Ferries to Rosslare, Ireland

County Wexford sits peacefully in the south eastern region of Ireland in the province of Leinster.

It hasn’t always been quite so peaceful, however, as County Wexford (named for the town of Wexford) has been the site of numerous battles and rebellions throughout the centuries. Its bloody history lies in stark contrast to its current relaxed air, but it is not forgotten.

Visiting County Wexford is a good idea if you enjoy the sunshine. Dubbed the ‘sunny southeast’, this area of Ireland has more sunshine than anywhere else per day so it’s a great place to base a trip that’s not too far from home, but where the weather is going to be fair.

Notable people from County Wexford include children’s author Eoin Colfer, footballer Kevin Doyle, singer Paddy Berry, and politician Dick Roche. As a bonus celebrity, singer songwriter Chris de Burgh is based in the area too.

Getting to County Wexford

Ferry Routes

Operator Route Services Travel Time Price
Fishguard Rosslare 2 daily 3¼ hours See prices °
Pembroke Dock Rosslare 2 daily 4 hours See prices °

This information is for reference purposes only. Journey times are approximate. Frequency is based on typical schedules. Schedules are subject to availability and weather conditions. Information correct at the time of writing.

Taster Cruise Ship Itineraries

Sorry, no mini cruise routes can be found sailing to Rosslare sailing on a cruise ship.

Top 3 Cruise & Ferry Deals

  1. Irish Ferries Ireland mini cruise from £38pp
  2. Day trip to Rosslare with Stena Line from £5.50pp
  3. Sail to Belfast with Stena Line from £10pp each way

Sightseeing

County Wexford has a lot to offer, and whether you are visiting for a few days or a little longer, you certainly won’t be bored due to lack of things to do and see.

Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience

The Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience is about learning and having fun on an authentically reproduced 1840’s immigrant ship. You can enjoy a guided tour with costumed performers involving you in every step of an immigrant’s journey during the famine times.

There are great exhibitions too, depicting just what life was like. You’ll discover just how brave and determined the Irish immigrants were when they realised they simply had to get out of their famine stricken areas and move, en-masse, elsewhere. It was perilous and terrifying, and many lost their lives, but it was all for a greater good. The ship is open seven days a week, all year round.

Irish Agricultural Museum

The Irish Agricultural Museum is another slice of life – or rather, slices of many lives – museum that will throw you right into the middle of history where you can see the sights and (almost) smell the smells of centuries past.

There are tractors, carts, ploughs, and other farm machinery to admire, an exhibition on farmhouse kitchens, information about the Great Famine, a huge collection of Irish country furniture, and a detailed description of the sordid goings on at Johnstown Castle! Suitable for all ages, there are quizzes and interactive activities too, as well as a lovely rustic tearoom serving pastries, cakes, and drinks.

Hook Lighthouse

Hook Lighthouse is the oldest operational lighthouse in the world, and as such is well worth a visit when in County Wexford. Dating from the 13th century, this lighthouse is now as modern as they come, with free Wi-Fi in the café area and a nautical themed gift shop.

There is also a café and art gallery, and on certain days resident artist Rose offers workshops. You can join a guided tour of the lighthouse, if you are willing to climb up the 115 steps to get to the top! It’s worth the climb though, as the view is sensational.

Wexford Opera House

Wexford Opera House is new build compared to much of the rest of County Wexford, but since it opened in 2008, it has never been empty, and has always provided the area with superb entertainment.

No matter when you visit County Wexford, you will find music, comedy, dance, and drama happening here. Book tickets in advance or buy at the door, and experience something new or indulge in a favourite pastime. It’s not just opera (although they have that too), and you might be surprised at the range of shows that are put on at the Wexford Opera House.

Ferns Village

Ferns Village is a day out in itself, and there is plenty to see and do in this fascinating place that is so full of history.

These include walking the Wexford Heritage Trail, visiting Ferns Castle (although a ruin, it is possible to climb to the top of one of the towers, and it’s a good idea to do that due to the amazing views you’ll find once you get there), checking out the beautiful stained glass in St Edan’s Cathedral, and taking a peak at the finds discovered in the iron age excavation site.

Ferns is becoming a popular tourist destination, and more and more attractions are appearing, so who knows what you’ll find when you get there?

Ros Tapestry Exhibition Centre

Another interesting discovery is the Ros Tapestry Exhibition Centre. This is not an ancient tapestry, but instead was started in 1998, and it took over 150 volunteers to complete the 15 stunning and fascinating tapestry panels.

The tapestry tells the story of the Saxon arrival in Ireland, and the founding of County Wexford in 1207. You can enjoy the wonderful tapestry panels, and then treat yourself to something memorable in the gift shop on site, including prints and gift cards.

St Aiden’s Cathedral

St Aiden’s Cathedral is a stunning piece of architecture. The building was designed by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, and is the biggest building he built in Ireland. Work began in 1843, and was completed four years later. Recently refurbished, St Aiden’s is a beautiful place to visit for those who appreciate architecture, art, or those who are simply looking for a little peace and quiet.

Kennedy Homestead

The Kennedy Homestead is historic and interesting, and tells a good few stories. In June 1963, President John F. Kennedy visited County Wexford, and a nation became enthused and inspired. But it was more than that; the president’s great grandfather was born in County Wexford, at the Kennedy Homestead, and this was JFK’s visit home.

Today, the land is still farmed by JFK’s distant family, and there is a museum on site dedicated to both the “Kennedys who went away, and the Kennedys who stayed behind”. Here you can discover a wealth of information about the famous family through audio visual displays, memorabilia, and art. There is also a gift shop and a café.

Wexford Arts Centre

Wexford Arts Centre plays host to a number of different events through the year, so you are sure to find something that you will enjoy when you visit.

From music and dance to workshops (such as chocolate making and painting), you can join in the fun and experience something a little different on your visit to County Wexford.

Established in 1974, Wexford Arts Centre is the oldest regional arts centre in Ireland, and is well worth checking out on your visit to County Wexford.

Enniscorthy Castle

Enniscorthy Castle was built in 1190 and is a fantastic example of Norman architecture. It first opened to the public in 1962, but closed in 2006 for major renovation work to be carried out. When it re-opened in 2011, it was plain to see that the closure had been worth it – now you can really enjoy Enniscorthy Castle in the way it was always supposed to be enjoyed.

In the dungeon you’ll find rare Medieval art, and from the top of the battlements the views are breath taking. Everything in between is exciting too, including exhibitions about how people lived, and sometimes there are even workshops to join in with, as well as special events such as afternoon tea and paranormal tours.

The Bull Ring

The Bull Ring is a market place that can be found in the centre of Wexford town itself. This ancient market is full of fun and interesting things, and is a great place to take a stroll and admire the antiques and clothing (amongst many other things) on display. This is a lovely way to spend some time (and some money!).

And there's more...

Even if you have visited County Wexford before, it will still be able to surprise you…

Curracloe Beach is an ideal spot to let the cobwebs blow away and enjoy some fresh air with the family. This Blue Flag Beach has a five kilometre nature trail that takes you through the sand dunes and off to Raven Point (through Raven Nature Reserve), which is certainly an enjoyable thing to do – plus it’s a great way to keep fit!

Although popular, even on busy days you can find a space to settle into, and if you’re feeling active enough you can even try your hand at surfing (or book a surf lesson). With copious amount of sand, shells to collect, and a good state of cleanliness, you’ll have a fantastic day out here.

The Irish National Heritage Park is where, though interactive exhibitions and informative guides in the heritage centre, you can learn about the entire history of Ireland, and specifically County Wexford. After that, why not go and explore the park itself?

It’s a natural adventure playground, full of caves, secret paths, and reconstructed ancient villages and houses. You can even enjoy an audio tour around the park itself, discovering things you never knew existed! With plenty of parking, a gift shop, and a café, this is a full day out for everyone.

If you like scary things, then Loftus Hall will be perfect for you. This abandoned haunted house is creepy enough on its own, but you can join in a 60 minute tour of the place, to learn more about its dark and deadly past. Listen to legends and spooky stories and try not to trip over any ghosts…

Afterwards, settle your nerves with a spot of tea in the café, and then browse the gift shop – there is plenty there to scare your friends with back home!

The Dunbrody Cookery School is located opposite the Dunbrody Country House Hotel in Wexford. It’s an opportunity to try your hand at cooking up some truly inspirational dishes, from their ‘back to basics’ course for beginners to their ‘gourmet course’ for those who are more advanced.

Learn how to cook a special dinner party for six, where to source food, and how to prepare the most delicious meals for yourself and others. The key ingredient is fun, so get your apron on and cook up a storm (booking essential)!

If you are looking for something completely different, the Tacumshane Windmill fits the bill. Built in 1846, it is the only surviving complete windmill in Ireland – so of course shouldn’t be missed when you are visiting the area. Pop to the local pub to pick up the key, and then immerse yourself in a real windmill. This attraction gives you the freedom to really explore, and it’s like nothing else you will ever have seen.

The Saltee Islands are a paradise for bird lovers and those who enjoy nature. About five kilometre from Kilmore Quay (you will need to catch a boat to get there) are the Saltee Islands (Great and Little Saltee). Here you can see puffins, gannets, gulls, Manx shearwaters and plenty more – it’s the biggest bird sanctuary in Ireland, and famous across the world.

Hotels

County Wexford is a welcoming place, and this is evidenced by the wealth of hotels in the area.

Budget hotels in County Wexford

For those who are looking to enjoy a budget break away, here are some recommended places to stay:

Maldron Hotel often has deals on, and you can find yourself staying in a hotel with a pool, gym, great food, and a bar stocked with everything you might want for a very reasonable price. Whether you go for B&B or half board (you can always upgrade) the staff will be pleasant and the atmosphere fun – especially when there is live music at the bar.

It’s always a good sign when non-guests come to a hotel to eat in the restaurant, and that’s exactly what happens at Riverbank House Hotel. This is a pretty little hotel that caters well to their visitors, and rooms include everything you could need for a good night’s stay. If you want to walk into town, just hop over the bridge opposite the hotel and you’re there!

Family-friendly hotels in County Wexford

Family friendly hotels can be few and far between, but in County Wexford there are a number of them. They include these little gems…

With a kids’ club, pool, and family rooms (which can even include bunk beds), there is nothing more you could really need to enjoy a break away with your family at the Ferrycarrig Hotel. In the evenings there is children’s entertainment to keep the little ones occupied, and plenty for the adults to do including a lovely restaurant and well stocked bar.

Riverside Park Hotel is a privately run hotel full of charm and character, and the staff will cater to a family very well, and this includes making dishes that aren’t on the menu if asked (and if possible), which always helps when the children are being fussy. With a lovely pool and a location right next to the river, it’s a great place to stay.

Luxury hotels in County Wexford

Luxury is a must sometimes, and there’s no better place to experience it than in a stunning hotel.

Warm and hospitable staff, fantastic leisure facilities (including a pool and a gym), king size beds that shout comfort, a fabulous menu, and a friendly bar. The Whitford House Hotel is all that and more – and for a break away from home, it’s an ideal base to enjoy your time in County Wexford.

Located right on the beach, Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa is a family run and owned hotel that offers something for everyone. The hotel has been around for decades, and many of the guests return time and again, only to find that the hotel is better every time they arrive. With two restaurants (one of which offers afternoon tea) and beautiful views, this is a perfect place to stay.

Restaurants

Although most of the hotels in County Wexford offer food, if you want to try something different you need only stroll into one of the towns or villages nearby and you’ll be surrounded by a large choice of eateries. Value for money is high on many people’s wish lists, and these restaurants won’t disappoint in that regard:

The name alone tells you that Simon’s Place is a friendly place to eat, and you’d be right to believe it. With traditional pub grub being the order of the day (and the garlic bread being highly rated), you get large portions for a very reasonable price, as well as a good choice of local beers (which, if you are interested, the staff will give you the history of). Centrally located in Wexford, it’s an easy place to find. Example dishes are Cajun style chicken ciabatta and carbonara pasta.

The Gaelic Bar is a Wexford institution open all week long, and offers a variety of delicious food in big portions. From liver and bacon to steak stroganoff, as well as a carvery menu every Sunday, it’s worth popping in for a bite to eat… and another… and another!

Taking the entire family out for a great meal needn’t be a hassle if you try one of these great places:

The Amber Springs restaurant in the hotel of the same name is a great place to eat as a family. The food is as fresh as it gets, as the majority of it comes from the farm next door, and it is all prepared lovingly onsite by the expert chefs. To keep the little ones entertained there is an amazing play area, but when the delicious food comes to the table, they’ll be there in a flash to enjoy it!

Cappuccino’s is the place to go for a good, honest food (which tastes incredible), a huge range that caters for vegetarians and all manner of dietary requirements, and a friendly atmosphere and vibe that makes everyone – especially children – feel at home. There is even a smoothie bar inside this surprisingly large café, and the cakes and desserts are well worth a taste (or more!)!

For fine dining in County Wexford, you can really choose to live the highlife and indulge!

Greenacres is a Michelin recommended restaurant, and is incredibly popular, so booking is essential. Here you can enjoy world class cuisine accompanied by some of the best wines in the world, all in a comfortable and cosy ambience that really makes this place one of the best. Choose from spiced goat cake with butternut puree, grilled wild pigeon breast, wild Wexford pheasant, and indulge in dessert with warm ginger spiced dark chocolate molasses cake or vanilla panna cotta. To make things even more special, Greenacres prepares hampers for you to take home with you – relive the experience for as long as you can!

Spice Indian Restaurant offers beautifully flavoured Indian cuisine with a twist. Try the paneer and pineapple mini wraps, the chicken tikka samosas, the South Indian garlic chilli chicken, or the Kerela style roast beef and taste the difference for yourself. For dessert you can try a traditional Indian dish called carrot halwa, or you can go for a sensation warm chocolate brownie amongst other things.

Family travel

Family time in County Wexford is easy to achieve. You can enjoy family favourites such as playing on the beach and swimming, or you can try new things that could include adventure parks, wildlife reserves, and even obstacle courses! No matter how active (or not) you are, you can find something that will entertain and inform each member of the family, giving you a perfect set of memories to take back home with you.

Not only is there plenty to do, but the place is friendly too. Children are welcomed pretty much everywhere, and it’s a joy to see how warm a welcome you’ll receive.

When to Visit County Wexford

The great thing about County Wexford is that it is located in the ‘sunny south’ of Ireland, so you can enjoy sunshine (if not the warmth that goes with it in the summer months) most of the year.

But, according to the locals, it is the autumn time, from late August onwards that is the ideal time to come and explore. It’s quiet, the weather is good, and the scenery is beautiful.

Handy information

Where you will dock

Rosslare Europort is your gateway to County Wexford. It sits within Rosslare Harbour which is around 6 miles (about 10 kilometres) south from the town itself.

The N25 runs to the fringes of the port and this leads westwards and then southwards to New Ross, Waterford, Dungarvan, Youghal, and Cork.

The N11 branches off northwards through Enniscorthy and onto the M11. This runs along the east coast alongside Arklow and Wicklow. It briefly becomes the N11 again, and back to the M11 again, before merging into the M50 that runs around the outskirts of Dublin.

Nearest airports

Rosslare does not have any convenient airports nearby. Dublin International Airport is the closest at 115 miles (about 185 kilometres) north. Cork Airport is 125 miles (about 201 kilometres) to the west.

Nearest railway stations

Rosslare Europort train station is the natural public transport link from the port. Services run northwards to Wexford, Enniscorthy, Wicklow, Bray, Dun Laoghaire, and Dublin. The journey to Dublin takes approximately 3 hours.

Currency

The currency used in County Wexford is the Euro (€). 100 cents make up 1 Euro. Euro coins are available in 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents and 50 cents coins. Euro bank notes are available in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 values.

The exchange rate is currently around £1 equals €0.00. The rate you get when exchanging currency online or on the high street may differ to this rate as this figure comes courtesy of the European Central Bank. The foreign exchange rate may differ from this so it pays to shop around to get the most currency for your money

Ferry Routes

Operator Route Services Travel Time Price
Fishguard Rosslare 2 daily 3¼ hours See prices °
Pembroke Dock Rosslare 2 daily 4 hours See prices °

This information is for reference purposes only. Journey times are approximate. Frequency is based on typical schedules. Schedules are subject to availability and weather conditions. Information correct at the time of writing.

Taster Cruise Ship Itineraries

Sorry, no mini cruise routes can be found sailing to Rosslare sailing on a cruise ship.

Top 3 Cruise & Ferry Deals

  1. Irish Ferries Ireland mini cruise from £38pp
  2. Day trip to Rosslare with Stena Line from £5.50pp
  3. Sail to Belfast with Stena Line from £10pp each way

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