At the House of Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre, you get the chance to ask glassworkers how they turn out a twinkling masterpiece from a molten blob. The same magic is happening at the hands of the folks at The Irish Handmade Glass Company. Pop into Henrietta Street for a peek.
Want to know Waterford’s foodie secrets? Then seek out the Waterford Walking Tours. The tour passes the Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland Cathedrals both designed by the same architect, John Roberts. You also see the Bishop’s Palace, Reginald’s Tower, and the Choristers’ Hall, which opened in 2012.
Before they went back to Scandinavia, the Vikings left their mark in Waterford. Reginald’s Tower is one of the most impressive. The tower is the only monument in Ireland named in honour of a Viking – possibly Ragnall or Reginald, the founder of the city in 914AD. Make your way up the narrow spiral staircase to the second floor and try imagine this 13th-century tower enduring attacks by the native Irish.
Call it a roll, call it a bap or call it a bun, Waterford’s blaa is delicious regardless. We're not quite sure how they manage to make it so floury, soft and scrumptious and the recipe is closely-guarded. Pick up some local cheese, meats, organic juices, pastries and you've got the perfect picnic. And where to set that picnic? Tramore beach. Just a ten minute jaunt from Waterford City, this is a stunning slice of seaside.
Blue Flag beaches, brilliant lighthouses, summer strawberries and a starring role in Irish history. This is what we call Wexford in a nutshell… With a spectacular coastline, a wealth of historic sites and attractive towns and villages, it’s little wonder that Wexford is a favourite holiday destination. The county offers a mix of mountainous scenery, river valleys with fine fishing, and mile upon mile of fine, unspoiled beaches such as Courtown, Rosslare, Duncannon and Curracloe. The South East Coastal Drive is perhaps the best way to take in part of Wexford’s 200km of stunning coastline and if you're eager to delve into history, don't miss top attractions like Hook Head lighthouse, the Irish National Heritage Park, and the Dunbrody Famine Ship.
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Waterford's Medieval Museum is a tribute to life in the city during that period. Why not come and experience the wonder of our medieval city. A team of actors playing different characters will bring to life Waterford’s fascinating history in these enjoyable and imaginative tours. As part of the complex, the medieval vaulted Chorister’s Hall survives and is one of the centrepieces of the new museum.
The Copper Coast gets its name from the 19th Century copper mines that lie at its heart. It comprises some 25 kilometres of spectacular coastline consisting of scalloped beaches and coves buttressed and enclosed by rocky headlands. Oceans, volcanoes, deserts and ice sheets all combined to create the rocks, which provide the physical foundation of the natural and cultural landscapes of the Copper Coast.
Curraghmore House in Waterford is the historic home of the Eighth Marquis of Waterford. His ancestors (the de la Poers) came to Ireland from Normandy after a 100-year stopover in Wales around 1170. Some 1,000 hectares of formal gardens, woodland and grazing fields make it the country’s largest private demesne.
Kite Design Studios houses a Crafts and Design collection featuring five Waterford based artists and brands. The design studio is open six day a week and visitors have the unique opportunity to experience craft makers developing their design live in their own workshops.
Situated in a panoramic position overlooking the Blackwater Valley it has views over rolling, wooded hills to the Knockmealdown Mountains beyond. Whilst being totally private, the Castle is on the outskirts of the Heritage Town of Lismore and a mere 200 yard walk to all its amenities.
The Vee Drive Tour is one stunning vista after another as this leisurely loop unfolds. Distance: 178km. (111 miles). Setting off on the N25 from Waterford, this driving loop ducks between the Comeragh Mountains and Copper Coast following the N72 to its first stop, the dazzling heritage town of Lismore. Lismore’s showpiece is its castle and founded in 1185 and today belonging to the Duke of Devonshire. Leaving Lismore, follow the R668 as it twists and turns through the Knockmealdown Mountains culminating in breath-taking fashion at the Vee, a hairpin bend overlooking the Golden Vale. Journey from Cahir back to Waterford via the N24 stopping at the heritage gems of Cahir Castle and Ormond Castle. The Vee Drive also features two spurs, which you can use as detours if time permits. The first zips down to Ardmore, where a round tower, cathedral and hermitage captivate visitors to this day. The second spur detours, via St. Declan’s Way. Ireland’s answer to the Camino is an ancient pilgrim path some 94 km in length!
This tour explores Waterford, Tramore, Dungarvan, Comeragh Mountains Loop, Lemybrien, and back to Waterford city. From hidden coves to mountain scenery, this loop explores Waterford’s coastal UNESCO European Geopark before venturing into the mountains to the spectacular Mahon Falls. Departing Waterford, the R675 brings you to Tramore, Ireland’s quintessential Victorian seaside resort, the first stop along this smorgasbord of coastal and mountain scenery. Driving towards Newtown Head, look for the Metal Man perched on one of three pillars on the headland. From here, continue west (via R675) along the Copper Coast, a UNESCO European Geopark named for its 19th century mining heritage. It’s a hypnotic route, spotted with Blue Flag beaches, stunning views) and pretty villages like Annestown and Stradbally. Finally you will arrive in Dungarvan. From Dungarvan, the R672 links with Ballymacarbry, where a right turn takes you through the walker’s wonderland that is the Nire Valley. Continuing east to the R678 and R676 crossroads, there are two options – turning north to Carrick on Suir before taking the N24 back to Waterford, or turning south (via R676) towards Mahon Falls, a 240-foot waterfall tumbling spectacularly off the glaciated range, towards Waterford via Lemybrien (via N25), spare a thought for William Crotty, a notorious highwayman hanged in the city in 1742. Crotty robbed coaches travelling along what is today’s N25, and his treasure is still said to be stashed amongst the corrie lakes in the Comeragh Mountains. Find out more at:
Barron’s Bakery in Cappoquin is one of the oldest bakery in Ireland. One thing’s for sure, there’s not another which has the original Scotch brick ovens that bake the really special kind of bread this bakery is famous for. This pretty café and bread counter, packed to the brim with loaves, cakes, tarts, gateaux and all manner of good things.
Jack Meades isn’t just a bar serving food and drink, it’s an extensive complex with various facets. The old world bar dates back to circa 1705, the lime kilns and ice house were built circa 1860, the grounds have been tastefully developed and are home to ducks, ponies, donkeys and goats. The large new bar was built in 2005 and boasts an extensive beer garden.
Taxis and Hackney Cabs are available in Waterford. Taxis can be hailed down in the street, but Hackney Cabs must be booked from offices. Costs are measured by distance, taxis have a metre. If you have to be somewhere at a particular time, it is wise to book in advance as offices can be quite busy. All hotels will have a local taxi number.