My Ireland Travel Guide // Part 4 of 4: Wexford Town & County
I saved the best for last: Wexford.
Today’s post concludes My 4-Part Ireland Travel Guide. I’m glad I have all these details documented. I stated in my first post that I hope to return to all these destinations someday. But in the meantime, I hope I have inspired you to travel to this beautiful island!
And as always, if you missed Part 1-3 you can click to read them now:
I’m thinking I should have titled this post, A Love Letter to Wexford. Ha, yes, I’m biased, and I am comfortable admitting that. I have spent the last (almost) two years living in this lovely southeast coastal town and I have done everything I could to make the most of it!
When you find Wexford in an American travel guide typically only a couple pages are dedicated to the county, and I am comfortable admitting that I understand why Wexford is not highlighted for an entire chapter. It’s off the beaten path: 2 hours from Dublin, 2 hours from Cork, nowhere near the Cliffs of Moher. You do have to prioritizes when traveling and many of Ireland’s most popular attractions are not in Wexford.
But, that’s what makes it so great! I find Wexford to be very authentic, no one is dressing for the tourists, or putting on a show. Actual Irish people live here, and this is how they live their daily life.
Wexford is located on the southeast side of the country and has been nicknamed “The Sunny Southeast.” Here the beaches and quays are known as summer holiday destinations and the county is famous for their summer strawberries. The strawberries are petite and sweet, and I’ll miss stopping at the roadside shacks during the summer months, devouring half the bushel before I’m even home.
Main street is flooded with fun pubs, each one different than the last but you’re guaranteed to have a great time at them all. Let’s start there, the pubs! If you make it to this part of the country I’m here to make sure you stop at all the right spots, obviously including pubs.
Pubs That I Enjoy with Live Music:
- The Sky & The Ground- best pub in Wexford whether live music is on or not! Live trad(itional) music is Wednesday at 9:30pm
- The John Barry Bar- live music on Sunday nights at 7pm
- The Stores- live music Sunday morning
In my experience it can be hard to find live traditional Irish music on Friday and Saturday in Wexford. The pubs are small, therefore pub owners don’t need live music to bring customers in on busy weekend nights.
But if any live music works, on Friday and Saturday you would find that at Crown Bar and Maggie Mays.
Great Pubs, No Live Music:
- Simon Lambert & Sons- home of Yellowbelly, Wexford’s local beer. No Guinness here. Like the Surly of Wexford…maybe more like Excelsior Brewery, ha! Try the Citra Pale Ale.
- Macken’s The Undertakers- right in the heart of Wexford’s main street. On nice days you can sit outside here too!
Eating in Wexford? Plan for fresh local foods. The seafood is a must!
- Westgate- this is my spot, I love it. It's like a Panera but this is the only location. Everything is fresh and made on sight. They know me by name here.
- Stable Diet or The Yard- yummy clean lunch options.
- Kellys- a Wexford favorite, this location is off a main street but only 2 miles away. It's nice and alway crowded.
Dinner Options- Make a Reservation
- Cistin Eile- the restaurant's name is Irish for another kitchen. But it's definitely not just another kitchen, ha! While the ambiance is so-so here, the food more than makes up for it. This is a popular spot in town and they book up each night fast! Plan ahead.
- Green Acres- their three course meal option makes for a nice night out! The building the restaurant has been built in is alway beautiful.
My Favorite Chippers aka Fish & Chips Fast Food Restaurants
- Saltee’s Chipper- the BEST fish and chips in Ireland! It's a take-away restaurant, meaning you eat outside at the picnic tables or in your car. It is located in Kilmore Quay (25 minutes from Wexford Town). You place your order, I’ve waited anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes, then take a walk along the quay or beach while your food is freshly prepared! The ice cream shop next door Lick’d is so good too! I order the Wexford Strawberry ice cream every time!
- Premier - pictured below! Tip, order Premier but instead of eating there standing at the counter, eat it with a pint a block down at Sky & The Ground. But be warned, locals don't do this, just hungry Americans. ;)
- Mangans- a third options, they make a delicious chicken sandwich if you need a break from fish! The Swan pub down the road makes for a good pit stop along the way too.
My Favorite Tourist Attractions in County Wexford are:
Some of these options you'll find in travel guide but most you will not! Maybe that's why Wexford isn't featured more...they're missing all the fun stuff and don't even know it!
- Curracloe Beach- Mile and miles of beautiful beach, great for a walk by the water. Was used to film to beach scenes in the movies Saving Private Ryan and Brooklyn.
- Hook Lighthouse- Oldest operating lighthouse in Europe. Fun to do the tour or to just walk around by the water. As you drive to the lighthouse you’ll also pass the Loftus Hall, which is a real live haunted house, not like a for-Halloween haunted house. If you’re into scary things that could be cool to see too.
- Tintern Abbey- Gorgeous old Abbey, more beautiful walking scenery. Take the path to the Vine Cottage Bar for a pint.
- JKF Homestead- JFK’s great (great?) grandmother’s home. Cool presidential history to see. There is also a JFK Arboretum close by, but it’s simply an arboretum dedicated to JFK, another great place for a walk though. If you head to this attraction you’re in New Ross. For lunch in New Ross’s head to main street and eat at In A Nutshell and the bakery across the street, called the Bakehouse, is so good! Get a caramel square. Pictured below
- Johnstown Castle- 5 minutes from where we lived. We frequented this castle and it's gardens many times. Great spot for a walk.
- Plus! The kayaking cover image is courtesy of The Irish Experience. They host fun sea and biking activities.
Thank you for reading! Want more Wexford? I made a vlog of my daily life in Wexford about a year ago. You can read and watch that here! Or check out my Instagram, I tag all my locations, it is like a travel guide within itself.