A family holiday doesn’t need to break the bank. Between the accommodation and evening meals, and all the activities to amuse and entertain in between, it’s easy to see the cost accumulate. So we’ve rounded up a list of fun favourites in Wexford that won’t cost a thing!
A Visit to The Beach
No visit to Wexford is complete without a visit to the beach and you’ll be spoiled for choice with an abundance of beautiful blue flag beaches stretching the length of the coastline, offering sun, shade, surf, and enjoyable moments like rock pool fishing, collecting shells, splashing in the sea, and tucking into a 99-ice-cream cone. Try Duncannon Beach on the Hook Peninsula for sandcastle building, the Blue Flag Curracloe Beach for safe swimming, Courtown for a barefoot stroll in the sand, Ballinesker Beach for collecting sea-shells and Kilmore Quay for your best chance at spotting seals playing in the harbour. You can also enjoy a state-of-the-art playground at Kilmore Quay, and the buzz and hype of fishing boats as they come and go from the pier.
Gardens and Nature
Wexford is home to a number of beautiful and scenic gardens, forests and nature trails, where you can bring a picnic of home-made goodies, go for a stroll, spot animals and birds and enjoy a leisurely afternoon outdoors. Johnstown Castle Gardens offers free admission between March-October. Enjoy a free guided tour of the Visitor Centre, observation tower and hides at Wexford’s Wildlife Reserve. Play hide and seek amongst the trees of the Ravenwood Forest Walk in Curracloe or try a rambling forage walk, to hunt for berries, mushrooms and other edible plants, which you can bring home to cultivate in your own garden or enjoy in one of Wexford’s many scenic spots.
Engross Yourself in Ireland’s Historic Past
Familiarise yourself with Irish history, by meandering through the many Norman and Viking towns that make up Wexford county, which still feature the remnants and ruins of battles gone by. In Wexford town, visit the town’s old wall and climb to the top of Westgate, only one of six remaining city gates, for incredible views of the town. Make your way to Tacumshane Windmill, the only surviving complete windmill in Ireland, built in 1846 from the wood from nearby shipwrecks, and ask for the key from the local Millhouse Bar and Restaurant. The spectacular ruins of the monastic Tintern Abbey offers free entry on the first Wednesday of every month, along with the heritage site of John F. Kennedy Arboretum.
The Book Centre in Wexford town offers a host of free events every Saturday, including storytelling, puppetry and face-painting – a great way to entertain the kids without having to lift a finger. Wexford is also home to a series of art galleries, where you can ponder local art and craft and often meet the very artists themselves. If you stumble upon an exhibition, you may even inspire your little ones to create their own art expo back at home.
For the sporty family, keeping active doesn’t need to cost a thing. Borrow a board and try your hand at surfing, or paddle boarding at one of many of Wexford’s renowned beaches; spend a day cycling the Hook Peninsula exploring all its monastic ruins, castles, lighthouses and attractions or try one of Wexford’s well-organised, marked walking trails, which all feature beautiful countryside, photogenic backdrops, and a host of sights, sounds and smells to keep every age amused. Of course if you own or can borrow the equipment, Wexford is also an ideal destination for kite surfing, kayaking, orienteering, abseiling and hiking.
Wexford is home to over 25 different festivals throughout the year, covering food, music, documentary, art, crafts and even sand sculpting and a full moon festival , many of which offer free entry, or free events. The Shine a Light festival at Hook Lighthouse is a free event every May bank holiday weekend, including fun and games for children and an appearance form Captain Hook. The Irish America Fest in New Ross celebrates with a food and craft fair, free outdoor gigs, local acts, puppet theatre and picnics in the park. You’ll find free al fresco jazz piano sessions during the New Ross Piano Festival, storytelling and lectures at the Children’s Book Festival and free open-air market and children’s workshops at Fethard Castle during the Hooked on the Sea Festival amongst many