Lying in the southeast corner, Co Wexford
has an enviable sunshine record, beautiful countryside and a delightful
harbour towns and sandy beaches. The climate is milder than elsewhere
and has a number of stunning gardens, open to the public by arrangement.
Built close to the mouth of the River Slaney,
Wexford is a commercial and fishing town named
by Vikings. Shops, pubs and a charm make Wexford an appealing place
to visit, that and its internationally renowned week-long Opera Festival, held every October.
The Irish National Heritage Park at Ferrycarrig,
northwest of Wexford has 17 sites linking Ireland’s history
from prehistoric times to medieval. The mudflats of the Slaney
Estuary (known as ‘slobs’) make up the Wexford
Wildfowl Reserve, are best between October and April when
the wildfowl are here.
Kilmore Quay is
a fishing village with fine sandy beaches, thatched cottages, pubs
and a maritime museum. A short way offshore, the uninhabited Saltee Islands, one of Ireland’s most important
bird sanctuaries, are worth a visit. Easily accessed from Waterford
is a beautiful drive down from Arthurstown to
Hook Head Peninsula, which has many lovely sandy beaches
and cliff tops that are ideal for walking, cycling and horse riding.
Surrounded by farmland along the River Slaney, Enniscorthy’s
moment of fame arrived in 1798 with the Battle of Vinegar Hill,
when the United Irishmen made their last stand against the British.
The market town, by far the most attractive in Co Wexford, was established
by the Normans. It is still dominated by the Norman castle and later
St Aidan’s Cathedral. The castle is home
to the Wexford County Museum.
New Ross along the River Barrow,
was the original family base of the American Kennedy family and
remains devoted to the US President. The John Fitzgerald
Kennedy Park and Arboretum is dedicated
to his memory was opened in 1968 and is a popular place for easy
walks. Kilmokea Gardens are the
most beautiful gardens in the southeast of Ireland, and should not
Bordered by the sea the Comeragh and the Monavullagh
– Waterford has both rugged beauty and an attractive coastline
of beaches, fishing villages and holidays resorts.
was founded by Vikings in order to control shipping on the Suir
and Barrow rivers. Reginald’s Tower
and Museum, built in 1003, is a reminder of a turbulent
past – Waterford was one of the few areas to successfully
oppose Cromwell’s forces.
Organised tours of Waterford Crystal Glass Factory
illustrate the comprehensive history of crystal manufacture. Dunmore
East, southeast of Waterford, is a village close to bathing
beaches and attractive coves, including Lady Cove,
a sandy bay popular with local people and tourists.
south of Waterford is one of Ireland’s main holiday resorts.
It has plenty of pubs, a racecourse, a large amusement park, miniature
railway, boating lake and a 4.8km or 3-mile sandy beach caressed
by the Gulf Stream.
The harbour town of Dungarvan is where the River Colligan flushes into Dungarvan Harbour. It is a good base from which to explore
the cliff tops of Helvick Head.
Ardmore is famed for its long, fine beach set against
high cliffs and its place in Irish history as an important ecclesiastical
site based on a seventh-century monastic settlement founded by St
The second smallest of Ireland’s counties, Carlow
is sandwiched between the rivers Barrow and Slaney and is mostly
flat acres of rich farmland. This is an unspoilt part of Ireland,
with sleepy villages and lush countryside. Carlow
Town used to be an Anglo-Norman stronghold, but
today it is largely concerned with the production of sugar beet.
It was the southernmost outpost controlled by the English Crown,
and as a result heavily fortified. Carlow County Museum is located in the town hall on Centaur Street.
This is an agricultural county, with lush, well-tended countryside,
attractive villages, homely cottages and castles along the river
valleys of the Nore and the Barrow.
Horse racing, fishing, riding and golf are the main activities in
this manicured landscape.
named after St Canice, who built a monastery here. Kilkenny Castle
continues to dominate the town wit its blend
of Gothic, Classical and Tudor styles. On a hilltop site St
Canice’s Cathedral dates mostly from the 13th century.
Dunmore Cave, north of Kilkenny is one
of the most famous in Ireland. In the past, people took refuge
here from the Vikings but not always successfully. Kells Priory is the site of an Augustinian priory and
little known but is one of the most beautiful and finest ruins in
the country. Jerpoint Abbey, south
of Thomastown is a remarkable Cistercian ruin,
famous for the carvings on its tombs. It dates back to 1158, and
was embraced by Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries.