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New Ross

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New Ross is a town in County Wexford. The name refers to the "new bridge" built in the 12th century across the River Barrow, which forms the county boundary. The town was an important port in medieval times, until shipping outgrew the river; a battle of the 1798 rebellion was fought here. There was much emigration from New Ross in the famine years, including by the ancestors of US President John F Kennedy. Nevertheless the town grew to straddle the river, with its western edge in County Kilkenny, and in 2016 its population was 8040.

Get in

Expressway Bus 4 runs hourly from Dublin Airport and Busáras to Carlow and Waterford. Three per day continue to New Ross, otherwise change for Bus 40.

Expressway Bus 40 trundles the width of the country from Rosslare Europort to Wexford, New Ross, WaterfordDungarvanYoughalCorkKillarney and Tralee. From Waterford it takes 20 min and from Wexford 40 min, with buses every couple of hours.

Bus Éireann 370 runs four times M-Sa from Waterford to New Ross, Duncannon and Wellington Bridge, with one bus continuing to Fethard-on-Sea.

Bus 882 runs once M-Sa from Kilkenny via Thomastown to New Ross. Otherwise you have to backtrack via Waterford.

There isn't a bus station in New Ross, the main bus stop is on The Quay just south of the bridge.

By car from Dublin take N7 / M9, leaving at junction 11 for R704 east. You could also follow N11 / M11 down the coast to Enniscorthy then N30 southwest. From Rosslare ferry port follow N25 past Wexford then west.

Get around

You need your own wheels to reach the sights out of town.

See

  • 1 Dunbrody Famine Ship, Quay St. Daily 09:00-18:00. This vessel is a three-masted barque, a 2001 replica of the original Dunbrody. That barque built 1845 carried many thousands away to North America in the famine years. It was considered a good vessel as few passengers died - many would be already moribund from starvation and disease when they boarded. A typical "coffin ship" of that era could sustain 50% mortality. The ship is permanently moored and you visit by guided tour, then view the museum of the emigrant experience in your own time. The original ship converted to cargo use after 1851, but sank off Labrador in 1875. Adult €11, conc €9, child €6. (updated Dec 2020)
  • St Marys on Church St is C of I (Anglican), built in 1812 within the ruin of a 13th century abbey church. The old chancel and transepts survive, and there's a bosky overgrown graveyard.
  • 2 Woodville House is a Georgian mansion 3 km north of town. They offer B&B but the main attraction is the gardens, open daily 10:00-14:00, adult €5.
  • 3 Berkeley Costume and Toy Museum didn't open for the 2020 season.
  • 4 Kennedy Homestead, Dunganstown (7 km south of town), ☏ +353 51 388 264. Daily 09:30-17:30. This farm was the birthplace in 1823 of Patrick Kennedy, the great-grandfather of US President John F Kennedy (1917-1963). Patrick emigrated to Boston in 1848 and married Bridget Murphy, also from New Ross. The family were almost wiped out by cholera, but one son Patrick Joseph Kennedy survived to become a US businessman and politician, and to found a dynasty. The family still farm here, and JFK came to have tea with them in 1963. Adult €8, conc €7, child €6. (updated Dec 2020)
  • 5 John F Kennedy Arboretum, Ballysop Y34 KA48 (11 km south of town), ☏ +353 46 942 6090. Daily Oct-Mar 10:00-17:00, May-Aug 09:00-20:00, Apr Sept 10:00-18:30. 250 hectare park with some 4500 species of trees and shrubs. Free. (updated Dec 2020)
  • Kilmokea Gardens are part of Kilmokea Country House, see Sleep. They're open to non-resident visits April-Oct. The House is on Greatisland, which was an island in medieval times, and there's the remains of a 6th century monastery. Take care not to trip over the "High Cross", probably the world's smallest example of one.
  • 6 Dunbrody Abbey, Dunbrody (on R733). May-Sept daily 11:00-17:30. Substantial remains of a Cistercian abbey founded in 1182 and dissolved in 1536. There's also a museum and a yew hedge maze, buy the combi ticket for these. Adult €4 (combi €10), child €1. (updated Dec 2020)

Do

  • St Michael's Theatre on South St has live performances and a 3D cinema, box office +353 51 421 255.
  • The Apex sports and leisure centre is on Bosheen, 500 m east of the river. It has gym, pool and fitness classes.
  • Galley River Cruises putter up the Barrow in summer as far as Inistioge.
  • New Ross Golf Club is 1 km west of town on R704. It's a parkland course, white tees 5759 yards, par 70, visitor round €30-40.

Buy

  • The retail strip is along R723, which orbits the south side of town. Tesco on the east edge is open M-Sa 08:00-22:00, Su 10:00-20:00.
  • Several banks with ATMs are on South St, a block back from The Quay.

Eat

  • Il Primo, 18 South St Y34 P409, ☏ +353 51 425 262. M-Th 15:00-22:00, F-Su 12:00-23:00. Reliable restaurant serving Italian classics. (updated Dec 2020)
  • Mo'Mo Asian Food, 6 Mary St Y34 D892, ☏ +353 51 445 606. Su-Th 12:30-22:00, F Sa 12:30-23:00. Menu is mostly Chinese, with a few Thai, Malay and Japanese offerings. Tastes good, generous portions. (updated Dec 2020)
  • Sid's Diner, Marshmeadows Y34 AE62, ☏ +353 51 421 973. M-Sa 07:00-16:00. A New Ross institution, this diner serves hearty trad fare; it's great stop for breakfast if you've come off an overnight ferry at Rosslare. It's 1.5 km south of the bridge near Brandon House Hotel, whose clientele sometimes escape here rather than pay the hotel breakfast rate. (updated Dec 2020)

Drink

  • Spider O'Brien's at 34 South St is a buzzing bar with TV sports and decent bar food.
  • Prendergast at 15 The Quay is a friendly place with TV sport.
  • Tholsel means "tolls hall" - a mix of tax collection, council office, market hall and courtroom, before those evolved into separate premises. Only half a dozen survive intact and this example on Quay St by the bridge was built in 1749 and rebuilt in 1806. It's nowadays a pub.

Sleep

  • Downtown Accommodation, 6 Quay St Y34 DK73 (by bridge), ☏ +353 86 390 2948. The name suggests a flop-house, but it's a clean friendly B&B right in town centre. No dogs. B&B double €70. (updated Dec 2020)
  • Glenbarry B&B, Mountgarrett Rd Y34 YK19 (500 m north of bridge), ☏ +353 51 422 153. Pleasant B&B north side of town. B&B double €70. (updated Dec 2020)
  • Brandon House Hotel, Southknock Y34 KR62, ☏ +353 51 421 703. Well-run hotel 700 m from centre, with 78 rooms, conference facilities, Solas Croí Spa and good restaurant. B&B double €90. (updated Dec 2020)
  • 1 Glendower House, Wexford Rd Y34 PX22, ☏ +353 51 421 989. Welcoming B&B east edge of town by retail park. B&B double €90. (updated Dec 2020)
  • 2 Creacon Wellness Retreat, Creakan Lower Y34 NH61 (2 km south of town), ☏ +353 51 447 666. Upscale modern spa hotel, where your main task is to conjure ailments amenable to their cranio-sacral reflexology, McLoughlin scar tissue release, Enagic Kangen water therapy, and dozens more. B&B double €180. (updated Dec 2020)
  • 3 Macmurrough Cottages, Ballyroe Lower Y34 CA48 (2 km northeast of town), ☏ +353 51 421 383. This farm has two self-catering cottages. It no longer runs as a hostel. (updated Dec 2020)
  • 4 Riverhollow Campsite, Tintine, The Rower (2 km northeast of town). This is the closest campsite to town, 5 km north across the river in County Kilkenny. Glamping it's not, very basic natural site but friendly helpful owner. No caravan pitches, it's like wild camping without the risk of getting caught. (updated Dec 2020)
  • 5 Kilmokea Country Manor, Greatisland Y34 TH58, ☏ +353 51 388 109. Upscale hotel and spa in a Georgian Rectory, dog-friendly. It's best known for its extensive gardens, open to non-residents. (updated Dec 2020)

Connect

As of Dec 2020, New Ross has 5G from Eir and Three, and in parts of town from Vodafone.

Go next

  • Waterford is Ireland's oldest city, with Viking, medieval and Georgian heritage.
  • Fethard-on-Sea is the main village on the scenic Hook Peninsula to the south.
  • Wexford has the National Heritage Centre, and Johnstown Castle with the Agricultural Museum.



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