For years I thought that Waterford was where Wexford actually is. Its one of those geological black holes in my education – I also had the two counties completely confused all weekend – much to the frustration of my travel buddy who was wondering where I was going with “Sure Rosslare is only about 10 minutes outside Waterford”. After my recent trip – I’m glad to say I now know both the difference between the two counties and exactly where Wexford actually is!
The second day we ventured to the very south of the county towards Hook Head. Travel buddy insisted on printing Google maps which I hate – I prefer my trusty fold out map and common sense when navigating – which was a good thing because Google Maps was directing us down nonexistent roads – a common issue in rural Ireland!
Just before Hook head you come to the grand Loftus Hall which has been left go to ruin from neglect and vandalism since it closed as a hotel around the 1980’s. It is a pity that Ireland doesn’t have the ability to preserve these great houses like has been done in the UK – I know it is a huge undertaking but there is a great shame in allowing them to decay and become lost to future generations. One thing you cannot buy back is time and these buildings are a little time warp of their own.
Hook Head Lighthouse
This was my first time being even close to a lighthouse never mind actually taking a tour of the inside! It was interesting but to be fair there is only so much you can do inside a light house, we crept into the little chambers, peered out the little windows and marvelled at the sparkling green mould. The view from the top is beautiful and we managed to get some nice snaps from up there. I love their tagline – “number 1 flashiest lighthouse in the world” and also lays claim to being the oldest working lighthouse in the world!
I wasn’t wearing the shoes for hiking so I didn’t go for the walk out along the rocks like some of the tour group instead we got back into the Focus and headed north bound for Duncannon passing the ruins of a church/house which I had to explore and then onwards towards Wellington Bridge and along the coast.
Probably the highlight of the entire weekend in Wexford for me was Kilmore Quay – a beautiful and sun drenched harbour in the south of Wexford. We parked up at the harbour and walked around the cute gift shops but what really caught my eye was the beautiful thatched cottages all over the village – especially out the road towards Rosslare. I know that some purists believe that some are a disgrace as they are using non-traditional elements and materials such as reed thatching and pvc windows but I’d prefer to see a cottage kept well and lived in than going back to the earth for want of ‘proper proceedures’. The town is a delight to visit, we would have loved to have eaten in the local restaurant – Silverfox but it was beyond our budget for that day – I will definitely return to try it out at some stage as the food looked amazing.
I have to take this opportunity to plug the Seafood Festival which is starting tomorrow – if you are touring anywhere in the area make sure you pop on down and support them – I am sure it is a fantastic festival!
Our Lady’s Island
To be honest the name didn’t ring a bell with me but my travel buddy being a devout Catholic was wide eyed to visit this location so we diverted towards the Lake. It is a very strange location and I couldn’t help but feel some of the spirituality surrounding it. For those of you who like me don’t know much about it – Our Lady’s Island is an ancient place of pilgrimage where people come to pray and reflect during the summer months. I love the historical aspect of it which holds that it may originally have been a worshiping place for female druids – some prehistoric girl power!
Now I know where to go when I get my campervan and am taking a little trip to France for myself. We rolled into Rosslare Harbour in a heat wave and I was sorry not to be getting on the big ferry off to some fantastic holiday destination – instead we sought cover in The Harbour View Hotel where we enjoyed tasty pub grub and entertainingly diverse customers – you never know what will come in off the boats!
And that was pretty much the end of the my actual touring for the weekend as I had to face into the road back up to Dublin which also involved negotiating the festival crowds in Enniscorthy to drop my travel buddy back home.
The old saying ‘Twould be a great country if you could put a roof on it’ really told this weekend. The bar was not set high on the first day with the thunderous rain and poor conditions however when the rain and clouds passed on – Wexford emerged as a beautiful county with a good number of well preserved Cottages, stunning period houses, history and great pride in its own identity – how could I have overlooked it for so long – I’ll certainly be back.
- Cottageology Tour of Ireland
- Co. Wexford – Day 1 – Johnstown Castle, Agricultural Museum, Mayglass and The National Heritage Park
- The Traditional Wexford Cottage
Links and Further Information:
- Hook Lighthouse Heritage Center
- Silverfox Restaurant in Kilmore Quay
- Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival
- Our Ladys Island Website
- Harbour View Hotel – Rosslare Harbour