South Wexford – Rain, Hail or Shine
I spent countless summers in Wexford as a child, however when it came to writing about Wexford for the Time Out Guide I found myself a little perplexed. I knew all the places to visit as far as Rosslare, but rounding the headland onto the southern coast, I was oblivious.
Thus ensued another road trip. One rainy Saturday morning we set off in time to make the farmers market in Enniscorthy. I’d heard they did good coffee and tasty snacks, so we skipped breakfast in anticipation.What we didn’t expect was the sun to shine while we sat back and enjoyed fresh apple juice, muffins and delicious coffee. We agreed this boded well for our journey.
Our destination was Arthurstown. As usual, a wrong turn here and there fortuitously led us to the lovely Kilmokea Gardens, which I’d recommend to garden lovers or those looking for quaint country house accommodation. After a stroll around the gardens and snoop about the house, we made our way to our B&B Marsh Mere Lodge, an idylic Anne of Green Gables style house, replete with a veranda overlooking the bay. Had it been warm I fancy we would have sat on the veranda sipping a glass of sauvignon, however the return of the rain drove us indoors where the owner, Clare, sat us down in front of a roaring fire with a pot of tea and cake. This is what perfect weekends are made of.
Dragging ourselves away from the fire we found we were spoilt for choice for things to do. Long walks? Head to the John F Kennedy Arborteum, 623 acres of wonderful parkland and gardens, whilst those fancying a long stretch of white sand should visit the lively seaside village, Duncannon. There’s plenty to keep families happy here for a couple of days, with horse riding, boat trips, an old fort on a rocky promontory to explore and a few cute pubs from where you can watch the sun go down.
On rainy days, book into a cookery class at Dunbrody House or treat yourself to afternoon tea in the grand house or celebrate a romantic Valentine’s there. Visit Tintern Abbey or head to the narrow streets of New Ross. However, rain, hail or shine be sure to take the winding road out along the stunning Hook Peninsula. Fringed with tiny coves and often battered by southerly winds, the peninsula is stark, rugged and simply stunning.
Clambering across the rocks adjacent to the lighthouse, we spent a good hour watching the crashing waves, swooping birds and spectacular blow holes. Returning from the peninsula we sought refuge at the Kings Inn Bar in Arthurstown. A crackling fire, hot port in hand, I wondered how I had never visited such a beautiful part of Ireland before. Little did I know what the following day would bring. Some of the best seafood in Ireland anyone? Ah, but you’ll have to get the guide to find out all about that!