Wexford is a maritime county situated in the south-eastern corner of the country, which has a long coastline meeting both the Irish Sea and the Celtic Sea. Wexford thrived as a coastal county with lots of sea traffic mostly from England and Wales. Its chief inlets are Bannow Bay, Waterford Harbour and Wexford Harbour, while the port of Rosslare is the closest point to Wales in Ireland, with lots of ferries operating from there.
To the north, the county is bordered by the hills of co. Wicklow, and to the west, by the River Barrow and the Blackstairs Mountains. The centre consists of a fertile plain, watered by the River Slaney, so the landscape varies from rolling countryside to mountain forests. The coastline is irregular, low, and thus hazardous to navigation, but it boasts some of the sandiest beaches in the country.
There are four main towns to capture the visitor's attraction: Wexford town, around which the county is centered, Enniscorthy, Gorey and New Ross. Wexford is a pretty town, with a lot to offer - pubs and cafes, fine food and long sandy beaches. The town seems to explode every October, during the by now famous Wexford Opera Festival, that offers, apart from major productions of rare operas, a wide range of side events: concerts, drama, art and craft exhibitions, antique fairs, food fairs and others. Curracloe and Ballinesker beaches are not far north, and as Wexford is said to be the sunniest county in Ireland, there's no better place to go to the beach.
Wexford's history goes back to pre-Christian times, but above all, the county is rich in memories of the 1798 rising, that took root here, when insurgent pikemen rebelled against the English rule, fighting heroically against overwhelming odds. The National 1798 Visitor Centre brings its story to life in the context of the world as it was then.
The Irish National Heritage Park is also of great interest, since it presents Irish history from the very first settlers to the times of the Normans.
For those with an interest in history, Ferns is more than just a quiet village, being associated with the despised King of Leinster Dermot MacMurrough, who fought the clans of the Blackstairs Mountains for supremacy, in the 12th century. All that's left of a castle from this time is a single round tower, but the MacMurrough family castle was replaced in the 14th century (the remains from those times include 8 feet-thick walls and a moate), torched and rebuilt, to come into the possession of Oliver Cromwell. Nowadays, it is under the guardianship of the state. While in Ferns, other interesting ruins to visit are at St. Edan's and at St. Peter's.
The County Museum at Enniscorthy is another strong recommendation for holidaymakers in Wexford, as well as the impressively beautiful botanical gardens and arboretums that are found in abundance all across the county. Among the private gardens, the most notable are those at the Ram House in Gorey, the Victorian Gardens at Woodville in New Ross, and Kilmokea Gardens in Campile. The John F. Kennedy memorial arboretum in New Ross contains no less than 4,500 species on its 252 hectares.
A county as Wexford couldn't possibly have a short activity list: apart from angling, golf, canoeing on the river Slaney, climbing in the Blackstairs Mountains, hunting in several parts of the county, watersports have been growing in popularity: water-skiing, sailing, surfing and scuba-diving, which is made much more interesting by the shipwrecks and marine habitats found in the waters off Wexford county.