Waterford's Wonderful Outdoors: The Anne Valley Walk
Here in Waterford we are lucky to be surrounded by an abundance of gorgeous outdoor areas perfect for exploring and taking in the fresh air! We're going to share them with you, so hopefully in the future you can experience the beauty on your next visit to Waterford and discover where we take our inspiration from for our crystal masterpieces!
The Anne Valley Walk
The Copper Coast in Co. Waterford is a UNESCO Global Geopark which stretches from Kilfarrassy to Stadbally. It was the first designated Geopark on the island of Ireland and takes it's name from the past history of copper mining in the area during the 19th century. Within the park there are various walking trails, one of which is The Anne Valley Walk that was developed by the local community.
The walk is about 9.5km (return) and loops from Dunhill to Annestown beach and back. It follows the Anne River flowing through protected wildlife areas of forest and marshland. Keep an eye out and you may spot some of the protected wildlife such as otter and heron along with a beautiful range of flora and fauna. It's a great day out for all of the family to enjoy.
In the town of Dunhill (meaning 'Fort of the Rock' in Irish) there's plenty of parking available at the start of the walking trail and a wonderful photo opportunity at the ruins of Dunhill Castle!
The Castle dates back to the 1200's and was built by the la Poer family, infamous for carrying out many attacks on Waterford City through the years. The castle was first captured in 1649 in the Cromwellian attack of Dunhill and would later be besigned and sacked, with the castle and lands given to Sir John Cole and the Waterford Corporation. It later fell to ruins in the 1700's and now only half a fifteenth century tower and parts of the outer walls remain.
Annestown Beach is a beautiful, secluded strand popular among swimmers and surfers. Visitors can avail of car parking facilities nearby and in the summer months there is usually a small shop run by the local scout group offering refreshments. The beach features a stunning sea arch and islands - another great spot to snap some memories before you head back along the Anne Valley Walk.
Setting out on this walk, we would advise you allow around 2 hours to complete the loop. Be sure to pack some snacks and water, and wear comfortable walking shoes. You can either park and start at Dunhill or Annestown beach and loop back around - It's up to you! For more information on the walk, check out coppercoastgeopark.com