A visit to the Irish National Heritage Park is one of the more unique things to do in Wexford.
This is immersive storytelling at its finest and the park offers a wonderful insight into 9,000 years of Irish history (yes, 9,000!).
Below, you’ll discover everything from things to see and the park to when it’s open and what to expect.
Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Wexford Heritage Park
Although a visit to the Wexford Heritage Park is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
2. Opening Hours
This park is open seven days a week from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm, with the last admission at 4 pm. In July and August, the park is open for an extra hour and closes at 6.30 pm.
3. Admission (book in advance)
A ticket for an adult will cost you €11 while children between 5 and 16 years old are €6. Several discounts are also available for senior citizens, students and families. The park can be quite busy depending on the season, so make sure to book your ticket in advance!
4. Endless things to do
Wexford Heritage Park has plenty of activities to keep you entertained during your visit. There are a number of tours available such as the prehistoric Ireland tour, the early Christian Ireland tour and the age of invasion tour.
About Wexford Heritage Park
This park is 40 acres in size and welcomes more than 70,000 visitors each year. The story of Wexford Heritage Park all began in 1987 when this site was opened as an open museum where people could learn everything about the last 9,000 years of Irish history.
Throughout the years, the park has evolved and nowadays different courses and activities are held all year round, such as Viking festivals and cob roundhouse workshops.
Wexford Heritage Park is situated on a site where the first Norman castle in Ireland was built in 1169. Today, visitors can still see the remains of the castle which have been excavated as part of the Carrig Project.
In the same area where the castle was situated, you will also find a round tower built in 1858 to commemorate all the people who lost their lives in the Crimean War.
Things to do at Wexford Heritage Park
There’s almost endless things to see and do at the brilliant Wexford Heritage Park. Here’s a taste of what to expect:
1. The prehistoric Ireland tour
On the prehistoric Ireland tour, you will experience the daily life of the people that inhabited Ireland in 7,000 BC. Stand in the middle of the stone circle, smell the smoke from the fire and experience a simpler way of life.
These people settled here after the last Ice Age and remained for at least 3,000 years. Their life mainly consisted of hunting and gathering seeds and berries.
During this tour, you will be able to explore the homes of these ancient populations and understand the role that the many monuments they left behind played in their society.
2. The early Christian Ireland tour
This tour will bring you back to when Christianity first arrived in Ireland. During this period, people were experienced farmers and cultivated all sorts of plants in their lands.
You will learn about some of the farming methods used during this time and you’ll also get to explore an ancient monastery while learning about how these sites became the centre of knowledge, art and political power.
3. The age of invasion tour
The age of invasion tour gives you an insight into the warfare and heavy combat that took place when the Vikings and then the Normans attacked Ireland. Both left many structures all over Ireland such as castles and fortresses that can still be admired to this day.
You will explore an ancient Viking town and learn everything about Vikings’ shipbuilding skills. You will also get to visit the archaeological dig on Carrig Hill where Ireland’s first Norman castle was built.
4. The falconry centre
There’s also a falconry centre with a vast number of birds of prey and also some cute owls! Here you can attend the Birds of Prey Experience during which Jim O’Connor, a master falconer, will give you a quick introduction to the many birds present in the centre, such as falcons, hawks and owls, and teach you how to handle them.
5. The Viking accommodation experience
This is also home to one of the most unique places to go glamping in Wexford – the Viking accommodation experience. You can sleep in a perfect replica of a wooden Vikings house, dress up in authentic costumes and cook on the open fire!
The house is situated on the bank of the River Slaney boasts wattle walls, a central hearth and a thatched roof.
Things to do near Wexford Heritage Park
One of the beauties of the Wexford Heritage Park 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 Wexford Heritage Park!
1. Forth Mountain (10-minute drive)
2. Johnstown Castle (10-minute drive)
Located south of Wexford Heritage Park, Johnstown Castle is more than 800 years old! Here you will be able to follow the guided tour through the 19th century renovated part of the castle, visit the Irish Agricultural Museum or simply enjoy a quiet stroll in the tranquil nature surrounding the building.
3. Raven Wood Nature Reserve (20-minute drive)
Raven Wood Nature Reserve is a national forest located north of the River Slaney, in front of the Irish sea. This forest is about 600 acres in size and is home to several species of trees such as the Corsican Pine, the Maritime Pine and the Shore Pine most of which have been planted for coastal protection and timber production.
4. Rosslare Beach (25-minute drive)
Rosslare Beach is one of the more popular beaches in Wexford. You can grab a coffee in the town and then head for a ramble alongside the water. There’s plenty of things to do in Rosslare while you’re there.
FAQs about the Irish National Heritage Park
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What is there to do?’ to ‘How much is it?’.
What is there to see at the Wexford Heritage Park?
There’s the falconry centre, the age of invasion tour, the early Christian Ireland tour and the prehistoric Ireland tour.
Is the Irish National Heritage Park worth visiting?
Yes! There are several immersive, hands-on experiences here that’ll immerse you in thousands of years of Irish history. This is a great spot for young and old alike.