For a Rainy Day
Here are our tips for things to do in Wexford when the weather is not so good:
Wexford Wildfowl Reserve (The Sloblands)
On the outskirts of Wexford town, 2,500 acres of reclaimed low-lying flat land form the Sloblands, an internationally significant wetland home to almost 250 species of wildfowl and birds. In winter a flock of 10,000 Greenland white-fronted geese (that’s one-third of their population worldwide), along with Brent geese, Bewick’s swans and as many as 600 Whooper swans visit the reserve. Mute swans can be seen year round. In total, 31 species of duck have been recorded, while Slavonian grebes, tree sparrows, and reed and sedge warblers also appear.
The Sloblands also provide refuge for the Irish hare. Other mammals common to the reserve include foxes, badgers, red squirrels, American mink, otters, and shrew, among others. Wildlife can be viewed from the observation tower, the Pump House hide or the Pat Walsh hide. There is also a visitor centre, audiovisual show and wildfowl collection.
Depicting the vivid history of New Ross and the Norman landing in the south east, the Ros tapestry exhibition is a rare treat. Started in 1998, this community-based project has seen over 150 volunteers hand-embroider Europe’s largest tapestry over 15 dramatic story-telling panels.
Visitors can browse through the enthralling panels or watch a skilled embroiderer in action. Guided tours are also available.
Hailed by Lonely Planet in 2011 as the ‘Flashiest Lighthouse’, Hook lighthouse, at the tip of Hook Peninsula, is thought to be one of the oldest in operation. Guided tours of the tower are available. Keep your eyes peeled for seals that often play along this coastline.
Set beside Vinegar Hill, the award-winning National 1798 Centre is perhaps one of Ireland’s most fascinating history museums. Take yourself back to a time of unrest in Ireland that led to a rebellion by the United Irishmen. The focus is on the Battle of Vinegar Hill.
Dating back to 1230, Enniscorthy Castle was built by Anglo-Normans and used primarily as a private dwelling for its various owners. It was the setting for many bloody battles fought during Cromwell’s reign, and was stormed by the United Irishmen before they were defeated at Vinegar Hill.
Boasting layers and layers of enthralling history, the castle is now home to Wexford County Museum, displaying a collection of agricultural and military artefacts. From the roof, visitors can enjoy views of the surrounding area, including historic Vinegar Hill.
Dunbrody Famine Ship
Docked in the historic town of New Ross, the Dunbrody is a full-scale replica of a famine ship originally built in the 1840s. A step on board will take you back in time to the life of the famine emigrant. You will meet the captain and crew and hear stories from emigrants about their departure, voyage and arrival in the ‘New World’.
The Irish Agriculture Museum at Johnstown Castle
The agricultural buildings within the grounds of Johnstown Castle are home to the Irish Agriculture Museum. Exhibitions here display farm equipment and vehicles dating back to the early 18th century. The village crafts exhibition features six different craft workshops, and depicts the role of craftspeople in the community throughout the years. A bicycle display exhibits bicycles dating back as far as 1885. The museum is open seven days a week, year round.