County Waterford has so many different places to explore, including the beautiful town of Lismore in West Waterford. This charming little town is about an hour drive from Waterford City and is surrounded by idyllic countryside and an impressive view of the towering Lismore Castle. With plenty of lovely walking trails, and perfect picnic spots, this is a place you don't want to miss!
Lismore is situated along the river Blackwater which runs alongside Lismore Castle. Originally built in 1185 by King John, Lismore Castle was owned by Sir Walter Raleigh and Richard Boyle, the first Earl of Cork, before it was eventually acquired by the Dukes of Devonshire in 1753, when the daughter and heiress of the 4th Earl of Cork married the 4th Duke of Devonshire and future prime-minister of Great Britain and Ireland.
Lismore Castle itself isn’t open to the public, but at Lismore Heritage Centre you can be immersed in the experience and history of Lismore Castle using modern technology. Discover how priceless artifacts were hidden away and forgotten about for over 200 years in the AR room, then be transported inside Lismore Castle at the virtual reality room where Robert Boyle tells you the story of those who came before and after him to live in this beautiful place. Lismore Heritage Centre offers guided tours, exploring the history and heritage of this beautiful town. There's also the Robert Boyle Escape Room if you are up for a challenge!
The historic gardens of Lismore Castle are essentially two distinct gardens. Both are set within the castle walls and comprise of 7 acres with spectacular views of the Castle and surrounding countryside. The lower garden was mostly created in the 19th century for the 6th Duke of Devonshire, Sir Joseph Paxton’s patron. Entry to the upper garden is through the Riding House. This walled garden was first constructed by Richard Boyle in about 1605 and most of the walls and terraces have remained the same.
Set to the backdrop of the majestic Lismore Castle, the Lismore Farmers & Craft Market takes place every Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Here you will find a wide range of market stalls - from fresh local fruit and veg, honey, homemade cakes and bakes to local handcrafted jewellery and ornaments. Make sure you check the market Facebook page for up to date details and announcements!
Tucked away about a 30 minute walk from the town of Lismore, the striking gothic style bridge and towers of Ballysaggertmore are a beautiful fairy-tale backdrop for a relaxing stroll or picnic! To reach this wonderful hidden gem, wander through an easy forest trail loop which is dotted with plenty of benches along the way.
Lady Louisa’s walk is primarily a woodland walk along the riverbank. One can expect to find woodland plants such as beech, ash, ferns, spindle tree, holly and ivy as well as wood sorrel, golden saxifrage and wild garlic to name but a few. To start the walk, find the carpark at the entrance just before the Lismore bridge where you would exit the town. Parking is available in front of the cast iron gates. The walk loops around through the town and then back to the carpark starting point.