If you’re looking for things to do in Wexford, you’ll find heaps of activities below to keep you occupied!
Many of those that visit Ireland (many of us that live here are guilty of this, also) completely miss out on a visit to County Wexford.
Which is a shame, as there are heaps of magnficent places to visit in Wexford, from countless gorgeous beaches and historical sites to areas of immense natural beauty.
The best things to do in Wexford this weekend
You’ll find County Wexford in the southeast of Ireland where it’s finely plonked right at the mouth of the waters of the River Slaney.
Below, you’ll discover a clatter of things to do in Wexford this weekend, from coastal adventures and ancient lighthouses to castles, unique accommodation and lots more.
1. Visit the incredible Hook Lighthouse
First up is arguably the best out of the many different places to visit in Wexford – the mighty Hook Lighthouse.
You’ll find it standing proudly on the magnificent Hook Peninsula in County Wexford. Although the current structure dates from the 12th century, there was a beacon in its place since the 5th century.
If you fancy soaking up a view that’ll knock you sideways, climb up the 115 stairs to the top of the lighthouse. You’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views of the surrounding area.
Those that visit can join a guided tour at Hook to learn about the history of the lighthouse (I did this a few years ago and it was excellent!).
2. Try surfing on Curracloe Beach (one of the best things to do in Wexford with a group!)
If learning to surf has been sat on your to-do list for a while, now’s the time to tick it off! Point your nose in the direction of Curracloe Beach and book in for a lesson with the Surf Shack.
Surf lessons start at €35 for children ages 6 to 16 and begin at €40 for adults. If you’ve never tried surfing before, don’t worry – lessons are equipped to cater for complete novices.
Interestingly enough, several scenes from the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’ were filmed around Curracloe.
If you’re wondering what to do in Wexford on a stag or hen or with a large group of friends or family, surfing is a solid option!
3. Spend the night in a ringfort at the Irish National Heritage Park
Yes, a ringfort! If you’re in search of unique things to do in Wexford, this very quirky accommodation should tickle your fancy.
You’ll find the very quirky accommodation pictured above in the Irish National Heritage Park, where it offers groups of up to 6 the chance to live like Vikings for a night.
The design of the ringfort is based upon a real, 16th-century Viking house that was found in Wexford 30 years ago.
During your stay, you’ll be able to cook dinner over a fire and dress up in Viking costumes. See more of the Wexford Ringfort to learn about prices, how many it sleeps and more.
Or, you can discover loads more unique places to stay in Wexford in our guide to the most unusual Airbnbs in Wexford.
4. Splash out on a night away at Monart Spa
If you’re looking for things to do in Wexford for couples, look no further than the very swanky Monart Spa.
You’ll regularly see this place top guides to the best spa hotels in Ireland. Those that visit Monart can expect everything from relaxation rooms and a gym to a thermal suite and plenty more.
To add to the experience, many of the rooms at Monart offer views of the surrounding woods and lake.
5. Head for a saunter (or swim) along one of Wexford’s many mighty beaches
As you’ve probably gathered at this stage, there’s tonnes of incredible beaches in Wexford, many of which are perfect for watersports or swimming.
If you fancy a dip, Rosslare Strand, Morriscastle Beach and Cahore Beach are all solid options. If you fancy a ramble, try:
- Old Bawn
- Cahore Beach
- St. Helen’s Bay Beach
- Ballyhealy Beach
Each of the beaches above offers fine views that you can soak up as you ramble. If you visit Curracloe, there’s a lovely wooded area right next to it!
6. Take the kids to Pirates Cove in Courtown
If you’re looking for things to do in Wexford with kids, carve out some time to visit Pirates Cove in Courtown.
Pirates Cove is a fun family experience where there’s everything from golfing and bowling to a pirate train and bubble rollers to keep the kids occupied.
Instead of paying a flat entrance fee, you pay per ride, with prices ranging from €3 to €33, depending on the activity.
7. Step back in time on Dunbrody Famine Ship
Dunbrody Famine Ship is one of the better known man-made Wexford attractions, and it’s steeped in history.
Those that visit the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross will follow in the footsteps of some of the 1.5 million people who departed Ireland during the Great Famine.
This attraction is situated on a replica of an 1840s famine ship and it boasts a guided tour, costumed performed and themed exhibitions.
8. Explore Enniscorthy Castle
Over the years, the 13th-century Enniscorthy Castle has been home to everyone from English armies and Normans to groups of Irish rebels.
The castle has recently been restored to enhance the visitor experience. Those that visit can step back in time and learn about the castle’s beginnings to its importance during the 1916 Easter Rising.
When you visit, make sure to nip up the battlements at the top of the caslte. You’ll be able to take in a brilliant view of the surrounding area from there!
9. Soak up some history at Duncannon Fort
Duncannon Fort is a 16th-century fortress on the Hook Peninsula that was originally built to help defend Waterford from invasion by the Spanish Armada.
Those that visit the fort can explore a rich history that dates back over 450-years along with a mighty view out over the beautiful Waterford Estuary.
You can visit Duncannon Fort from Wednesday to Sunday each week! An adult ticket costs €6 while any child from age 6 to 16 costs just €2.50 per ticket.
10. Visit the seals at Seal Rescue Ireland (one of the most unique places to visit in Wexford)
If you’re wondering what to do in Wexford with kids, take them to see the seals in Seal Rescue Ireland.
You’ll find Seal Rescue Ireland in Courtown, where their sole purpose is to help save and rehabilitate sick, injured or orphaned seals that are found along Ireland’s coastline.
The ‘Seal Feed & Enrichment’ Experience, in particular, sounds brilliant. This is a brand new programme that allows visitors to see seal pups up close.
You’ll get to be involved in their rehabilitation and you’ll also help them get a little bit closer to being released back into their natural habitat.
This is a one hour experience that takes visitors on a behind the scenes tour of the hospital and is guided by skilled members of staff.
11. See the animals at Secret Valley Wildlife Park and Zoo in Coolnacon
Looking for more things to do in Wexford with kids? Get them to the Secret Valley Wildlife Park and Zoo. A visit here is a great way to spend an afternoon in Wexford with the family.
Kids can learn how to feed goats, ride ponies, and interact with the many other animals that the zoo houses.
In addition to animals, there’s an obstacle course and a cafe! An adult ticket costs €10 and a child ticket costs €9. Children under 2 can enter for free.
12. Test your nerve at Loftus Hall (one of the most haunted houses in Ireland)
Loftus Hall on the Hook Peninsula was initially built in 1350 by the Redmond Family during the Black Death on the same site as a 12th-century castle.
It was known as Redmond Hall until the 17th century when the Loftus Family took it over. According to legend, the Devil visited Loftus Hall on a stormy night many years ago.
You can learn more about the story here. Today visitors can explore Loftus Hall on a guided tour (keep an eye out for ghosts…).
13. Visit the Kennedy Homestead
The Kennedy Homestead is where Patrick Kennedy, John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather, was born. It was here that five generations of the Kennedy family lived and farmed.
Those that visit can head off on a state of the art interpretative exhibit which explores why Patrick Kennedy’s left Ireland in 1848.
It also offers an insight into his life via a collection of memorabilia and audio-visual features. An adult ticket is priced at €7.50 while a family ticket is also available for just €22!
14. Visit Johnstown Castle Estate and Museum
The Johnstown Castle Estate and Museum is home to the Irish Agricultural Museum which exhibits displays about Ireland’s rural farming history.
This estate boasts over 800 years of history, though the castle was only built in the 19th century.
The highlight of a visit to Johnstown Castle Estate is the gardens which were created by Daniel Robertson. This is a great spot to head for a stroll on a sunny afternoon in Wexford!
15. Grab a bike and spin along the Norman Way Trail
If you’re a keen cyclist and you’re wondering what to do in Wexford/where to explore on the saddle, spend a day spinning along the Norman Way Trail.
The Norman Way Trail is a gorgeous bike trail which takes you to a number of Norman sites that are steeped in history.
If you hit the trail, you’ll find a clatter of ruins, including towers and churches. There are also windmills, graveyards, and gorgeous views along the way.
16. Take a ferry over to the Saltee Islands (one of the most frequently missed things to do in Wexford)
The Saltee Islands are one of a number of places to visit in Wexford that rarely make the pages of shiny visitor handbooks, which is a shame, as they’re well worth a visit.
The Saltee Islands are located just off the coast at Kilmore Quay and are made up of Great Saltee and Little Saltee.
These islands are known for their sea birds and are a beautiful place to take a day trip! In fact, they’re widely regarded as one of the best bird sanctuaries in Europe.
You can get to the Saltee Islands from Kilmore Quay. Just climb aboard the ferry and you’ll be there in 20 minutes.
17. Have a wander around Ferns Castle
Ferns Castle is a 13th-century Irish castle with Anglo-Norman history. The castle’s interior is most well-known for having one of the best-vaulted ceilings in Ireland!
Though the entire castle mostly ruins today, it remains a popular place to visit and explore. Be sure to check out the visitor centre to learn all about the history of the site.
Some of the must-see sites at Ferns Castle include the Ferns Tapestry and the fireplaces (which are originals) in the tower.
18. Explore Dunbrody Abbey
You’ll find Dunbrody Abbey, a 12th-century Cistercian monastery, on the Hook Peninsula where it’s surrounded by gorgeous green grounds with a spectacular view.
Dunbrody Castle is located close nearby. The abbey has been through a lot historically, which can all be learned about at the Visitor Centre.
This is a great spot to explore some of Ireland’s history. Now, this might seem a bit random, but if you’re wondering what to do in Wexford with kids, this is a solid option.
The Abbey has a maze on-site along with pitch and putt. There’s also a tea room where you can grab them something tasty after your mini adventure.
19. See Wexford from the sea with the lads from Hook Head Adventures
If you’re planning a weekend away with friends and you’re on the lookout for places to visit in Wexford with a group, this should tickle your fancy.
Hook Head Adventures is an eco-tourism adventure company that takes travellers looking for a unique experience around the area near Hook Head.
They offer a wide variety of outdoor adventure experiences, including sunset kayaking, sea cave kayaking, coasteering, guided and self-guided bike tours, and even paddleboarding.
Experiences range from €30 to €100 depending on the activity. This is up there with the best things to do in Wexford with a large group of friends. Just make sure to book well in advance.
20. Grab a coffee and set off on a ramble around Wells House and Gardens
Wells House is a Victorian mansion that was designed by Daniel Robertson in the 1830s. Some of the best marvels of the estate include the Daniel Robertson Room and the Versailles Room.
A guided tour will bring you through the mansion and offers those that visit an insight into the buildings rich history.
If you don’t fancy nipping inside, there’s still plenty to see and do outside: there’s everything from a family-friendly walking trail to a farm with goats, guinea pigs, and chickens.
Traveller tip: Feeling peckish or in need of a pick-me-up? Drop into Mrs. Stone’s Restaurant (near the gardens).
21. Take a look around Selskar Abbey (one of the most popular Wexford attractions)
We’re going to round off this guide with a visit to Selskar Abbey, one of the best things to do in Wexford Town!
This place was founded in the 12th century and is built on a site where an old Viking temple once sat.
It was also here, within the walls of an earlier church that sat on this site, that the very first Anglo-Irish treaty was signed in 1169.
According to legend, Henry II spent some time at Selskar Abbey in 1172. The story goes that he was there for penance for the murder of Thomas Becket.
Oliver Cromwell, unsurprisingly, was the man responsible for the abbey’s destruction in the 17th century.
Traveller tip: The only way to visit Selskar Abbey is on one of the daily guided tours provided by the folks at Wexford Walking Tours.
What to do in Wexford: where have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ll have unintentionally left out plenty of other worthwhile places to visit in Wexford from the guide above.
If you have something to recommend, pop a comment into the comments section below and we’ll check it out! Cheers!
FAQs about visiting Wexford
We published this guide on what to do in Wexford a couple of years back. Since then, we’ve had loads of emails from people planning a visit.
In the section below, you’ll find some of the most FAQs. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments.
What are the best things to do in Wexford with kids?
- Take them to Pirates Cove in Courtown
- Visit the seals at Seal Rescue Ireland
- Spend a day at Secret Valley Wildlife Park
- Take them to see the animals at Wells House and Gardens
What are the best places to visit in Wexford for walks?
There are loads of brilliant walks in Wexford. Here’s a map with the various different trails outlined, from short strolls to lengthy and strenuous hikes.
What are the best things to do in Wexford Town?
- Visit Selskar Abbey
- Eat your way around Wexford Farmers Market
- Spend a rainy afternoon in Wexford Arts Centre
- Head off on the Wexford Heritage Trail