Here, we look at the top five walks in and around the New Ross district.
No. 5) Slieve Coiltia walk
Slieve Coiltia hill dominates the landscape Park in the first car park you can find on the left-hand side of the laneway.
You can walk back downhill on the laneway and you will come across the croppy Grove and small grove of Irish oak tree’s planted in memory of Wexford insurgents who fought in counties Meath and Dublin on a desperate march where they tried to reach the Ulster Rebellion. Further downhill by a matter of metres an atmospheric Garden of Remembrance. This is a tiny Garden, but full of lovely orante of flowers. It is dedicated to the memory of Robert Emmet and his loyal band of rebels who Rebelled in Dublin in 1803. Head back uphill on the laneway and you will come. Continue on, ascending the hill, where a winding laneway is lined with trees, including young conifers and more mature conifers. At one section you will head through a lovely section of mature trees on either side of the road and from here you’re very close to the summit.
The top of the hill is very broad and elongated, where the summit offers stunning views in all four directions. Views south take in the Barrow valley and on towards the Hook peninsula. To the west, there are great views of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge, the longest bridge of its type in the World. To the East, you can spot Carrickbyrne Hill and Forth Mountain. Nestled to the North you will locate New Ross town and further into the distance, the Blackstairs Mountains. A 1798 rebellion memorial stone marks the Northern summit of the hill. Head back down the hill for a leisurely walk, taking in the magnificent views on your way back to the car.
Parking can be found at 52.329285, -6.930457 on Google Maps
No. 4) Dunbrody Forest and Lacken Hill walk
Park up at the Forest entrance to Lacken hill forest and follow the red route. The route is very walker-friendly at this early stage, comprising of a large, wide and straight laneway. It is a stone laneway so in the summertime and even in wintertime you are unlikely to get the shoes too muddy. This stage of the walk is sided by large and impressive deciduous trees. The trees in this section include oak and ash. After about 400 metres of deciduous forest, you will enter the evergreen part of the forest where douglas fir amongst other conifer trees grows. Take a sharpish left, heading uphill and then continue left again after 100 metres or so. Rounding this bend you will be on the straight and in this case wide track.
Be sure to take in your beautiful surroundings and the bustle of the forest, with maybe the odd sighting of a stoat, squirrel, pheasant or even a rare woodpecker in and amongst the trees and undergrowth. After 200 metres take a left back into the deciduous forest. In late spring the forest floor will be alive with bluebells and the trees will have fresh leaves teeming on their branches. It’s a special time of year to visit with new growth and baby animals all around you. Into summer seasonal flowers like bluebells and primroses. Follow this trail in an arching route always going slightly right and then you head between two fields, going through a gate. This is the blue trail. After this, you’re back into the forest and you will be heading uphill in a sharper arch than before.
Continue on for 350 odd metres until there is now an obvious route ahead but exactly at this point there will be a route to your immediate right. Stroll about 150 metres along this trail and then you will notice a small trail to the summit which is marked by a Cross, 1798 memorial stone and flag pole. Head back along the trail you came and you will end up back on the blue trail. Latch back onto the red trail heading to the right. You should come across a lovely little fairy village here. It is really amazing and great for the kids to see it. A serious effort was put in to make it look like an incredible scene. It is near the car park, (if you don’t find it, just ask a fellow walker) or once you get back to the car park, follow the steps away from the car park and the fairy village is on the right just before a stile. This walk is a must-do in the New Ross area and is quite beautiful in all manners of forest vistas.
Parking can be found at 52.404144, -6.879082 on Google Maps
No. 3) New Ross Town walk
New Ross is a lovely town to walk, steeped in History, full of fabulous architecture and in recent years teeming with beautifully created vibrant street art. I would perhaps start a walk of the town from John Street Car Park where there is ample parking for your car in a central location. Head down John’s Street and then towards the river Barrow down bridge street and onto North Quay where you can take in gorgeous views upriver. Be sure to take in the lovely architecture on the left-hand side of the street also were lovingly restored Grain stores dot the streetside. Cross over Quay street and onto the quays themselves. Here you will spot yet more fine converted Grain store buildings, one of which holds the famous Ross Tapestries (currently on loan in Kilkenny).
Be sure to head over to the John F Kennedy statue, commemorating his famous speech in New Ross on the 27th of June 1963. Trail along the boardwalk where you will encounter another famous tourist draw to the town, the majestic Dunbrody sailing ship. The beautifully crafted ship is a replica of the original Dunbrody which travelled between New Ross and North America, bringing famine emigrants to a new and better life amongst other passengers. The eternal emigrant flame outside the Dunbrody visitor centre is a lovely poignant reminder of our dearest ancestors and friends who have ventured abroad in search of employment and adventure. Be sure to take in the amazing street art across the road on the car park side of the Sherry Fitzgerald Building.
Head down Marsh lane away from the river and then onto Cross street to view the lovely Catholic church on the left-hand side. From here head uphill to the Three Bullet gate famous for the courageous charge of Wexford rebels led by Kelly the boy of Killiane in 1798. The attack on the gate is remembered in Ireland’s national anthem in its lyrics Bearna baoil (Gap of Danger). The gate actually got its name from an earlier attack in 1649 by Cromwellian forces who lodged three bullets (Cannonballs) into the gate’s defences. Head North on Neville street and then downhill on Michael street. If you want you can take a quick detour to visit the Library park a nice and peaceful new addition to the town. Head back down Michael street and turn right onto South Street. Here stands the magnificent St.Michael’s theatre, a real gem in the town’s architecture.
You are now heading down the commercial heartbeat of the town and onto the adjoining North street. Turn left onto Quay street where opposite you stands the statue of a proud United Irishman and directly opposite him stands the majestic New Ross Thosel, the New Ross Municipal district building. The Thosel is a beautifully constructed building. A small lane on the left by Paddypower a few paces down from the Thosel contains some gorgeous Street art including a Wolfhound, Wild birds, Medieval townsfolk and Anglo-Norman Knight. Backtrack and head up Mary street where again you will encounter more Fabulous wall art with an equine feature this time. The final tourist attraction is very much worth the effort. Heading up Mary street, latch onto church street where you will find the charming Protestant church. It is a lovely church in itself but the real gem is to be found around the side and back. The enormous ruined church is the stunning 13th-century creation of the World famous Anglo-Norman William Marshall and his wife Isabella.
At the time it was one of the biggest in the country and holds one of the largest collections of medieval funerary grave slabs, sarcophagi and gravestones in the country. Now it’s time for well-earned refreshments and cake in town and a return to your car via North street and a few more incredible street art pieces including a class Deer, Horse painting and also a brand new stepped Garden type feature that will look amazing when complete with flowers and ornate hedges etcetera.
Parking can be found at John’s street car park at 52.397408, -6.943836 on Google Maps.
No. 2) Duncannon Beach
Duncannon Beach is a gorgeous sandy beach right next to the village centre, facing the gorgeous shining waters of Waterford Harbour. At Duncannon beach, you can literally park on the beach near to its entrance laneway. Why not quickly head towards the base of the imposing Duncannon fort a 16th-century star fort of the Elizabethan era to wonder at its impressive fortifications. Head in the opposite direction along the beach for a chilled out stroll beside the estuary which is at this point an amalgamation of the three sisters, the Rivers Barrow, Nore and Suir.
The water can be hopping with life from fishing vessels to pleasure boats, windsurfers and kayakers. The beach itself is a lovely fine stretch of sand of around 1 kilometre. The strand is usually buzzing with locals and tourists alike which makes for a great atmosphere and scene on both Summer and Winter sunny days.
Parking can be found on the beach by entering the strand at the laneway at 52.220973, -6.934358 on Google Maps.
No. 1) Carnivan Bay, Fethard
Carnivan Bay is one of the most picturesque individual beaches in the county and probably the best beach in the New Ross District. It combines a beautiful mix of a fantastic Golden sandy beach and an impressive backdrop of high sea cliffs that form the edge of the bay. The walk is about three-quarters of a kilometre in total length and the beach is very wide with plenty of space for the kids to go on little adventures. There are also lots of rock pools at the eastern end of the beach for them to explore for aquatic life and indeed in the neighbouring new bay to the west but just be careful of tides.
If you head down on a windy day with the waves crashing in you can sometimes grab a glimpse of surfers riding the waves on the way back to shore. Watching them is incredible as they show off their skills to you and their friends alike. As you walk along the strand be sure to look up and take in the majestic cliffs above you which are 55 odd metres high.
Be sure to get down there on a long hot summer day and relax to your heart’s desire on this gem of the county’s south coast.
Parking is on Google Maps at 52.175393, – 6.838048.
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