Castles and Coast (Route 8)
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Movie star beaches, aerial trekking adventures and the heritage hotspots of Ferns and Enniscorthy here are pick of the attractions along this excellent driving tour. Castles & Coast Wexford Town and back ,Courtown, Gorey, Ferns, Enniscorthy: Distance: 102km
Route 8: Castles & Coast - Wexford Town, Courtown, Gorey, Ferns, Enniscorthy, Wexford Town. Distance: 102km.
Movie star beaches, aerial trekking adventures and the heritage hotspots of Ferns and Enniscorthy are pick of the attractions along this excellent driving tour.
From Wexford, proceed north on the R742, one of the most underrated coastal drives in the country. Thatched cottages, visitor farms and Blue Flag beaches at Morriscastle, Courtown and Curracloe are the highlights here. Ballinesker is where Spielberg filmed the frenetic opening scenes for Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Courtown, combines its old stone harbour with a neat beach, nostalgic amusements and aerial trekking adventures at Gravity Forest Park
Depart the coast road and visit the busy market town of Gorey. Onwards to Ferns (via N11) and travel back in time at historic Ferns Castle and you’ll also find the ruins of Ferns Cathedral and St. Mary’s Abbey.
Continue to Enniscorthy (via N11), a town first settled by St. Senan in 510AD.The Norman castle here was home for a time to the poet Edmund Spenser, and legend suggests he got the lease from Queen Elizabeth… after royally flattering her in The Faerie Queen.
Also worth a stop in Enniscorthy are St. Aidan’s Cathedral, designed by Pugin, and Vinegar Hill, a critical battle site during the 1798 Rebellion. Interestingly, the hill also played a small role in 1916 – both stories are told in depth at the 1798 Centre Return to Wexford via the N11.
Place to see on the route:
Wexford Wildfowl Reserve
St. Aidan’s Cathedral
1798 Rebellion Centre
Irish National Heritage Park
10 Johnstown Castle Gardens and
Irish Agriculture Museum