The beautiful, historic and diverse county of Wexford is located on the most south easterly corner of the island of Ireland. Wexford is one of Ireland’s top places to visit and holiday boasting 275 kilometres of coastline with golden sandy beaches, rocky headlands, cliffs and nature reserves plus vibrant towns and a calendar filled with festivals.
Heritage runs deep in Wexford; exploring this Cornerstone of Ireland’s Ancient East and journeying through the unspoiled landscape, hearing first-hand the stories that built Ireland is a ‘must’. Vikings certainly made their mark in Wexford: bearing down from Scandinavia, hordes of wild wayfarers first arrived in the 8th century to loot and pillage. But we’ve a lot to thank them for; they also laid the foundations of many Irish towns – including Wexford, which was founded by the Vikings in about 800 AD.
They named it Veisafjoror, inlet of the mud flats and it remained a Viking town for about 300 years! In 1169 the Normans arrived in Ireland onto the shores of Wexford at the request of the recently ousted High King of Leinster whose seat was located in the village of Ferns.They arrived to help Diarmait Mac Murchada battle for his kingdom. Today, Norse and Norman influences combine in Wexford, a town that has retained its compact, medieval feel – though the only invading hordes you are likely to encounter these days are the opera buffs descending on the town for the annual international Wexford Festival Opera. Presuming you are travelling by car rather than longboat, routes connecting the highlights of the Cornerstone of Ireland make for some great driving trips, ranging from the towns themselves to all the rivers, beaches, festivals, castles, forts, abbeys and cafés in-between
Find out more at www.visitwexford.ie