Holidaying in the South-East of Ireland

I’ve had photos ready for days. But writing a blogpost necessitates time… Something of which I have had none since we came home from our holidays, coupled with the two smallest who have made me feel like I need another holiday. Alone. But let’s move swiftly past all that and explore the beautiful South-East of Ireland, shall we?1Thanks to a great blogpost from Gwen over at Wonderful Wagon, I found these holiday villas in Rosslare, Co. Wexford. I wanted to go, because they seemed so easy, so free from stress; …and they were everything promised: the foundation of a really fantastic holiday. We stayed at Rosslare Beach Villas, beautiful apartments right in the heart of the town of Rosslare (not Rosslare Ferry Port, a couple of kilometers down the coast)3The apartments are owned by the Fox family; Johnny lives on site, and is available if you need anything. We were welcomed and made feel at home; from the fully furnished apartment that had everything we may need, from dishwasher to towels, with a fully furnished kitchen, channeled TV and DVD player, stair gates, babychair and comfy beds (and our own little decking area -which had gorgeous flowering Californian Lilac- too!)7We stayed in apartment 1b; the bedrooms were downstairs: one room with a double and single bed and a second with double, single and a second single in a little alcove. There was also a shower room and full bathroom downstairs. Upstairs there was a lovely kitchen and an enormous sitting room, both with great views out to sea (and to the ferry port: we spent the week watching ferries pull in and out across the bay. We are easily entertained 😉 )2Outside, a large, beautifully paved and planted terrace separates the apartments from the beach. There is a BBQ, sandpit and plenty of seating. It was too cold when we were there to indulge in barbecuing, but perhaps next year! There is a private path right onto the beach, it was just so wonderful to be able to run back for the hundred toilet breaks needed or to get extra clothes or whatever. While we were there, the weather was very changeable so we headed off on day trips exploring this south east corner of Ireland, topping and tailing each day with hours running around the beach!1We spent a great afternoon at The National Heritage Park in Ferrycarrig, about 15 minutes from Rosslare. We loved it, from exploring the crannógs and early settler houses to the gold-finding “quest”, to weaving round-houses… well worth a visit!2The following day, we drove an hours drive to Hook Head Lighthouse, right at the bottom of Hook Head peninsula. Despite a rather blustery day, we had a wonderful time; the tour of this 800 year old, oldest-in-the-world-working-lighthouse was very interesting and enjoyable. We had lunch in the restaurant there, which was also excellent (very delicious chowder) I came back so inspired, and started a few paintings, which I’m very excited about!6Waterford was next on our hit-list, we visited Reginald’s Tower and the incredibly beautifully-designed (and award winning) Medieval Museum, in the “Viking Triangle” of the city. Both were fascinating, with great information and displays. The museum has a particularly excellent gift shop; we came away with bags of Great Stuff.3I had mentioned in my Parenting Blogger group on Facebook that We were visiting Wexford, so a few of the bloggers living down there decided to do a bit of a meetup. Danielle from LilliWhiteRose collected me in the early afternoon and we travelled a couple of kilometers to Nicola from Simply Homemade’s house for an afternoon of pots of tea and a most beautiful spread of cakes and deliciousness. nicolaNicola’s youngest daughter and son entertained us (They were so cute) while we sampled ALL the treats on the table (and we even came home with a box of cupcakes which were demolished quickly! Nicola was completely deserving of her recent win for a cupcake recipe as part of the IPB Blog awards) That afternoon was a real highlight of the week for me, I just loved meeting these women I know so well from their blogs and our IPB group (I sadly missed meeting Sinead from Bumbles of Rice and Laura from Dairy Free Kids, but I’ll track them down next year 😉 )

That evening we decided, on Nicola’s recommendation, to visit Kilmore Quay. What a gorgeous spot! We walked around, taking photos of the old disused lifeboat station, the beaches and beach combing, coming away with lots of interesting looking driftwood (great possibilities for artworks) We ended the evening having possibly the best fish and chips from the Saltee chipper overlooking the harbour and the evening grew darker and boat lights twinkled on. It was perfect.8On our final day, we had planned on visiting Duncannon Fort, but the weather was somewhat inclement, so we decided to go to New Ross and see the Dunbrody Famine ship.4(So much to say about these! Liam listening to a passengers story; the interpretive centre/gift shop; everyone received a copy of an “official” ticket- with names of passengers from one of their sailings; James ringing the actual bell from the original Dunbrody ship (and lovely, friendly tour guide- I think Anne Marie))

The tour was excellent, the tour guide very friendly and engaging. I knew of these “Famine ships” but I wasn’t prepared to feel quite so profoundly sad thinking of the very many thousand Irish families and individuals who were sent off across the sea to a New World.5After discussing sea sickness and the lack of toilet conditions and all that those two things entailed, we decided to go for lunch once the tour ended (as you do) We ate in the river-view cafe, overlooking the beautiful rigging of the boat. The food was fantastic. Absolutely gorgeous. I had chowder (again), and Thomas a “New York Burger”, homemade chips, goujons, pasta, fish, salads: I’m salivating at the memory.

Oh, Rosslare, we had a wonderful time. A great spot, to stay put or explore further, with lots to do and see: we will be back.