Rosslare is in County Wexford in south-east Ireland, to the south of Wexford city. It's two distinct towns, 8 km apart by road. Rosslare Europort or Harbour developed from 1906 with the arrival of the railway, when it was obvious that Wexford harbour would become silted up. With a population in 2016 of 1200, it handles freight and ferries from Wales and from the continent - the continental freight is expected to increase from 2021 as Brexit has made the "land bridge" to Europe less convenient. Rosslare town to the north has a long sandy beach and was a holiday resort from the late 19th century: it became known as Rosslare Strand once the Harbour was established. Its population in 2016 was 1620.
- Stena Line sail twice a day from Fishguard, 3 hours 15 min.
- Irish Ferries sail twice a day from Pembroke, 4 hours. The summer routes from France are suspended.
- Brittanny Ferries sail April-Sept twice a week overnight from Cherbourg and Bilbao; their ferry from Roscoff sails to Cork. Timetables for 2021 are not yet posted.
Five trains a day run from Dublin Connolly, taking 3 hours via Dún Laoghaire, Bray, Wicklow Town, Rathdrum, Arklow, Gorey, Enniscorthy and Wexford to Rosslare Strand (for the beach) and Rosslare Europort (for the ferry terminal). A walk-up single from Dublin is €17, see Irish Rail for timetables and ticket deals, and look especially for rail-ferry packages. This is the only railway route to Rosslare; the line to Waterford was axed in 2010.
1 Rosslare Strand is a block inland from the beach strip.
2 Rosslare Europort is the terminus, within 200 m of the ferry piers and port amenities.
The buses to Rosslare are mostly to meet the ferries, so in 2020 / 21 these are greatly curtailed, with no direct bus from Dublin.
Expressway Bus 40 / 440 treks the width of Ireland from Rosslare Europort to Wexford, Waterford, Dungarvan, Youghal, Cork, Macroom, Killarney and Tralee. It doesn't serve Rosslare Strand. The section between Europort and Wexford is suspended, but the section from Wexford to Waterford continues to run every two hours.
From Wexford to Rosslare Strand use Wexford Bus 878, which runs M-Sa thrice.
From Dublin follow N11 south to Wexford, then N25.
Many visitors arriving by ferry bring their own car, but a rental agency wouldn't allow that. The only agency at Rosslare Europort is Budget, which you should book in advance as their fleet is small; also they'll stay open late for pre-booked rentals from late-arriving ferries. Rates are keen for car returns back to Rosslare, but a one-way rental (eg to Dublin) will almost double the price. If they can't accommodate you, take the train to Wexford, which has a Hertz outlet.
Public transport will get you between the port, Strand, and Wexford town. You need wheels to get further afield. The countryside is flat and suitable for cycling, though the breeze will get in your face.
- The Marina for small craft is 1 km west of Europort. The latter is an ugly, industrial and restricted zone, no place for strolling or sight-seeing.
- Rosslare Beach or Strand is a 3 km expanse of sand from around the railway station to "The Point". A spit used to stretch another 2 km, leaving just a narrow channel to Wexford harbour. It eroded in the 19th century, while the harbour behind it silted up, and it broke into sandbars after winter storms in 1924 / 25. With it disappeared Rosslare Fort - nowadays the scraps are only visible on an islet at the very lowest tides.
- 1 Carnsore Point is the headland marking the boundary between the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. In the 1970s there were plans to build a series of nuclear power plants here: these were dropped after protests were got up, with rallies and concerts. (A counter-protest by the British & Irish Communist Organisation maintained that socialism could only be achieved in Ireland with nuclear energy.) There's now a windfarm. South Wexford Coastal Trail stretches 2 km along the beach to the sandbar at Lady's Island Lake.
- 2 Lady's Island Lake is a brackish lagoon with no overt outflow, but fresh water seeps out and sea water seeps in through the sandbar. Atlantic storms and heavy rains can alter its salinity markedly, so wildlife must be able to cope. The lake is an important breeding ground for terns, both the Sandwich tern and the rare roseate tern. The "island" has long been a peninsula, with a castle, a tower leaning precariously, church ruins and a graveyard. The ruined church is a Marian shrine, with a pilgrimage in August. It's part of the Church of the Assumption on the mainland, built in the 19th C to a design by Pugin.
- 3 Tacumshane village 1 km west of the lake has a restored 19th century windmill, but the castle has been demolished. Another 2 km west, Tacumshane Lake is a wildlife reserve. In 1972 it became closed off by a sandbar like Lady's Island Lake, but a channel was cut to keep it tidal.
- 4 Tuskar Rock is a notorious hazard 11 km off Carnsore Point, close to the ferry routes from Wales. "Tuskar" is Old Norse for "big rock" but from shore you may struggle to see it - and almost 200 ships have been lost by failing to do so. But you'll spot the 37 m lighthouse, which has a beam range of 44 km. It was built 1812-15, with 10 workmen losing their lives when the construction site was overwhelmed by a storm. In 1821 the lighthouse keepers were found to be involved in smuggling. In wartime the rock was sometimes struck by drifting sea mines, which in 1941 killed one of the keepers. In 1968 an Aer Lingus flight from Cork to London crashed into the sea some 10 km northeast of the rock, with the loss of all 61 aboard: the likeliest cause was metal fatigue causing failure of the left tailplane, sending the Vickers Viscount into a spin. The lighthouse was automated in 1993.
- 1 Rosslare Golf Club, Bearlough Y35 P573, ☏ . Daily 10:00-19:00. The Old Course is 6702 yards (blue tees), par 72. The Burrow Links is 12 holes with no bunkers. Visitor €35.
- Rosslare Sports Centre is on the Strand near the golf club. It's open M-F 10:00-16:00.
- 2 St Helens Bay Golf Club, Burrow Y35 X293, ☏ . Links course of 6715 yards, par 72. Visitor €25.
- 3 Hazelwood Stables by St Helen's Bay has riding lessons and treks along the beaches.
- Beaches: Rosslare Strand and Carne Beach are the best of them.
- Murphy's Supervalu, on the main road leading from the ferry terminal, is open daily 08:00-20:00.
- Morgan's filling station is on the main road 1 km from the terminal, and open 24 hours.
- There's an ATM outside the Bank of Ireland on St Martin's Rd, just south of Murphy's off the main road.
- On the Strand, the convenience store is Centra, open daily 08:00-21:00.
- La Marine is the bistro within Kelly's Hotel on the Strand, see Sleep. It's open daily 12:30-14:15, 18:00-21:00.
- Wild and Native Seafood, Strand Road (100 m south of Kelly's), ☏ . Daily 18:00-23:00. This seafood restaurant gets great reviews.
- The Lobster Pot, Ballyfane, Carne Beach (by caravan site), ☏ . Closed ufn. Also calls itself a steakhouse, but it's the seafood that draws the customers.
- Meyler's Millhouse in Tacumshane village serves food F Sa 17:00-21:00, Su 12:30-20:00.
- Redmond's (Bay Bar), Cliff Road, Rosslare Strand (200 m south of Strand railway station), ☏ . M-Th 16:00-23:30, F Sa 12:00-00:30, Su 12:30-23:00. Trad pub with music at weekends, child-friendly.
- Kilrane Inn, Churchtown (Main road 1 km from port), ☏ . Tu W 16:00-23:00, Su M Th 13:00-23:00, F Sa 12:30-00:30. Pub with good bar food.
- Sinotts on the Strand is open daily 09:30-23:00.
- Kelly's Resort Hotel, Strand Rd Y35 Y83V (a block east of Strand railway station), ☏ . Relaxing beachfront hotel and spa gets great reviews for comfort, dining and service, but it's pricey. Half board double from €300.
- Coast Rosslare Strand is a mid-range place 500 m north of Kelly's Resort, quality erratic.
- There are several caravan parks at the Strand but all are for static units, privately owned or on long leases, none of them offer camper or tourer facilities.
- 1 IOAC Campsite, Sixacre, Tagoat Y35 RH76, ☏ . Campsite and activity centre open Mar-Oct, all 70 pitches and 14 RV stands have power hook-up. Dogs on leads only. They also have glamping cabins. Tent €32, campervan €27.
- Clifford House B&B, St Martin's Rd, ☏ . Clean well-run B&B near ferry terminal, dog-friendly. They also have self-catering. B&B double €90.
- 2 Archways B&B, Rosslare Rd, Tagoat Y35 PA66, ☏ . Pleasant comfy B&B, dog-friendly, does evening meals on request. B&B double €100.
- Carne Beach Caravan Park and St Margaret's Beach are two camping and caravan sites side-by-side on Carne Beach.
- 3 Killiane Castle Farm, Drinagh, ☏ . Charming B&B in working dairy farmhouse, next to 15th C castle. Open mid-Feb to mid-Dec. B&B double €150.
As of Dec 2020, Rosslare Europort has 3G from Three, and 4G from Vodafone and Eir, while Rosslare Strand has 5G from Three and Vodafone but no signal from Eir.
- Kilmore Quay for boat trips to the Saltee Islands.
- Wexford for its ruined abbey, National Heritage Park, and Johnstown Castle which houses the Agricultural Museum.
- Fethard-on-Sea for Hook Peninsula.
- New Ross for the Dunbrody famine ship, Kennedy Homestead and JFK Arboretum.
|Routes through Rosslare|
|END ←||W E||→ Fishguard|
|END ←||W E||→ Pembroke|
|END ←||NW SE||→ Cherbourg|
|END ←||N S||→ Roscoff|
|END ←||N S||→ Bilbao|
|Dublin/Waterford ← Wexford ←||NW SE||→ ENDS AT ROSSLARE HARBOUR|