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Steeped in history, from the Vikings to the Victorians, Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland. Essentially a busy port town, it retains a medieval feel, with winding alleys off the main streets inviting you to explore. Contrast this historic atmosphere with Ireland’s most cutting-edge museum, newly pedestrianised streets, and an infusion of public artworks.
Ireland’s most dazzling museum, Waterford Museum of Treasures, on the quays, uses cutting-edge technology to illustrate Waterford’s history. This flamboyant and fascinating maze of metal, glass, and high-tech audiovisual displays centres on a replica Viking longship and also offers various audio-guided tours through history. “Attend” the marriage of Strongbow and local princess Aoife, and see some genuine golden Viking brooches, jewel-bedecked Norman crosses, the spectacular 1372 Great Charter Roll, and 18th-century church silver.
One of the world’s best-known luxury brands, Waterford Crystal forms from molten balls of glass before your very eyes at the Waterford Crystal visitor centre, 2 km from Waterford City Centre. Take a one-hour factory tour and watch the miraculous process of turning red lead, silica sand, and potash into heavy-lead crystal and listen to expert guides divulge insider details of the factory’s workings. Get your tickets in advance from the tourist office to avoid queues in summer.
Reginald’s Tower houses Treasures of Viking Waterford, part of the Waterford Museum of Treasures, and marks the city’s Viking heart. Ireland’s oldest complete building and the first to use mortar, 12th-century Reginald's Tower is an exceptional example of medieval fortification. Having served as an arsenal, a prison, and a mint, the tower features some interesting exhibits, including medieval silver coins, a broken 12th-century piggy bank, and a toilet that drained halfway up the building.
Built in 1741, the recently refurbished Bishop’s Palace houses the Treasures of Georgian Waterford Museum, part of the Waterford Museum of Treasures. It offers superb displays covering Waterford's history from 1700 to 1970 and showcases such gems as golden Viking brooches, jewel-encrusted Norman crosses, and 18th-century church silver.
Located between Cathedral Square and the Bishop's Palace and the third of the three museums that make up the Waterford Museum of Treasures,Waterford's latest museum honours medieval Waterford and life in the city during that era. Having meticulously protected several medieval structures within its walls, the Museum opened to the public in August 2012.
The graceful ruin of the stone French Church is introduced by a statue of Luke Wadding, the Waterford-born Franciscan friar who convinced the Pope to lobby for Irish Catholics with Charles I. Hugh Purcell gave the church to the Franciscans in 1240, in exchange for their agreement to pray for him once a day. Having served as a hospital after the dissolution of the monasteries, the church was then occupied by French Huguenot refugees between 1693 and 1815. Ask the staff at Reginald's Tower to let you in.
Europe's only neoclassical Georgian cathedral, Waterford’s Christ Church Cathedral was designed by local architect John Roberts and constructed on the site of an 11th-century Viking church. This is also the site of the 12th-century wedding of Strongbow and Aoife. The highlight is the 15th-century tomb of James Rice, who served as mayor of Waterford seven times: sculpted worms and frogs crawl out of the statue of his decomposing corpse. Great acoustics make the cathedral an excellent concert venue, with a wide-ranging schedule of performances.
The ornate interior of this Catholic cathedral is crammed with treasures, including a carved-oak baroque pulpit, painted pillars with Corinthian capitals, and new fewer than ten Waterford Crystal chandeliers. It was constructed between 1792 and 1796 and designed by John Roberts, who was also responsible for the Protestant Christ Church Cathedral.
Not as high-profile (or as expensive) as the Wexford Opera Festival, the Waterford International Light Opera Festival is staged in the final two weeks of September. Though tickets for performances are cheaper and more easily obtainable than the Wexford opera event, you should still book ahead.
Waterford’s acclaimed Theatre Royal is situated on the Mall, a broad 18th-century street built on land reclaimed from the sea. Now beautifully renovated, Theatre Royal is possibly Ireland’s most complete 18th-century theatre. As Waterford’s flagship theatre, it stages much-praised plays, musicals, and dance productions.
15.2km from Waterford City
Surround yourself with the beautiful scenery of Duncannon, County Wexford, when you stay at this wonderful 4-star self catering property. Perfect for a family holiday or a romantic break, it offers peace and seclusion in unspoilt surroundings on a working farm, where you can observe the daily workings of an Irish farm.
Activities for you to enjoy while breathing in the fresh country air include fishing, hill walking, pitch n’ putt, and pony trekking (8km).
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19.4km from Waterford City
The holiday home is beautifully furnished and decorated. Relax in the cosy living area in front of an open fire, and enjoy meals together in the modern kitchen with its excellent cooking facilities.
Located in a small development called Hookless Village, the holiday home is only a short walk from Sandeel Bay, a coastal paradise with opportunities for deep-sea angling, bird watching, snorkelling, swimming, or just lazing on the beach.
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14.2km from Waterford City
This delightful holiday home is located just 20 minutes from Waterford and Tramore. It is also within walking distance of local amenities including the beach, pubs restaurants, local walks, and a fishing village. The holiday home is extremely comfortable, with a patio area, sun room, and car parking. Bed linen and towels are supplied free. Local activities include golf, fishing, and walking, and there is an adventure centre located nearby. A picturesque village located at the mouth of Waterford Harbour, Dunmore East is a very popular holiday destination.
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10.4km from Waterford City
Enjoy 4-star luxury in a holiday home in the seaside resort town of Tramore in County Waterford. Both of these properties are perfect for a family holiday, with their relaxing location close to fine sandy beaches and beautiful scenery. Semi-detached in style, both houses have three bedrooms and can sleep up to five people. There is a well-equipped kitchen/dining area and a cosy sitting room, where you will feel at home in front of the television and open fire.
19.9km from Waterford City
Head to the sunny southeast of Ireland and stay in a peaceful residential area in New Ross, County Wexford, with splendid views of the River Barrow, which runs through the town.
This holiday home has four bedrooms (one en suite) and can sleep up to six people. Free bed linen and towels are supplied for your stay. There is a well-equipped kitchen/dining room with all modern conveniences.
14.9km from Waterford City
With a superb location near Counsellors Strand on the outskirts of the fishing village of Dunmore East, County Waterford, this is the perfect destination for a family holiday. Each well-designed semi-detached property contains three bedrooms: one double room with en-suite facilities and two twin rooms, sleeping a total of six people. Additional features include a family bathroom, and a tastefully furnished open-plan kitchen/living/dining area featuring an electric cooker, a dishwasher, a microwave and a washer/dryer.
This stylish development of holiday homes is located on the outskirts of the picturesque village of Dunmore East in County Waterford. Dunmore East village is only 25 minutes from Waterford City and is an ideal base from which to tour the southeast of Ireland.
These beautiful holiday homes are situated on the grounds of the local golf club on a cliff top overlooking the picturesque fishing village of Dunmore East in County Waterford. Dunmore East is a pleasant village with quaint houses, traditional pubs, and excellent restaurants only 25 minutes from Waterford City. With an abundance of amenities close at hand, this is an ideal base from which to tour the south-east of Ireland.
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4.1km from Waterford City
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