Relax in Ireland’s Ancient East: Waterford was founded by Vikings in 914 AD making it Ireland’s oldest city. It has something for everyone, brimming with historic sites, seaside resorts and a stunning coastline.
Feel the heat of the furnace: Renowned glass manufacturers Waterford Crystal set up here in 1783. It’s well worth taking the factory tour for an insight into the art of crystal making and to marvel at the skills of the craftsmen. Before you leave, make sure to visit the on-site shop housing the largest selection of Waterford Crystal in the world - you might even find a little memento to take home with you.
Explore the Viking Triangle: Famous for being the historic quarter of Waterford city, this triangle is a quirky place made up of three museums. Walk through over 1100 years of history and take in the sights of the award winning Medieval Museum, Bishop’s Palace and Reginald’s Tower. We’d recommend buying a combined Museums admission ticket for access to both the Medieval Museum and Bishop’s Palace at a cheaper rate.
If you have green fingers: The Waterford Garden Trail offers a special experience for gardeners with a choice of 12 unique gardens or centres for you to wander around. Enjoy a cuppa in the farmhouse at Abbey Road Gardens whilst admiring the beautiful rose gardens or explore the Japanese Gardens at Lafcadio Hearn inspired by the famous writer Patrick Lafcadio Hearn.
Experience foodie heaven: If you’re visiting in April, the West Waterfood Food Festival will be in full swing and brings together people who appreciates tasty food and amazing demonstrations. If you’re around later in the year, the Harvest Food Festival celebrates the bounty of the harvest with serious good nibbles to tickle your taste buds.
Fill your lungs with fresh sea air: Only a short distance from Waterford’s centre are miles of sandy beaches and stunning coastline. Tramore has the three mile long Blue Flag sandy beach, an ideal spot for keen surfers or those wanting to learn at one of Tramore’s six surf centres. Dungarvan is perfect for family fun days with fantastic scenery and lots of space to explore the outdoors. For a relaxed seafront village vibe, Ardmore is perfect for a spot of horse riding or rambling, and Dunmore East is a charming fishing port with unspoiled coves and fine restaurants.
Enjoy restaurants galore: Don’t worry if you’re not in town to catch the food festivals as Waterford has yummy restaurants all year round. Two to note are Burzza and Bodega! Burzza’s name is inspired by its menu offerings of ‘proper’ burgers and wood-fired pizza and its casual atmosphere and gluten free pizza make it very popular. If you want a table, be sure to book, or order takeaway and grab a bench to enjoy the doughy deliciousness. Bodega! prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients, to serve up mouth-watering Mediterranean food, so you won’t go wrong here either.
Immerse yourself in culture: Just one hour from Waterford city is Wexford, home to one of the world’s oldest operational lighthouses and Ireland’s first custom-built opera house. The stunning Hook Lighthouse is a 13th century Norman structure constructed at the tip of the peninsula. Whilst you’re up the tower, look for seals, dolphins and whales. If music is more your thing, visit the Wexford Festival Opera offering 12 days of world-class performances. Dress extra smart to match the black tie dress code. For even more glamour, book a ticket to the champagne and canapes reception during the festival's interval.
Explore one of the world’s happiest cities: There’s something special about Kilkenny. Urban buzz meets old world charm in this former medieval capital, creating a magical atmosphere that you won't want to leave. From two Michelin star restaurants and a thriving arts scene to the Medieval Mile linking St. Canice’s Cathedral to Kilkenny Castle; there is something for everyone here. And its compact size means nothing is out of reach.
It’s you against the mountains: Described as Ireland’s best kept secret, the Comeragh mountain range offers beautiful vistas down to the sea and dramatic cliff-face waterfalls. Take a casual hike or for something more intense try The Comeragh Bogtrot, a challenge that pits you against nature. Run or walk one of three routes ranging from 17km to 32km.