Explore County Wexford
Although Wexford has a violent past, from the Viking incursions through Cromwell’s massacres and the Battle of Vinegar Hill in 1798, to the Troubles of the 20th century, these days it is better known for other things. Namely, its pleasant beaches, heritage parks, Opera Festival, and the Strawberry Food and Music Festival of Wexford and Enniscorthy.
The Vikings established Wexford (the county town) as a port and shipbuilding town in the 8th century. In the Middle Ages it was an important English garrison town. The slow-moving River Slaney and several of its tributaries empty their silt-laden waters into the estuary here, providing a valuable habitat for thousands of wading birds.
Bird-watchers should find time to visit the Wexford Wildlife Reserve which is behind the sea wall on the north side of the harbour. In winter you can see nearly 30 different species of duck and over 40 types of wader. The 10,000 or so Greenland white-fronted geese form as much as one-third of the world’s population, and the pale-bellied Brents also arrive on a globally significant scale.
Also close to Wexford is the Irish National Heritage Park, which has recreated 9,000 years of Irish history in five acres of reclaimed marsh and swamp.