Updated: Jul 21, 2021
When booking a staycation in Ireland is always a winner when you get the weather and we discovered it’s not called the Sunny South East for nothing.
En route to Co Wexford it felt like we were driving along the Riviera as the sun beamed and our kids whining, “I’m boiling can we stop for ice-cream.”
The beauty of heading to Ireland’s Ancient East is that we just packed up the car and we were on location in less than two hours.
From gourmet cuisine and sunny beaches to getting up close and personal with wild animals we found out you don’t need to hop on a plane to have a memorable holiday.
The first thing that strikes you as you drive into the Ferrycarrig carpark is the lake.
Every one of the hotel’s 102 rooms have a spectacular view of the River Slaney Estuary.
Located just 5K from the centre of Wexford Town this property is the jewel in the crown of the Sunny South East.
Family friendly the Dry Dock Bar is ideally located adjacent to a playground and a vast green area where the kids can play. Ours quickly made friends as they scrambled up climbing frames and disappeared down slides. As all parents know this brought us an immense sense of relief as we began to feel that we might have a break ourselves as we enjoyed an uninterrupted tipple in peace as the little ones entertained themselves.
Meal time was made more special for us as our little baby Erin celebrated her first birthday in style with Giggles the clown providing more than a few laughs.
Erin was thoroughly stoked when this larger than life character appeared at our Lake View Table armed with a dozen brightly coloured animal balloons.
Considering how family orientated the Ferrycarrig is I was stunned at the quality of the gourmet cuisine.
It’s hard to find a location where the staff aren’t phased by the eating habits of a one –year- old, but I didn’t feel in the least bit anxious as we dined in style.
The staff are used to babies and the nicely sectioned area for families meant that we could relax and enjoy the culinary delights without panicking about disturbing loved up couples enjoying the view.
Speaking of the view we were seated by the window, affording us a stunning vista of the estuary, which Ferrycarrig is famed for.
Following a gorgeous apricot amuse-bouche I ordered a scrumptious bowl of seafood chowder, packed with locally sourced cod, salmon, haddock, muscles and prawns, followed by a mouth-watering Rib Eye steak.
The cheese board was like a work of art and the staff ensured Erin had a bowl of pureed delights (much of which ended up on the floor!) but the waiters deftly looked after this before I could bend over to clean up the mess!
As the staff knew it was Erin’s birthday they made a fuss of her with her very own mini cake, pure heaven.
Fed and watered it was time to call it a night and we were thrilled that our modern room featured a stunning balcony with lake views.
Simple and tasteful the family room felt more like a mini apartment. The shower was massive and the robes were soft and fluffy, perfect for our early morning dip.
There was no lie in to be had, so it was up and down to the Ferrycarrig Leisure centre at 8am.
The 20 metre pool is impressive and for the grown- ups the sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi means you could spend 48 hours alone at the hotel, without setting foot outside.
As it was a scorcher we had the option to eat breakfast al fresco, quite honestly we could have been in Lake Garda!
The breakfast filled us up all morning and we didn’t need to bother with lunch until late afternoon where we enjoyed a fabulous picnic on Ballinesker beach.
We had planned on heading to Curracloe, where famously Saving Private Ryan was shot but had heard from the locals that the next beach up, Ballinesker was a local hidden treasure.
It didn’t disappoint, we swam in crystal waters and Erin built her first sand castle whilst 10-year-old James had a ball rolling down the sand dunes, quite the adventurer.
Secret Valley Wildlife Park was our next port of call where we got up close and personal with chipmunks, lemurs, meerkats and James even got to ride a pony.
When you base yourself at Ferrycarrig Hotel explore all of the adventures that surround the area. Ferrycarrig has recently launched the unique Adventure Escapes where you can build your very own experience.
They have teamed up with the best adventure suppliers in County Wexford for the ultimate experience for their guests to enjoy.
Kayak or Canoe on the majestic River Slaney with Susan and her team at Gopaddle.ie in Edermine. Adults €27 and Children €22.50. This is a 2 hour adventure
(15 minutes drive from Ferrycarrig)
Take on the surf, sand-board the dunes or try stand up paddle-boarding at Curracloe beach Voted Ireland's favourite beach 2019 with Jack and the SurfShack team. Adults €30pp and Children €20pp
(15 minutes drive from Ferrycarrig)
Choose a cultural experience and tour the National Heritage Park.Adult : € 9 Senior : € 8 Family : 2 adults & 3 children : €26 Family : 2 adults & 1 child: € 22
(5 minutes from Ferrycarrig)
Visit Hook Head Lighthouse and enjoy tea/coffee and a scone during your visit. Adults €12. Under 5's go free. Family (1 adult + 1 child): €12.60. Family (1 adult + 2 children): €16.20 Family (2 adults + 1 child): €21.60 Family (2 adults + 2 children): €25.20 Family (2 adults + 3 children): €27.00
(45 minutes from Ferrycarrig)
Climb the high ropes and take part in Archery or Airsoft at IOAC (There is a height restriction of 130cm on our High Ropes Park) This adventure will last 2 hours. €28 pp
(20 minutes from Ferrycarrig)
Stroll through the grounds of Johnstown Castle and relax by the castles lakeside. Adults €10.70 and Children aged 6-16 €5.40. (Children under 6 go free)
(15 minutes from Ferrycarrig)
Horse ride on the beach with Hazelwood Stables €30pp or take part in horse riding lessons adults €30pp and Children €25pp. These are 1 hour activities.
(25 minutes from Ferrycarrig)
Before heading to Dublin we treated ourselves to Sunday lunch at Dunbrody House, for the foodies among us Kevin Dundon’s hidden gem is about a 40 minute drive from Wexford and well worth the trip.
From home-grown micro-veg to his famous Kings Bay Pale Ale, everything at the Dunbrody Estate is cultivated on site, you couldn’t get fresher.
We even had a chance encounter with the celebrity chef himself, so naturally we had to join him for a pint of his hand crafted brew, pure magic!
Ferrycarrig Hotel Wexford, Ireland, T: +353 (0)53 9120999 W: www.ferrycarrighotel.ie E: reservations@ferrycarrighotel.