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  • #Landscapes
  • #CultureandHeritage
  • #OutdoorActivities
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    3 days 365 km

    72 hours in Ireland's Ancient East with your dog

    • #IrelandsAncientEast
    • #Landscapes
    • #RoadTrips
    From Wicklow to Waterford
    Nearest Airport Dublin Airport
    Attractions Glendalough, Powerscourt
    Bray head Cliff Walk Co Wicklowwebsize2500x1200px Bray head Cliff Walk Co Wicklowwebsize2500x1200px
    johnstown johnstown
    Waterford Greenway Co Waterfordwebsize2500x1200px 2 Waterford Greenway Co Waterfordwebsize2500x1200px 2

    What's better than an Irish holiday? One in the company of your furry friends, of course!

    So how about this for an adventure with the doggies: a three-day jaunt through Wicklow, Wexford and Waterford that showcases the best that Ireland's Ancient East has to offer. Grab your lead and let's get going. *It’s important to note that your dog must be accompanied by a responsible person and always on a lead in public places. *


    Day 1

    167 km


    Day 2

    68 km


    Day 3

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    Day 1 Wicklow to Wexford

    Day 1

    Get an early start to make the most of your 72-hour break. Your first day will take you from the scenic coast of County Wicklow to the charming Viking town of Wexford.

    Explore Day 1

    Embrace the Wicklow way!

    Bray, County Wicklow

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    Hire a car at Dublin Airport and drive 45 minutes south to County Wicklow – the “Garden of Ireland”. Famous for its natural beauty, hiking trails and panoramic views, it’s the perfect place for your canine companion to stretch their paws. First off, travel to Bray for a leisurely stroll along the seafront. Grab a bite to eat at the dog-friendly Dockyard No.8, a busy spot that serves a selection of brunch favourites and street food delights. Eggs benedict, smoked salmon, goat cheese salad – one plate of everything, please!


    When you arrive, a fresh bowl of water will be waiting for your pal, and the outdoor dining area has an astroturf floor so that they can lounge comfortably. If you’re lucky you might even meet Hercules, the owners’ British bulldog – he loves welcoming new friends. Don’t forget to grab a cheeky ice cream from Gelateria nearby before you leave – we won’t tell anyone, promise.

    42 km

    Seaside escape

    Brittas Bay, County Wicklow

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    Now that you’ve refuelled, let’s make our way to Brittas Bay! After a 35-minute drive south, order a coffee and a puppuccino in the Bay Café, then soak in the rugged coastal views on a walk along the famed sandy shores. As the proud owner of a Blue Flag – an award given only to beaches around Ireland that meet strict water quality and safety standards – it’s no wonder Brittas Bay has become a popular hotspot for beachgoers, swimmers, and dogwalkers all year round.


    If you have the time and energy, take your pooch on an epic trek through The Wicklow Way – Ireland’s oldest marked hiking route. The trail is 130km long and weaves through the stunning lakes and valleys of County Wicklow. For the average hiker, it takes around 5-7 days to complete the route.


    Eager to give it a go? We recommend booking accommodation at the four-star BrookLodge & Macreddin Village, where the resident golden retrievers, George and Lewis, will greet you at the door.

    81 km

    Welcome to Wexford!

    Wexford town, County Wexford

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    Once you’ve washed the sand off your feet and paws, hop back into the car because it’s time to visit the sunny southeast. Unload your luggage at The Blue Door B&B or both are in the heart of Wexford town. Tucked away down narrow medieval streets, the owners of each establishment welcome all members of the family, furry ones included.


    If you’d prefer accommodation out of town, where your dog will have more space to frolic freely, we recommend checking out Seashells B&B, Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens and Hookless Holiday Homes. Each of these locations require a 20–30-minute drive to and from Wexford town.


    Time for dinner, and you’re in for a treat. A bevy of local restaurants have outdoor dining, which means your dog is free to sit with you during the meal. Try Frank’s Place for classic, high-end dining. Vine specialises in authentic Thai cuisine. While the Thomas Moore is a beautifully restored tavern that serves tasty pub fare. As the day draws to a close, make sure you and the pooch get a good night’s sleep, because tomorrow we’re exploring the length and breadth of Wexford town.

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    Day 2 Wexford

    Day 2

    Your second day will bring you on an adventure that takes in the charming town of Wexford, the natural beauty of Curracloe Beach and the spectacular open-air Irish National Heritage Park.

    Explore Day 2

    Take to the streets

    The Trough, County Wexford

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    When you’re staying in Wexford, an early morning walk on the Quay must be at the top of your to-do list. Pop into The Trough on your way for a tasty cup of joe, a healthy breakfast, or freshly baked goods from their local bakery.


    Stroll along the waterfront, breathing in the gorgeous sea air. Across the bridge, follow the newly paved walking trail opposite the Riverbank House Hotel. Stretching out towards the sea, the path gives walkers a chance to take a break and listen to the water lapping against the pier. On a fine day, you can spot Curracloe Beach and Raven Point Wood in the distance. If you can’t see it, don’t worry, because it’s the next stop on our itinerary.


    Fancy spending more time around Wexford town? Visit Min Ryan Park and its ultra-accessible dog park, which is only a 6-minute drive or a 30-minute walk from the town centre. Your four-legged companion can play with their new friends in a controlled environment, as you enjoy the nearby memorial garden, walking track, wildflower meadows and art displays.

    11 km

    Hollywood sands

    Raven Point Wood, County Wexford

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    It’s time to escape the hustle and bustle of Wexford town and head towards the secluded paradise of Curracloe Beach. During the warmer months, the soft sands are thronged with holidaymakers and sunbathers, but during the cooler months, it’s the ideal destination for dogwalkers, particularly the nearby woods. Free parking is available directly opposite the beach.


    We suggest roaming the woodland trail and emerging onto the beach for a peaceful stroll – it’s officially called The Raven Wood Loop and is 6.8km long. Before you leave, visit Curracloe's famous sand dunes. Most evenings here you’ll see children and adults giggling as they roll down the sandy peaks.


    Cinephiles take note, Curracloe has been a popular filming location for Hollywood directors over the years. The beach made its debut in Stephen Spielberg’s Oscar-winning movie, Saving Private Ryan. Tom Hanks spent many a day filming his scenes at this very beach! The beach later appeared in the award-winning film adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel, Brooklyn.

    15 km

    Wander through the ages

    Irish National Heritage Park, County Wexford

    Irish National Heritage Park Co Wexfordwebsize2500x1200px Irish National Heritage Park Co Wexfordwebsize2500x1200px

    Our final stop for the day is the Irish National Heritage Park. Set on 40 acres of marshland, the outdoor museum is a pre-historic haven of reconstructed ring forts, crannogs, Viking houses and exhibits. All of which are located alongside the real remains of the first fortification built by the Anglo-Normans on the island of Ireland.


    The talented staff offer a choice of guided tours through Ireland’s past: Pre-Historic Ireland, Early Christian Ireland and Age of Invasion. Of course, your dog is welcome here, with two exceptions. They are not allowed within the Falconry Centre nor are they permitted in the café. If your companion gets thirsty as you explore, you’ll find numerous water bowls throughout the park.

    5 km

    Your evening entertainment

    Wexford town, County Wexford

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    It’s been a long day, so you’ll want to relax and recharge. Head to The Sky & the Ground for a well-deserved pint – it’s a pub full of character, nostalgic decor and that world-famous Irish charm.


    Feeling hungry, but you and the pup are too cosy to move? Don’t worry, the lovely folks at Sky have got you covered. While enjoying your drinks in the beer garden, the barman will happily let you order a tasty artisan pizza from Crust, located just across the street, or a Wexford rissole from the Premier next door, and bring it into the pub.

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    Day 3 Wexford to Waterford

    Day 3

    Finish your trip by visiting the historic Johnstown Castle before taking in the sights of County Waterford.

    Explore Day 3

    Step into the past

    Johnstown Castle, County Wexford

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    Set yourself up for the day with a quick drive to the bustling food truck, Pot Belly Café, for some delicious homemade breakfast baps, tacos and Buddha bowls – trust us, you don’t want to miss out on this hidden gem.


    Once your bellies are full, it’s time to hit the road and visit the neo-Gothic beauty of Johnstown Castle. When you arrive, you’ll have to pay an admission fee depending on which section of the estate you wish to visit. Your furry friend is allowed in the gardens, visitor centre, café and shop. Sadly, pets cannot enter the museum or the castle interior, unless they are service dogs.


    Stroll through the lush ornamental gardens, adorned with flowerbeds, sculptures and manicured hedges. Follow your nose to the nearby woodlands where you’ll be treated to the smell of wild garlic, lavender and a gorgeous mix of wildflowers. Perhaps you want to take it easy? Relax with a picnic alongside Johnstown’s glassy lake, while admiring the best view of the castle on the entire estate. The castle’s Gothic towers, magical turrets and arched windows are all on display from this spot, so grab your camera and start snapping.


    As you explore the grounds, you’ll spot a few colourful animals strutting their stuff across the parkland. The tapestry of colours flaunted by the local peacocks is a particular favourite among visitors. It’s well worth putting a few hours aside on your three-day break to check out this special location – you won’t regret it.


    Next, we have a one-hour drive west to County Waterford!

    78 km

    The final stretch

    Anne Valley, County Waterford

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    County Waterford has a wide variety of dog-friendly activities for you and your buddy to enjoy. When you arrive, it’s time to blow away the cobwebs with a refreshing walk.


    Dunmore East Cliff Walk boasts unbeatable views of Hook Lighthouse, the oldest intact operational lighthouse in the world! Or try the Anne Valley Walk, a popular route with locals, which connects Dunhill with the cute seaside village of Annestown. Both trails are a 25-minute drive from Waterford city.

    12 km

    The Waterford Greenway

    Waterford Greenway, County Waterford

    waterford-greenway-3 waterford-greenway-3

    Consider going further with a walk along the Waterford Greenway and wander the car-free pathways to your heart’s content. Beautifully complemented by the dramatic Comeragh Mountains, the route stretches a whopping 46km and takes you from Waterford city centre all the way to the seaside town of Dungarvan. You don’t have to complete the entire route as there are various exits along the way.


    Download the Waterford Greenway map.

    24 km

    Foodie paradise

    Dungarvan, County Waterford

    Dungarvan Co Waterfordwebsize2500x1200px Dungarvan Co Waterfordwebsize2500x1200px

    Staying in Waterford for the night? Book a dog-friendly stay to remember at the award-winning, five-star Cliff House Hotel where your pooch is welcome to dine on the outdoor terrace or in the comfort of your room – the resort also offers a kennel service. As far as doggy holidays go, they don’t get more luxurious than this! Since the hotel is around an hour's drive from Waterford city, we suggest stopping off in Dungarvan for an unforgettable dining experience for you and your four-legged pal.


    Winner of the Georgina Campbell Pet-Friendly Award in 2019, 360 Cookhouse celebrates a wide variety of cuisines. From a classic Irish roast to their pintxos and tapas sharing boards, this buzzy spot will have you spoilt for choice. There’s even a doggie menu for your little companion to peruse. We’re talking meat sticks, veal-stuffed hooves, sweet potato bones and puppy beer! The restaurant has a choice of two heated outdoor seating areas, where you and your dog can say farewell to Ireland’s Ancient East in style.

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