Attractions in Wexford
Who were the 5th century monks who tended a beacon on the cliffs and why did “the greatest knight that ever lived” build this lighthouse tower? Climb the well-worn steps of the tower to explore its thick-walled chambers and you will meet life-size hologram figures who will tell you their tales.
Hook Lighthouse, the world’s oldest working lighthouse, has shone across 800 years to help seafarers navigate the rocky coastline – a thrilling thought as you enjoy lunch in the former keepers’ houses, the waves crashing outside.
The House of Waterford Crystal is one hour drive from Hook Lighthouse.
Dunbrody Famine Ship
Stepping aboard the Dunbrody Famine Ship and hearing about passenger hardships from costumed actors, you suddenly realise why such vessels were nicknamed Coffin Ships. Yet thousands of people braved the perils in order to escape the Great Famine and forge a better life overseas, some finding great success, as epitomised by the poverty-to-power rise of the family of US President J F Kennedy. The ship, an authentic reproduction of an 1840’s emigrant vessel, provides a world-class interpretation of the famine emigrant experience, while the Irish Emigrant Wall of Honour and Emigrant Flame pay tribute to the courage of so many ordinary men and women.
The House of Waterford Crystal is 30 minutes drive from Dunbrody Famine Ship.
On a voyage to Ireland in 1200, William Marshall’s ship was struck by a tremendous storm. Fearing all would drown, the famous knight prayed for help and vowed to found an abbey where he found a safe landing – and that is how he came to build the Cistercian abbey of Tintern. Discover more of its subsequent history as you wander the impressive remains, the nave, chancel, tower, chapel and cloister. The Abbey was occupied by the Colclough family from the 16th century until the 1960s.
The House of Waterford Crystal is one hour drive from Tintern Abbey.
Dunbrody Abbey was founded in 1170, on the instructions of the powerful knight Strongbow after the Norman invasion of Ireland. Although it flourished, there would seem to have been more than a little swash and buckle in its subsequent history because in 1355 the abbot and monks were accused of certain highway activities. All is calm today and there’s a maze, pitch & putt, craft shop and tea rooms too.
The House of Waterford Crystal is 45 mins drive from Dunbrody Abbey.
Selskar Abbey is one of Wexford’s most significant medieval ruins and abuts directly onto the old town walls. Delve a little and you soon uncover a history that is rich and layered, going back to pre-Christian worship. Then find out why England’s King Henry II did penance here in 1172.
The House of Waterford Crystal is one hour drive from Selskar Abbey.
John F Kennedy Arboretum
Roots of history... In 1848 famine emigrant Patrick Kennedy sailed from New Ross. In 1960, his great-grandson John Fitzgerald Kennedy became President of the United States, an amazing poverty-to-power story. This Arboretum at New Ross, dedicated to the memory of JFK, has grown into a plant collection of international standing. Covering 252 hectares (623 acres) on the southern slopes and summit of Slievecoiltia, it contains 4,500 types of trees and shrubs from all temperate regions of the world, planted in botanical sequence.
The House of Waterford Crystal is 40 mins drive from John F. Kennedy Arboretum.
As so often in Ireland’s Ancient East, there’s more than meets the eye at Loftus Hall, a large mansion on the Hook peninsula.. Built on the site of the original Redmond Hall, it is said by locals to have been haunted by the devil and the ghost of a young woman.
What do you think? Take a 45 minute interactive guided tour through the ground floor of this abandoned haunted mansion. Hear all about the grim, and often gruesome, history; and get the chance to experience “The Legend of Loftus Hall.
The House of Waterford Crystal is one hour drive from Loftus Hall.
Vikings, Normans and medieval monks have come and gone, and today it’s Nature that holds sway on The Saltee Islands – the Great and Little Saltee – some5 kilometres off the coast of Kilmore Quay Co.Wexford. Among the world’s major bird sanctuaries, the islands are privately owned, but you can enjoy trips to the Great Saltee to view – and hear the din of – vast colonies of guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and puffins.
The House of Waterford Crystal is located one hour drive from the port to Saltee Islands.