Tourism Geography

Explore Best Things to Do in Wexford, Ireland | Top Activities & Attractions 

Reema Bharti

Reema Bharti

· 12 min read

Explore Best Things to Do in Wexford, Ireland | Top Activities & Attractions 

Best things to do in Wexford, Ireland, range from wandering through the city walls and its rich historical sites to enjoying its vibrant contemporary culture. Nestled in the southeast corner of Ireland, Wexford town offers a mix of beautiful landscapes, ancient architecture, and lively festivals. Whether you're exploring the hauntingly beautiful ruins of Tintern Abbey, enjoying the sandy stretches at Curracloe Beach, or indulging in the local arts and crafts at the Wexford Opera House, Wexford provides a captivating experience for all kinds of travelers

I've visited Wexford several times and never tire of its beauty. I loved the fascinating tours at Hook Lighthouse and the thrill of hiking the rugged coastline. The local restaurants serve some of the best seafood I've tasted. Wexford is my go-to for an unforgettable Irish escape.

Top 10 Things To Do in Wexford Ireland

The top things to do in Wexford Ireland are:

  1. Visiting Hook Lighthouse

  2. Exploring the Irish National Heritage Park

  3. Strolling around Johnstown Castle Gardens

  4. Enjoying Wexford’s Beaches

  5. Watching a show at the National Opera House

  6. Visiting the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve

  7. Exploring Enniscorthy Castle

  8. Wandering through Tintern Abbey

  9. Shopping at Wexford town markets

  10. Trying Water Sports in Rosslare

Wexford, a historic town in Ireland, offers a variety of activities for visitors. Enjoy the stunning beaches along the coastline, perfect for a relaxing day or a scenic walk. Visit the famous Hook Lighthouse, one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world, for breathtaking views and a rich history lesson. Explore the Irish National Heritage Park, a unique outdoor museum that brings 9,000 years of Irish history to life. Wexford is also home to the Johnstown Castle Estate, where you can wander through lush gardens and explore a magnificent 19th-century castle. Whether you're a history buff, nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Wexford has something to captivate everyone.

Top 10 Things To Do in Wexford, Ireland
# Activity Description
1 Visiting Hook Lighthouse Experience panoramic views from one of the world's oldest operational lighthouses.
2 Exploring the Irish National Heritage Park Dive into 9,000 years of history across 35 acres of woodland and wetland trails.
3 Strolling around Johnstown Castle Gardens Wander through the lush, ornamental gardens of this 19th-century gothic castle.
4 Enjoying Wexford’s Beaches Relax or engage in water sports at some of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches.
5 Watching a show at the National Opera House Catch a world-class performance at one of Ireland's leading performing arts venues.
6 Visiting the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve Observe a variety of migratory and native birds in their natural habitat.
7 Exploring Enniscorthy Castle Discover the history of this Norman castle with its captivating museum and scenic views.
8 Wandering through Tintern Abbey Explore the ruins of this cistercian abbey set in a tranquil wooded valley.
9 Shopping at Wexford town markets Find local crafts, foods, and more in the bustling markets of Wexford town.
10 Trying Water Sports in Rosslare Enjoy sailing, surfing, and swimming at the sunny Rosslare Strand.

1. Visit Hook Lighthouse

Hook Lighthouse, Wexford

One of the top things to do in Wexford, Ireland, is to visit Hook Lighthouse. Located at the tip of the Hook Peninsula, this is one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world. The striking structure offers breathtaking views of the Irish Sea. Visitors can climb the ancient tower and explore the visitor center that details its centuries of maritime history.

I remember standing at the top of the lighthouse, the sea breeze mixing with the sound of waves below. It was a serene moment, watching ships sail the horizon as the sun cast golden hues over the water. It's a perfect spot for anyone who appreciates history meshed with stunning natural scenery.

2. Explore the Irish National Heritage Park

The Irish National Heritage Park, Wexford

This expansive outdoor museum captures over 9,000 years of Irish history. Walk through realistic reconstructions of historical sites including crannogs, ringforts, and Viking houses. Each setting offers an immersive glimpse into Ireland's past.

During my visit, I was particularly fascinated by the live demonstrations of ancient crafts. Learning archery was a highlight, as was watching craftspeople weave baskets using traditional methods. It's not just informative; it's interactive.

The park spans 35 acres of lush woodland and wetland, ideal for nature lovers. It's perfect for a family day out or a solo adventure, with plenty of space to roam and explore at your own pace. The tranquil setting by the River Slaney adds to the park's charm, making it a peaceful escape from the bustling town nearby.

3. Stroll around Johnstown Castle Gardens

Johnstown Castle Gardens, Wexford

Strolling around Johnstown Castle Gardens is a must when visiting Wexford, Ireland. This magnificent estate spans over 50 acres, featuring ornate gardens designed during the Victorian period. Visitors can wander through the lush, meticulously maintained pathways, view the variety of flowers and exotic trees, and admire the serene lakes.

I remember the calmness that enveloped me as I walked these grounds last summer. The reflection of the castle on the lake at sunset was truly a sight to behold. It's a perfect spot for photography or simply to enjoy a peaceful afternoon away from the bustle of city life.

Johnstown Castle itself is a Gothic revival marvel, adding a historical essence that enhances the beauty of farm buildings and the gardens. The estate also houses the Irish Agricultural Museum, making it a rich educational experience as well.

4. Enjoy Wexford’s Beaches

Wexford's beaches are a must-visit for anyone looking to relax by the sea. With its extensive coastline, Wexford boasts some of the most beautiful and serene beaches in Ireland. Curracloe Beach, famous for its fine, soft sand and the filming of the D-Day landing scene in Saving Private Ryan, offers a picturesque setting for a day out. Kilmore Quay Beach is another gem where you can enjoy fresh seafood right by the water.

From my own experiences, spending a day at Curracloe Beach feels like a retreat from the hustle of everyday life. The calming sound of the waves and the refreshing sea breeze always rejuvenate my spirit. Walking along the shore, collecting shells, and watching the sunset are simple pleasures that never fade.

For those interested in water sports, Rosslare Strand is perfect for windsurfing and sailing. The beach is well-maintained and family-friendly, making it an ideal spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll. With ample opportunities for swimming and sunbathing, Wexford’s beaches provide both relaxation and recreation.

5. Watch a show at the National Opera House

The National Opera House, Wexford

Watch a show at the National Opera House in Wexford, Ireland. Located in the heart of Wexford town, this modern and beautifully designed venue offers a variety of performances, from operas to concerts and plays. The acoustics are exceptional, making every show a memorable experience.

During my last visit, I attended a captivating opera performance. The talent of the performers and the intimate atmosphere of the venue made it an evening to remember. It's a perfect way to immerse yourself in the cultural fabric of Wexford.

While in the area, take the opportunity to stroll along Wexford's stunning beaches. The contrast between the serene, sandy stretches and the vibrant arts scene provides a well-rounded visit. Enjoy the fresh, salty air before heading to a night of exquisite musical artistry.

6. Visit the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve

Visit the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve to immerse yourself in the rich birdlife of Ireland. This protected area is a haven for thousands of migratory birds, including the rare Greenland white-fronted geese that spend the winter months from October to March. With well-positioned hides and viewing points, the reserve is perfect for birdwatching. The visitor center, equipped with educational displays, explains the area's ecological importance and the diverse species it supports.

During my last visit, I spent a peaceful morning in a hide, binoculars in hand, as the sun cast golden hues over the landscape. The air was filled with the melodic calls of geese, creating a serene atmosphere that highlighted the beauty of Wexford's natural landscape. This experience, coupled with leisurely walks along Curracloe Beach, known for its the weather's fine sand and clear waters, made for a memorable visit, emphasizing the tranquil charm of Wexford.

7. Explore Enniscorthy Castle

Exploring Enniscorthy Castle stands out as a must-visit attraction in Wexford, Ireland. This historic structure, perched dramatically atop a steep hill, offers a glimpse into Ireland's rich medieval past. The castle has been meticulously preserved, allowing visitors to walk through its stone corridors and experience the ancient architecture firsthand.

I remember climbing the narrow spiral staircase to the rooftop. The view from the top was breathtaking, overlooking the bustling town and the serene River Slaney. Inside, the castle's museum showcases artifacts that narrate stories of its past inhabitants and their lifestyles.

For those interested in the natural beauty of Wexford, the nearby beaches like Curracloe offer pristine sandy stretches perfect for a relaxing day out. Walking along the water's edge at sunset was a highlight of my visit, providing a peaceful end to a day filled with history and exploration.

8. Wander through Tintern Abbey

Wander through Tintern Abbey when you visit Wexford, Ireland. This historic site is not just a testament to architectural beauty but also a peaceful retreat with sprawling gardens and wooded trails. The abbey dates back to the 13th century and offers a glimpse into medieval monastic and rural life in Ireland.

During my last visit, I spent a serene afternoon walking the grounds. The tranquility of the ancient stone walls contrasted with the vibrant greenery made it a photographer's paradise. I particularly enjoyed the walled garden, which was meticulously maintained and bursting with colors.

For beach enthusiasts, Wexford doesn’t disappoint. The coastline nearby offers long stretches of sandy beaches, perfect for a relaxing walk after exploring the abbey. Whether it’s the historical allure or the natural beauty of the area, Tintern Abbey provides a unique and enriching experience.

9. Shop at Wexford town markets

Shop at Wexford town markets for a delightful experience. Wexford’s vibrant market scene offers a treasure trove of local crafts, fresh produce, and gourmet treats. Every visit brings something new, from artisan cheeses to handcrafted jewelry.

I always make a point to visit the Bullring Market on my trips to Wexford. The bustling atmosphere and friendly stallholders make it a personal favorite. Sampling the locally made strawberry preserves is a must – they’re a real treat!

Wexford’s coastal location also means you can enjoy fresh seafood right from the nearby waters. After a morning at the market, a walk along one of Wexford’s scenic beaches, like Curracloe, perfectly rounds off the day. The refreshing sea breeze and the sound of the waves provide a tranquil backdrop for reflecting on your market finds.

10. Try Water Sports in Rosslare

Top 10 Things To Do in Wexford, Ireland: Try Water Sports in Rosslare. Rosslare is renowned for its wide, sandy beaches that are perfect for a variety of water sports. The water is clean and inviting, making it an ideal spot for windsurfing, kite surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. The beaches provide a gentle breeze and consistent waves that cater to both beginners and experienced enthusiasts.

I spent an afternoon windsurfing at Rosslare Strand and found the conditions to be excellent. The community at the beach was welcoming, and the instructors were knowledgeable, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. The thrill of catching the wind and gliding across the water was truly exhilarating.

Kayak tours are also available, offering a peaceful way to explore the coastline and get closer to marine life. Whether you prefer a leisurely paddle or an adrenaline-packed day, Rosslare has something to offer every water sports aficionado.

What are the Best Day Trips From Wexford , Ireland? 

The best day trips from Wexford are Day Trip to Waterford, and Visit to Birr Castle. It is a gateway to exploring southeastern Ireland, offering diverse experiences from historic tours to coastal adventures.

During my visits, I've enjoyed the stunning views from the Hook Peninsula and explored the historic streets of Enniscorthy. Both places vividly showcase Ireland's rich history and natural beauty.

Other notable trips include Waterford, famous for its medieval heritage and Waterford Crystal, and the Irish National Heritage Park, which provides a deep dive into Ireland's past. Each location is ideal for a fulfilling day trip from Wexford.

Day Trip to Waterford

A day trip to Waterford is highly recommended. Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, is just over an hour's drive from Wexford. This trip offers a blend of historic sites, vibrant cultural experiences, and stunning craftsmanship.

Visitors should not miss the Waterford Crystal factory, where the world-renowned crystal is made. The guided tour showcases exquisite glass creations and live demonstrations. The Medieval Museum and the Bishop’s Palace are also must-visits, highlighting Waterford's rich history.

From my own visit, the drive to Waterford was scenic and tranquil, perfectly setting the mood for the day ahead. Exploring the city's quaint streets and artisan shops gave me a genuine taste of Irish heritage. The local cafes serve delightful seafood that complements the coastal charm.

Visit to Birr Castle

One of the best day trips from Wexford, Ireland, is a visit to Birr Castle. Located in County Offaly, the journey offers a scenic drive through Ireland's lush countryside. Birr Castle is renowned for its beautiful gardens and the historic Great Telescope, once the largest in the world.

The castle grounds are a haven for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike. You can stroll through the formal gardens, explore the interactive science center, and marvel at the engineering marvel of the telescope.

On my last visit, I spent hours photographing the vibrant flowers and the architecture of the castle. The peaceful atmosphere made it a perfect escape from the bustle of everyday life. This trip is ideal for anyone looking to enjoy a blend of history, science, and natural beauty.

Things To Do in Wexford at Night

Wexford at night offers a vibrant and varied experience for every kind of traveler. The town is alive with activity, from its traditional pubs brimming with live music to its atmospheric restaurants serving delicious local fare. You can take an evening stroll along the Wexford Quayfront and admire the shimmering reflections of boats under the streetlights. The National Opera House often hosts captivating performances that add a touch of cultural elegance to your night.

I remember my evening in Wexford fondly. Sipping a pint at one of the local pubs while tapping my foot to the lively tunes played by a traditional band was a highlight. The warmth of the people and the richness of the music made it a night I’ll never forget. I’m sure you’ll find something just as special during your time here.


Things to do in Wexford at night include visiting its vibrant pubs, which are central to the nightlife scene. Wexford is known for its welcoming and lively pubs, where you can savor locally brewed beers and listen to traditional Irish music. John Street is a hub of energy, offering pubs like The Sky and the Ground and Thomas Moore Tavern, where you can meet locals and travelers alike.

One night at The Sky and the Ground, I struck up a conversation with a friendly local about the best walks around Hook Head. The atmosphere was warm and the band played lively tunes that made the evening unforgettable. In pubs like these, there's always a sense of camaraderie that makes the experience feel authentic, fun and memorable.

Evening Dining Out

When considering things to do in Wexford at night, evening dining out becomes an absolute delight. The town is dotted with charming restaurants and pubs that bring forth the best of Irish hospitality and fresh local cuisine. From hearty seafood chowder to traditional lamb stew, your taste buds will be satisfied at every turn. The lively atmosphere in the pubs adds to the experience, with live traditional music filling the night air. Whether you prefer a casual bite or a gourmet feast, Wexford's culinary scene provides plenty of options.

My personal favorite is a seafood platter served with a side of lively banter at a quaint local pub. I recall many nights indulging in a pint of Guinness while the music strummed in the background, giving me a true sense of Ireland’s culture. For those seeking something a little different, contemporary bistros offer a unique fusion of Irish flavors with international twists.

Make sure to end your night with a stroll by the quays, enjoying the moonlit reflections over the River Slaney and letting the joy of the evening linger.

Night time Beach Walks

Nighttime beach walks in Wexford are a tranquil way to enjoy the Irish coast under the moonlight. The gentle sound of waves lapping against the shore, coupled with the refreshing sea breeze, creates a soothing atmosphere. Along Curracloe Beach, you can stroll the same sands where scenes from "Saving Private Ryan" were filmed, immersing yourself in cinematic history. 

My favorite memory involves walking barefoot on the sand, feeling the cool grains underfoot as I watched the moonlight shimmer across the water. There’s something magical about the soft glow of distant lighthouses and the faint outline of Hook Head in the darkness. I always end my walk with a stop by a nearby beach café for a warm drink to savor the experience.

You might also catch glimpses of wildlife, like seabirds and curious seals, adding a touch of wonder to your evening. Whether you're seeking solitude or quality time with a companion, nighttime beach walks in Wexford offer a serene escape.

What are the Top Outdoor Activities To Do in Wexford?

Best outdoor activities to do in Wexford are taking walks along the Hook Peninsula, cycling on the Barrow Way, fishing in Kilmore Quay, horseback riding, golfing and many more. Wexford offers a plethora of outdoor activities for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. From coastal walks along stunning cliffs to exhilarating water sports on its pristine beaches, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this scenic region of Ireland. Whether you prefer hiking, cycling, or exploring historic sites amidst breathtaking landscapes, Wexford has it all. So pack your gear and get ready to embark on an unforgettable outdoor adventure in this charming county.

Coastal Walks Along the Hook Peninsula

Coastal walks along the Hook Peninsula are a must. The scenic paths offer breathtaking views of the rugged cliffs, rolling hills, and the pristine Atlantic Ocean. As I strolled the trail, the fresh sea breeze and distant cries of seabirds added to the sensory delight. One of my favorite moments was pausing at the historic Hook Lighthouse, the world’s oldest operating lighthouse, where the panoramic seascape left me speechless.

The route also features intriguing tidal pools teeming with marine life and striking rock formations shaped by centuries of wind and waves. The looped trails provide an excellent way to immerse yourself in the peninsula's wild beauty, perfect for casual walkers or seasoned hikers alike. Whether it's capturing a stunning sunset or simply basking in the coastal tranquility, Hook Peninsula’s walks are an unmissable Wexford adventure.

Cycling on the Barrow Way

When asked, "What are the top outdoor activities to do in Wexford?" cycling on the Barrow Way easily tops the list. The scenic route is packed with breathtaking views of verdant landscapes, gentle rivers, and charming villages, making it a must-try for cycling enthusiasts.

I vividly remember the crisp morning air as I pedaled along the path, passing by moss-covered stone walls and encountering friendly locals eager to share tips on hidden gems nearby. The trail effortlessly merges historic landmarks like Graiguenamanagh with natural beauty, providing a unique perspective of Wexford's countryside.

Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or just looking for a leisurely ride, the Barrow Way promises an unforgettable outdoor adventure in Wexford.

Fishing in Kilmore Quay

The top outdoor activities to do in Wexford include fishing in Kilmore Quay. This charming coastal village is known for its pristine waters and bustling marina. You can spend a day casting a line from the harbor or charter a fishing boat to venture further into the Celtic Sea. Anglers are drawn to Kilmore Quay for its variety of species, from mackerel to bass, making it a haven for both seasoned fishermen and beginners alike.

My first fishing trip here was exhilarating. I remember the thrill of feeling the tug on the line and the friendly camaraderie among fellow anglers. As the sun set over the harbor, I cherished the day's catch and the spectacular ocean view. Whether you're aiming for a record catch or simply enjoying the tranquil scenery, Kilmore Quay's fishing experience is unmatched.

Horseback Riding on Curracloe Beach

The top outdoor activities to do in Wexford include horseback riding on Curracloe Beach. This pristine stretch of sand is ideal for a scenic ride along the Irish Sea. The wide, sandy shores offer a unique vantage point to take in the coastal beauty of Wexford.

The gentle waves and expansive dunes create an unforgettable riding experience. Local stables provide guided rides for all skill levels, ensuring everyone can participate. Feel the refreshing sea breeze as you canter along the water’s edge. This natural paradise is a must-see for equestrian enthusiasts and beach lovers alike.

Golfing at Rosslare Golf Links

Golfing at Rosslare Golf Links is among the best options. This historic golf course, established in 1905, offers challenging play and panoramic views of the Irish Sea. The links-style course features undulating fairways and tricky bunkers, providing a memorable game for beginners and experienced golfers alike. Its coastal location means ocean breezes add an extra layer of challenge, making each round unique.

After your game, relax in the clubhouse with delicious food while soaking in scenic vistas. Rosslare Golf Links ensures a fulfilling golfing experience in Wexford, blending stunning natural beauty with the joy of sport.

Birdwatching at the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve

The top outdoor activity to do in Wexford is birdwatching at the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. This renowned sanctuary, located near the scenic North Slob, hosts over 250 species of birds each year. Notable visitors include Greenland white-fronted geese and rare migrating species. 

The reserve offers well-maintained observation towers and hides, providing excellent vantage points. Visitors can enjoy guided tours or walk along marked trails to capture breathtaking sights of the local wildlife.

Don't miss the interpretive center, which provides fascinating photos and details about the reserve’s ecology. Birdwatching enthusiasts and nature lovers alike will be delighted with their visit.

Sailing and Water Sports

Wexford’s coastline offers prime conditions for sailing, with a variety of clubs and marinas providing easy access to the sea. The steady winds and moderate temperatures make sailing both thrilling and enjoyable. The harbor is an ideal spot to watch boats glide through the waves or join in on the action.

Water sports enthusiasts will find plenty to do at the popular beaches and coves. Kayaking and paddleboarding give you a unique perspective on the rugged cliffs and serene waters. Surfing is also available for those seeking a more challenging adventure.

Hiking in the Blackstairs Mountains

Hiking in the Blackstairs Mountains stands out as a must. The Blackstairs, nestled on the Wexford-Carlow border, offers rugged beauty and challenging trails. The panoramic views from the summit showcase lush valleys and picturesque farms, rewarding those who reach the top.

Vibrant flora and diverse wildlife line the hiking paths, creating a lively natural setting. Walkers of all skill levels can find routes suitable for them, whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a more demanding trek.

Don't forget to pack a picnic. The tranquil surroundings and fresh mountain air make for a perfect meal spot with breathtaking scenery.

FAQs On Best Things to Do in Wexford Ireland

1. What is the best time to visit Wexford?

The best time to visit Wexford is during summer, from June to August. The weather is warm, and festivals and events like the Wexford Opera Festival offer cultural delights.

2. Are there family-friendly attractions in Wexford?

Yes, there are many family-friendly attractions in Wexford. The Irish National Heritage Park provides an interactive historical experience, and the Seal Rescue Ireland center offers an educational and engaging visit.

3. What outdoor activities are the most popular places in Wexford?

Popular outdoor activities in county Wexford include birdwatching at the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, hiking the Hook Peninsula, and enjoying sandy beaches like Curracloe Beach.

4. Can I experience local cuisine in Wexford?

You can enjoy local cuisine at various seafood restaurants and farmers' markets. Fresh produce and seafood are a hallmark, with specialties like oysters and mussels.

5. Is public transportation available for traveling around Wexford?

Yes, public transportation like buses is available, but renting a car offers greater flexibility to explore Wexford's scenic countryside.

6. What historical sites popular attractions should I visit in Wexford?

Must-visit historical sites include Tintern Abbey, the Dunbrody Famine Ship, and the medieval Hook Lighthouse, each revealing Wexford's rich history.

7. Is Wexford suitable for adventure seekers?

Wexford is suitable for adventure seekers, with popular places offering activities like kayaking in the Slaney River and surfing off the County’s stunning coastline.