On Friday we took a drive down to Hook Head here in Wexford. Following a week of illness, it was just what we needed to blow the cobwebs away. And blow away they did, if you have never visited the Hook, you should, it is stunning. We decided there and then that the following day we would have a much needed day out, we’d pack a picnic and go and sure if it decided to rain, we’d picnic in the car!
Friday evening we prepared what we could in advance for our picnic, and finished it off Saturday morning. We decided we would go to John F Kennedy Park and then pay a visit to the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross, I’m ashamed to admit, we hadn’t done the Dunbrody tour up until now!
We were very lucky; it’s fair to say the weather has been a bit of a let down so far this season, but on Saturday the sun made a great effort at staying with us for the most part. We went to JFK Park first, it was just approaching lunch time when we got there, so first things first…….the picnic! All the food we’d prepared went down a treat, as did the delicious cakes we had purchased from Kettlehill, read more about the picnic and have a look at those cakes here.
When I was growing up we paid many visits to JFK Park, had many picnics and walk many many miles, we loved it and so did my children. It really is a place of natural beauty, littered with winding pathways , with an abundance of lush greenery and lots of adventures waiting to be had. After one such adventure through the woodlands, Abbie in particular was thrilled to see we had arrived at a miniature train station and was tickled when I told her we would go for a ride on the train, she loved it, Harry was a little unsure at first but he too settled in and really enjoyed himself. Even the older children declared it a highlight of the day!
We enjoyed a winding walk around the park, a stop off at the lake to watch the ducks and then a shortcut back to the playground when the littlest legs (the toddler’s not mine!) got weary. The children all loved the playground and spent a great amount of time running from one thing to another (Harry) and sliding down the slide because that’s the best (Abbie).
We spent just over 2 1/2 hours here, we would have stayed for longer only we had promised to visit the Dunbrody too and Chloe & Jack in particular were really looking forward to that. I cannot recommend JFK Park enough, it is a perfect location for a picnic and quality family time.
JFK Park is also close to New Ross, our next port of call, the home of the Dunbrody Famine Ship. The Dunbrody is an exact replica of an 1840’s famine ship. The tour is very informative, it starts on the Departure Quay where you will learn of the harsh times in Ireland in the 19th Century, from there you board the Dunbrody and the tour guide will give you an idea of what life was like for passengers on board the ship.
As you move downstairs and see where passengers were kept and the conditions in which they were kept, it is quite moving. Mrs White, a passenger who is travelling in steerage speaks of her experience, along with first class passenger, the formidable Mrs O’ Brien. Mrs O’ Brien took a shine to our Jack, and when she saw he had the hands of a hard working man, changed his name to Albert and told him she’d be putting him to work as soon as we reached America!!
We had lots of time to explore the ship and take photos, and really enjoyed the experience and would really encourage anyone who hasn’t done it to add it to their list of things to do. Do visit the Dunbrody website for all the information you need should you wish to plan a visit.