County Waterford is located in the sunny south east of Ireland whose coastal towns and historic city have made it an incredibly popular tourist destination. Waterford City was the first city in Ireland and dates back to its formation by the Vikings at the end of the 9th century. This beautiful city boasts a medieval charm and was once declared as a royal city by King Henry II of England during the times of British rule. Nowadays the city a buzz of activity throughout the week due to the presence of Waterford Institute of Technology whose students mean for an exciting nightlife every night of the week.
The surrounding countryside and coastal region provide stunning beauty and a host of activities. Along the coast you’ll find small charming towns that feature golden beaches offering a variety of water sports such as surfing, windsurfing, diving, kayaking, and much more to keep the most active visitor busy. Further inland you’ll find a hilly region that’s perfect for those interested in walking the vast open land to experience beautiful scenery.
There’s plenty to do in the city that revolves around the long history. There are three museums located in the city centre called the Waterford Treasures Museums. Each are housed in historic buildings covering a different section of Waterford’s past housing beautiful artefacts and interesting tales. Another top tourist attraction is the Waterford Crystal facility, also located in the heart of the city, offering tours of the world famous brand’s production line and a chance to witness their craftsmen in action.
Just over forty miles west of Waterford, in the town of Lismore, is the stately home known as Lismore Castle, dubbed the ‘most enchanting castle in Ireland’. Originally built on the site of Lismore Abbey in 1185 by Prince John. Passing through the hands of people such as Sir Walter Raleigh and Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, it became the property of the Duke of Devonshire in 1753. The 6th Duke of Devonshire had the Castle reworked in Gothic style, halfway through the nineteenth century, into its current state. The grounds include seven acres of the oldest manicured and ornate gardens in Ireland
Copper Coast Geopark:
Along the seafront, fifteen miles south west of Waterford, stretching out for more than ten miles, is the European designated Geopark of Copper Coast. Named for the abundant copper mines of nearby Bunmahon, Copper Coast’s spectacular beaches and coves are recognised for 460 million year-old examples of former volcanoes, and remnants from the last Ice Age including fossils and quartz blocks. Guided tours are provided through the summer.
House of Waterford Crystal:
Famous the world over for its exotic glassware, the House of Waterford Crystal glass factory has been in business since its humble beginnings on the town quayside in 1783. Around 60,000 pieces of Waterford Crystal – about 55 per cent – is still made in Waterford, and the main factory in The Mall offers visitors guided tours that give a look at the fabulous crystal being made, and how red hot liquid can be formed into such delicate and beautiful pieces. At the end of the tour, visitors can browse the exclusive store and maybe take home a piece for themselves.