Ireland's Ancient East
Ireland’s Ancient East celebrates five thousand years of stories across the Eastern half of Ireland. From Vikings to Castles, Waterways to Grand Houses there are stories hidden everywhere. You get to discover them. As well as all the larger attractions we have, don’t be afraid to explore the villages, beaches and trail walks of the area – that’s where you will find the real characters of the South East.
New Ross is located in the heart of the South East and the Brandon House Hotel offers the perfect hub to take a few days to explore the surrounding sites and stories.
Explore all of the local attractions with Local Link bus service, we can arrange pick up at the hotel instead of The Quay, New Ross, the driver will also drop you back at the hotel. www.locallinkwexford.ie
Simply book the bus at reception.
Follow the story of the Irish Emigrants to America aboard the Dunbrody. An interactive tour that allows you to really get a feel for what life was like for the people leaving Ireland aboard a famine ship to start their new life in America.
The Ros Tapestry Project is an ongoing community initiative. Having started in 1998 and with the work of one hundred and fifty volunteers they have created fifteen panels each measuring an impressive 6x4 foot. The Ros Tapestries depict events around the Anglo-Norman arrival in the South East, specifically the founding of the town of New Ross. This is a must see for anyone interested in crafts or history alike.
The aim of the New Ross Street Focus is to promote the history of New Ross. History and heritage are hiding in plain sight on the streets of New Ross. We have installed 18 plaques with historical facts on significant buildings and produced a free booklet/map for self-guided walking tours.
New Ross, surrounding area
Secret Valley Wildlife Park is the only fully licensed zoo and Wildlife Park in the South East. Ann O’Connor set up the original farm in 2007 and it has since grown from strength to strength. The passion that Ann and her staff have for the animals and environment is clearly evident from the moment the visitor is welcomed into the grounds.
Heritage Tours Wexford will enable you or your group to experience all that Wexford and the Southeast have to offer. Whether you are on a day trip, or staying in the county for a few days, there is a tour to suit you. Take in the Hook Highlights Tour taking in Dunbrody Famine Ship, Tintern Abbey, Loftus Hall and Hook Lighthouse, includes pick up at the Brandon House Hotel every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. They also have Group Tours or private tours, Brooklyn Movie Tour, Enniscorthy Town Tour, Kilkenny Day Tour and South East Gems. To book call 087 3299900 or check out www.heritagetourswexford.ie
New Ross and the surrounding area holds strong ties to the USA. The Kennedy Homestead is the birthplace of President John. F Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy. The homestead celebrates the story of five generations of the Kennedy family. The exhibit tells the remarkable story of the most famous Irish-American family from the 20th century to the present day. The Kennedy family legacy is an integral part of daily life in Co. Wexford. Facilities at the Homestead include a unique collection of Kennedy memorabilia, audio-visual display, souvenir shop and picnic area
Dedicated to the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy the Arboretum is a plant and tree collection of international standing. It covers 623 acres on the southern slopes and summit of Sliabh Coillte. It contains 4,500 types of trees and shrubs from all around the world. The lake is the most popular part of the Arboretum, and is a haven for waterfowl. A road provides access to the summit at 271m from which there are panoramic views. A Visitor Centre houses exhibitions and audio visual show. The park is a great day out for all the family with a playground and picnic area to enjoy.
The gardens are beautifully laid out around a pretty georgian house overlooking the River Barrow. Topiary, lawns, herbaceous and mixed plantings combine with architectural features and ornaments to provide an enchanting series of enclosures. A Large water garden extends into woodland planted with rare and tender trees and shrubs.
Let the small but dynamic team at The Irish Experience deliver you a bespoke Adventure Experience like nothing you have ever done before. Get out of your comfort zone and into your “adventure zone” as they take you on a journey hiking to the summits of stunning mountains, kayaking down through the picturesque valleys on our beautiful yet exciting rivers, or even on into our magical marine wildlife packed ocean along the stunning south-east coastline and into the recesses of amazing sea caves on a fun filled Sea kayak Experience.
Leisuremax is the No 1 fun filled family entertainment venue in Wexford, the Sunny South East of Ireland. From Ten Pin Bowling to Archery, Zorbing to Zip lines, and everything in between, they have it all, guaranteeing a fab day out for all the family. Their soft play activity area caters for smaller kids and is a great alternative on a rainy day.
The Irish National Heritage Park is an authentic recreation of Ireland’s heritage. Discover homesteads, places of ritual, burial modes and long forgotten remains. The Park is 35 acres and home to 16 archaeological and historical reconstructions all located in their natural settings.
Walk through 9000 years of the history of Irish life. The park is rich with flowers, woodlands, wet grasslands, ponds and streams.
Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens has a long and colourful story stretching over 800 years. Situated outside Wexford town in Ireland’s south east, it is not only a significant property of national importance but a place of great romantic charm and tranquility. The spectacular lake walks, walled gardens and sculptures all offer the beautiful setting for the great 19th-century castle.
Lavender is one of the best known and most loved of all herbs, with its unique fragrance and stunning flowers it remains a gardeners’ favourite. Wexford Lavendar Farm have four acres of lavender, a beautiful café located in converted stables, gift shop, childrens’ playground, quad barrel train ride, distillery equipment, woodland walks, woodland warriors, plant sales and plenty more.
Explore 450 acres of enchanting woodlands & gardens, including fairy & gruffalo walks, animal farm, playground, Mogue’s walk & much more. Stop off at the craft courtyard for a spot of shopping and to take in the quirky vibes. Spend a day with the elegant backdrop of our 17th century Victorian House and a history dating back to the days of Cromwell and the famine. Stroll the formal gardens and arboretum, enjoy a picnic on the terrace and lawns!
Enniscorthy Castle, in the heart of Enniscorthy town, was originally built in the 13th century, and has been ‘home’ to Norman knights, English armies, Irish rebels and prisoners, and local merchant families. Why not visit the dungeon to see the rare medieval wall art –The Swordsman, or the battlements at the top of the castle to marvel at the amazing views of Vinegar Hill Battlefield, Enniscorthy town, and the sights, flora and fauna of the surrounding countryside. Enniscorthy Castle explores the development of the Castle and town from its earliest Anglo-Norman origins, with a special focus on the Castle as a family home.
On your visit you will meet the key figures of the Rebellion, participate in a state of the art 4D battle of Vinegar Hill Experience, discover how weapons from the period worked and learn in gruesome detail how some 20,000 insurgents faced the might of 10,000 well-trained and well-armed Crown Forces.
Located at the tip of the Hook peninsula, this is the oldest operational lighthouse in the world. There are guided tours of the lighthouse, a café, a safe lawn area with kid’s games to play and beautiful coastal walks to enjoy. Also keep an eye on their website for upcoming events such as live music gigs in the lighthouse.
Enjoy a scenic stroll through these magnificent gardens and see the remains of the Cistercian abbey built in 1200. This is one of the hidden gems of Wexford heritage. Admittance to the magnificent Walled Gardens is just €3 per adult, €2 reduced rate and children under 14 are free. There are three woodland trails which are free for you to explore.
Located on the outskirts of the most postcard perfect village, Inistioge, Wood Stock Gardens are a must visit. The gardens date to the 1740's. Following a period of disrepair in 1999, Kilkenny County Council undertook a restoration project of the garden. Features include a walled garden, rose garden, rockery garden, a recreated Turner Conservatory, a collection of rare and exotic trees in the arboretum and much more including many tranquil woodland walks. A great day out for the family.
Today, Kilkenny Castle is open to visitors all year round and is largely a Victorian remodelling of the thirteenth century defensive Castle. Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to see this grand country house and walk through its fifty acres of rolling parkland with mature trees and an abundance of wildlife. Other features include a formal terraced rose garden, woodlands and a man-made lake, which were added in the nineteenth century. There is also a tearoom, playground and several orienteering trails for visitors to enjoy
Located in the historic medieval city of Kilkenny, Shenanigans Walks brings an exciting modern twist on traditional tours. Local, expert and entertaining guides lead a fun, informative and engaging adventure while tracing the footsteps of The Normans, Monks, Knights, Merchants, an infamous Witch and a Kilkenny Beer!
The Triangle is Waterford City’s cultural and heritage quarter. A walking tour with a local guide is a great way to see the sites and learn about them from a local. With Reginald’s Tower, Waterford Crystal and The Bishops Palace to name but a few of attractions, a day out in Waterford City is a must on your trip to the Sunny South East.
Waterford Greenway Bike Hire offer reliable, affordable hires of quality bikes on the Waterford Greenway. Explore this stunning 46-kilometre cycle route along an old railway line between Waterford City and Dungarvan.
Opportunities seized upon, a mysterious falling out, royal approval and awards, struggles and renaissance – through more than 200 years Waterford Crystal and the visionary characters behind its evolution have crafted a unique story in glass. From small beginnings, and thanks to the vision of numerous talented and hardworking individuals along the way, Waterford Crystal dazzles around the world into the 21st century.
These Authentic Japanese Gardens are set in the beautiful seaside town of Tramore, County Waterford, Ireland. These stunning gardens reflect the life and extensive wanderings of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo), who grew up in Ireland, and whose life journey embraced several parts of the world. The gardens pay homage to the fame he attained in Japan through his incomparable literary descriptions of the people, customs and culture of that country. Follow Lafcadio Hearn’s life journey, first through the Victorian Garden, then to the American and Greek gardens, until you eventually arrive in the Japanese gardens which feature many Japanese plants and Japanese architectural features. The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens are a haven of beauty and tranquility for all who visit. Children are introduced to these magical gardens through a special children’s discovery trail, secret pathways, woodlands and Lafcadio Hearn’s fairytales and folklore.