Ireland's Ancient East


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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.

New Ross

Dunbrody Famine Ship 

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.

Ros Tapestry 

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.

New Ross, surrounding area

Heritage Tours Wexford

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 

John F. Kennedy Homestead 

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

John F. Kennedy Memorial Park and Arboretum

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.


Irish National Heritage Park 

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.

Hook Peninsula

Hook Lighthouse 

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.

Loftus Hall 

One of the most haunted houses in Ireland – or so the story goes! The house was originally built in 1350 during the Black Death. Large restoration work was carried out by the current owners. The devil is said to have appeared here and the house is also said to be haunted by the ghost of a little girl. Now one of the leading attractions in the South East you can enjoy a tour to suit all the family or if you are brave enough why not try an overnight lock-in – if you dare!

Tintern Abbey & Colclough Walled Gardens

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.

South Kilkenny

Woodstock Gardens 

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.


Waterford Museum of Treasures

Visit the award-winning Waterford Treasures – Three Museums in the Viking Triangle, situated in the heart of Ireland’s oldest city. Three museums within a few paces of each other tell the 1100 year old story of Waterford from its foundation in 914 AD by Viking sea pirates. The massive stone fortress, Reginald’s Tower, houses Waterford's Viking Treasures. The Medieval Museum, the only purpose built museum specialising in medieval history in Ireland, showcases spectacular treasures from the Middle Ages. The elegant Bishop’s Palace, dating from 1743, is the home of the treasures of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.