One of the best things about a getaway in Autumn is the lack of crowds and queues to your favourite family attractions. Couple that with the change of season, the fresh air, and the spectacular colourful leaves which paint the countryside a vibrant palette of browns, reds and golds, and you have the making of a very memorable family getaway! Enjoy Wexford in all its Autumnal glory at this time of year – from popular family attractions, to quieter moments like a breezy, coastal walk; with the following 3-day itinerary.
With an early start on the road, make Gorey your first stop, with a delicious lunch at The Kitchen, where wholesome local produce is always the focus of the menu and a cute menu for children offer great value smaller portions.
If your family enjoys the fresh Autumnal air, wrap up warm and take a brisk walk along one of Wexford’s iconic beaches, which is bound to blow away any cobwebs. Courtown and Cahore Point are just a stone’s throw away, and a great way to walk off lunch and tire little legs.
If the weather isn’t on your side, jump ship to Pirates Cove. Much more than an amusement centre and play zone, Pirates Cove features a wide range of activities for active and adventurous children including adventure golf, ten pin bowling, zorbing, go-karting, arts and crafts, funcaves and lots more. Parents can sit and enjoy a coffee and a book, whilst Mums can even sneak off for a stroll around Gorey’s infamous boutiques.
Park up at the Amber Springs Hotel for the rest of the day and take advantage of all the amenities that gives this hotel its accolade of Best Family Friendly Hotel in Ireland! There’s mini-golf, a playground, and go-karting for the kids, whilst the indoor Playzone has a ball pool and games. Adults can enjoy beauty treatments in the Leisure Centre and everyone can avail of the swimming pool with an attached pool for kids, a sauna and hot tub. You won’t want to leave!
Tear the kids away from swimming with a visit to the enchanting Kia Ora Mini Farm. Located in an idyllic outdoor setting, the farm features friendly, cheeky and adorable animals, from baby goats to alpacas, but is so much more than a petting farm. Get hands-on by milking a cow, enjoying bottle feeding time, navigating the crazy maze, zipping along in go-karts, or enjoying a selection of lawn games, like the giant-sized ‘Buzz-Off’ designed to encourage the whole family’s involvement, and create a lot of laughter!
After lunch head south to Wells House & Gardens. One of the great benefits of a visit to this stunning, Victorian era house is the mix of indoor and outdoor activities, no matter the weather. With two woodland walks to enjoy, to kick up some beautiful foliage, a tour of the Victorian house, and outdoor pursuits like archery, clay pigeon shooting and falconry, as well as an adventure playground and fairy garden and an animal farm for younger kids, you’ll barely have time to get around it all!
Continue south to Wexford Town for a unique overnight stay in a Ring Fort and learn how our ancestors lived 1500 years ago, at the Irish National Heritage Park. Unlike other parks, the Irish National Heritage Park is more like an outdoor museum and features full scale reconstructions of ancient homesteads, forts and tombs, an early Christian monastery and mill, even a Viking boatyard and other monumental historical and cultural references. Meander through the incredible landscape at your own pace, participating in one of many interactive, heritage challenges like moving a megalithic rock, carving rock art, weaving a wattle house, and even panning for gold, or simply relax with a coffee by the lake, whilst the kids play in one of two adventure playgrounds with climbing frames and ropes. For older kids, the park boasts several exciting sporting, cultural and
outdoor activities including shooting a Viking bow and archery – all centered around Ireland’s heritage of course. This makes a truly
memorable stay, and with hours of rambling, you’ll learn about prehistoric Ireland in an interactive, and fun way.
Dinner can be enjoyed in any number of affordable family friendly restaurants in Wexford Town from Thai to Italian, ethnic Indian or a fusion of traditional and modern. If prehistoric Ireland doesn’t appeal to your family, spend the night in a coastal retreat at Sean Og’s self-catering cottages.
Start your day at Loftus Hall; a fantastic opportunity to get into the Halloween spirit! Known as the most haunted house in Ireland, Loftus Hall fascinates visitors all year-round. Those brave enough to take a tour will learn about the history and legend of the stately home’s institution during the Black Death, its conversion into a convent and hotel and of course the stories of disturbed souls said to still live there today.
After lunch, visit Hook Light House, one of the world’s oldest operating lighthouses and one which retains much of its medieval fabric. Standing at 36m high, you can climb all 115 steps to the top, to take in spectacular 360-degree balcony views with miles of sea rolling out before you. Enjoy the gift shop, take a guided tour or if you’re lucky, spot some seals on the rocks below.
The entire family will enjoy a tour of Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross, which is a must-visit in the region, and on your route home. With guided tours, costumed performers, and themed exhibitions, the Dunbrody experience provides a unique and world-class insight into the famine emigrant experience, on board an authentic reproduction of an 1840’s emigrant vessel. The Captain’s Table Restaurant will provide some light snacks and delicious coffee while overlooking the bustling quayside of New Ross, before you pile back into the car and head home.