- Jillian Ellis
Something of a hidden gem in Ireland, Waterford contains the most extensive and best curated gardens in Ireland. Waterford city is the oldest city in Ireland and as such has a lot of historical places to visit. However, it is also a living city, and there are a lot of modern things to see and do too, which we’ve listed for you here.
Declared as a European Geopark in 2001 and a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2004, the Copper Coast shows a record of Palaeozoic volcanism and the ice age. It is therefore a very geologically diverse area with rolling hills and steep cliffs. It is the perfect place for anybody interested in hiking and being rewarded with breathtaking landscapes. There are also walking trails along the coast. The Copper Coast is very beautiful but is rarely listed on places to go in Ireland, and so is the quintessential hidden gem.
Get Down Edits
Internationally recognised DJs, Get Down Edits perform almost every other week at Shortt’s Terrace. A mixture of soul, jazz, reggae and hip hop, their music has brought them all around the world, from Italy to America. Seeing them perform is definitely an experience worth having, so head down to their local Shortt’s Terrace, a live music venue and bar in Waterford, near the River Suir, to try and catch a gig.
10 John Street, Waterford, Ireland +353 51582642
With more than 2500 acres of private woodland, gardens and grazing pastures, Curraghmore House is the largest private dwelling in Ireland. Built in 1177 for the la Poer family (and still occupied by the la Poer family), the grounds are open for public use and there are plans to further improve the gardens. Tours of the house and gardens are available and are very highly rated by previous visitors.
Portlaw, Co. Waterford +353 051387101
If walking is something you enjoy, Tramore Beach provides ample opportunity. With a seven kilometre walk from the strand through the sand hills to the lagoon, a variety of equally beautiful sea landscapes are available to you. Also a popular site for surfing, visitors can buy everything they need to go surfing at Tramore Surf Shop, on the roundabout before the promenade along the beach. There is also the Tbay Surf and Eco Centre right on the promenade, where you can book surfing lessons.
Taste The Burzza
While most places across Ireland are copying Dublin’s blueprint for burgers, Waterford has birthed its very own hybrid: the pizza burger. Known as the Burzza, it’s a 6oz beef patty topped with mozzarella, pepperoni, and pizza sauce wrapped a Calzone-style in a pizza base. It is served in it’s namesake Burzza Restaurant on John Street, alongside more ordinary burgers made with Irish beef, and pizzas made with organic Italian flour and tomatoes.
53 John Street, Waterford, Co. Waterford +353 51844969
As the oldest city in Ireland, Waterford has a deep history, it was one of the first places to experience raids by the Vikings. One of the best places to learn about Waterford’s ancient history is at the Medieval Museum. The building incorporates a 13th century Choristers’ Hall and a 15th century wine vault, and has a 13th century spiral staircase to two perfectly preserved medieval chambers. It contains many historical artefacts relating to both the history of Ireland and European history, such as the relic of the True Cross, pilgrim badges and the sword of Edward IV.
Cathedral Square, Waterford +353 51849501
Mount Congreve Gardens
Featuring 70 acres of abundant plant life, Mount Congreve Gardens is the place to go for any plant lover. With displays that move through all of the seasons, Mount Congreve Gardens have been described as one of the greatest gardens in the world. The collection of plant life consists of over 3,000 different trees and shrubs, over 2,000 Rhododendrons, 600 Camellias, 300 Acer cultivars, six hundred conifers, 250 climbers and 1,500 herbaceous plants.
Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford +353 51384115
The Comeragh Mountains are a fantastic site to hike, with a view over Coumshingaun, the largest cirque (a glacial lake) in the country, also known as ‘the jewel of the Comeraghs’. The 12 mountains are very popular with mountaineers and hikers. The highest point is Fauscoum mountain at 792 m (2,598 ft). The mountains provide an incredible view across the Irish countryside right to the sea on clear days, and both this and the view of the glacial lake are awe inspiring.
Waterford Castle Resort and Golf Course
Occupying a 310 acre island in the middle of Waterford City, Waterford Castle Resort and Golf Course is the perfect place to relax in the King’s Channel Club House or stay on one of the family friendly modern Island Lodges and enjoy a peaceful walk or calmly relax on the waters edge. Sailing to the Island is not yet accessible but the dock rebuilding project is underway so if you own or rent a boat mark this destination as a stop for a sundowner. The island is a popular bird watching spot and deer can be spotted roaming the golf course. Waterford Castle is a 16th century building, in true Renaissance style. It was owned by a branch of the Fitzgerald family for eight hundred years before being developed into a hotel in the late 1980s. The interior still has a very historic castle feel, the owners having retained most of the historical features. Its in house restaurant, Munster Room Restaurant, is one of the most renowned in Waterford and is open to guests and the public.
The Island, Ballinakill, Waterford +353 51878203
If you have an interest in the Irish language, there is nowhere better to go than a functioning Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area). An Rinn, a stunning peninsula in Waterford, is one of the last remaining Gaeltacht areas in Ireland. Despite a strong British presence in nearby Cork town Youghal, Irish in An Rinn flourished. If you want to visit, you will need to know some Irish, as often people in the Gaeltacht areas don’t speak English.