The River Slaney flows through County Wexford, and in ages past its banks hosted some of the first Viking settlements in Ireland. Today, the county is a favourite venue for driving and camping holidays, which makes a County Wexford hire car essential.
The port town of Wexford lies at the junction of the N11 and N25 motorways in a quiet corner of Ireland. Walk through the 14th century Westgate and follow Main Street to find holdovers from the days of Normans and Vikings. In the evening, a spate of pubs keeps things percolating around the Bull Ring.
All the main sites are in Wexford Town proper, and most have a religious slant. St Iberius’ Church was founded in the 18th century, but legend says this plot of land hosted a church even before St Patrick came to the island. The Franciscan Friary dates to the 1200s and still has some of its original walls. Selskar Abbey is even more ancient.
Securing car hire in County Wexford is worthwhile, as it gives you the mobility to explore the beautiful blue flag beach on Rosslare Strand.
If you have time to spare, you may also consider a drive to Kilmore Quay, where not only can you enjoy some of the best and freshest fish and chips in the world, you can also visit the Saltee Islands bird sanctuary. Hook Peninsula is also worth exploring for its remote beaches, ancient ruins and the commanding view at Hook Head.
Light up your day at the Hook Lighthouse, the oldest intact working lighthouse in the world! Get a guided tour and discover the secrets of this 800-year-old Tower. You will meet some of the important characters of this historic building, including the 5th century St. Dubhan, ‘The Greatest Knight’ the Norman Lord of Leinster, William Marshal and the Lighthouse keepers who lived and worked at Hook over the years. End your tour at the Lighthouse Balcony where you will enjoy spectacular views!
Irish National Heritage Park
The Irish National Heritage Park truly is the cornerstone of ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’. This outdoor museum located on the banks of the River Slaney portrays 9,000 years of Irish history, an authentic recreation of Ireland’s heritage. A pathway featuring prehistoric campsites, ringforts, Fulacht Fiadh, crannogs, Viking houses and other historic landmarks awaits discovery. A new 180m trail also takes visitors deep into wet woodlands, winding between ancient trees and pools of water, to experience at first-hand what Ireland must have looked like to our Stone Age ancestors.
Wells House & Gardens
Wells House & Gardens were designed by renowned architect, Daniel Robertson, who was also responsible for the iconic Powerscourt House in County Wicklow and Johnstown Castle in County Wexford. Framed by the Great Avenue’s majestic oak trees, Wells House & Gardens has something for everyone to enjoy. The Wells Estate currently amounts to 450 acres. There are plenty of activities for all, from the Gardens & Woodland walks to clay target shooting.