Wexford town & The Clayton Whites Hotel

Johnstown Castle

My family took a few days holidays to the historic town of Wexford

Situated in Southeast Ireland, Wexford is known for its cobbled streets, The Opera Festival, busy shopping area and its historic buildings.  Wexford was a Viking town for approximately 300 years, after it was discovered by the Vikings in 800 AD.  Across the road from the Clayton Hotel, there is a tribute plaque naming the leaders who had died in the 1798 Rebellion against British Rule.  At the time, Wexford town witnessed a massacre of local loyalists by United Irishmen, and they put them on spikes over Wexford Bridge. 

Wexford Harbour

Clayton Whites Hotel

In the heart of Wexford town, lies The Clayton Hotel, this four-star hotel boasts a swimming pool, gym, really comfortable rooms, an exquisite restaurant, a relaxing library bar and close proximity to the shops.  We stayed three nights in the standard rooms, that consisted of a single and double bed, walk in shower and a large flat screen TV.  They were located in the main building of the hotel, so it was easily accessible to all amenities the hotel has to offer.  We tucked into a large breakfast of cereal, rashers, sausages and toast every morning before taking a swim in the 20-metre pool, sometimes, if we were feeling super fit, we would do a workout in the gym.  This was booked through the Club Vitae app.  Overlooking the beautiful courtyard, lies the Terrace Restaurant and every evening we were served some delightful dishes, such as tortellini pasta in a tasty tomato sauce, roast supreme of chicken, succulent steaks and a selection of ice-creams.  My family and I chilled out in the Library Bar, and sank into big comfortable chairs, raising our glasses to a very relaxing holiday. 

The Old Sweet Shop Wexford town

Courtown

Courtown was developed during the Famine years, 1839-1846 by Lord Courtown himself, where a new harbour was built with a picturesque fishing village, that gave it an economic boost. On our visit there, we headed straight for the arcades and then onto ‘Dinkys’ take-away serving the best chips in Ireland.  Also, some of the other facilities that Courtown has to offer is crazy golf, ten-pin bowling, a confectionary shop, an ice-cream shop and hair salons.  Rescue seals are brought to a sanctuary in Courtown where they rehabilitate the sick and the injured seals.  Many tourists flock to Courtown over the summer months.

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Johnstown Castle

The following day we went to visit Johnstown Castle, and due to Covid the castle was not open but we strolled around the stunning gardens, lake walks, waterfalls and woodlands, and witnessed the proud peacocks strutting their stuff.  The gardens were designed by Daniel Robertson who also was responsible for the Powerscourt gardens in Co. Wicklow.  In the 1170s a Norman family settled here called the Esmondes.  The estate had changed hands during the Cromwellian era of 1650.  John Grogan finally purchased it in 1692, and his descendants owned it up until 1945.  The castle is now open for visitors but has to be booked in advance.  The castle consists of lavish rooms, basement kitchens and servants’ tunnel with a length of 86 metres.  We did get access to the lovely café, gift shop and also the Irish Agricultural Museum with exhibits of farming and rural life in Ireland.  We learned about the Great Famine and what life was like during those times.  A car show was on at the time we were there, showing sporty cars for the young, they even had some fans sitting on the wall outside hoping for a glimpse.

A three-night luxurious stay in the Clayton Whites Hotel was all my family needed to unwind and relax.

Fact file:  For more information go to www.claytonwhiteshotel.com

For information on Johnstown castle go to www.johnstowncastle.ie

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