In Wexford we are very fortunate we have the option of sea, river, woodlands, hills and mountain walk ways and can get close to nature. Here are some suggested nature walks in Wexford for families:
Courtown is a good destination for a harbour walk, beach walk or a woodland walk. For very small kids the harbour is great fun as the memorial of a ship to those lost at sea has been designed imaginatively for children to play in. A word of caution to keep small ones close as it is a harbour and the channel to the sea has a sharp drop.
Beach walks at Courtown are plentiful. There is a small stony beach to the south of the harbour where the sailing club is, this is excellent for stone throwing and gathering shells.
The beaches to the north of the harbour are better for rock climbing, sandcastles, kite flying and stretching legs.
There are two access points with plenty of parking, as you reach the T-Junction go right for the harbour or left for the sandier beaches and alternative entrances to Courtown Woodlands.
There are several walks available at Courtown Woods: River Walk, Top Walk, Lime Walk and the Chestnut Walk. In spring the air is filled with the smell of wild garlic and later replaced by enchanting carpets of bluebells.
The River Walk is a lovely easy family walk, with fine Owenavorragh River views and plenty of opportunities to climb trees, balance on fallen trunks or gather sticks. However care is needed, particularly with children and dogs, there are steep steps and slopes beside the river. The main features of the woods are the marked trails, Courtown Canal, High Cross of Kilbride and the impressive Ballinatray Bridge spans a deep gorge, and is reputed to be one of the highest old stone-work bridges in the country.
Alternatively if your kids are adventurous follow the directions to the Forest Park Leisure Centre and park in that huge car park, enjoy the excellent playground or promise it as a treat after the walk, admire the Michael Warren sculpture and the wind turbine walk towards them and take the path over the bridge, go left and follow the road down about half a mile. Take the first wooden sign posted trail to the left. This is a great area to explore and let children’s imagination run wild it seems to evoke creative play, in the middle we discovered a kind of an island that you can hop across to and explore. This area can be quiet mucky so wellies or old shoes are best.
Alternative routes: From Gorey, take the Carnew road, R725 into Bunclody go right onto the main street. From Ferns, follow the R745 across the N80 and continue on the R745, turn left at the T-junction toward Kiltealy, at Cullentragh take the right on to the lesser road and follow it around Mount Leinster till you see the sign posts for the car parks.
If you drive through Kilanne stop at the graveyard here and try to find the monument to Captain John Kelly. Hint: it’s a Celtic design cross.
Wexford Coastline and Local Beaches
We have over 200km of beaches in Wexford (no wonder everyone wants to come to the sunny South East!) All the beaches offer great opportunities for nature and outdoor pursuits. Some beaches are just amazing stretches of sand however stony beaches have a lot to offer also being places for rock pooling, skimming stones and in some cases rock climbing.
So gather all the kids into the car and drive along the coast and explore a beach you have never been to; it’s so easy to go to the typical Blue Flag beaches but every beach in Wexford has something to offer.