There’s endless things to do in Wexford and, despite popular belief, there’s a lot more to this county than beaches.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s glorious beaches in Wexford, but this is much more than a one-horse county (see our County Wexford hub for all things Wexford!).
From hikes and walks to historical sites, adventures centres and lots more, there’s heaps of mighty places to visit in Wexford, as you’ll discover below.
The best things to do in Wexford (a quick overview)
The first section of this guide will give you a speedy insight into the most popular places to visit in Wexford, from towns and tours to some brilliant outdoor activities in Wexford.
The second section of the guide goes into the specific things to do in Wexford, like the Ring of Hook Drive and the Tintern Trails.
1. Towns and villages
Before you decide on what to do in Wexford, it’s worth taking time to decide where you’re going to stay (if you’re living in Wexford you can skip this bit!).
Wexford is home to everything from busy towns to quaint seaside villages that make a great base to explore from. Here are some of our favourites:
2. Hikes and walks
Arguably some of the top things to do in Wexford Town and beyond involve throwing on some walking shoes and tackling one of the county’s many trails.
There’s a good mix of walks in Wexford, from long and lovely hikes to glorious coastal strolls. Here are some of our favourites:
- Courtown Woods
- Vinegar Hill
- The Tintern Trails
- Forth Mountain
- Cahore Cliff Walk
- Tara Hill
- Croghan Mountain
- Mount Leinster
Some of the best places to visit in Wexford are the seemingly endless sandy stretches that you’ll find dotted along the coastline.
We go into the best of them in our Wexford beaches guide, but here are a handful of ones we find ourselves going back to over and over again:
- Cullenstown Beach
- Baginbun Beach
- Duncannon Beach
- Morriscastle Beach
- Cahore Beach
- Dollar Bay
- Booley Bay
- Ballinesker Beach
- St. Helen’s Bay
- Ballymoney Beach
- Old Bawn Beach
- Carne Beach Wexford
- Curracloe Beach
- Rosslare Strand
- Courtown Beach
4. Tourist favourites
There’s certain things to see in Wexford that delight locals and tourists alike. Some of these, like Hook Lighthouse, you’ve probably heard of.
Others, like the Saltees, might be new to you. Here are some of the most popular places to go in Wexford:
- Hook Peninsula
- Saltee Islands
- Hook Lighthouse
- Loftus Hall
- Wexford Heritage Park
- The Village At Wheelocks
- Dunbrody Famine Ship
- Seal Rescue Ireland
- JFK Arboretum
- Secret Valley Farm
- The Kennedy Homestead
- Wells House and Gardens
- Lavender Farm
- Duncannon Fort
- Pirates Cove
Our favourite places to visit in Wexford
So, the second section of this guide tackles our favourites/what we think are the best things to do in Wexford.
These are places that we’ve visited, loved and have been banging on about ever since to anyone that’ll listen!
1. The Hook Peninsula
There are few places to visit in Wexford like the Hook Peninsula. This is ‘wild Ireland’ at its absolute finest. However, it’s a corner of Wexford that some tend to miss, as it can be a bit of a spin from some of the busier towns in the county.
An adventurers delight, the Hook Peninsula is home to everything from castles and coves to the brilliant Hook Lighthouse and the supposedly haunted Loftus Hall.
One of the handiest ways to see it is on the Ring of Hook Drive. This can be completed in an hour, but allow a half-day at least to give yourself time to explore.
2. The Saltee Islands
A visit to the Saltee Islands is one of the best things to do in Wexford during the summer months, and they’re reached via a short 20-minute ferry ride from Kilmore Quay.
Although the Great Saltee Island is a lovely spot for a ramble, it’s the wildlife that’s the attractions for many. There’s everything from a puffin colony (April to July each year) and seals to numerous breeds of birds.
Just keep in mind that the island isn’t recommended for those with limited mobility, as getting on and off the ferry requires a bit of effort (info here).
3. Forth Mountain
If you’re wondering what to do in Wexford when the weather’s fine, get yourself to Forth Mountain and head off on one of the trails.
You’ll find it a 15-minute spin from Wexford Town where it stands at a height of 780 feet.
There are two trails to tackle here – the Loop Walk (10km) and the Three Rocks Trail (13km) and you’ll need moderate fitness for both (see our guide to the walk).
4. Dollar Bay
Dollar Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in Wexford and it’s situated on the Hook Peninsula, about a 10-minute drive from Fethard-on-Sea. The names comes from a tale of a sunken ship and the burial of 249 sacks of gold (more on that here).
Although it gets pretty busy here on warm summer days, you’ll find it nice and quiet throughout the year. It’s finely plonked right next to Booley Bay, which is another beach well worth sauntering along.
5. Johnstown Castle
The impressive Johnstown Castle is one of the better-known castles in Ireland for good reason – both the grounds and the castle itself are a joy to explore.
It’s less than a 10-minute drive away from Wexford Town and those that visit can explore the gardens, the museum and the castle itself (the castle is via a guided tour).
As a visit here is listed in many travel guides as one of the best things to do in Wexford, it can get busy, so book your ticket in advance.
6. Irish National Heritage Park
If you’re wondering what to do in Wexford with hard to amuse kids (or adults…) it’s well worth carving out some time to visit the Irish National Heritage Park.
It’s here that you’ll be taken on a journey that offers an insight into 9,000 of Irish history via immersive storytelling.
Visitors can take The Prehistoric Tour, The Early Christian Tour or The Age of Invasion Tour. There’s also a falconry centre, too!
7. Tara Hill
The Tara Hill Walk is another great spot for a stroll in Wexford. It’s around a 10-minute spin from Gorey and it stands at 830 feet. There’s two main trails to try here – the Red Trail (5km) and the Blue Trail (5.5km and strenuous!).
Although it’s a tough enough walk to the top, the views from the top on a clear day are well worth it.
If you’re looking for things to do in Wexford this weekend with a group, tackle the walk first and then nip into one of the restaurants in Gorey for a bite after!
8. Glamping, camping and 5-star stays
Wexford excels when it comes to accommodation. If you fancy a stay somewhere swanky, there’s plenty of luxury hotels in Wexford and there’s a handful of brilliant spa hotels in Wexford, too.
For something a bit different, see our guide to glamping in Wexford or our guide to camping in Wexford. There’s also loads of family hotels in Wexford along with heaps of hotels in Wexford with a pool.
What to do in Wexford if you fancy getting active
If you’re wondering what to do in Wexford that’ll give your legs a nice aul stretch, you’re in luck – there’s a clatter of walks and hikes in Wexford to tackle!
From hills and mountains to cliff walks, beach strolls and family-friendly rambles, you’ve plenty to choose from below.
1. Coastline galore
Right – let’s get the obvious out of the way, first. The various beaches in Wexford are great spots for a stroll and they range in length and accessibility.
If you’re looking for a long walk, the likes of Curracloe Beach is a great option as it’s huge, there’s plenty of parking and it blends into several other beaches.
There’s also smaller stretches of sand, dotted along the coast (like these ones) that are perfect for a leisurely ramble.
2. Courtown Woods
You’ll find Courtown Woods hugging the coast alongside the beautiful Courtown Beach, a short walk from the centre of the town.
There are four trails to try here: the River Walk (1.9km), the Canal Walk (1km), the High Cross Walk (1km) and the Top Walk (1.2km).
Although the woods are one of the more popular things to do in Courtown, they’re only really busy during the summer months.
3. Vinegar Hill
The Vinegar Hill walk can either be a very short 5-10-minute stroll (if you park at the main car park) or a 40-minute ramble (if you begin in the town).
It was the site of the Battle of Vinegar hill and the walk treats those that conquer it to an insight into Ireland’s past along with some excellent views.
When you’re finished, you can nip into one of the restaurants in Enniscorthy, visit the castle or tackle one of the many other things to do in Enniscorthy.
4. The Tintern Trails
A visit to the impressive Tintern Abbey is one of the best things to do in Wexford for visiting history buffs. However, while the 800+ year-old abbey is well worth exploring, it’s the Tintern Trails that we’re focusing on here.
There’s five different trails to head off on here, ranging from 0.9km to 7.2km in length. You can also take a little detour into the beautifully maintained Colclough Walled Garden while you’re there.
Related read: Check out our guide to dfssdfs of the best things to do in Wexford Town
5. Cahore Cliff Walk
The Cahore Cliff Walk is another great stroll for any time of the year (although make sure to wear warm gear in the cooler months, as it gets very windy here!).
This looped walk begins at Cahore Point and it stretches for about 4.8km. Although it’s fairly easy-going, the 2nd half of the loop is along a public road with no paths, so care is needed.
6. Croghan Mountain
Croghan Mountain (aka Croghan Kinsella) straddles the border between Wexford and Wicklow, and it tends to get missed by many visiting both counties.
There are several trails to head off on here – the Forde Farmhouse Trail (4.2km), the Croghan Trail (7km) and the Bann River Trail (5.5km).
Each is moderately difficult and they’re arguably suited more to those with some hiking experience under their belts.
7. Mount Leinster
Mount Leinster straddles Wexford and Carlow and it’s a beaut of a spot for a drive (the views are class) and it’s a fine place for a weekend hike. Soaring to a height of 2,605 ft, Mount Leinster is Leinster’s 5th highest mountain.
There are several different trails here, but I tend to head for the 3km one that starts at the Nine Stones in Carlow. You’ll follow a path right to the top and the entire trail takes around 1.5 hours to finish.
8. Oulart Hill
The hike up Oulart Hill is an interesting one. Mainly as it climaxes at the Tulach a’ tSolais Monument (on the left above).
The area itself has strong links to the 1798 Rebellion and the walk above, while moderately difficult, follows a clear trail from the church in the village.
If you’re looking for a longish walk, try the Jean Kennedy Smith trail which takes around 1.5 hours to complete.
9. The Irish Experience
If you’re wondering what to do in Wexford with a group of friends, give the Irish Experience on the Hook Peninsula a crack. There’s a heap of different activities to choose from here, including:
- Sea cave kayaking
- Sunset kayaking
- Coastal Canyoneering
- Stand up paddle boarding
The experiences here are suitable for those without any experience and the reviews online are excellent!
Popular tourist attractions in Wexford
The final section of our guide on what to do in Wexford tackles some more tourist favourites, like Hook Lighthouse and Duncannon fort.
You’ll also find some of the best things to do in Wexford for couples along with several family-friendly attractions.
1. Hook Lighthouse
Hook Lighthouse is one of the most popular places to visit in Wexford for good reason – the tour here is excellent and the coastline around Hook is a joy to explore.
The lighthouse is the oldest operational lighthouse in the world and there was a structure built here as far back as 1172.
You can grab a coffee or a bite-to-eat in the restaurant beside the lighthouse before or after and, if you visit during summer, keep an eye out for scuba divers to the left of the lighthouse.
2. Duncannon Fort
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Wexford, the Duncannon Fort tour, which takes you through the fort’s tunnels, is well worth doing.
The tour is led by passionate, local guides who offer an insight into the fort’s history from when it was built between 1587 and 1588 to the present day.
The only drawback is that the tours only run in July and August.
3. The Village at Wheelocks
We get the Village at Wheelocks recommended to us every couple of weeks. You’ll find it in Enniscorthy where it boasts everything from sweet treats and strawberries to woodland walks.
The Village is set on 17 acres of land and visitors can pick fruit, tackle one of the woodland walks, take a tour of the farm or kick-back with a coffee.
4. Seal Rescue Ireland
If you’re wondering what to do in Wexford with kids that’s both enjoyable and educational, Seal Rescue Ireland is well worth considering. Based in Courtown, the centre is the only seal rescue facility in the country.
Visitors can embark on the Seal Feed and Enrichment Experience which gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how the staff care for the seals.
There’s also Seal Rehab Experiences which give an insight into what it takes to care for seals that enter the centre.
5. Dunbrody Famine Ship
The Dunbrody Famine Ship is one of the more popular places to visit in Wexford amongst visiting tourists. The tour here includes performances, themed exhibitions and brilliantly executed storytelling.
Located in New Ross, this experience brings to life what happened on the ‘Coffin Ships’ that were used as a gateway to a new life by many during the Famine.
6. Wells House and Gardens
A handy option for those of you looking for the best things to do in Wexford with kids is the hugely popular Wells House and Gardens in Gorey.
Here, you can take a tour of the house, visit the animal farm, tackle the woodland walks, explore the gardens and have a nosey around the Arboretum.
Mogue’s Enchanted Woodland Walk is a great kid-friendly walk option and there’s trolls, bears and fairies to be discovered along the way.
7. JFK Related Attractions
JFK’s great grandparents were from Wexford and the county has a couple of popular attractions linked to him.
The first is the JFK Arboretum which is a 250 hectares garden dedicated to his memory. There’s trails, forests, a lake and wildlife to observe here.
The second is the Kennedy Homestead which is a museum that offers an insight into how JKF’s great grandparents first left Wexford and everything that happened afterwards.
FAQs about what to do in Wexford
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What are some places to visit in Wexford with kids?’ to ‘Where’s good for a date?’.
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.
What are fun things to do in Wexford this weekend?
If you’re looking to try something different, the tours with the Irish Experience are worth a look. As are any of the hikes mentioned above.
What are some unique things to see in Wexford?
The Saltee Islands, the Irish National Heritage Park and Seal Rescue Ireland are three wonderfully unique experiences.
What are some good things to do in Wexford for couples?
You could try a sunrise hike on Tara Hill, take a trip to the Saltees or kick-back in one of the many great restaurants in the county.
Saturday 4th of September 2021
Kia Ora mini farm is good fun with young children 👍
Sunday 29th of August 2021
Lovely list. Thanks for putting the time in to it. I’d also recommend Vinegar Hill and the 1798 centre. Welcome to County Wexford all. We love it and hope you’ll love it too.
Sarah Jane Vincent
Thursday 24th of September 2020
Great article! Don’t forget to check out IOAC in Tagoat, Co.Wexford for those who are avid campers and glampers or adventure seekers! ? They have many outdoor activities from kayaking, archery, high ropes and even a Viking challenge course!