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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Wexford

Johnstown Castle, near WexfordJohnstown Castle, near Wexford
Wexford (Loch Garman, "Garman's Loch"), county town of Wexford county, lies at the southeastern tip of Ireland in Wexford Harbor, a sheltered inlet opening off St George's Channel.
The picturesque old town with its narrow winding streets is a typical example of Anglo-Norman settlement. The modern town is noted for the manufacture of agricultural machinery.

Westgate Heritage Centre

The Westgate in the northwest of the center of Wexford is the only one of five town gates still remaining. This restored 13th C. gate now houses the Heritage Centre. An audiovisual show, lasting about half an hour, provides much of interest about the town and the region.
There are various ongoing exhibitions in the Tower Gallery.
Address: Spawell Road, Ireland

St Selskar's Abbey

The ruins of St Selskar's Abbey, founded in the 12th C., can be found near Westgate at the northwest end of Wexford. Surviving are a battlemented tower and the remains of St Selskar's Church (15th C.; National Monument). The abbey was destroyed by Cromwell's troops.

Bull Ring

At the intersection of Main Street and Quay Street in Wexford is a little square called the Bull Ring, recalling the Norman pastime of bull baiting, and a bronze memorial to the 1798 Rising.

Theatre Royal

Between Wexford's Rowe Street and Allen Street (on the right of Main Street), in High Street, stands the 18th C. Theatre Royal, where the Wexford Opera Festival is held annually at the end of October.
To the left, along Henrietta Street, is Crescent Quay, a semi-circular square on which stands a statue of Commodore John Barry (1745-1803), erected by the United States Government in honor of the father of the American Navy.
Address: Theatre Royal, High Street, Ireland

St Patrick's Church

To the right of Wexford's Main Street, near St Peter's Square, are the ruins of St Patrick's Church with interesting old gravestones in the churchyard.
The neo-Gothic Church of the Assumption in Bride Street and Church of the Immaculate Conception in Rowe Street, both with spires 233ft/71m high, are known as the Twin Churches, having been built at the same time (1851-58) by the same architect, Robert Pierce.

Wexford Opera Festival

This annual three week festival runs from late October to mid-November and includes almost 20 performances including operas, theatrical performances, classical concerts and fringe events. The festival focuses on obscure and unusual works. The events take place during various times of the day, including the afternoon and late night, and some include fireworks accompaniment. All the performances take place in the Theatre Royal.
Address: Theatre Royal, High Street, Ireland

Wexford Wildfowl Reserve

The Wexford Slobs are internationally famous for wild geese and the first geese arrived at Slobs in 1898. About 10,000 Greenland White-fronted geese spend the winter in Wexford Slobs.
Address: North Slob, Ireland

John F Kennedy Arboretum

Dedicated to the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the plant collection contains 4,500 types of trees and shrubs from all temperate regions of the world.

Surroundings

Irish National Heritage Park

Near Ferrycarrig, about 3mi/5km northwest of Wexford along the N11 road to Dublin, the Irish National Heritage Park has been established. In this open-air museum can be seen replicas, in their original size, of places and buildings illustrative of some 9,000 years of Irish history (dolmens, a ring fort, early Christian monasteries, etc.). There is a nature trail inside the park.
Address: Ferrycarrig, Ireland
ENLARGE MAP PRINT MAP EMBED < > Irish National Heritage Park - Layout map Irish National Heritage Park Map

Wexford Harbor

To the east of the town of Wexford extends the great expanse of Wexford Harbor. On the north side is a wildfowl reserve (entrance from the R741), notable particularly for the great numbers of lesser white-fronted geese which winter there every year; there are also many swans. For the benefit of visitors there is a parking lot, screened observation hides, an observation tower and nearby a collection displaying the many species of bird which frequent the reserve.

Johnstown Castle

Leaving Wexford on the Rosslare road (N25), a signed road on the right not far from the southern exit leads to Johnstown Castle. This neo-Gothic castle, incorporating the remains of a Norman fortress, is not open to the public. The park, however, with artistically sited pools and more than 200 different flowers and shrubs is very beautiful.
Address: Johnstown Castle, Old Farmyard, Ireland

Irish Agriculture Museum

An agricultural museum has been established in the farm buildings belonging to the castle where old machines and tools are on display, together with replicas of various workshops, a farm kitchen and a bedroom (c. 1900) as well as an interesting collection of Irish rural furniture.
Address: Johnstown Castle, Old Farmyard, Ireland

Rathmacknee Castle

The N25 leads southeast from Wexford to Rosslare Harbor. A detour can be made on the R739 (on the left) to Rathmacknee Castle (15th C.: National Monument), which is excellently preserved and gives a good impression of what a 15th or 16th C. Irish castle was like. Within the outer ward stands the five-story keep, with the battlements characteristic of the period. The walls of the outer ward are over 23ft/7m high and 4ft/1.2m thick, with a massive round tower at the northeast corner and a smaller square tower at the northwest corner.

Rosslare, Ireland

From Rathmacknee Castle a minor road returns to the N25 at Killinick Station, and just beyond the village a road branches off on the left to the little town of Rosslare, which claims to be one of the sunniest and driest places in Ireland. Its wide bay has a 6mi/10km long beach of safe sand and shingle, and other holiday attractions include golf, tennis and sea fishing.

Rosslare Harbor

3mi/5km from Rosslare at the south end of the bay lies Rosslare Harbor, terminus of ferries from Wales (Fishguard) and France (Le Havre). Rosslare is also important for freight; about 10% of Irish export trade is handled at the port.
Address: Rosslare Ferry Terminal, Ireland

Lady's Island Lake

South of Rosslare Harbor, separated from the sea only by a thin strip of land, lies Lady's Island Lake. On an island in the lake, now connected with the shore by a causeway, are the ruins of an Augustinian house and a Norman castle with a leaning tower (12th C.).

Kilmore Quay, Ireland

From Tomhaggard the R739 leads to Kilmore and Kilmore Quay, a remote and picturesque fishing center on Forlorn Point. An old lightship, moored at the quay, houses a maritime museum.
From here a boat can be taken to the rocky Saltee Islands.
7.5mi/12km west of Kilmore stands Coolhull Castle, a well-preserved 16th C. stronghold on an elongated plan.

Saltee Islands

From Kilmore Quay a boat can be taken to the rocky Saltee Islands (Little Saltee and Great Saltee). These uninhabited islands are Ireland's largest bird reserve, the nesting place of some 30 species, including cormorants, puffins, razorbills and fulmars.

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