Cycle Along The Waterford Greenway
One of Ireland’s newest and most popular attractions allows you to discover 46km of the spectacular scenery of Ireland’s Ancient East county. The Waterford Greenway trail is a cycling and walking path that runs along an old railway line. With multiple stop offs, there’s a choice of routes you can start and finish from.
Most people only want to do part of the cycle rather than the entire Waterford Greenway trail. If that’s the case, then we recommend starting in Dungarvan using Greenway Rent a Bike and cycling to Kilmacthomas. There, you can leave your hired bike in the designated area and take a shuttle back to Dungarvan.
Take a Coastal Drive Along the Copper Coast
One of the must do things when in Waterford is drive along the Copper Coast. This beautiful scenic drive along a stretch of coastline has stunning cliffside views, picturesque picture spots and plenty of little coves to stop off for a dip. The coastal area is considered a UNESCO Global Geopark.
Go Castle Hopping
Being the Ancient East of Ireland, there is so much history to take in in the County of Waterford.
The sight of Lismore Castle situated over the river as you cross the bridge is both stunning and inspiring. You can stroll through the castle’s lush gardens and less than a five-minute drive from Lismore Castle are the ornate Ballysaggartmore Towers which are part of a relaxing walk through woodland nature.
There are plenty of ruins scattered throughout the county. If you want to extend your castle hopping experience in Waterford, you could take a drive along the Copper Coast and stop in at the ruins of Dunhill Castle.
Stroll Through the Gardens of Mt Congreve
This is a very relaxing and enjoyable activity to do for any green thumbed enthusiasts.
Throughout the year, Mt Congreve’s gardens are full of colour as different varieties bloom and decorate the paths.
We highly recommend visiting in early May when the wisteria are in full bloom as there is a long path flanked by wisteria trees and scenic countryside views.
Hike Up to Counshingaun Lough
This rewarding hike is a great way to spend a beautiful day. After leaving the carpark, follow the trail through the woods until you come to a path which you take a right turn on and follow. Eventually you’ll come to metal steps that take you over a wall and you are ready to begin your hike up to Counshingaun Lough.
You’ll have a choice of whether to turn left or follow the path ahead of you. We recommend you go straight on and follow the path under the watchful eyes of the sheep that are left to roam the valley. This relatively easy hike will eventually lead you to the lake that lies within the cirque of Comeragh Mountain.
If you’re looking for something more strenuous and to go higher, you can continue upwards along a 4.5 mile trail that loops along the top of the mountain and goes around the lake. While it is very much doable, be warned that the trail gets quite steep and narrow so make sure you’re wearing appropriate footwear.
Take a Cliff Walk Along Ardmore
The coastal village of Ardmore is a popular place for locals and tourists alike during the summer with its stretch of beach. There is also a beautiful cliff walk that you can take which offers panoramic views of the coast. It is fenced so it is safe to do with children. You can start from the village by the Cliff House Hotel and you can walk along the cliffside while admiring the craggy drop and finish the loop by walking past Ardmore’s recognisable round tower.
Have Afternoon Tea at the Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore
Waterford is renowned for being a foodie destination and if you’re looking for a real treat and something different than your typical meal out, head over to Ardmore for Afternoon Tea at the Cliff House Hotel.
This delightful experience starts off with a glass of Prosecco, which you can sip either inside or out on the terrace as you take in the hotel’s expansive views of Ardmore bay. All while a range of sweet and savoury treats start filling up your table. Everything we tried was delicious, however, we have to make special note of their carrot fruit cake and their scones. We gobbled them down and we really appreciated the high quality coffee served, too.
You need to book ahead and make a reservation because the Cliff House Hotel is only served on the last Sunday of the month in the Michelin star restaurant.
This was genuinely such a lovely way to spend the afternoon. If you’re looking for something to do with your partner, some friends, or bring your mother to, this is an experience worth sharing that we highly recommend doing. The Cliff House Hotel’s Afternoon Tea is €45 per person.
Drive Through Waterford’s Scenic Countryside
Ireland is very lush, rural and beautiful with fields as far as the eye can see, and Waterford has an abundance of scenic drives that you can explore.
If you take the Comeragh Drive, you can combine it with going through The Nire Valley to create a long scenic route that offers panoramic views and places to stop off for a picnic.
If you go to the Nire Valley on a clear summer’s evening, there’s a certain parking spot where you can watch the sunset where you can see the sun drop down along the horizon.
Another scenic drive that you can take from Waterford is to the Vee, which, strictly speaking, is in Co. Tipperary, but the scenic drive there runs through Waterford.
Experience the Magic Road at Mahon Falls
Is the magic road truly magical or an optical illusion? Put your car into neutral and find out. The road used to be marked by a tree and the locals still refer to the spot as the Magic Tree. Soon after you enter Mahon Falls, park your car in neutral on the road (making sure you have plenty of space behind you) and slowly release your handbrake. Your car will start to slowly reverse without you doing anything wowing yourself and your kids.
After experiencing the magic, drive on to the car park where you can then take a visit to Mahon Falls, a cascading waterfall that you can hike up beside and enjoy stunning views of the countryside.
Have a Waterford Blaa Sandwich
Doesn’t matter what you put into your blaa sandwich, whether it’s ham or avocado, when in Waterford you must try this bread roll because it is only made in Waterford. The recipe is a closely-guarded secret produced from a very small number of Waterford’s old style bakeries. This soft and floury bread roll is Waterford’s most famous food and makes any sandwich that bit more delicious. Cafes usually serve something in a blaa, or you can visit one of Waterford’s Farmer’s Markets for a freshly baked bread roll and make your own.