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The creation of crystal, a Viking triangle and stepping up spiral towers – we present five fabulous things to do in Waterford City
Waterford City is the capital of the South East and Ireland’s oldest city. Founded by the Vikings in 853, the history of this ancient port is maintained in its many remarkable buildings including Reginald’s Tower and Christ Church Cathedral. Of course it’s not just the architecture that speaks of the past, the Waterford “blaa” – a bread roll peculiar to the city – is believed to have been introduced by the Hugenots in the 17th century. All around Waterford, breakfast tables, builders’ lunches and picnic baskets are bulging with blaas. And rightly so. Pop into the Grange Café or Lucia’s for a taste of the city’s finest, or hit the Saturday morning Farmers’ Markets and munch one while exploring. Waterford is also synonymous with hand-cut glass, and the new House of Waterford Crystal is the region’s most popular tourist attraction. Built on the River Suir estuary, Waterford City remains a thriving port with great shopping, accommodation, quality gourmet restaurants and a mix of modern and traditional pubs. With a Viking history, beautiful blaas and world-renowned crystal, Waterford has all the cutting edge it needs.

2) The Copper Coast & Comeragh Mountains

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:

Gourmet, Vegetarian, Ethnic and Pub Grub, it's all here in Waterford's hotels and restaurants. many listed in the Michelin Guide. Sea food, not surprisingly, features in many of the fine restaurants in the county, with wild Atlantic fish freshly taken from the clean, clear waters of the Atlantic's Celtic Sea. The rivers, too, provide wild salmon and trout to grace the tables where you can enjoy the freshest produce from the surf or the turf.
A full list of festivals for the year can be found on www.discoverireland.ie/whatson
Merchants Quarter - Waterford's Shopping District No matter what your style, taste or pocket you will have great fun discovering the great mix Waterford has to offer from high street stores, designer brands, independent boutiques and two shopping centres. Georges Court Shopping Centre hosts 24 local and international shops and restaurants in the very heart of Waterford city centre. City Square Shopping Centre contains two major Irish department stores, a supermarket and forty shops. These include a full range of top quality gents, ladies and children's fashions, restaurants, hairdressing, one hour photographic development, pharmacy and covered parking for 500 cars. Hibernian Gifts is a premium gift shop located just behind The House of Waterford Crystal on Bolton Street opposite the car & coach park. Hibernian Gifts carries a large range of goods from gold and silver Jewellery, both Celtic design and contemporary, Newbridge Silverware, Guinness and Irish Clothing and Souvenirs, the Avoca Range and Killarney Crystal. Inspired by century’s old tradition, Heritage Irish Crystal is authentically mouth-blown and hand-cut in Waterford City Ireland, a city steeped in the history of this fine art dating back to 1783. Founded in 1990, Heritage marks another chapter in Waterford City’s centuries long and proud association with the art of hand-made, full lead crystal. Waterford has a worldwide reputation for crafts built on the Waterford Crystal brand. Visit www.waterforddesignermakers.com to see examples of this or stop by the Waterford Food & Craft Market which operates on Broad Street every Saturday from 10am to 2pm.
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