Nine Things to Do in County Waterford, Ireland

Here are our tips for things to do in County Waterford. Located on the south-east coast of Ireland, the county is named after the city of Waterford, said to have been founded around 900 AD by Vikings. Waterford is one of the oldest cities in Ireland and the area has plenty to offer visitors.

The New Waterford Crystal Factory

Wateford Crystal Factory by Irish Fireside. More pictures by Irishfireside here.

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Explore Waterford City

If you’re looking for history, Waterford city is a great place to start. The early founding of the city has left remains ranging from the Viking Age to the 18th and 19th centuries, including Christ Church Cathedral and the city wall.  Along with the historical walking tours, the city also is home to several museums.  Check out the newly restored Bishop’s Palace, scheduled to open June 23rd, 2011 or the Viking exhibition at Reginald’s Tower.

Picture courtesy of Hotelsireland. More pictures by Hotelsireland here.

Take a Glimpse Back to Pre-Historic Times

Like much of Ireland, the pre-historic remnants of the Irish people are preserved today in Co. Waterford.  Click in on Co. Waterford’s website to see a list of the numerous megalithic tombs, ogham stones, even promontory forts to choose from.  The Gaulstown portal tomb, as well as the Harrison megalithic tomb, are both well-known.

Buy Some Waterford Crystal

No trip to Co. Waterford is complete without a trip to the House of Waterford Crystal. A factory tour will allow you to see the entire process from the moulding to the blowing to the final production. It’s an impressive experience and one that will allow you to appreciate the craftsmanship of the world renowned crystal. Plus, you can get a little shopping done.

Picture courtesy of IrishFireside. More pictures by Irishfireside here.

Attend the Spraoi Festival

The Spraoi Festival taking place every late July/early August during the bank holiday (this year from July 29th to 31st) is an international street fair held in the city of Waterford.  Art, music, food, and a large parade dominate the weekend.  If you’ve got children, this is a great way to spend the long weekend.

Check Out the Copper Coast

This beautiful, but rugged, coastline was designated a UNESCO Global Geopark and is the only Global Geopark in Ireland.  The Copper Coast blends the natural science with a sense of tourism, offering up the beautiful landscape as a tourist destination.  There are several villages along the coast to visit including Annestown and Boatstrand.

Picture courtesy of IrishFireside. More pictures by Irishfireside here.

Hike at Kilmacthomas

If you’re looking for a little exercise while outdoors, head over to the hike near the village of Kilmacthomas.  There are plenty of hiking opportunities throughout the mountain range, and the effects of the Ice Age have left an impressive glacial fingerprint.  The highest peak reaches nearly 800 meters.

Picture courtesy of SeanJohnSean. More pictures by SeanJohnSean here.

Take a Scenic Drive

If you’ve decided to rent a car and brave the Irish roads (and for some of us that means driving on the opposite side of the road) there are several scenic routes to take.  The Copper Coast and Comeragh Mountains above are wonderful options, as well as the Gaeltacht & Galltacht Drive offering a look at the Irish speaking areas of Co. Waterford.

Picture courtesy of Athena’s Pix. More pictures by Athena’s Pix here

Trace Your Roots at Waterford Heritage Genealogical Centre

No travel tip guide to any county in Ireland is complete without mentioning the genealogical opportunities.  Co. Waterford is no different.  If you have been lucky enough to trace your ancestors this far, head over to the Genealogical Centre at Waterford Heritage Genealogical Centre.  The center offers genealogical services, lectures, and even walking tours.

Delight Your Tastebuds at the Waterford Festival of Food

If you’re hoping to experience the culinary heritage of Ireland, be sure to attend the Waterford Festival of Food in Dungarvan.  The festival offers a variety of events, some free, some requiring tickets.  There are several tasting, educational, and musical options to choose from including what the festival has dubbed “fringe events.” Fringe events are all those activities being hosted by local restaurants and businesses in and around Dungarvan.

Picture courtesy of Athena’s Pix. More pictures by Athena’s Pix here

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About Marcus Cederstrom

I was born in Sweden and moved to the US just before my 6th birthday. I grew up in the United States eventually graduating from the University of Oregon. After graduation and about 17 years in the US I made the decision to move back to Sweden. I have been living in Stockholm since the summer of 2007. Since graduation I have traveled throughout eastern Australia as well as in Sweden and Europe.