Itineraries

 

Download our itineraries here Family Fun , Culture & Curiosity, Adventure, The Very Best of Waterford

FAMILY FUN IN COUNTY WATERFORD

2 DAYS      106 KM      7 FAMILY FUN SPOTS

Journey Overview

Planning a great day out with the family in County Waterford but not sure where to start? Look no further! We’ve selected the best of what the county has to offer families, whether it’s indoor or outdoor, culture or fresh air, city or countryside, there should be something here to keep everyone happy!

DAY 1 - 23km - 3 Points of Interest

                                                                                                                                                            Route: Waterford City, Kilmeaden, Kilmacthomas 

                                                                                          Points of Interest: King of the Vikings Virtual Tour,
Waterford & Suir Valley Railway, Waterford Greenway,

 

 

THE BEST way to start any day out in Ireland’s oldest city is to start with the Vikings of course! Head down to the recently opened ‘King of the Vikings’ virtual reality experience which brings the world of the Vikings alive right before your eyes. The hour-long adventure takes place in a reconstructed Viking house in the centre of the Viking Triangle, where ‘real-life’ Vikings can also be found going about their daily business!

Once you are comfortably settled back into the 21st century, take a 15-minute trip west out of the city to the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway and get ready to be transported back in time to the 19th century!

The 40-minute ride in the period train-carriage allows you to experience the beauty of the Suir Valley, the panoramic views of the river, the rolling farmland of Waterford and south Kilkenny, and the world-famous gardens at Mount Congreve. The ‘Spooky Express’, the ‘Santa Express’ and ‘Meet the Easter Bunny’ should also add a seasonal flavour to any mid-term or holiday visits.

If everybody is still feeling energetic in the afternoon, why not try out the Kilmeaden to Kilmacthomas section of the recently opened Waterford Greenway. The family can choose to walk, cycle or use electric bikes on this 15km stretch, and childseats and trailers are available for those with younger children. The path brings you deep into the lush Waterford countryside, with lots of farm animals and wildlife for the kids to spot.

Look out for the chimney tower of Fairbrook Mill, an 18th century paper mill, and later a woollen mill. Enjoy the stunning views of the Comeragh Mountains to the north. After about 30 or 40 minutes, you’ll arrive at the old Famine Workhouse in Kilmacthomas. If you’ve left your car in Kilmeaden, a free shuttle- bus will drop you back to collect it.

 

  DAY 2 - 83km - 3 Points of Interest                                                                                                                                                      

Route: Waterford City, Tramore, Ardmore 

                                                                                          Points of Interest: Curraghmore House,
Mount Congreve, Waterford Greenway

 

 

IF YOUR FAMILY is spending a second day in Waterford then take the opportunity to do the fantastic 45-minute, Epic Tour of the Viking Triangle. The tour walks you through 1,000 years of Waterford’s fascinating history, from the Vikings to the Victorians in 1,000 paces. 

This engaging tour takes in the city’s most well-known and interesting buildings such as Reginald’s TowerGreyfriars Medieval FriaryChoristers’ Hall, the Mayor’s Wine Vault, the Bishop’s Palace and Christ Church Cathedral. For any families with budding historians or archaeologists among them, this is the tour for you! 

Next up, head 15 minutes west of Waterford City to the seaside village of Tramore where the kids can enjoy the town’s pristine beach (in the summer months!) or head for Splashworld during the months when there’s a chill in the air! This fantastic waterpark has lots to keep the kids busy including a wave machinewater slidesbubble poolpaddle poolwater cannonrolling rapids along with a steam roomsauna and four-lane pool for Mum and Dad! You’ll be hungry after all that activity so be sure to enjoy some of Tramore’s fantastic fish and chips before piling into the car and heading further out into the countryside. 

An hour’s drive west along Waterford’s spectacular coastline brings you to Ardmore Open Farm & Mini Zoo. The 16-acre farm places a particular emphasis on rare breeds and has sourced animals from all over Europe. Dedicated petting times are held throughout the day allowing kids to hold reptiles, furry favourites, birds and more. Ardmore Farm also offers a great range of other facilities including a restaurantkiddy-ridesgo-karting, mechanical diggers, indoor sand-pit, outdoor playgroundzip wire, soccer pitch and a pool table.

 

 

CULTURE & CURIOSITY IN COUNTY WATERFORD

2 DAYS      26 KM      7 POINTS OF INTEREST

Journey Overview

For those looking for a short break in a place that’s rich in culture - both historic and contemporary, a place that can educate, inspire and impress, a place that is easy to get around and cosy and comfortable? Ireland’s oldest city can offer it all.

Strolling around Waterford’s historic core, its Museum of Treasures or one of the county’s fine country houses, its easy to see why people come here for peace and quiet, for culture and for romance.

DAY 1 - 1km - 4 Points of Interest

                                                                                                                                                            Route: Stay in Waterford City 

                                                                                          Points of Interest: Bishop’s Palace Museum,
Waterford Crystal, Waterford Castle, Theatre Royal

 

 

EACH PLACE you visit on the first day of your journey is set within the wonderful, historic centre of Waterford city itself. Start out in the Bishop’s Palace Museum, one of three connected museums in the city. Take your time, savouring the many fascinating treasures on show from Georgian and Victorian Waterford including rare 18th century paintings, furniture and fine silverware.

For lunch, try one of the city’s Michelin Guide and award-winning restaurants such as La Boheme or Bodega where quality, locally- sourced produce is always on the menu. Whether it’s the freshest seafood from Dunmore East or the most succulent lamb from the nearby Comeragh Mountains, this is affordable, quality cuisine served in a relaxed environment.

Synonymous with Waterford, a trip to the city would not be complete without a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal which provides an intimate insight into the centuries-old tradition of Waterford Crystal-making, here you can feel the heat of the furnace and marvel at the skill of the craftspeople.

The old-fashioned delight of  afternoon  tea can be enjoyed in the grand surroundings of Waterford Castle. Situated on Little Island, just one mile downstream of the city, the island can only be accessed by a short ferry trip, adding to the mystery and allure of this charming place.

After dinner, why not enjoy an evening at Ireland’s oldest continually operating theatre - the Theatre Royal. Lovingly restored, this Victorian gem hidden within a beautiful Georgian exterior, is a jewel in the midst of Waterford’s Viking Triangle. From comedy to the romance of ballet, and from the drama of a play to the power of song, you are sure to be entertained by the theatre’s diverse and quality programme of events.

 

DAY 2 - 25km - 3 Points of Interest

                                                                                                                                                        Route: Portlaw, Kilmeaden,Kilmacthomas 

                                                                                          Points of Interest: Curraghmore House,
Mount Congreve, Waterford Greenway

 

 

START THE second day by continuing on your journey through Ireland's Ancient East by heading north towards the wonderful Curraghmore House just outside Portlaw. Set among 2,500 acres of formal gardens, woodland and grazing fields, Curraghmore is the largest private demesne in Ireland today.

The most striking feature of the house is the courtyard where the original castle is encased in a spectacular Victorian mansion with flanking Georgian ranges. With stunning historic interiors, furniture and artefacts,  Curraghmore is still the home of the 9th Marquis of Waterford, whom you may meet walking his dog in the grounds.

A 10-minute drive will bring you to the wonderful Mount Congreve Gardens. Built in 1760 by local architect, John Roberts, who designed most of the 18th century public buildings in the city, including both cathedrals.

Built on a spectacular site overlooking the River Suir, Mount Congreve’s gardens are widely regarded as some of the finest in the world. Consisting of 70 acres of planted woodland and a wonderful, 4 acre walled-garden filled rhododendron, magnolia, camellia and flowers from every continent in the world.

From Mount Congreve, you can head back in to the city on the Killoteran to Waterford section of the recently-opened Waterford Greenway. Mostly flat, with some moderate inclines, the 8km trail slowly winds its way along an old railway track, through beautiful woodlands, alongside the sweeping estuary of the River Suir and past the famous 8th century Viking settlement at Woodstown. Although not accessible, the site can be viewed from the bridge at Killoteran.

Perhaps the perfect way to spend your final night is to return to Waterford Castle and treat yourself to dinner at the award-winning Munster Room Restaurant. With its warm ambience, fabulous wines and exciting seasonal menus, the evening is sure to leave you going home with a glow

 

 

 

 

ADVENTURE IN COUNTY WATERFORD

Journey Overview

From the majestic peaks of the Comeragh Mountains, through rolling farmland, river valleys, sweeping seascapes and pristine beaches, County Waterford’s diverse landscape has so much to offer those looking for outdoor adventure!

Here, we’ve chosen seven of the best outdoor activities in the county to choose from, whether it’s horse-riding, kite-surfing, hill-walking or cycling, you’ll find it all in County Waterford!

Walking/Cycling                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                        Points of Interest: Comeragh Mountains, Waterford Greenway,
Ardmore, Copper Coast Geopark

 

 

IF WALKING is your thing then you are in the right county, with a wonderful diversity of terrain to choose from. Perhaps Waterford’s best-known walks are in the elevated heights of the Comeragh Mountains, which sit 792m proud over the county. Offering wonderful vistas across the mountainside and down to the sea, the Comeraghs offer both waymarked linear walks and Failte Ireland National Looped Trails.

Perhaps the Comeragh’s best-known  walk  is the Coumshingaun Loop, a moderate, 4-hour, 7.5km trail which leads to Coumshingaun Corrie Lake. This wonderful natural amphitheatre is one of the finest examples of a corrie in Europe, and was formed by glacier movement during the last Ice Age over 10,000 years ago.

If you’d prefer to be invigorated with some fresh sea air as you walk, head down to Waterford’s own Copper Coast. Now a UNESCO Global Geopark, the Copper Coast extends for some 20km between Tramore and Dungarvan and provides a stunning geological record of the volcanoes, ocean, desert and ice sheets which combined to create this spectacular landscape.

The visitor centre at Bunmahon tells this wonderful story and also provides audio-guides and trail cards for the villages of Annestown, Boatstrand, Bunmahon, Dunhill, Fenor and Stradbally. Trail cards can also be downloaded to your phone from Copper Coast Geo Park. The walking trail further west at Ardmore also provides stunning coastal views and a wealth of natural and built heritage to enjoy, such as the 5th century St Declan’s Monastery, a 12th century Cathedral and Round Tower, and a variety of birdlife such as Rock Pipits, Pheasant and Kestrel.

Head out on the recently opened, 46km Waterford Greenway and cycle or walk along the path of a disused railway line between Dungarvan and Waterford. The Greenway passes medieval ruins, Norman castles, a Viking settlement and a Famine workhouse. The landscape continually transforms from boggy marsh to rich pastureland, from wilderness to sweetly-scented strawberry fields, with the stunning backdrop of the Comeragh mountains guiding you on your way. When you’ve gone as far as you wish, a free shuttle-bus will drop you back to where you started to collect your car.

 

 

                                                                                                                                             

Kite Surfing, Horse Riding, Adventure Sports                                                                                    

Points of Interest: Comeragh Mountains, Waterford Greenway,
Ardmore, Copper Coast Geopark

 

 

WHETHER YOU are new to the game or a seasoned surfer or kite-surfer, Tramore is one of the best places in Ireland to let loose on your board. There are numerous surf schools along the 5km stretch of beach to help you improve your technique or provide you with  the gear you need to get on your way. If you’re looking to escape the crowds then head west to Bunmahon Beach which also has a great surf school on the beach.

Further east on your journey through Ireland's Ancient East, the fantastic Dunmore East Adventure Centre has absolutely everything that a water-sport enthusiast could want! Activities include kayaking, canoeing, sailing, abseiling, powerfan freefall, windsurfing, climbing, archery, Ireland’s only Wibit Wipeout aquapark, powerboating, caving along with water trampolines, slides and swings!

For experienced horse-riders, perhaps the best way to access County Waterford’s wonderful beaches, valleys, mountain and riverside tracks is from the back of a horse! Visitors can select a week or weekend trek, where every day brings new vistas and different terrain to challenge their skills.

Half-day and 1-hour treks on horses suited  to the rider’s confidence and ability are also available. Waterford offers a wide range of horse riding facilities suitable for most riders and inclusive holiday arrangements are offered by some establishments. There are no less than four stables within easy reach of Waterford City, including Callaghane Riding Centre, Kilotteran Equitation Centre, Lake Tour Stables and Pallas Equestrian Centre. Rides in and around the Comeragh Mountains can also be enjoyed from Colligan Equestrian Centre, Kilgobinet Equestrian Centre and Finisk Valley Riding Centre.

 

 

 

 

THE VERY BEST OF COUNTY WATERFORD

3 DAYS      165 KM      12 POINTS OF INTEREST

Journey Overview

Welcome to County Waterford, located in Ireland's Ancient East a place steeped in history, abundant in natural beauty and brimming with homegrown, quality cuisine. This itinerary is designed to show you the very best of what County Waterford has to offer.

Whether you wish to explore the city’s fascinating Viking heritage, discover the county’s stunning Copper Coast or enjoy a Michelin recommended meal, County Waterford is the place for you!

DAY 1 - 1km - 4 Points of Interest

                                                                                                                                                            Route: Stay in Waterford City,  

                                                                                          Points of Interest: Museum of Treasures,
Epic Tour, Waterford Glass, King of Vikings Virtual Tour,

 

 

YOUR JOURNEY begins in Waterford City, the oldest in Ireland - it was established by the Vikings in 914 A.D. Just over 250 years later, the city was claimed by Strongbow for the Normans.

Some of the most fascinating artefacts relating to these periods are on display at Waterford Treasures - a trio of museums situated only a few minute’s walk from each other in the heart of the city. The 45-minute, Epic Tour of the Viking Triangle, will walk you through 1,000 years of the city’s fascinating history, from the Vikings to the Victorians in 1,000 paces.

Also located in the heart of the Viking Triangle, the House of Waterford Crystal provides an intimate insight into the centuries old tradition of Waterford Crystal making, where you can feel the heat of the furnace and marvel at the skill of the craftspeople.

Located nearby, the exciting ‘King of the Vikings’ project takes place in a reconstructed Viking house and lets you experience the world of the Vikings using the latest virtual reality technology.

For lunch, be sure to try Waterford’s very own delicious white floury bread roll – ‘the Blaa’ and why not wash it down with one of the many mouth- watering beers on offer from Metalman - Waterford city’s very own craft beer brewers.

 

 

  DAY 2 - 94km - 4 Points of Interest                                                                                                                                                      

Route: Waterford City, Tramore, Bunmahon, Dungarvan  

                                                                                          Points of Interest: Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, Copper
Coast, Waterford Greenway

 

 

ON DAY 2 of your journey, travel west from Waterford city, to discover the spectacular coastline of the county. Situated in the picturesque sea-side town of Tramore, just 15-minutes outside Waterford, stop at the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens. In their design and planting-style, the gardens showcase the gardening traditions of the places that Lafcadio Hearn lived in during his adventurous lifetime. Softly-running streams, a rushing waterfall, ponds and an extensive woodland area all add to the serenity of these beautiful gardens.

From Tramore, head west along the coast, enjoying panoramic seascapes of beaches, coves and rocky headlands, to the village of Bunmahon which sits at the heart of the County’s Copper Coast. Now a UNESCO Global Geopark, the Copper Coast extends for some 20km providing a stunning geological record of the volcanoes, ocean, desert and ice sheets which combined to create this spectacular landscape. Once at the pretty harbour town of Dungarvan, you will find numerous quality cafes and restaurants to enjoy some lunch.

Whether you decide to walk, cycle or take an electric bike, the recently opened 46km Waterford Greenway provides an excellent way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and history of this area.

Running along the path of a disused railway line between Dungarvan and Waterford, the Greenway passes medieval ruinsNorman castles, a Viking settlement and a Famine workhouse.The landscape continually transforms from boggy marsh to rich pastureland, from wilderness to sweetly-scented strawberry fields, with the stunning backdrop of the Comeragh mountains guiding you on your journey back to Waterford. If you’ve left your car in Dungarvan, a free shuttle-bus will drop you back to collect it.

 

 

 

  DAY 3- 70km - 4 Stops                                                                                                                                                      

Route: Portlaw, Lemybrien, Lismore  

                                                                                          Points of Interest: Curraghmore House,Mahon Falls, Lismore
Castle, Lismore Heritage Centre

 

 

START YOUR final day by heading northwards to visit the stunning Curraghmore House. Set among some 2,500 acres of formal gardens, woodland and grazing fields, it is the largest private demesne in Ireland today.

Of the many striking features of Curraghmore is the courtyard to the front of the house, where the original castle is encased in a spectacular Victorian mansion with flanking Georgian ranges. With stunning historic interiors, furniture and artefacts, Curraghmore is still the home of the 9th Marquis of Waterford, whom you may meet walking his dog in the grounds.

A short, scenic drive westwards provides a close-up experience of the majesty of the Comeragh Mountains. At Lemybrien you can discover the spectacular Mahon Falls where the waters of the River Mahon plunge dramatically over the sandstone cliffs and rockfaces of the mountainside.

Heading further west brings you to yet another of County Waterford’s architectural gems – Lismore Castle. Originally built by King John of England in 1185, the castle was owned in turn by Sir Walter Raleigh and the Great Earl of Cork - Richard Boyle, before it passed to the Dukes of Devonshire in 1753, who still own it today.

Although the castle itself is only available for private event hire, the exquisite gardens offer spectacular views of the castle and the lush Blackwater Valley below. The fascinating stories associated with the castle and its characters are told in the wonderful Lismore Heritage Centre just a stroll away which takes visitors on a fascinating journey through monastic, Viking, Norman, and medieval Lismore.

If you’re looking for a novel experience, why not try out the centre’s exciting new ‘Boyle Escape Room’ which is atmospherically themed around the ‘Father of Modern Chemistry’ – Robert Boyle who was born in Lismore Castle.