The Irish National Heritage Park is a park that shows visitors what Ireland was like in 7000BC all the way up to today. This is done through setting up 16 different sites ("authentically furnished") that represent different periods in Irish history. This includes: Stone Age, Bronze Age, Celtic/Early Christian Age, The Vikings and Early Norman.
I went on the guided tour and definitely think that I got a lot out of it (information-wise) that way. The tour took about 1-1 1/2 hours (but the time seemed to fly by!).
There is also a restaurant (sample of menu is on website) and a large gift shop.
The park is open all year round from 9.30am to 6.30pm.
Another place for people interested in history. This fairly new centre shows a detailed history of Ireland's fight to separate themselves from England. In 1798 there was a battle at Vinegar Hill in Enniscorthy, a rebellion against the English - but the Irish lost. The centre also corresponds the events of 1798 with other events happening in Europe, Australia and the USA at that time.
The centre goes through many parts of Irish history separated into the following 'categories': Age of Enlightenment, 'Rights of Man' by Thomas Paine, The Wexford and Ireland Story, The Ulster Room, Challenge and Reaction, The Battle of Vinegar Hill, the Aftermath, the Irish Story.
The layout of the centre is so that you never have to back-track and you just work your way through each room, reading boards, listening to audio, interacting with touch-screen computers or watching the short movie - a recreation of the battle at Vinegar Hill. You can go on a guided tour, or a self-guided tour if you wish. Recommend you allow about an hour for your visit.
(last admission at 5pm)
(last admission at 5pm)
~ check site in case of any changes ~
Another one for the history buffs. Enniscorthy Castle is situated in the middle of the town, it is now a museum which has a large range of artifacts on all things Irish. This includes sports, religion, agriculture, maritime and their rebellions. In fact the clock that was in the Dublin Post Office during the 1916 Easter Rising is in one of the rooms of the castle. It only costs a couple of Euro to enter and give yourself about 40mins or more for a good look around.
March - September: 10am - 6pm
(Unsure of low season open dates - check with museum or tourist office)
If you like lighthouses and history then I recommend a trip to Hook Lighthouse if you're in the area. Through the lighthouse are some good information boards on the lighthouses' history. Plus the view of the coast from the top of the lighthouse is very nice, especially on a clear day.
The lighthouse is open 7 days a week from 9.30am - 5.30pm. To go up the lighthouse you must go on a guided tour (the last one is at 5pm)
Admission (check website for any changes):
Child (u16) €2.75
Under 5yrs Free
Family Rate €14.00
(2 Adults, 2 Children)
There is also a souvenir shop and cafe just next to the lighthouse.
Hook Head peninsula forms the east side of Waterford harbour and, driving to the lighthouse knowing the sea is on both sides, is strange sensation. The lighthouse itself, said to be the oldest in Europe, is entertaining enough with nice views of the surrounding land- and sea-scapes. More interesting is the bizarre land around it and I spent more time exploring here than I did in the lighthouse. Bare layers of rocks leaning every which way, with deep holes in places with the sea crashing around below. Very cool.
Wexford is lucky to have some great beaches, my favourites are Curracloe & Ballymoney. Very sandy & stretch for miles. Unfortunately I dont have any pics of them, only of Courtown beach which has more or less been eroded away in the past few years.