Ireland's best-loved destinations
...and best-kept secrets

The Sunny Southeast of Ireland

Ireland Travel Companion

The warmest and driest region of Ireland, the South East is a favourite among visiting tourists. Attracted by the beaches of Wexford and Waterford, as well as the quaint and picturesque seaside towns and fishing villages, visitors also enjoy the rich history of this region.

The city of Kilkenny, the most urbanised area in the region, lends its castle, cathedral and medieval thoroughfares to the strong sense of living history which pervades this stretch of Ireland. Peppered with shipwrecks from throughout the centuries, the coastline and peninsulas tell many tales of Viking raids, solitary monks and crusading knights.

Photo Opportunities: Wexford

Home of the unmistakable Hook Lighthouse, the Saltlee Island, and a rich coastline with countless inviting sandy beaches (it's even home of the Kennedys), Wexford deserves much more attention than it gets as a tourist beacon of the Emerald Isle. Ireland's East Coast is every bit as photogenic as its sibling to the West.

Copper Coast Geopark

This stunning region of south-east Ireland was declared a European Geopark in 2001 and a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2004. It earned its name following generations of metal-mining industry, the legacies of which now make the region such a tourist attraction. Today, it retains all of its geological diversity, with various marked walking trails offering unique access to this most charming face of Ireland.

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South-east Ireland

Things to Do in Ireland's South East

House of Waterford Crystal

Waterford crystal is known the world over for its quality and, throughout a history which dates back to its establishment in the South-East of Ireland in 1783, it has been a landmark of its own in this part of Ireland. Today, Waterford Crystal is no less recognisable than its sister-brands, Wedgewood and Royal Doulton.

The visitor centre is a modern building on The Mall, a tour of which teaches visitors how crystal is made. Undoubtedly the most popular part of the tour is the blowing room, where the crystal glasses, vases etc. are 'blown' into shape.

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Saltee Islands

Two islands, both privately owned but open to public, make for great photos and a real taste of Ireland's natural side. Once the stomping ground of smugglers and pirates, the islands are today home to one of Europe's most important bird sanctuaries, providing a safe environment for over 375 species of birds, including gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes and puffins.

Kilkenny City

A picture-postcard Irish destination, Kilkenny has all the charm and all the history you could ask for. An ancient setting, with its castle and cathedral, it is home to many equally ancient pubs, where good craic and good live music are assured. Kilkenny also has lots of good restaurants to choose from.

Waterford City

As well as the well-known House of Waterford Crystal, visitors should look out for the Waterford Treasures museums: the Medieval Museum, Reginald's Tower and Bishop's Palace.

Dungarvan

A must-see destination for all foodies visiting Ireland, Dungarvan is home to the regular farmers' market, the Waterford Festival of Food, and the Tannery Restaurant and Cooking School.

Ardmore

A secluded seaside village in Waterford, Ardmore attracts summer visitors to its long, sandy beach, as well as its cliff walks, shops and early Christian monuments. Visitors should add to their to-do list any and all of the following depending on your interests and group make-up: St Declan's Church, Ballyquin Beach and Ardmore Pottery which will leave you well placed to finish the day with a cliff-top stroll before dinner.

St Canice's Cathedral

With its monumental round tower, St Canice's Cathedral rises majestically above the north of Kilkenny's city centre. Perhaps understandably so: ranking just behind St Patrick's in Dublin, it is Ireland's second-largest medieval cathedral. Gothic in style, it is characterized by its iconic round tower which affords commanding views of the surrounding area. The history of the building itself, long and varied, began - at least according to legend - in the Sixth Century with the establishment of a monestary there by St Canice, Kilkenny's patron saint.

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Jerpoint Abbey

Founded in the second half of the Twelfth Centrury and recently partially restored, Jerpoint Abbey is one of Ireland's finest Cistercian ruins. The main church, with its Romanesque flourishes, dates from these earliest days in the abbey's long history, but visitors will also find additions from the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. Look out for figures carved into the cloister pillars, some of them quite entertaining.

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National 1798 Rebellion Centre

The Eighteenth Century is perhaps one of the most formative times in the history of Western democracy. It is also one of the bloodiest. The American and French revolutions would have a significant effect on the Irish sense of identity, not to mention the revolutionary spirit which ran through it.

The 1798 Rebellion Centre charts the history of the attempted revolution of that year, thwarted by British military superiority and the ruthless deployment of spies, informants and torture tactics. After a bruising campaign, the Irish rebels regrouped on Vinegar Hill in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, where they would make their final stand against the British. The result was a crushing defeat for the Irish, whose superior numbers could not make up for the firepower of the redcoats below. Armed mostly with pikes, the Irish dead would number high in the thousands.

The National 1798 Rebellion Centre recounts the tale of this most dramatic year in Irish history with vivid interactive displays and moving recreations. Visitors are advised to come here before travelling to Vinegar Hill itself; the former conveying the gravity and significance of the latter.

Things to Do in Ireland's South East

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Lismore Castle & Gardens

Irish castles are not few in number, and they rank among the most popular attractions in Ireland for tourists from across the globe. But if you were looking for a single example of what people might expect a picture-postcard Irish castle to look like, Lismore Castle might be the one. Although the original castle dated back to 1185, what visitors see today was in fact built in the early 1800s, so its turrets and towers are in immaculate condition.

What might impress visitors rather less is the lack of access, so take note before you make a special trip: you won't be able to go inside the castle itself, the interior spaces of which are closed to the public. You will, however, be able to explore the extensive and ornate gardens which, considered the oldest in Ireland, are arguably worth the trip in themselves, especially for the more green-fingered visitor.

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Accommodation in South-East Ireland

Hotels in the South-East of Ireland

B&Bs and Guesthouses in Central & South-East Ireland

Dromana House

Dromana House, Cappoquin, Co.Waterford
Cappoquin, Co.Waterford

Set on a rocky outcrop overlooking the river Blackwater Dromana House is surrounded by 600 acre privately owned estate. There are garden and woodland walks a plenty. With a multitude of of activities available, from river fishing to boating and from croquet to boules there is something for all ages at Dromana House.

Kilcannon House

Kilcannon House B&B
Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

A relaxing stay in atraditional Irish B&B, nestled in the wonderful West Waterford countryside, surrounded by rolling hills. Free Wi-fi. Ample private parking. Dog kennels in the enclosed yard. Lock up for motorbikes and bicycles. 2 Complimentary bikes available for guest. Tea, coffee, herbal tea, decaf coffee. Telephone: +353 (0)58 68418 Mobile Phone: +353 (0)85 8631659 info@kilcannonhouse.ie

Rosquil House B&B

Rosquil House
Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny

Phil & Rhoda Nolan welcome you to Rosquil House, a guesthouse offering the ambience of a hotel with the best traditions of Irish hospitality. AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION WINNER - Guest Accommodation of the year 2010 Ireland Michele Erdvig's Emerald Award 2010 - Favourite New Guesthouse. phone +353-56-7721419 +353-56-7721419 fax +353-56-7750398 info@rosquilhouse.com

Augherea Guest House

augherea B&B
Longford, Co. Longford

A period residence and coach house just 1km from Longford Town, Augherea was built in 1775 and retains many of its original features.

Ashley Park House

Ashley Park House
Nenagh, Co. Tipperary

An 18th century country house offering the accommodation on the grandest scale and in a setting of unmatched tranquility and peace.

Dawn House B&B

Dawn House B&B
Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford

Enjoy a warm welcome at Dawn House in rural County Waterford with amazing scenery, beautiful green fields and forests.

Duncrone B&B

Duncrone B&B, South-East Ireland
Ardmore, Co. Waterford

Spaceous grounds make Duncrone especially family friendly, and the breathtaking views will make you want to stay forever.

Greese View House

Greesview B&B
Moone, Co. Kildare

A relaxing setting with extensive grounds and fanastic views from the spacious conservatory. The perfect place to unwind.

Marsh Mere Lodge

Marshmere Lodge B&B
Arthurstown, Co. Wexford

Enjoy good food, stunning views while sampling the local cuisine and authentic Irish hospitality. Beside Dunbrody Country House.

Newlands House

Newlands B&B
Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny

Newlands Country House offers true luxury in the charming Kilkenny countryside, just a short distance from the bustle of Kilkenny city.

Rivervalley Farmhouse

Rivervalley Farmhouse B&B
Wellingtonbridge, Co. Wexford

Traditional Irish hospitality in a beautiful rural area of Wexford, 30 minutes from Rosslare and just two hours from Dublin.

Springview Farm House

Spring View Guesthouse
Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny

A traditional Irish farm house to take you even closer to the authentic Irish experience. A charming 18th-century residence on a working farm.

Woodlands House

woodlands country house, Gorey, Ireland
Gorey, Co. Wexford

At Woodland Country House, relax in comfortable old-world charm in an idyllic Wexford setting. Well located for Gorey & Courtown Harbour.

Woodstock Arms

Woodstock Arms, Ireland
Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny

A comfortable and affordable family-run B&B and pub situated on the central square in the picturesque village of Inistioge, Kilkenny.

Inny Bay

Inny Bay, Ireland
Annagh, Co. Longford

A Bed and Breakfast and Self Catering accommodation located on the peaceful shores of Lough Ree, just 20 minute drive from Athlone.

Killurin Lodge

Killurin Lodge, Wexford
Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

A four star, family run B & B offering a hearty Irish Welcome in a modern, comfortable setting. Wexford town is only a 5 minute drive.

My Ireland Travel Guide