County Waterford Holiday Guide

County Waterford is in the south-east of the Republic of Ireland. It is a scenic and largely rural region, with scattered towns. It has over 90 miles of coastline, lapped by the waters of the Celtic Sea, with around 50 sandy beaches. An 11-mile stretch of the coast, known as the Copper Coast, is designated a UNESCO Global Geopark.

This area of Ireland's proximity to Britain — only about 80 miles across St George's Channel — made it a target for invaders. The city of Waterford, known as Ireland's oldest, was founded by Vikings in 914. Moving forward to the 18th century, County Waterford was favoured by wealthy Anglo-Irish families who built massive mansions, but whose dominance was not always accepted, leading to a bloody rebellion in 1798.

Away from the coast, County Waterford is a green and pleasant land of lush pastures, river valleys and two mountain ranges — Knockmealdown and Comeragh, always popular with climbers and walkers.

Things to Do in County Waterford

Waterford City is a busy port and commercial centre with shops and markets to explore, interspersed with welcoming pubs often alive with traditional Irish music.It still retains its medieval layout with features such as Reginald's Tower, thought to be Ireland's oldest civic building, in use for over 800 years. Today, it houses an exhibition about Viking Waterford within its 10-feet-thick stone walls.

Crystal produced in the area is world-renowned and it is well worth a visit to the Waterford Crystal Factory to the south of the city to observe the production process and possibly be tempted to buy a piece or two.

How about a trip to Dunmore East?  It is a little fishing port encircled by red sandstone cliffs with roads winding up from the harbour and attractive gardens. The Copper Coast Geopark is a fascinating geological area, revealing Palaeozoic volcanic activity and evidence of the last ice age, all explained in a visitors' centre.

There are numerous historic buildings in the county, like Lismore Castle and the gothic splendour of Ballysaggartmore Towers, or you could take a trip on the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway in a period carriage.

Walking, climbing, angling, golf, horse-riding, cycling and watersports are just a few of the outdoor activities you could participate in on your visit to County Waterford.

Staying in County Waterford

County Waterford has a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, including what is described as the finest small luxury boutique hotel in Ireland, with a destination spa and Michelin-starred restaurant, as well as traditional hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs, self-catering properties, caravans and campsites.

For eating out, you are never far from a country pub if you want to stray from the town and city eateries which provide local and a myriad of international cuisines.

Getting to County Waterford

Waterford has its own airport, which offers flights to Birmingham and London Luton. It is about an hour from the ferry port of Rosslare, and two hours from Dublin by road.

Guide to Exploring Waterford

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