Curracloe was named Ireland’s Favourite Beach in our Reader Travel Awards 2020 (“you could be abroad on a fine day,” as one reader put it).
While its 10km of sands are well-known, however, the forested sand spit at the southern end is less so. The Raven Nature Reserve is spiked with Corsican pine, home to red squirrels, pine martins and wintering geese, and seals can be spotted offshore, too.
A 9km loop is largely on the flat, rambling through forest, skirting the North Slob lands, and returning via castaway white sands towards the wooden boardwalk. Winter is for geese; summer the wildflowers and orchids.
Start and Finish at: Raven Point car park (Curracloe, nearby, is gorgeous for a swim).
Get there: Take the R741 south from Gorey, or north from Wexford, before following the R742 through Curracloe to the car park. wexfordtrails.ie
Length / Time: 9km (allow 2.5 hours, but you can do shorter loops too).
Pack: Binoculars (or a long camera lens) are essential for wildlife, and togs and towels for the brisk swim afterwards!
Refuel: The Surf Shack (surfshackireland.com) at Curracloe is a buzzing local business, offering not just surf lessons, but tasty pizza and Wexford’s Featherbed farm gelato too. Keep an eye on its website for reopening details.