St Helen’s Bay Beach is up there as one of the best beaches in Wexford (and for good reason!).
You’ll find St Helen’s Beach tucked away in the wild and unspoiled southeast of County Wexford, where it’s been delighting tourists and locals alike for many a year.
However, if you visit during the chillier months, the chances are you’ll have this glorious chunk of coastline all to yourself.
In the guide below, you’ll find info on parking, swimming and what to do while you’re there.
Some quick need-to-knows about St Helen’s Bay Beach
Although a visit to St Helen’s Beach is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Situated a few km south of Rosslare Strand, St Helen’s Bay Beach faces east towards Wales’s Pembrokeshire coast and lies in Wexford’s southeast. It’s also a handy 25-minute spin from Wexford Town and a 30-minute spin from Kilmore Quay.
There’s a car park near St Helen’s pier that’s got a solid amount of space (here on Google Maps), but it does tend to get busy in the summer months so arrive earlier if you can. The car park faces out towards the coast too, offering some nice views on arrival.
Official information on swimming at St Helen’s Beach is difficult to come by. The water quality should be more than decent, however, as the beach is one of only 63 in Ireland to be named a Green Coast Award site. There doesn’t appear to be a lifeguard service during the summer and we’d recommend you check locally before entering the water.
4. Water safety (please read)
Understanding water safety is absolutely crucial when visiting beaches in Ireland. Please take a minute to read these water safety tips. Cheers!
About St Helen’s Bay Beach
While it is a generally quiet spot, there’s a good reason why you’ll see plenty of swish holiday homes dotted nearby St Helen’s beach. In a nutshell, the beautiful windswept seclusion offered at St Helen’s Bay is beyond alluring!
But it doesn’t really matter if you have money or not, as a stroll along its pristine shores or on its pretty trails (which we’ll talk about more soon) don’t cost a cent.
With its Green Coast Award, the aforementioned trails and relative proximity to Wexford town, this is one of County Wexford’s most seductive coastal offerings at any time of year.
Things to do at St Helen’s Bay Beach
There’s a handful of things to do at St Helen’s Beach in Wexford for those of you looking to make a morning out of your visit. Here’s a few things to tackle!
1. Head for a ramble or a paddle
You get a nice view of the shore from the moment you park up at St Helen’s Bay Beach, but you’ll want to get onto its soft sands and go for a ramble. Those soft sands make it particularly nice to stroll on during the warm summer months, but there’s also a stark beauty that comes with taking a brisk winter walk too.
And if you’re visiting in the summer, take advantage of the weather and head into the water for a paddle. If you look to the edges of the beach there are also rock pools which are great for exploring if you’re here with kids and the tide is low.
2. Tackle the St. Helen’s Trail
If you want to do some exploring of the area, then there are a couple of trails to hit that will give you a nice perspective and aren’t too taxing either!
The St. Helen’s Trail is a linear walk extending around 4 km from St Helen’s southwards across the beach via Ballytrent and St Margaret’s and finishing at the excellent Blue Flag Carne Beach.
Of course, as a linear trail, it turns into an 8 km walk if you’ve parked at St Helen’s so be prepared for the walk back. But with a load of gorgeous coastal views to soak up on the way, it’s a trail that’s well worth taking on (there are few gradient changes, too).
3. Or head off on the Ballytrent Trail
The second of the two trails is the Ballytrent Trail, a looped walk that should take around two hours to complete and takes you inland through the village of Ballytrent and back to the St Helen’s car park.
Coming in at around 7 km in length, the Ballytrent Trail splits from the St. Helen’s trail at around the 2 km mark and leads off the beach along a quiet road towards the historic 18th century Ballytrent House.
The roadway continues through scenic countryside, leading past the ruins of Ballycronigan House before rejoining the beach at the bottom of the hill. Turn left and continue back along the beach to St. Helen’s.
Places to visit near St Helen’s Bay Beach
One of the beauties of St Helen’s Beach is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best things to do in Wexford.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from St Helen’s Beach (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Beaches galore
County Wexford isn’t short of beaches, and with Rosslare Strand to the north and Carne Beach to the south, this far-flung corner is no exception! Both beaches are less than a 20-minute drive away from St Helen’s so pick your poison and enjoy Wexford’s stunning shores.
2. Johnstown Castle (20-minute drive)
Johnstown Castle is indeed a castle, but it’s also so much more than that! With the Irish Agricultural Museum, Gardens, Lake Walks & Playground also a part of the Johnstown Castle experience, there’s loads to discover that goes far beyond its already fascinating 800-year history.
3. Forth Mountain (25-minute drive)
With a couple of challenging walks to take on, Forth Mountain is a great spot for some cracking views over Wexford and an excuse to stretch the legs! Simply choose from the Forth Mountain Loop Walk or the linear Three Rocks Trail. This is one of our favourite walks in Wexford for good reason.
FAQs about visiting St Helen’s Beach in Wexford
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where do you park?’ to ‘How long is it?’.
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 St Helen’s Beach worth visiting?
Yes – 100%. This is arguably one of Wexford’s finest beaches and, outside of summer, it’s a little quiet oasis offering stunning seas views.
Can you go swimming at St Helen’s Bay Beach?
We can’t for the life of us find reliable info on swimming here, aside from the fact that there’s no lifeguards on duty. Check locally before entering the water.