Waterford was the only Irish destination featured in the New York Times ‘52 Places to Go in 2024′ list, now is your chance to experience the best of Waterford.
Located in the heart of Ireland’s Oldest City sits the Viking Triangle. It houses Ireland’s only purpose built museum quarter comprising of seven exciting museum experiences. Follow in the footsteps of Vikings around the historic city centre, the cobbled medieval streets set the scene for an Epic Tour where you can experience 1000 years in 1000 paces. The tour is lead by knowledgable local guides and is the perfect activity for an afternoon with your friends or family. While on this tour you can visit six national monuments and learn of the exciting and historic battles of this ancient city.
With 15 different stages full of cultural and historic stories, the Waterford Digital Story Trail offers visitors both audio and visuals of the city’s most famous inhabitants.
Visitors can listen as Reginald, a Viking king and warlord from the 10th century, describes his quest to conquer Ireland, and watch as Thomas Francis Meagher, the Leader of the Young Irelanders in the 1848 Rebellion, raises the first Irish tricolour flag. Discover the history of Waterford Crystal and see ancient glass blowers in action. Hear the story of Aoife and Strongbow whose 12th century marriage united the Irish and the Normans.
Visit Ireland’s oldest civic building in the heart of this ancient city centre. Reginald’s Tower is one of Waterford’s most iconic landmarks and has been in use for over 800 years. The tower was the main point of defence in the city walls throughout the ages. The Tower now houses an array of Viking artefacts taken from the Woodstown excavations, including a kite broach and a Medieval dog collar. This museum is one of Waterford Treasures Museum experiences.
Top Tip: Carter’s Chocolate Café is a must Visit when in Waterford City. They make the most delicious hot chocolate and if the sunny south east lives up to its name their real lemonade will cool you down!
The Irish Wake Museum
Ireland’s first ever Wake Museum will take you on an exploration of life and death, detailing traditions and superstitions, from early Christian times right up to the 20th century. Situated in Ireland’s oldest urban domestic building, in what was once a 15th-century almshouse, the Irish Wake Museum offers visitors a rare opportunity to explore one of the most iconic parts of Irish culture, through the eyes of an expert, on this fully guided tour. Beginning with a unique audio-visual experience, visitors are taken on a fascinating journey, where the themes of life and death are explored within an intimate space, in order to gain a true understanding of a Wake’s unique customs.
The Irish Museum of Time
The Irish Museum of Time is located on Greyfriars Street in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle. This refurbished gothic-style church is a fitting home for what is beyond doubt the finest collection of Irish timepieces in the world. Ireland’s National Horological Museum features the oldest Irish-made grandfather clocks, table clocks and watches in the world and celebrates the incredible skills of the virtuoso craftsmen who, since the seventeenth century, created timepieces of remarkable beauty and technological genius. The collection is not limited to Ireland, also on display are early European timepieces, some dating back to the mid-sixteenth century along with a display of clocks and watches from Switzerland, England, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Russia and as far away as Japan.
Top Tip: Revolution Craft Beer & Whiskey Bar boasts an impressive selection of craft beers and an extensive whiskey menu, showcasing the finest local and national brews and spirits. The perfect spot to pop in for a tipple after exploring The Viking Triangle.
The Copper Coast
The Copper Coast Scenic Drive goes through six villages and winds its way along the coast, revealing secret beaches and hidden coves. So pack a picnic and bring your swimming togs and set off to explore one of Ireland’s hidden secrets. The Copper Coast Scenic drive also takes in Waterford’s coastal UNESCO European Geopark.
So go, stand on the rugged coastline of the Copper Coast Geopark and listen; hear the waves crash into the cliffs and caves beneath your feet. Then turn towards the majestic Comeragh Mountains rising gently from the coast, and you will begin to realise why this extraordinary coastline, with its magnificent landscape, has been awarded the prestigious UNESCO recognised Global Geopark Status. This geologically diverse area contains records of ancient volcanism, mountain building and the last ice age and is regarded as one of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland.
The Waterford Greenway
The old railway line from Waterford City to Dungarvan is a spectacular 46km off-road cycling and walking trail which travels through time and nature across eleven bridges, three impressive viaducts and a long atmospheric tunnel all the way from the River Suir to Dungarvan Bay. Along this route in Ireland’s Ancient East is the site of a 9th century Viking settlement; the world renowned ornamental gardens at Mount Congreve; Waterford & Suir Valley narrow gauge heritage railway; former woollen mills and railway stations; and beautiful landscapes along the River Suir, Comeragh Mountains, The Copper Coast and Dungarvan Bay.
Mount Congreve Gardens
Located in the heart of County Waterford and open year-round, the world-renowned Mount Congreve Gardens are a haven for plant and history lovers alike, as well as for those simply looking to relax in nature.
Boasting one of the largest private collections of plants globally and described as ‘A Great Garden of the World’ the entire collection features plants from every continent. Mount Congreve House, home to six generations of Congreves, was built in 1760 by the celebrated local architect John Roberts. Inspired by Mr Lionel de Rothschild’s exceptional garden at Exbury in Hampshire, works began on Mount Congreve’s Garden in the 1950s by Garden Director Herman Dool. Ambrose Congreve’s passion for his spectacular garden is still evident today.
Enjoy some old-world charm and visit Mount Congreve Gardens for a traditional afternoon tea in the beautifully restored Tack Room. Surrounded by gardens, trees, birds and wildlife, our afternoon tea is served on three-tier cake stands with crisp white linen, Irish silverware, and fine bone china.
Sit back & relax while enjoying freshly prepared finger sandwiches, scones and decadent pastries in the warm country estate surroundings. We offer different afternoon teas, including traditional, vegetarian and gluten-free menus. Cakes are freshly prepared on-site with locally sourced ingredients where possible.
Top Tip: Waterford Suir Valley Railway is a stones throw from the gardens and is the perfect activity to make any family day out. This 45 minute journey on a historic steam train takes you along the banks of the River Suir and past a number of iconic locations on the Waterford Greenway.