Wexford Ireland's Ancient East

Visit Wexford: Killiane Castle and Rosslare

Since we had just over a day in Wexford, we tried to squeeze in as much of the sites as possible. After chatting with a local in the parking lot of Dunbrody Abbey (who taught us that Kilmokea was pronounced Kill-mokee not Kill-moh-key-ah), we realized that we would need to plan another trip to Ireland just to make the most of this region. After visiting Kilmokea Gardens and Dunbrody Abbey, we set out for Killiane Castle, where we planned to spend the night.

Killiane Castle Country House & Farm is a true “hidden gem,” a 5-star B&B with guest rooms in a farmhouse that dates to the 1600s nestled beside the ruins of a 15th century castle. When we arrived, the sun was just about to set, and the hostess told us to climb to the top of the castle before it got too dark.

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Only in Ireland can you have the kind of experience where you wander alone into the unlit ruins of a 15th century castle, climb several flights of suspicious stone steps, and find yourself standing amidst the crenellation and looking out at the land, feeling very much like a lord or lady of the manor indeed.

We stayed in a Deluxe Double Room, priced at 142 euros for two people, and after a long day of driving and sightseeing, it was well worth it. Our room was decorated in muted pinks with antique furniture and huge windows that looked out over the farmhouse courtyard. I wish I had taken photos of the bathroom, which included a deep soaking tub and plush bathrobes that we definitely took advantage of at the end of our evening. But first, we dropped our bags off, pet the castle dog, and got back in the car.

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For dinner, we were headed to the seaside village of Rosslare. A popular tourist resort for over a century, driving through the tiny side streets filled with seafood restaurants and ice cream shops is a true nostalgia trip. We had made reservations at Wild & Native, which we recommend you skip. The service was awkward, the menu uninspired, and the food was generally what people tell you Irish food is — bland. We chose this spot because of its #1 ranking on TripAdvisor, but recommend that you try Tides Gastropub or better yet, one of the countless run-down looking locals-only establishments.

The best part of our visit to Rosslare was the sunset walk along the beach that we took after dinner. We purchased very few souvenirs on our trip, but we did return home with a pocketful of seashells collected on the beach in Wexford (if beachcombing is your thing, don’t skip this spot!) as well as a strange, weathered wooden artifact that we couldn’t figure out. We finally sent a photo to a friend of ours from the UK who correctly identified it as a hurling bat, and it now sits in our living room as a treasured objet d’art.

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After a bubble bath and a luxurious night’s sleep back at Killiane Castle, we woke to an incredible breakfast served on heirloom china and made entirely of local ingredients — many sourced from the working farm at Killiane itself. We feasted on eggs, fruit compote, and homemade breads before setting out on a long farm walk that toured the grounds of Killiane. Of everything we did in Wexford, this jaunt really showed off the region’s natural beauty. Walking the property felt like taking a walk back in time, and we set off on the next leg of our journey feeling awe-struck and relaxed.

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At the end of our trip, Killiane Castle ranked #1 on our list of accommodations. If you’re traveling through Wexford, or spending time in the Ancient East, we highly recommend that you spend at least one night in this idyllic setting.

Castles & Lattes Ratings

Killiane Castle: 🏰🏰🏰🏰🏰

Wild & Native Seafood: ☕ 

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