Family hotels in Wexford for a break in Ireland's Ancient East

When I am looking to take my kids away on a family break in Ireland, there are always three questions I ask myself. Are there things to do? Are there family-friendly hotels? What will the weather be like?

Now, we’ve no control over the weather but if in doubt, I would always recommend heading south and that’s one of the reasons why I love bringing my family to visit Wexford and why we keep coming back. It always seems to be a few degrees warmer which means that we can actually get out and about and enjoy all that Ireland’s Ancient East has to offer.

In terms of accommodation, I don’t ask for much, just a good quality family-friendly hotel that won’t break the bank and enough facilities that will keep us all entertained. We’ve stayed in most of these hotels so let me help you find your perfect Wexford family-friendly hotel.

Things to do in Wexford with the whole family

If you’re visiting Wexford with the kids, make sure you allow yourself a few days to explore. I would recommend checking out:

Walk along the Harbour

One of my favourite things to do in Wexford with my family is to stroll along the Harbour at sunset and look at the fishing ships that are docked after a busy day at sea. Not only is everyone getting some fresh air but it’s also free and offers a lovely perspective on Wexford town itself.

Hook Lighthouse

If we have our car with us, then a fun way to spend an afternoon is to bring a picnic and visit Hook Peninsula. You can buy a ticket for a guided tour and climb the steep steps of Hook Lighthouse but if you would like to save money, simply wander around the lighthouse and explore the rugged coastline.

Don’t forget your camera, there’s something magical about the light there and you’re sure to get some Instagram worth shots.

They run family activities throughout the year so check out their website in case there are events planned for when you visit. On one occasion, we found that there was an free art workshop on when we were visiting and my three were able to join in.

Johnstown Castle and Gardens

Who doesn’t love a castle? This 19th century spectacle was designed by Daniel Robertson who is well known for designing the stunning Powerscourt gardens in Wicklow. When the weather is good, we like to walk around the lake with the kids, keeping an eye out for the majestic peacocks who have made their home in these gardens.

My son loves all things tractor related so we paid a visit to the Irish Agricultural Museum located on site where you can see examples of old-fashioned Irish transportation and dwellings. He loved it and was fascinated with the old vehicles that they had on display.

It’s worth noting that you have to pay a small entrance fee into the grounds of the estate during summer but it’s worth it as you’ll spend a few hours there.

Dunbrody Famine Ship

If you have slightly older children and you’re prepared to get out of Wexford town, I would recommend heading to New Ross and visit the famous Dunbrody Famine Ship. It’s an incredible 1840s replica of an emigrant vessel where costumed actors explain what life was like for the emigrants who were looking to escape the famine in Ireland. Some of the stories can be quite grim hence why I would recommend this for slightly older children. My kids loved it as they’d be learning about it in school and it was true living history.

Hotels - County Wexford

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Self catering apartments perfect for large families in the centre of Wexford


Located right in the centre of Wexford town, this hotel is always popular with business travellers however they recently opened self-catering apartments which are perfect for families. Right beside the main hotel, the new Talbot Suites at Stonebridge offer all the comforts of home, away from home.

The one, two or three bedroom apartments have full-equipped kitchens and comfortable living space so that there’s plenty of room to spread out, which is something you can’t do easily in a hotel room. The kitchen has an oven, microwave, fridge freezer, dishwasher and coffee machine. Each apartment comes with a starter pack with tea towels, detergent, dishwasher tablet, two coffee capsules so I was able to enjoy a coffee as soon as we arrived which was welcomed after a long journey in the car. There is a large supermarket about three minutes walk where you can stock up on all you need for your stay.

If you’re staying for more than a night or two then you’ll be pleased to hear that each apartment even has its own washing machine and dryer which was a blessing after we spent a fun filled (and messy) day building sandcastles at nearby Curracloe beach. I don’t know how but we seemed to bring half the beach back with us.

The next time we visit we’ve decided that we’ll pay a little bit extra and avail of one of the apartments with sea views as I can imagine it’s relaxing watching the sunset from the comfort of your sofa.

Although we cooked in our apartment most evenings, if you fancied a night off, you can pop next door and use the restaurant facilities in the Talbot Hotel.

Families staying at Talbot Suites at Stonebridge can also use the leisure facilities at the Talbot Hotel which comes in useful when rain stops play. It’s just a short stroll out of the reception across the road to the pool and gym area around the back of the Talbot Hotel.

When the rain does stop, there’s a large communal outside space (with fake grass) where our kids loved doing handstands.

Talbot Hotel Wexford

Top rated
8.5 Excellent (1276 reviews)

A family hotel with river views in Wexford with an excellent kids club


If you like a water view from your room, then this four star hotel is the one for you. Overlooking the River Slaney, this award-winning hotel is located on the outskirts of Wexford town but is walking distance to one of my favourite attractions in Ireland, the National Heritage Park. All rooms have a view of the estuary which means the the moment you arrive in your room, you can’t help but feel relaxed.

The hotel’s ‘Crazy Cubbers’ Kids Club is open every Saturday and everyday during school holidays where Giggles the resident clown will help keep the little ones entertained with activities like mini Olympics and games outside in the popular playground.

When the kids are looking to play inside, they will love the jets and fountains in the kids pool beside the grown up 20m swimming pool.

Ferrycarrig Hotel

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (1713 reviews)

A family-friendly hotel right in the centre of Wexford town


Location, location, location is the key selling point with this hotel. With enviable views over Wexford Harbour, this popular hotel is located right in the centre of Wexford. It’s a short stroll away from the main train station which means you could save time and hassle and leave the car at home.

Their family rooms are all located on the same floor so you don’t have to worry when the kids race each other down the corridor to the lifts. These rooms have all been recently refurbished so are modern and contemporary, in fact I’d love to know who supplies their mattresses because the beds are particularly comfortable.

Each family room has a double bed and two single beds which is perfect for families with two children. We have even stayed there once with our three children and they have added a camp bed but this does make the room a little tight to manoeuvre around.

It’s a popular hotel in the school term times as they have the free ‘Young Vikings’ Club which runs from 5pm to 9pm for children up to twelve years old.

One of the other things we love about Clayton Whites Hotel is the 20-metre swimming pool  and separate kid’s pool which is a perfect way to tire the kids (and the parents) out before dinner. I saw the spa menu and I’m determined to avail of one of their treatments the next time we’re staying at Clayton Whites Hotel.

There’s an excellent kids menu in the informal surroundings of the Library bar where it costs €11.50 for a three course meal. My kids loved the Tomato Bruschetta, Bangers and Mash and Cheesecake. I’d personally loved the ‘Library Burger’ topped with Clonakilty black pudding and fried egg.

You can’t beat this hotel for its location but I would still avoid booking when Wexford Opera festival is on as it gets uncomfortably busy in the hotel and the town in general.

Clayton Whites Hotel

8.4 Very good (2256 reviews)

A hotel perfect for larger families on the outskirts of Wexford


Probably the most family-friendly hotel in the whole of Wexford, this hotel is particularly good for any family with more than two children. Located on the outskirts of town, it’s too far to walk into town but is so well equipped with everything, you won’t need to leave.

The family rooms are really spacious, the staff are patient and the hotel is perfectly geared up for larger families. In fact, this hotel has such a good reputation for being family-friendly, I wouldn’t really recommend it for a romantic break away with your partner as you’ll see kids at every turn, particularly at school holiday time.

The kids club is suitable for kids aged four to twelve and run during school holidays (Monday to Saturday inclusive). Each evening session costs €10 per child and must be pre-booked in advance. The kids clubs run in the games room downstairs which is perfect for visiting when the Irish inclement weather upsets playtime outside.

There are two brilliant playgrounds on site which are more than just a swing and a slide and a super mini-golf course that we played on most days as one of my kids (and my husband) loves playing mini-golf.

Maldron Hotel Wexford

8.1 Very good (1348 reviews)

A family-friendly hotel that’s a perfect stopover for Rosslare


Located on the Rosslare road, this smaller country style hotel is perfect for families looking for value for money on the outskirts of Wexford town.

This three star hotel is particularly popular with families who are travelling onto Rosslare as the port is a short drive away. If you have a large family then this may not be an ideal hotel for you as their family rooms are best suited for families with one child.

Contrast the fact that while the decor in the rooms is traditional, the menu is more innovative. Their kids menu served in the Farmer’s Kitchen Lounge offers a good choice of dishes, three courses for €10.95 with dishes like chicken curry and saffron rice or roast of the day.

This hotel doesn’t have a leisure centre but is a short stroll from the Omniplex cinema. Pop into the nearby Kelly’s Kitchen for great lunch options

Farmer's Kitchen Hotel

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (698 reviews)

A family-run hotel, popular with families visiting Wexford


Labelled by many parenting websites as one of Ireland’s top family friendly hotels, Whitford House Hotel in Wexford is a modern family-run hotel.

Only three miles outside Wexford town, this four star award-winning hotel knows that no family is the same so therefore offers three different types of family rooms, a standard family room with two double beds, a deluxe family room with its own private balcony or patio area and a more spacious superior deluxe family room.

For larger families, the hotel offers self-catering options and popular lodge accommodation. The family benefits don’t end there, the hotel has an enviable playground and lawned area for the kids to play on when the weather permits and a large leisure centre and pool when the weather doesn’t play ball.

One of the quirky things that I love about Whitford House Hotel is that you get a proper key to open your room and not a modern key card.

The food in this hotel has a great reputation too, in fact, the last time we stayed there, I was chatting to a few people in the Forthside bistro restaurant in the hotel and it turned out that they were locals and not just residents.

Whitford House Hotel

Top rated
9.4 Excellent (618 reviews)

Contributed by

Based in Sligo, Ireland, Debbie Woodward setup her multi award-winning family travel and food blog http://saucepankids.com/ with her husband and three children in 2012 to inspire families to experience the exciting world of food and travel.