Rosslare is a lovely little base to explore the endless things to do in Wexford from.
In the guide below, you’ll discover everything from places to visit to where to eat, sleep and drink. Dive on in!
Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Rosslare
Although a visit to Rosslare in Wexford is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
2. A picturesque and lively seaside town
Rosslare is a lovely seaside town with an abundance of restaurants, little cafes and shops. The town tends to be quiet during the year and then, once the warmer summer months arrive, gets pretty busy thanks to its seaside location.
3. A good base to explore Wexford from
If you’re looking to explore Wexford, Rosslare makes a great base. It’s home to the beautiful Rosslare Strand and it’s a short spin away from walks, hikes, historical sites and family-friendly attractions (more on this below).
4. Rosslare ferry
The town is home to the busy Rosslare Europort harbour. This harbour was built in 1906 to accommodate the ferry traffic between Ireland and Great Britain. Nowadays, Rosslare Europe harbour also serves ferries coming from France and Spain.
Rosslare has been a popular tourist resort for more than 100 years. Like many coastal towns, it owes its beautiful beach to its popularity. However, its proximity to Ireland’s capital has helped along with the busy ferry terminal.
Rosslare, as of the 2016 census, has just 1,620 inhabitants. However, these numbers swell once the summer arrives and crowds flock to the town to visit Rosslare Strand.
The demography of the town has changed quite a bit over the last couple of decades. A big part of this was due to tax grants which were made available in the early 2000s.
These grants could be used for building holiday homes in and around the town and, as a result, nearly 1/2 of the houses in Rosslare were constructed between 2001 and 2010.
Things to do in Rosslare (and nearby)
As there’s plenty to see around the town, we’ve a guide on things to do in Rosslare and nearby.
However, I’ll give you some of our favourites in the section below, with a mix of walks, beaches and indoor activities.
1. Rosslare Strand
Rosslare Strand is one of the most popular beaches in Wexford and has been granted the ‘Blue Flag’’ in recent years. This strand is characterised by both sand and stones and wooden breakwaters can be found along the beach to prevent erosion.
Even during the chilly winter months, Rosslare Strand is a popular destination for people looking for a ramble by the sea.
2. The Rosslare Sli na Slainte
There are two Sli walks in the town, both of which start at Rosslare’s main parking area situated in the centre of the town. From here, head north passing next to Kelly’s Resort and once you arrive at Crosbie Cedars Hotel stop a moment to decide which path you want to follow.
If you decide to go left, you will start the circular walk that will take you to the ruins of one of the first churches of the city. If you go straight, you will follow the linear route.
This walk will take you to the Burrow area, in front of the National School, housing the local museum, St Brio’s Well and Commodore John Carry’s House.
The circular path is 4.2 km (2.6 miles) long while the linear route is 3.6 km (2.2 miles) in length.
3. The International Adventure Centre
This adventure centre offers all sorts of activities for children and adults alike such as archery, raft-building and kayaking. Prices vary a lot depending on the chosen activity and range from €15 to €30 per person.
4. Hazelwood Stables
Hazelwood Stables are a 10-minute drive from Rosslare and they’re a great option if you’re looking for unique things to do near the town. Here you can join a horse riding class in the centre or you can head off on one of the beach rides.
They are open to all levels of experience and you don’t need to be a seasoned horse rider to take part. Just make sure to dress for the weather if you’re doing the beach ride!
5. Johnstown Castle
Johnstown Castle is a short, 15-minute drive from Rosslare and it’s a handy one for those dreaded rainy days. You can head off on a tour of the castle and get an insight into its past from an experienced guide.
Or you can explore the beautifully maintained grounds and tackle one of the garden trails. There’s also a playground, an Agricultural Museum and plenty more to see and do.
Restaurants in Rosslare
We have a dedicated guide to the best restaurants in Rosslare, but I’ll give you a quick overview of our favourites below:
1. Wild and Native Seafood Restaurant
Wild and Native is situated in the heart of Rosslare on Strand Road and has been awarded the Best Seafood Restaurant 2019. Here you will find an a la carte menu, a childrens menu and a Sunday lunch menu. Some of the dishes on offer include monkfish, served with tomatoes, black olives and caper sauce, and scallops and prawns served with a white wine cream.
2. La Marine Bistro
La Marine Bistro is also located in the town centre, right in front of Rosslare Beach. Here you will find a relaxed and cosy atmosphere with a selection of seasonal dishes. This restaurant features a lunch and a dinner menu with dishes such as monkfish medallions, fillet of halibut and crispy confit duck leg.
3. The Beachcomber
The Beachcomber is a buzzy little cafe and wine bar finely plonked on Rosslare Strand. Here you’ll find everything from coffee and sweet treats to fine wines, cheeseboards and pizza. And, if the reviews online are anything to go by, the only thing better than the grub is the service!
4. Lovin’ Pizza at Kelly’s Deli
This pizzeria is located in the centre of Rosslare and features a nice outdoor terrace. Here you will find all the classics, from margherita to piccante and parma. Lovin’ Pizza also has a nice wine menu with red, white and rose bottles.
Pubs in Rosslare
There’s a handful of lively pubs dotted around Rosslare for those of you that fancy a post-adventure pint. Here are our favourites:
1. Redmond’s “The Bay” Pub
Redmond’s is situated right in the centre of the town, a stone’s throw from Rosslare Strand. If you arrive in during the winter months, try and nab the seat next to the fire. It’s hard to bate!
2. Sinnott’s on the strand
Sinnott’s is located on Strand Road just next to Rosslare Beach. It has more of a restaurant vibe, but it’s a good spot if you drink Guinness. The food here is also decent!
3. Culletons of Kilrane
Culletons is a 10-minute drive from Rosslare, but it’s worth travelling to. This is the type of pub that I’d love as my local – an old-school interior, excellent pints and delicious food. 10/10.
Accommodation in Rosslare
We have a dedicated guide to the best hotels in Rosslare, but I’ll give you a quick overview of our favourites below:
1. Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa
Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of Rosslare in front of the beach. This 4-star hotel has a variety of rooms from elegant suites to junior suites and family rooms. This resort has all sorts of facilities from swimming pools to jogging tracks, five tennis courts, badminton courts and more!
2. Ferryport House B&B
Ferryport House B&B is located at Rosslare Harbour. This 3-star B&B welcomes families, individuals, couples or larger groups. Each room comes with a flat screen tv, free WIFI and tea and coffee making facilities. This property also includes a breakfast room, a conservatory room and a decking area.
3. Ashley Lodge Bed & Breakfast
Ashley Lodge is located in Ballycowan about 4.4 km (2.7 miles) south of Rosslare. This modern family-run B&B includes a spacious garden, private car parking facilities and a comfortable sitting room. All rooms feature a tv, tea and coffee making facilities and en suite bathroom. Breakfast is served every day from 6.30 am to 9.30 am.
FAQs about visiting Rosslare in Wexford
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What pubs do good grub?’ to ‘Where is there to see in the town?’.
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 Rosslare worth visiting?
Yes. There’s a gorgeous beach, plenty of walking trails and a handful of good restaurants and pubs to kick back in after a day spent exploring.
What is there to do in Rosslare?
Kick-start your visit on the beach then try the Rosslare Sli na Slainte followed by a visit to the International Adventure Centre.
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…).