Duncannon Beach is one of several beaches in Wexford that often gets over-looked by visiting tourists.
In fact, much of the breath-taking Hook Peninsula is somewhat under-explored, despite its unspoiled, rugged coast that’s dotted with attractions.
In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from parking at Duncannon Beach and swim info to what to look out for while you’re there.
Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Duncannon Beach in Wexford
Although a visit to Duncannon Beach in County Wexford is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Duncannon Beach is situated at the mouth of River Barrow, south of Duncannon Fort. It’s a 10-minute drive from Fethard-On-Sea, a 25-minute drive from New Ross, a 35-minute drive from Kilmore Quay and a 40-minute drive from Wexford Town.
You can park on the beach itself, at the time of typing, or you can park along the entrance to the beach (here on Google Maps). Just ensure that you don’t block any roads, gates or access points.
So, ‘No Swim Notices’ have been issued at Duncannon Beach over the last three years, due to water contamination. I’d recommend that you check locally before entering the water, just to be safe. Lifeguards are on duty here during the summer months.
4. Part of the Ring of Hook
Duncannon Beach is also part of the spectacular Ring of Hook Drive. This route will take you to many of the Hook Peninsula’s most notable attractions over the course of a half day.
A number of events are hosted every year on this beach, like the Sand Sculpting Festival, as well as kite-surfing competitions which attract people from all over Ireland.
6. Water safety (please read)
About Duncannon Beach
Duncannon Beach is a sandy strand that stretches for 1.6 km (1 mile) in length. As you saunter along the sand you’ll enjoy a wonderful view of the estuary of the River Barrow, Duncannon Fort and Hook Head.
The beach is Duncannon is one of a handful of beaches in Wexford that you can still drive onto and it has excellent facilities along with numerous conveniences in the nearby village.
Things to do at Duncannon Beach
There’s a handful of things to do in and around Duncannon Beach that make it the perfect spot for a morning or afternoon out.
1. Head for a saunter along the sand (or swim)
Duncannon Beach is a great place for a stroll. From one side of the beach to the other and back will take you around 30 minutes at a leisurely pace.
If you arrive when the kite-surfers are out in the water, you’ll have plenty of action to observe as you walk. There’s also views of the Wexford coast, Duncannon Fort and Hook Head to look forward to.
2. Or hit the water with the lads at Hooked Kitesurfing
If you’d like to try something different during your visit, hit the water with Hooked Kitesurfing – they’ve been delivering lessons since 2009 and they have options for novices and semi-experienced kite-surfers alike.
There’s a discovery course (€130) and a ‘Zero to Hero’ course, which is run over 3 days and costs €380.
3. Or tackle the brand new coastal walk to Arthurstown
Although there’s plenty of excellent walks in Wexford, it could always use more, and the new Duncannon to Arthurstown walk is a belter.
This new walkway connects Duncannon to nearby of Arthurstown and follows a 2km long linear route that takes roughly 1 hour to complete.
It’s taken years of planning by locals to get this plan to fruition and, going off reviews online, offers mighty views throughout.
Things to do near Duncannon Beach
One of the beauties of Duncannon is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Wexford.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Duncannon Beach.
1. Duncannon Fort (5-minute walk)
Duncannon Fort is situated right next to the beach and it’s well worth a visit. The fort dates back to the 16th century and its construction was ordered by Queen Elisabeth I to protect Waterford from an attack by the Spanish Armada. Guided tours are available and last from 45 minutes to one hour.
2. The Ring of Hook Drive (you can start from the beach)
The Ring of Hook coastal drive is the perfect addition to a visit to Duncannon Beach. You can start it from the beach and it’ll take you to everywhere from Loftus Hall and Hook Lighthouse to Dollar Bay Beach and more.
3. Tintern Abbey (15-minute drive)
Tintern Abbey is a beautiful old Cistercian monastery. This structure was built in the 1200 and its cloister, nave tower, chapel and chancel can still be seen nowadays. You can take a guided tour or saunter along one of the many Tintern Trails.
FAQs about visiting Duncannon Beach
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is it worth visiting?’ to ‘Where do you park?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is Duncannon Beach worth visiting?
If you’re in the area, yes – it’s set next to a quiet seaside town and offers views of Hook Head, the fort and the surrounding coastline.
Can you swim at Duncannon Beach
Several ‘No Swim Notices’ have been issued at Duncannon Beach over the last three years, due to water contamination. I’d recommend checking locally before entering the water.
I was born in a quiet corner of a Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula. Over the years, I’ve explored Ireland far and wide, from the wilds of West Clare to the shores of Sherkin. Particularly fond of heritage, history and hikes (and words beginning with ‘H’, apparently…).