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Curracloe and The Raven Nature Reserve

Curracloe beach in Ireland

One of my favorite family cycles in Wexford, the loop through the Raven Nature Reserve and along Curracloe beach has something for all.

At a leisurely pace you could do the route in about 2 hours but with kids in toe give yourself at least double this and a little more again to accommodate for building all of those sand castles and of course enough time to enjoy your packed lunch.

Starting in the car park at The Raven Nature Reserve depending on the wind direction you can head through the barriers to the wood or up the boardwalk onto the beach. There was a slight southerly wind the day we were out so we choose to go through the woods first to have a breeze on our backs coming back up the beach.

If you have a trailer like we did you will need to unhitch and enter through the left stile. It is probably worth noting that most trailers might not fit through this easily, so it might be easier to set up inside the barriers which are a very short distance from the car park.

Continue on the path. There is a clearing about 20m inside the barriers that is ideal for a picnic or to let the kids play in the sand for a while, just in case you’ve been cooped up in the car for a while. Also just beside the sandpit is a small pond perfect for budding fishermen/fisherwomen.

If you can wait, there are plenty of spots for lunch, my favorite being the first beach you will meet at Raven point. On a good day, there is a view of Wexford Town, Rosslare Head and the South slob adjacent to Rosslare. This is also a perfect location for bird watching as it is right at the end of the sea wall that runs along the North Slob. The North slob is home to the Wildfowl Reserve. This is the halfway point if you decide to do the full loop.

So after lunch, you’ll probably want to take it easy for a while and give your food time to digest. The trail that runs from this beach along the edge of the woods is about 1km long and is probably best walked. It is possible to cycle through if you’re in for a challenge!

When you reach the end of this trail there is a short hop over a sand dune down onto Curracloe beach. From here on a clear day, you can see all the way to Ballyconnigar strand. To be able to cycle at this point you will need to get out to where the water meets the sand as this is the easiest surface to cycle on. We will always advise our customers of the best times to cycle on beaches near them.

From here on in its pretty plain sailing. There are a couple of clearing in the woods that almost always have a direct path back to the main trail through the woods if you would prefer to do this. If you are planning on taking a dip, please stick to the areas patrolled by the lifeguards.

Local amenities:

The Raven:

Coffee Van most weekends and full time throughout the summer.

There is also running water about 5m from the gate in the car park

Picnic benches: Beside the boardwalk to the beach

Bins: Beside the boardwalk to the beach

Curracloe House: Accommodation, Yoga, Horse riding stables

Curracloe beach car park:

Toilet and shower facilities

Bike racks

Dog waste bags


The Winning Post: Fast food, shop, amusements

The Surf Shack: Surf lessons, hire, shop, coffee shop