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Waterford is a city in the south-east of Ireland, located on the coast in the province of Munster. It is the oldest city in the country, having been established by the Vikings as long ago as 853. Throughout the course of its long history, Waterford has been regarded as Ireland’s second city, its prosperity linked to the goods passing in and out of its deepwater port.
Modern Waterford is a combination of a bustling working port and a vibrant tourist destination. A rich offering of shops, restaurants and accommodation draws visitors from around the world, seeking to take advantage of both the city centre itself and the surrounding countryside.
As might be expected for a city of its size and stature, Waterford offers a wide range of accommodation, ranging from the basic to the luxurious, and it is possible to stay in a five star hotel within easy travelling distance of everything this corner of Ireland has to offer.
Luxury accommodation creates a certain type of ambience. Staying in a five star hotel means that you’ve come to Waterford to spoil and treat yourself, and the shops in the centre of the city offer every opportunity to do precisely that.
Most of the shopping offer in Waterford is based around the Merchants Quarter, where you’ll find the big high street names and luxury high end boutiques and emporiums. There are numerous unique artists and craftspeople tucked away in various corners of Waterford, however, trading on the reputation for creativity that the city has earned via the phenomenon of Waterford Crystal.
On Bellevue Terrace off John's Hill, in the centre of the city, you’ll find Thomas Carroll Bookbinder, using traditional techniques and materials to create stunning one-off volumes with beautiful hand-crafted covers. Travel to the outskirts of the city centre, to Airport Road, and you’ll find the Salvage Shop, a treasure trove of items ranging from large pieces of salvaged interior design to exquisite one-off fabric, stained glass and sculptural creations. If you’re looking for a unique and beautifully crafted item to take home as a memento of your trip to Ireland, the luxury shops in Waterford are among the very best places to search.
As with virtually every major city in Ireland, Waterford manages to combine the convenience and modernity of a 21st century city with easy access to some stunningly unspoiled wild landscapes. On many occasions, the decision to explore these landscapes, whether that means hiking over the mountains, cycling through the forests or boating on the lakes, tends to be combined with staying in more basic, hostel-style accommodation.
There’s no reason, however, why you shouldn’t combine an exploration of the Irish landscape with a taste for the finer things in life, and what could be better after a day out in the frequently unpredictable Irish weather than the chance to settle down in the luxury of a five star room with stunning cliff-top views out to the Irish Sea?