DAY 1 - 1km - 4 Points of Interest
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
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