Overlooking a picturesque harbour where the River Slaney flows into the Irish Sea, Wexford is a historic town in Ireland’s south-east. It was founded by Vikings around 800 AD and played a central role in the 1798 rebellion against British rule. Each year, the town hosts the internationally-renowned Wexford Opera Festival.
Things to do in Wexford
History buffs shouldn’t miss a visit to the Selskar Abbey where the first Anglo-Irish treaty was signed in 1169. Join a guided tour to explore the 12th-century ruins built atop a Viking temple dedicated to Odin and destroyed by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in 1649. Adjacent to the abbey is the beautifully restored 13th-century tollgate of the West Gate Heritage Tower.
Discover 9,000 years of history at the Irish National Heritage Park, an open-air museum that encompasses 14 hectares of natural forest on the bank of the River Slaney. Wander between the thatched Viking houses and recreated hunter-gatherer huts, then try your hand at panning for gold or shooting a bow and arrow.
A short drive north of Wexford is Curracloe Beach, a Blue Flag stretch of sand used to shoot the opening scenes of the 1998 film “Saving Private Ryan”. In the summer months, its shallow waters make it ideal for families, while birdwatchers flock here in the winter to spot Greenland white-fronted geese in the dunes and grasslands of the Ramsar-listed Raven Nature Reserve.
Getting around Wexford
Wexford is just under two hours’ drive from Dublin Airport and around 2.5 hours from Cork Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Regular trains connect from Dublin to the Wexford O’Hanrahan railway station while buses travel throughout the town. The centre of Wexford is compact enough to explore on foot.