An Unforgettable 18-Day Road Trip That’s Packed With The Best Places to Visit in Ireland

Day 2 – A Haunted House, a Lighthouse and Many a Beautiful Beach as we Wander Around Wexford

Day 2 is going to take us through Wexford, with stop-offs at Curracloe beach (which you may recognise from the movie Saving Private Ryan), Hook Head Lighthouse and Loftus Hall (one of the most haunted houses in Ireland) before continuing on to Waterford.

Get up early on day 2 and let’s get cracking.

Here’s everything you need to know about day 2!

What we'll be doingWhere we'll be sleepingWhat you'll need
    • Walking along Curracloe strand (ever see the movie Saving Private Ryan?)
    • Nipping into Tintern Abbey
    • Dropping by one of the oldest operational lighthouses on earth
    • Fooooooooooood
    • Kicking off the Copper Coast drive
    • More foooooooood and a few pints (see a trend emerging??)
Faha Lodge in Waterford
  • Hiking boots
  • Rain gear
  • Some snacks for the hike
  • Water

Day 2 Stop #1 – Ballinesker Beach / Curracloe Strand

curracloe beach wexford ireland
Photo via Failte Ireland

The Glendalough Hotel to Curracloe Beach – 1 hour and 26-minute drive (leave the hotel at 9 and arrive at the beach for 10:26)

If you’ve ever watched the movie Saving Private Ryan, then you may recognise our first stop of the day.

The D-Day scene in Saving Private Ryan was filmed at Ballinesker Beach / Curracloe Strand back in 1997 due to its similarity to Omaha Beach in Normandy.

I walked this beach back in July – it’s well worth taking an hour or so to stroll along the sandy shores before taking a detour through the forest to the right of the beach for a ramble.

Day 2 Stop #2 – Tintern Abbey

Curracloe Beach to Tintern Abbey – 48-minute drive (spend an hour at Curracloe and arrive to Tintern at 12:20).

You’ll find Tintern Abbey on the west shore of Bannow Bay in Wexford.

Once one of the most powerful Cistercian foundations in the South East, the Abbey is now a big (and incredibly well maintained) crumbly ruin.

tintern abbey wexford
Photo by Sonder

Although the Abbey is the big attraction for visitors, the majority of the people that I chat to that have visited mention the walled garden as being the highlight of the trip.

Check out both for a double-whammey!

tintern abbey walled gardens wexford
Photo by Brian Morrison

If you fancy taking a guided tour and learning about the history, it’ll cost you €5 (Adult price) and lasts 45 minutes.

Top tip: if you nip into the coffee shop, grab a bowl of fresh strawberries and cream! They’ll make your mouth happy!

Day 2 Stop #3 – Hook Lighthouse (one of the oldest operational lighthouses on earth)

Tintern Abbey to Hook Lighthouse – 25-minute drive (spend an hour at Tintern and arrive at Hook at 13:45)

Once voted the number one lighthouse in the world, Hook Lighthouse has been marking the entrance to Waterford Harbour for at least 2,000 years.

One of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world, the present structure dates back 800 years to the medieval tower of Hook.

Grab a cup of coffee in the café after your long drive before climbing the 115 steps to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy the mighty view of the Wexford coastline.

Day 2 Stop #4 – Loftus Hall

Hook Lighthouse to Loftus Hall – 7-minute drive (spend an hour at Hook Lighthouse and arrive at Loftus Hall at 13:55)

You’ll find the towering structure known as Loftus Hall on the wild and windy Hook Peninsula in County Wexford.

loftus hall old
Photo via Loftus Hall

It’s a large, old mansion house that was built in the mid-1300’s during the time of the black death by the Redmond family.

According to legend, the mansion is haunted by both the devil and by the ghost of a young woman.

inside loftus hall ireland

If you fancy a bit of a scare, you can take a guided interactive tour of the ground floor of Loftus Hall (lasts around 45 mins).

The ice cream here is also gorgeous!

Day 2 Stop #5 – Tramore for Foooood

Loftus Hall to Tramore – 1 hour and 5-minute drive (spend an hour at Loftus Hall and arrive at Tramore for 16:00)

Head for the Vee Bistro in Tramore and fuel up.

We’ve a bit of driving left to get through today, so pour the coffee into you, also.

Day 2 Stop #6 – Kicking off the Copper Coast with Dunhill Castle

Tramore to Dunmill Castle – 14-minute drive (spend an hour eating and arrive at the castle for 17:15)

If you’re not familiar with the Copper Coast, it gets its name from the 19th Century copper mines that lie at its heart.

The area is made up of 25 kilometers of magnificent coastline that’s just itching to be explored.

Our first stop on the Copper Coast is a short spin from Tramore – Dunhill Castle.

This castle was built in the early 1200’s by a crowd called ‘The la Poer family’, who became infamous in the 14th century after they launched a load of attacks on Waterford City.

Drop by the castle and have a little ramble around.

Day 2 Stop #7 – Kilmurrin Beach

Dunhill Castle to Kilmurrin Beach – 10-minute drive (spend 20 minutes at the castle and arrive at the beach at 17:45)

The tiny little beach of Kilmurrin is an often overlooked stop off point, but perfect for anyone looking to stretch the legs and gulp down some fresh sea air.

If weather permits, plonk yourself down on the sand and enjoy the view of the horseshoe-shaped cove, with rugged cliffs rising beautifully on either side.

Day 2 Stop #7 – Bunmahon Beach

Kilmurrin Beach to Bunmahon Beach – 7-minute drive (spend 20 minutes at Kilmurrin and arrive at Bunmahon at 18:25)

This is our last stop of the day before heading to our accommodation for the night.

Bunmahon beach waterford
Photo by Copper Coast Geopark via Failte Ireland

Bunmahon Beach is a beautiful spot that stretches for around 5km, and is backed by sand dunes with tall cliffs at each end.

You’ll probably be all beached out at this stage, but this place is definitely worth stopping by.

Watch the video below to see why.

Day #2 Stop #8 – Bed for the night

Bunmahon Beach to Faha Lodge – 13-minute drive (arrive around 18:50)

As always, where you stay is entirely up to you.

For this road trip, I’m going to recommend Faha Lodge as it’s close to our last stop and it’s been a long-ass day.

Kick-back and chill for the evening.

Where the road trip will take us on day 3 (stop 2 is a magic road that your car reverses up… on its own.. no lie)

We’ve another great day lined up for our third day on the road.

We’ll be kick-starting the day with a climb that’ll treat you to a view that’s arguably one of the best in Ireland, before continuing to meander along the coast.

Move onto page 4 below to check it out!