Tara Hill in Wexford (not to be confused with the Hill of Tara in Meath) is a mighty spot for a ramble.
While Tara isn’t the biggest of hills, its isolated location means that it dominates its surrounding landscape and gives some stunning views of Wexford and the nearby coast!
There are a couple of trails here to choose from, and they range from between 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on pace.
In the guide below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Tara Hill walk, from where to park to what to expect and more.
Some quick need-to-knows about Tara Hill in Wexford
Although a visit to Tara Hill near Gorey is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
While not comparable to the mountains you’ll find in Kerry or Donegal, Tara Hill’s height of 830 ft isn’t to be sniffed at and the flat surrounding area makes it appear pretty huge! The views from its summit are what make this one of the more popular walks in Wexford.
3. Two main trails
Tara Hill’s two main trails offer some nice variety depending on your levels of fitness and experience. The red trail is a relatively simple loop around the hill that shouldn’t pose too many problems. The Blue trail is similar in length but requires climbing Tara Hill itself, so it would be considered a more strenuous walk.
5. The Tara Hill Estate
About Tara Hill
First of all, don’t confuse this Tara Hill with the more famous one in Meath! While there is a cairn at the summit of Tara Hill in Wexford, it doesn’t quite compare to the 20-odd ancient monuments and burial sites on Meath’s Hill of Tara.
But this area is still steeped in history. A long-extinct volcanic hill, Tara Hill has been part of the furniture in Wexford for thousands of years and is visible for miles.
In January 1868, a cargo ship sailing from Liverpool to Rio de Janerio called The Ullswater was wrecked off the shores of Ballymoney Beach and its surviving sailors (10 sadly died) took refuge at the nearby Tara Hill House.
There’s also a local legend that the woods of Tara Hill are haunted, but don’t let that put you off the lovely walks!
Two Tara Hill walks to tackle
There are two main Tara Hill walks to head off on, and they vary quite a bit in terms of length and difficulty. The first is the red trail which is a 5km moderately difficult looped walk that’ll take you around 1.5 hours.
The second is the 5.5km blue trail which is tough and should take around 2.5 hours. You’ll find an overview of both below.
1. The Tara Hill Red Trail
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Length: 5km
- Time: 1.5 hours
- Format: Loop
The red trail (or, Slí an t-Suaimhnis) is a looped walk around the base of Tara Hill and you can follow it by following the waymarks featuring red arrows on white backgrounds.
As we mentioned earlier, there are a couple of spots you can start from but the cemetery north of the hill is a nice place to begin.
Starting in a clockwise direction, you’ll make your way along quiet laneways at the foot of the hill’s slopes with gorgeous views of the rolling fields and Irish sea in the distance. You’ll then join a path closer to Tara Hill itself as you pass by Bessie’s Cottage and the Ballinacarrig car park.
Look out for a 1798 graveyard, and on the final sections of this walk, you’ll notice the Stations of the Cross attached to the trees, where locals used to come and pray in remembrance of times past. Finish up back at St Kevin’s Cemetary.
An overview of the Tara Hill Blue Trail
- Difficulty: Strenuous
- Length: 5.5km
- Time: 2.5 hours
- Format: Loop
The blue trail (or, Slí na n-Óg) is a looped walk that takes you to the summit of Tara Hill and you can follow it by following the waymarks featuring blue arrows on white backgrounds.
With an ascent of almost 800 ft and a 2.5-hour timespan, make sure you’ve brought all the right weather-appropriate gear, as well as a fully charged phone and food and water!
We’ll kick off the walk at the Ballinacarrig parking place (known locally as the Crab Tree) where you’ll begin on an anti-clockwise trail before taking a sharp left then a sharp right up into the steep slopes of Tara Hill.
Along the way up, you’ll come across the remains of a famine village, Soldier’s Hollow and Table Rock. Make sure you keep your footing on the heathery slopes and look out for the cairn (it features a crow’s-foot mark showing it was once part of a military survey) when you finally reach the summit.
On a clear day, you should be able to see Mount Snowdon in Wales, Croghan Kinsella in Co. Wicklow and Oulart Hill further south! Follow the blue arrows pointing east to make your descent and back to Ballinacarrig.
Things to do near Tara Hill
One of the beauties of the Tara Hill walks is that they’re 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 Tara Hill (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Ballymoney Beach (10-minute drive)
With its boomerang shape and soft golden sands, Ballymoney Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Wexford. Just a 10-minute drive from Tara Hill, it’s a nice change of scene if you want a closer look at the coast.
2. Gorey for a post-hike feed (15-minute drive)
Gorey’s the nearest town to Tara Hill and it’s got loads of choice if you want to grab something to eat after your hike. With everything from classic pub grub at The Coach House to fiery Indian options at Masala House, there’s some mighty restaurants in Gorey.
3. Wexford Lavender Farm (20-minute drive)
Wexford Lavender Farm is a pretty unique (and colourful!) spot to visit if you’re in the area so why not? Located around 20 minutes northwest of Tara Hill, you can take a tour of the farm and buy all the lavender you’ll ever need! *The farm is only open during the summer months (May-August and weekends only in September).
FAQs about the Tara Hill walks
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where do you park?’ to ‘How do you get to Tara Hill from Gorey?’.
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.
Are the Tara Hill walks tough?
The red trail is moderately difficult while the blue trail is strenuous (it climbs the hill while the former circles it).
Where do you park for Tara Hill in Wexford?
This will depend on which of the Tara Hill walks you’re doing. There are 3 car parks, as you’ll see from the map at the top of this guide.