Attractions in Waterford
King of the Vikings
This Viking Virtual Reality Adventure is a world first and is located in a reproduction Waterford Viking house at the very apex of the City’s Viking Triangle, where Reginald built his fort in 917. The visitor is beckoned to enter a darkened reception area by a hologram of King Reginald. Once inside evocatively animated information panels slowly and imperceptibly draw you back in time and away from the hustle and bustle of the modern city. Then thanks to ground breaking virtual reality visitors are invited to don special masks and are taken on a journey back to Viking times where the ghost of King Reginald spars with the ghost of an Irish Christian monk. The innovative technology brings the epic adventures of the Vikings to life, allowing visitors to experience them in a close and personal way.
Built by Prince John of England in 1185 it remained for four centuries the Episcopal residence. In 1589 the Bishop’s Palace was leased with its lands to Sir Walter Raleigh. Richard Boyle, later the great Earl of Cork, purchased Sir Walter Raleigh’s estates in 1602. His famous son Robert Boyle, the father of modern chemistry, was born in Lismore Castle in 1626. In 1748, the castle and its lands passed to the 4th Duke of Devonshire through the marriage of Lady Charlotte Boyle. The battlements and turrets of the present day date from the mid nineteen century refurbishment. The present owner of Lismore Castle is the 12th Duke of Devonshire. Whilst the Gardens and Gallery are open to the public, the Castle itself remains a private family home. Learn more about Lismore Castle and village on the link below.
The Waterford Greenway is a 45km of off road greenway, in a particularly scenic area from Bilberry, Waterford City to Dungarvan, Co Waterford. The route follows the former Waterford to Dungarvan Railway line. The Waterford & Suir Valley Railway has track on a 10km section of the route from Kilmeadan to Bilberry. The Waterford Greenway is being developed beside the railway track with a short detour away to avoid a Special Area of Conservation at Carriganore.
The Gaff Rigged Wooden Sailing Ship ‘Brian Ború’
Sail in the wake of the Vikings, the Normans, the Monastic settlers, Cromwell's Fleet, and, of course, the Wild Native Irish in the ship named after the legendary High King of Munster and Ireland, Brian Ború. A traditional gaff rigged wooden sailing ketch (ship) specifically adapted for carrying passengers on voyages of discovery of heritage and wildlife on the Waterford River estuary, where the rivers (Nore, Suir, & Barrow) meet the sea. Enjoy the freshness of the open air environment on the ship whilst observing and learning about the heritage, culture, wildlife and conservation of the marine environment of the Waterford estuary whose river basins touch many counties in Ireland.
Epic Tour of Waterford
The Epic Tour of the Viking Triangle is a theatrical comedy whirlwind journey with props, costumes, singing, dancing and plenty of craic! And the message is to bring the kids, bring your granny, bring everybody – because it’s suitable for families of all ages to enjoy. The Epic Tour is written by Waterford writer Liam Meagher, who many people will know through his work with Little Red Kettle over many years. Sharing our Stories scheme enables Waterford Treasures to really animate the wonderful stories of The Viking Triangle and allows everyone to enjoy the fascinating history of Waterford in an interactive and fun way. The tour is a full costumed re-enactment brought to life by Waterford Treasures on-site team of actors and is a unique family friendly addition to the tourism offering in Waterford.
The newly restored Bishop's Palace charts the history of Waterford from 1700 to 1970 and gives a wonderful insight into the history of what was up to the 1750s, Ireland’s second city. Waterford city boasts the finest collection of 18th century architecture of any city in Ireland outside of Dublin and its great legacy from the period is its elegant silverware and, of course, fine glassmaking. Visitors to the Bishop’s Palace will see the oldest piece of Waterford Crystal in the world - a decanter made in the 1780’s.
The magnificent curved facade of the warm butter-coloured stone building draws in the visitor. The eye-catching giant sculpture on the gable was inspired by a tiny 13th century belt mount found in Waterford. It is Ireland’s only purpose-built medieval museum and the only building on the island to incorporate two medieval chambers, the 13th century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault.
Reginald’s Tower is the oldest civic urban building in Ireland and is one of the most remarkable Viking buildings still in existence in Ireland. The present structure was built on the site of the original Viking fort named after Regnall who founded the City in 914. During its lifetime it has been used as a royal court, mint and prison.
Mount Congreve Nursery and Gardens
The gardens at Mount Congreve, Waterford, consist of around seventy acres of intensively planted woodland garden and a four acre walled garden. The owner, the late Mr Ambrose Congreve, was inspired by Mr Lionel de Rothschild’s exceptional garden at Exbury in Hampshire, England. The entire collection consists of over three thousand different trees and shrubs, more than two thousand Rhododendrons, six hundred Camellias, three hundred Acer cultivars, six hundred conifers, two hundred and fifty climbers and fifteen hundred herbaceous plants.
The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens
The gardens, in Tramore in County Waterford, pay homage to Patrick Lafcadio Hearn. The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens have a wonderful and unique story to tell. In their style and planting they contain elements of the gardening traditions of the countries and cultures traversed by Hearn during his varied life. The journey begins in a Victorian Garden dedicated to the memory of Hearn’s happy childhood summers in Tramore. There is an American Garden, a Greek Garden and a traditional Japanese Tea garden, in addition to a stream garden, ponds, a waterfall and an extensive woodland area.