Hikes & Walks / Leinster / Wexford

A Sunrise Adventure at Curracloe Beach

Sunrise on Curracloe Beach, Wexford

While we were in Wexford in June, I wanted to get up and head to Curracloe beach for sunrise and walk to Raven Point. José was also keen to check out Curracloe beach when I told him it featured in the movie Saving Private Ryan. He just wasn’t so keen on the sunrise part.

I’m not a morning person myself but do I love the early morning hours. You know, once I’m up! It really is the best time of the day and I wish I could bring myself to do it more often. I’m most definitely a night owl though, so it makes it that bit harder!

    A wild camper on Curracloe Beach in Wexford

Though he’s more of a morning person, José still grumbles when I suggest sunrise adventures. Particularly during summer when it’s ridiculously early. I knew he was secretly hoping I wouldn’t get up when the alarm went off at 3.30am. I have been known to ignore it before! This time he was out of luck though.

So we headed off early, the darkness slowing lifting as we passed through the empty streets of Wexford town. We headed for the car park at Culletons Gap, being the closest to Raven Wood. Once there we made our way quickly toward the dunes, emerging onto Curracloe beach in time to see the sun break above the horizon and catch everything slowly illuminating around us.

The sun breaking over the horizon, Curracloe Beach

A line of birds fly over the rising sun at Curracloe Beach

A camper emerged from their tent for a few moments to take it in and then vanished again, leaving the beach all to us. After we watched the sun come up we ambled along the beach towards Raven Point. Everything was bathed in the golden glow of early morning.  With the sun shining and a blue sky overhead, we could have easily believed we were in a more tropical location!

Golden morning light on Curracloe Beach

Curracloe beach flanked by Raven Wood Nature Reserve.

Golden sand dunes at Curracloe Beach

Stretching over 11km long with soft fine sand, Curracloe beach really is one of the finest beaches in Ireland. It’s Blue Flag certified, making it popular for swimming. We were certainly tempted, though we didn’t venture into the waves that morning.

From our starting point, the most southerly entrance, the beach is flanked by the Raven Wood Nature Reserve. The woods are planted with pine trees and other evergreens. It’s also a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife, such as the red squirrel. To the west of Raven Wood is North Slob. It’s home to a large population of White-Fronted Geese during the winter months. You can visit the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve and visitor centre nearby. 

Where beach and forest meet.

Following the trail from Curracloe Beach to Raven Wood.

Turning inland at Raven Point and headed for the woods.

Once we reached Raven Point at the tip of the spit we turned inland a little, following a trail to the woods. It’s was great to take the forest trail back rather than returning by the beach again. It was a nice change of scene and kept us cooler as the day started heating up!

We started off with the sun streaming through the trees and a cheeky little bird followed us some way along the path.  He looped around us for a while, posing for photos before getting bored with us and flying away. This is a popular trail for joggers and we met a few coming towards us as we neared the end of the trail.

Sun streaming through the trees in Raven Wood

The forest trail, Raven Wood, Curracloe.

Purple flowers in Raven Wood, Curracloe

What a way to start the day. A beautiful mix of beautiful woodland and stunning coastal scenery. We got back to car, tired but rejuvenated and very happy that we had stuck to our plan. It also felt good to see that we had already exceeded our 10,000 steps for the day before we were usually even out of bed!  We headed for the hotel for showers and a well deserved breakfast before continuing our adventures on the Hook Peninsula.


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