Waterford city, towns and villages
With a choice between a cosmopolitan modern city, a cluster of seaside resorts and a mountainous hinterland, here are some towns and villages well worth a visit during your stay at one of the top hotels Waterford can provide:
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. Waterford is synonymous with hand-cut glass, and the world famous Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre 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. Waterford also hosts a colourful calendar of festivals throughout the year, including the Waterford Spraoi, Imagine Arts Festival, Waterford New Music Week and the Waterford Light Opera Festival.
Dunmore East is a charming fishing port and seaside resort set into rugged coastline at the mouth of Waterford estuary. It’s an unspoiled getaway full of silent coves, clean beaches, fine restaurants and accommodation. The popular annual Guinness Bluegrass Music Festival takes place here every August.
Dungarvan is a thriving market town and medieval port. The Dungarvan Museum recounts the history of the town and the 12th century motte and bailey at Gallows Hill survives to this day. There’s lots to do in Dungarvan, from water sports and deep-sea fishing to fine dining and shopping.
With 5km of sandy beaches, Tramore is a popular family friendly resort, with activities from surfing, sailing and kayaking to cliff walking and golf. There are giant waterslides and indoor swimming pool at Splashworld and an Amusement Park opposite the promenade. The 18-hole Tramore Golf Club is located outside the town.
To the west of the county lies the seaside village of Ardmore. Originally a 5th century monastic settlement, founded by St Declan – a monk who preceded St. Patrick in christianising the country, Ardmore is famous for its 12th century Round Tower, one of the finest examples of this type of structure in Ireland. Located in a beautiful setting, the village of Ballymacarbry is the perfect spot from where to explore the Comeragh Mountains and scenic Nire Valley. Walking and game fishing are on offer, and these, along with quality guesthouse accommodation, make this an ideal rural retreat. Cappoquin is a quiet market town in West Waterford at the head of the Blackwater River estuary. The area offers scenic walks and angling. The 18th century Cappoquin House and Gardens in the centre of the town are open to the public at set times and Tourin House and Gardens are open for visitors between April and September.
The beautiful town of Lismore was once home to a 6th century monastery sacked by the Vikings and was later developed as an estate town. Popular visitor attractions include the Lismore Heritage Centre and Lismore Castle Gardens. The 2009 Immrama Lismore Festival of Travel Writing takes place between the 11th
and 14th June. Just north of Lismore is The Vee, a wonderfully scenic spot at the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains.
West of Waterford City lies The Copper Coast, one of the most scenic stretches of rugged coastline in Ireland. It passes through the villages of Fenor, Annestown,
Boatstrand, Bunmahon and Stradbally, with Dunhill just inland. The Copper Coast European Geopark offers an excellent guided trail of the area. Inland is the quiet market town of Kilmacthomas, an ideal centre for setting out on walking tours of the Comeragh Mountains.
Ring, or An Rinn in Irish, is a scenic Gaeltacht area south of Dungarvan where Irish (Gaeilge) is the first language of the people. Its people, beautiful scenery, seascape and above all its cultural vitality make Ring a unique place to visit. The South East Coastal Drive offers stunning views of rock formation, coves and imposing headlands. The Waterford section of the drive from Passage and Dunmore East in the east takes in the towns of Tramore, Dungarvan and many smaller villages until it reaches Ardmore in the west.