Tramore is Ireland's answer to Blackpool or Coney Island. With it's three mile long beach thronged with well managed casual traders on one side and a sheer paradise of amusement rides for young and old alike you could easily get lost here for days. The rides are short and cheap and very varied.
If being scared silly on the ghost train or chucking up your lunch on the big wheel are not your idea of fun, then while the hours away playing the slot machines in our version of the casino. Several really excellent ones line the street that's at an angle to the beach.
The Waterford and Suir Valley railway route follows just six kilometres of abandoned railway track along one of the most beautiful scenic routes in County Waterford. The railway carriages that follow the route are restored historical carriages and some of themn are partially open.
It's a lovely little trip and allows you to see parts of this area that are inaccessible to other traffic.
If you like they can organise special events and cater for group bookings.
They do a champgne sunset express during the summer months, a Santa express at Christmas time, and a Spooky Express at Halloween.
Fares are €7.50 for an adult and €3.50 for a child, with special discounted Golden Years and Family fares.
There's a mini restored engine museum at the station and believe it or not the ticket office itself is a restored carriage!
In my opinion, one of the nicest things about this project is that it's a registered charity.
Every year, over the entire of the first weekend in August (which is a Bank Holiday here), the City centre is transformed and laid open to a delightful variety of street theatre, bands, and fun and games for all. This is known as the Spraoi festival and culminates on the Sunday night of the weekend with a magnificent fireworks display and parade.
Rain or shine, the streets are crowded by this event and it's a great deal of fun. All the live performances on the street are free of charge.
In addition to the official performers, most of the pubs and hotels in the City make sure they have bands playing that weekend.
If you are in Waterford City over the first weekend in August, it will be hard to miss this festival.
One word of warning - the main street along the Quay is closed off for the parade on Sunday night but detours are clearly marked.
Housed in an old quayside warehouse, this museum does a great job of covering the history of the city from it's foundation by the Vikings. There are many superb exhibits from all periods, Viking, Anglo-Norman and Late Medieval right up to more recent times with the displays of the original Waterford Crystal.
Opening Hours (daily)
Oct-Mar 10-5 (opens at 11 at weekends)
Waterford is a coastal City and is lucky to have many truly wonderful beaches and seaside towns within fifteen to thirty minutes drive of the City centre. Of course, other beaches are further away so here I'm going to just deal with the closer ones.
Most people, when they think of Waterford, think of Tramore. Others will be familiar with Dunmore - equally popular but in an entirely different way.
Not so many of you will have heard of (or even find in the guide books) Saleens, Bonmahon, the back strand in Tramore, or Woodstown. Each one is very different, and each is a delight. To guide you towards your particular taste in beach, I plan to write a seperate tip on each of them. I will post some of them under "Off the Beaten Path", because they really are local secret spots.
Tramore and Dunmore both have regular bus services from the City. Otherwise you can catch a taxi easily and at reasonable costs.
Hope to see you there sometime soon :-)
Each September Waterford hosts a busy, fun filled, and talented festival of light opera.
Companies come from all over Ireland and the UK to participate and the standards are very high indeed. All of the operatic companies are amateur so it is an opportunity for singers of all ages and talents to get involved.
The operas are staged at Waterford's Theatre Royal, a grand old building which forms part of the City Hall Complex. At the end of the two week festival prizes are awarded to the best productions - it's Waterford's answer to the Grammys!
The whole City literally hums during this festival. The trees along the streets are hung with fairy lights, there's a festival club at the Tower Hotel which is always packed to the gills, and local groups perform street theatre and other street entertainment.
Tickets for the festival are heavily in demand. Indeed, many local families purchase life interests in season tickets (a bit like getting season tickets for the Red Sox). However, if you hang out in the Munster Bar (beside the theatre) and have a word with the barmen, they'll see what they can do to help you out with tickets. It's also a great bar in which to meet the adjudicators and members of the Festival Committee.
Most of the local restaurants offer special pre-and post-theatre menus at excellent prices.
For the perfect evening out I'd recommend pre-theatre dinner at The Wine Vault, then take in a show (intermission drinks at The Munster Bar), and end your night at the Festival Club in the Tower Hotel (if you can get in).
Remnants of the ancient city walls, built by the Vikings in 1000AD remain. I took a picture but it just looked like a stone wall!
How many thousand year old walls are there left on earth? This was a great chance to see one of the few remaining...I don't know if I'll make it to the Great Wall of China, so seeing the little bits of this defensive structure was amazing.
Waterford developed and grew thanks to its harbour and quays.
When you drive down from Dublin, a great view of the quays and wharfs opens up before you.
Reginald's Tower is on the quays.
The town of Wexford is not far from Waterford. It's a handy place to stop if youre on the way to the ferry terminal at Rosslare.
Another place to visit in Kilkenny is for sure the Cathedral right in the center of the town.
I wasn't too happy with this hotel for a number of reasons. It is billed as a "family hotel" Two...more
Being from Waterford I would never really have reason to stay in hotels locally, but there have been...more
The Waterford Marina Hotel was fine for a couple of nights, it's located about a 10 minute walk from...more