Driving on we headed for the last destination of the loop and perhaps my personal favourite spot on the Wexford coast, Duncannon. Duncannon, on the West side of the Hook Peninsula is very much a typical Irish fishing village with a harbour, lighthouse, fort, a beach with unassuming café, a chip shop across the road and rolling country behind. The mile long beach is wide and sandy, accessible by car and, while we were there in early May, partly covered by amazing rolling Atlantic seamist. The 16th Century fort sits on a rocky headland and includes a maritime museum, art gallery, café, craft centre and was used as a film set for the opening scenes of the remake of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’. Sadly for us it doesn’t open until June. Still, I was left with a pleasing impression that we had found the ideal Famous Five Holiday destination complete with rock pools, loads to explore, miles of sandy picnic spots with heaps of tomatoes and lashings of ginger beer.
Day five and bathed in sunshine we decided to splash out on something special. Being awash with working harbours and fishing villages we were spoilt for choice when it came to seafood restaurants where the catch moves daily from net to plate. In the end we opted for the Silver Fox, highly rated with a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor and nestled near the harbour in Kilmore Quay in a converted cottage. Kilmore Quay is a fishing village with a population of 372, mostly housed in a collection of thatched cottages, even new builds, clustered round the marina and narrow main street. We rang them to make a booking and I asked them to put my name on a lobster swimming in their tank and the husband put his name on a 1lb black sole. By no means cheap, it cost around the same as a day at Wexford races (15 euros each entrance fee, plus three or four each way bets) it was extraordinarily good and somehow I suspect, despite our joint passion for horses, left us with a more satisfied, certainly sated feeling.
We left County Wexford with more regret than usual. It has a diversity that could take a lifetime to experience, experiences to take you back over a lifetime and a sense of peace, beauty and drama that leaves you wishing you paid more attention in art at school. But perhaps the best memory for us was sitting next to the bridge in Blackwater village under a flawless blue sky eating an ice cream with the murmur of the clear river behind us and the quielty spoken charm of the Irish laid out before us. I have a feeling we will be back.
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