Johnstown Castle offers more than 4kms of lake and garden walks, which are fully accessible and dog friendly too. Along the route you can find fairies, peacocks, over 200 varieties of trees and shrubs and you might even spot bats and birds! After exploring you can enjoy a picnic in the sunken garden and much more besides.
If you’re planning a day trip, you won’t want to miss this family review from Gráinne and her family, with practical tips and helpful details on how to get the most from your visit.
Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens
Johnstown Castle, is a spectacular gothic Castle in Wexford. It was built in the 1170’s and gifted to the nation in 1945. In addition to the castle, visitors can enjoy spectacular ornamental grounds, designed by Daniel Robertson, with family walks, lakes, a walled garden and much more besides.
A visit to the Irish Agricultural Museum, housed in the estate grounds, is a must. The museum is home to one of the most comprehensive displays of farming and rural life in the country. Including a vast collection of restored tractors, carts, ploughs, diary equipment, furniture, kitchens and much more.
The estate is run by The Irish Heritage Trust, Teagasc and the Irish Agricultural Museum,
Our Family’s Visit to Johnstown Castle Estate
I had visited Johnstown Castle years ago and had always wanted to go back. Friends visited recently and had shared details on social media. I had also seen it on Mykidstime so decided to bring the family along over the recent Easter holidays. I’m so glad I did!
I visited with my two kids aged 5 & 7, along with my friend and her two kids aged 6 & 8.
We booked online and had to change the booking on short notice and I was able to do this over the phone. They were very accommodating in changing the booking. We rescheduled with very short notice and there was no issue with this. I was given the option of changing the booking by phone or by email.
Admission is only €9 per adult and €4 per child (Under 5’s are free), concessions are available for OAP’s and students.
The Castle tour is only €4 per adult and €2 per child (Under 5’s are free), concessions are available for OAP’s and students.
You can buy a combined family ticket for 2 adults and up to 4 kids for €35 which includes the Castle Tour or €24 without the Castle Tour.
Prices are subject to change, so please do check the website before your visit for the most up-to-date booking information.
Transport and Parking
We drove to the venue. It is a short drive from Wexford Town and is just off the main Rosslare to Dublin Road. There was plenty of parking, despite the castle and grounds being very busy.
What to Expect
We arrived at around 11am and the weather was lovely. From the minute we entered the premises, the atmosphere was great. Staff were very friendly and helpful in the visitor centre.
The reception area was bright and welcoming and our host showed us a map with the different areas of the castle and grounds. The kids were invited to participate in an Easter Egg treasure trail of the grounds and this was an excellent way to keep their attention as we walked around. I would definitely recommend this trail as it was great for the kids and kept them interested in the various features of the walk and the castle. There are other trails available when it is not Easter too.
There are over 4km of lake and garden walks, which are fully accessible and dogs are welcome.
Over the course of our visit, we used the toilets a few times and each time the facilities were spotless.
After our treasure trail, we went on a tour of the castle. The tour is only €4 per adult and €2 per child (Under 5’s are free), concessions are available for OAP’s and students.
On the tour, our host Antoinette, was very informative and included the kids in all areas of the tour. She made sure to include the kids by giving them little facts that were age-relevant and answering all their questions. She even made sure to give them a round of applause at the end of the tour for their behaviour. The tour itself took just over an hour and was divided among the various rooms and features of the castle. A lift is available within the castle to ensure that all areas are assessible for everyone.
After lunch, we finished our treasure trail and headed to the playground. I really loved the fact that the playground blended in with the environment so well with most of the attractions constructed from wood and other natural materials. There was something for every age child in the playground along with nice seating areas.
On our way out, we returned to the visitor centre and spent some time in the shop. The shop is stocked with beautiful gifts and a variety of locally sourced produce such as jams, preserves, chocolate, etc. There was a lovely selection of children’s games, books and gifts for all ages, along with Irish hand-made gifts.
After the tour, we went back to the visitor centre for some lunch. The Café has a great variety of pizza slices, sandwiches, wraps, soups, buns, coffee, refreshments, etc. Gluten free and dairy free options were available. The café had the option of indoor or outdoor seating and all areas were kept very clean. My kids got the best hot chocolate ever and they claim to be connoisseurs on this!
Nearby Places of Interest
There is loads near Johnstown Castle if you wanted to make a day of it – Wexford Town, Rosslare, Hook Head, Enniscorthy, Curracloe beach, the Irish National Heritage Park, Tintern Abbey, Vinegar Hill, Dunbrody Famine Ship and loads more family attractions.
Highlights of Our Visit
The highlights of our visit were the treasure trail and the Castle Tour.
Although we did run out of time so we didn’t get to go to the Irish Agricultural Museum to see their exhibition on miniature Motors by Matchbox, Corgi & Dinky so we will definitely reschedule another visit soon.
Anything That Could Be Better?
The tour was excellent but might not be suitable for very young kids. Our youngest was 5 and he enjoyed it but it may not be suitable for younger than that. The treasure trail used for the Easter Egg hunt was great and could be used all year-round.
Our Final Verdict
We would definitely recommend Johnstown Castle for a family visit – it is a great experience for all ages. It is also located centrally to so many more attractions for all the family.
I’d give the 5 out of 5
Find out more on the website which shows all upcoming events and is definitely worth keeping an eye on.
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