Enniscorthy, located in the heart of County Wexford, in Ireland’s “Sunny South East”, is situated on the banks of the River Slaney, overlooked by a majestic Norman Castle and under the gaze of Vinegar Hill, which was the site of the most significant battle of the Rebellion of 1798.
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Enniscorthy, located in the heart of County Wexford, in Ireland’s “Sunny South East”, is situated on the banks of the River Slaney, overlooked by a majestic Norman Castle and under the gaze of Vinegar Hill, which was the site of the most significant battle of the Rebellion of 1798. To the west stands proud the Gothic St. Aidan’s Cathedral, designed by the famous English architect, Augustus Welby Pugin (1812 – 1852). Enniscorthy was founded by St. Senan in 510 AD, and celebrates over 1,500 years of history as a town.
Each year, the historic town of Enniscorthy comes alive with its vibrant Arts and Festivals programme. With the Strawberry Fair & Street Rhythms Festival, the All Ireland Farmers Market competition on June Bank Holiday weekend, the Rockin’ Food Festival on the August Bank Holiday weekend, (with four days of rock’n’roll gigs, artisan food and craft market, cookery tasting events), and Blackstairs Blues Music Festival in September, there is something for all ages and tastes.
Browse the stalls at the weekly Farmers Market held each Saturday morning. Heritage tours of the town and surrounding areas are also available. Enniscorthy boasts one of the most historically significant profiles in Wexford, with links to ancient fortifications, famous battles, historic buildings and world renowned writers, actors, designers and poets
There is an excellent promenade walk by the River Slaney, one of the Wexford Walking Trails. Enjoy the many activities around Enniscorthy for the whole family – walking, golfing, cycling, angling, pony trekking, quad biking, paintballing, strawberry picking and water sports. Located in the cornerstone of Ireland’s Ancient East, Enniscorthy, famous for its strawberries, has a rich culinary heritage and is proud of its food producers and the excellent quality of their products.
Just off the M11 Motorway and being so centrally located in the South East, Enniscorthy is the perfect base from which to explore blue flag beaches, forest and river walks and the many villages and towns nearby.
Places of Interest around Enniscorthy
Enniscorthy castle & Vinegar Hill
Enniscorthy Castle & Vinegar Hill – Follow the footsteps of Anglo-Norman Knights, Gaelic Irish Kings and Elizabethan Adventures to uncover the story of Enniscorthy Castle. Exhibitions explore the development of the Castle and town from Anglo-Norman origins up until its use as a family home in the early 20th century. Unique displays include areas dedicated to the 1916 Rising in Enniscorthy, (the only town to rise outside of Dublin), as well as the work of the renowned Irish furniture designer and architect Eileen Gray.
St Aidan's cathedral
St Aidan’s Cathedral – Enniscorthy is the Cathedral town of the county. Built in 1843, St. Aidan’s Cathedral, was designed by Augustus Welby Pugin, synonomous with the revival of gothic style architecture and possibly most famous for having designed London’s Houses of Parliament. The cathedral is in the same Neogothic style. Notable features include the striking façade, a reredos carved from Caen stone and a great north window with intricate stone tracery. It was restored to its near original design in 1994 when authentic colours, materials and techniques were used.
National 1798 Centre
National 1798 Centre – The award winning National 1798 Rebellion Centre in the shadow of Vinegar Hill offers a real insight into the epic and heroic tale of the Rebellion. Filled with audio –visual re-enactments and exhibitions exploring all aspects of the Rebellion, this is a must see attraction.
county attractions To Enjoy
Secret valley wildlife park
Secret Valley Wildlife Park, Enniscorthy – Fourteen acres of fun-filled adventures await you at Secret Valley Wildlife Park near Clonroche, Co Wexford. From bottle-feeding the hungry kid goats, to riding Snowball the pony, we promise you unforgettable, great value, family fun! Each day is packed with loads of fun events. If you like a challenge, you can join in our adventure hunts or go wild in our large outdoor and new indoor play areas. You can also play crazy golf throughout the day.
Kia ora mini farm
Kia Ora Mini Farm – is a family run award winning open farm in Gorey, Co. Wexford in operation since 1991 and has all of the usual farmyard animals together with some more unusual such as micropigs, parrots, llamas, emus, alpacas etc. At Kia Ora they operate a hands on farm where children can feed and hold the animals. As well as the fantastic animals they have converted a fire engine to bring children on a fun ride through the farm with sing along songs, there is a maze, milking cow, sandpits, gokart track, football pitch and the newest attraction is actual real diggers that adults and children can operate.
the kennedy homestead
The Kennedy Homestead, Dunganstown – allows visitors to follow the fortune of the most famous Irish American Family through the 20th century to the present day. Trace the history of those who stayed behind and those who left Dunganstown on an immigrant ship to the slums of Boston and from the English court of St James to the Camelot days at the White House. The centre features an interpretative exhibit which traces the story, from Patrick Kennedy leaving as a famine emigrant, to his great grandchildren’s and their children’s return over the years. The Centre provides an exhibition experience, incorporating audio-visuals, a photographic exhibition and a historical interpretative display.
The emigrant trail
The Emigrant Trail, New Ross – The Kennedy family legacy is an integral part of life in County Wexford. The achievements of this distinguished family are celebrated on ‘The Emigrant Trail’ featuring three key heritage sites on a 15 mile (24km) trail in the vicinity of New Ross Town in County Wexford.
Dunbrody famine ship
Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience – New Ross. Tel: 051 425239 www.dunbrody.com Contact: Sean Connick – The Dunbrody Famine Ship is one of the premier tourist attractions in the South East of Ireland. Centred on an authentic reproduction of an 1840s emigrant vessel, it provides a world-class interpretation of the famine emigrant experience. Incorporating guided tour, costumed performers and themed exhibitions of the highest quality, the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience provides a unique insight into the bravery and fortitude with which Irish people faced up to a desperate situation. In addition to the tour of the Dunbrody Famine Ship, the Dunbrody Visitor Centre houses a charming river-view cafe and the Irish-American Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame commemorates the critical contribution of Irish men and women to US history, as well as acknowledging the continuing contribution of contemporary Irish-Americans. Each year the Hall of Fame inducts new members, these include Donald Keough, Michael Flatley and Maureen O’Hara. The attraction is located in New Ross, County Wexford. Central to the South East, New Ross is conveniently close to the towns of Wexford, Kilkenny, Waterford and Enniscorthy. As such the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience is a perfectly placed stop on any tour of the region.