What The Locals Say - Kennedy Homestead
We are Sophie and Dean of Our Travelling Adventures, a couple who love to get out and discover new places. These are our recommedations for visiting the Kennedy Homestead and our local area in County Wexford.
The Kennedy Homestead
The Kennedy Homestead and farm is the birthplace of John F. Kennedy’s Great Grandfather and details the history of many generations of the Kennedy Family. When President Kennedy came to Ireland in 1963 he visited the Family Homestead to meet his cousins. The farm here is still farmed today by the descendants of the Kennedy family. There are lots of photographs, historical artifacts, audio-visual presentations and other pieces of memorabilia relating both to J.F. Kennedy as well as his extended family, both in Ireland and America. Expert guided tours, ample parking, souvenirs, a coffee shop and picnic facilities are available and it is open 7 days a week.
Online booking is possible, but not a requirement and adult admission is €7.50, with discounts available for students / children / O.A.P.s / groups. The Homestead is located about 15 minutes from the town of New Ross, but please do not be put off by the narrow, unmarked country roads! I would recommend this to everyone; it is suitable for families and couples, old and young.
JFK Memorial Park & Arboretum
If you have time, I would also highly recommend a visit to the nearby JF Kennedy Park and Arboretum. Located on 623 acres, the arboretum is a park dedicated to the memory of JFK and contains thousands of different trees, shrubs and flowers from all over the world. You could easily spend a day here strolling the many woodland walks, as well as relaxing by the lake filled with ducks and fish or taking a ride on the miniature train or in a horse drawn carriage. The park also contains an exhibition centre and museum dedicated to the Kennedy’s. Guided tours of the museum and gardens are also available. There is a shop and café onsite as well as parking, a playground, and picnic areas. Dogs are welcome if they are kept on a lead. The park is open all year round and adult admission is €5.
You might also consider driving to the nearby viewing point of Sliabh Coillte where you will see spectacular views of the surrounding landscape, stretching over 6 counties. The entrance to this is just down the road from the main entrance to the park.
Dunbrody Famine Ship
If staying in New Ross or the local area for longer, the Dunbrody Famine Ship in the town is also worth a visit. It is replica of a ship that sailed to America during the famine and through an audio-visual presentation as well as experiencing the ship first hand, you really get a sense of what it would have been like for the many Irish who emigrated during The Great Famine.
Food And Accommodation
Brandon House Hotel in New Ross is quite popular and I highly recommend their Solas Croí Spa if you need to relax after all your exploring! For the all-important coffee breaks throughout your day of adventures, Cafe Nutshell in New Ross is the place to be! Or if you’re craving a full meal you have to indulge on the locally sourced fish in The Hollow Bar & Seafood Restaurant to get a true taste of Wexford cuisine. Then, before retreating for the night, soak up the atmosphere in Mannions Pub, a short 4 minute drive from New Ross.
Growing up in County Wexford myself, I spent many summer days running around Kennedy Park and so have fond memories of place. Now I try to travel as much as possible and experience new countries and cultures but I still feel it is important to visit the places in my own country as well. Ireland is filled with amazing places and millions of tourists come every year to visit, yet unfortunately many people seem to take it for granted and have not seen some of the ‘tourist’ sites in their own locality.
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