village near Duncormick in Co. Wexford. With it’s white-washed thatched cottages Kilmore Quay is not only an idyllic tourist spot; it offers amenities such as sailing, diving, cruises to the Saltee Islands and angling. The village holds a seafood festival during the summer with seafood served everyday, live music in the local pubs, and activities such as raft races, and family fun days (pony rides, theatre) on.
The Saltee Islands lie off the coast near Kilmore Quay, and boat trips to these islands are available from the village. The two islands, Great Saltee and Little Saltee, are mainly known for being Ireland’s largest bird santuary with gannets, gulls, puffins, cormorants, razorbills and guillemots living on the islands.
The Wexford Wildfowl Reserve
The Wexford Slobs are internationally famous for wild geese which spend the winter months here. The first geese came to the Slobs in 1898. These were Greylags from Iceland the common winter goose in Ireland at that time. However, White-fronted Geese from Greenland, first appearing on the Slobs about 1910 building up to several thousand in the mid-1930s, replaced the Greylags.
Currently about 10,000 Greenland White-fronted Geese, one-third of the world population, spend the winter on the Wexford Slobs. The Visitor Centre has many interesting exhibitions and an audio-visual show.
St. Helen’s Bay Golf Resort
St. Helens Bay Golf Resort has since 1993 developed into one of Ireland’s foremost golf destinations. With a challenging 18 hole course, panoramic views of the South Wexford Coastline and comfortable on-site accommodations, the visitor is guaranteed an enjoyable golfing experience.
Wexford Races are held throughout the year.
Bannow and Rathangan Annual Agricultural Show, held on the second Thursday in July. With horses, ponies, donkeys, cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, pets corner, driving classes, dog show. Cookery, crafts, flowers, photography, ICA exhibition, fashion show, dressage, sheep dog trials, Inter-Hunt Steeplechase.
Kilmore Seafood Festival – Annual festival in July with live music and dancing (céilí, hip-hop and line!), fun and games for kids, angling competitions, exhibitions, Talent Contest, Water sports, Ceili Mor, arts and crafts, steam engines and, of course, great sea food platter
Wexford Opera Festival is held during the month of October.
Tagoat Steam and Vintage Rally – August Very popular annual event. Usually happens the third Sunday in August. All the usual attractions vintage cars/tractors/motorbikes, fairground, traditional bread/butter making, steam engines and thrashing, dog show and more
Rosslare Harbour Festival – Held annually in August
New Ross Piano Festival, New Ross – held annually in September For more information on things to do in Wexford, please contact O’Leary’s Farm.