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The picturesque Waterford Greenway hugs the coastline as it follows old railway lines from lively Waterford City, through the foothills of the Comeragh Mountains and on to the pretty harbour town of Dungarvan.
With plenty of pit-stops and trailside attractions along the way, exploring the 46km route really is a perfect short break. You can walk part of the way, cycle in both directions or cycle one way and get the bus back to Waterford from Dungarvan.
Now is the perfect time to shake off the lockdown blues with a life-affirming cycle on the Waterford Greenway.
Hop off the train at Plunkett Station, or park at one of the car parks nearby, just a couple of minutes from the start of the Greenway. Bike rental companies Waterford Greenway Bike Hire and Greenway Waterford Bike Hire are on hand with bikes, e-bikes and even tandems, as well as having all the necessary safety equipment and trailers for the little ones.
As you leave the city and weave your way along the banks of the River Suir you’ll soon come across one of ‘the great gardens of the world’ at Mount Congreve Estate Gardens an 18th century Georgian estate. There’s a little café where you can eat homemade cakes and scones out on the terrace.
Just 2km further down the Greenway listen out for the toot of the train at the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway where you’ll ride in a restored carriage to see parts of Waterford that can be accessed only by rail. After your quick stop, it’s back on the bikes and on to Kilmacthomas.
Continuing along the Greenway the path begins to wind along the base of the rugged Comeragh Mountains (don’t worry the trail stays relatively flat) and underneath the towering arches of the Kilmacthomas Viaduct until you reach Kilmacthomas. A natural halfway and resting point along the Greenway, you can also start your journey here as Waterford Greenway Bike Hire has another bike rental location in town.
Get a much-needed caffeine boost at Coach House Coffee in the grounds of an old Famine Workhouse, you’ll see it from the Greenway so you literally can’t miss it. Grab a seat in the sunshine on the patio with the other cyclists and enjoy an expertly crafted latte before hitting the road again.
Make sure you pick up one of their tasty muffins or a slice of cake for an extra energy boost to finish off the remaining 23km to Dungarvan. Or you could always make another stop a little further along at O’Mahony’s Bar and Shop in Durrow which you’ll see as you pass by.
As you begin to reach the end of the Greenway the path sweeps around the stunning Dungarvan Bay and onto Clonea Strand. Stop off for a dip to cool down during the summer months on this Blue Flag Beach, or spend the afternoon exploring the rocks dotted along the strand.
Breathe in the sea air and continue to the Durrow Tunnel, a disused railway tunnel, just outside the town of Dungarvan for a look into the area’s recent past. Mighty rock walls lined with ferns, moss and drooping trees flank either side of the Greenway as you approach the 382-metre-long, brick-lined tunnel. Once home to colonies of bats, the tunnel is now well lit and a favourite for many cyclists.
Arriving into Dungarvan with 46km of scenic cycling behind you reward yourself with a well-earned meal in The Local. Run by Donnchadh Gough, a member of the traditional music band Danú, you’ll find live music dancing across the stone floors at the weekend. The food menu is hearty and wholesome, think homemade soups, filling sandwiches and seafood platters - exactly what you need after spending a day on the bike.
After your meal, you can turn around and cycle the Greenway back to Waterford or spend the night in the lively harbourside town. Rental bikes can also be returned in Dungarvan with a bus service taking you back to your starting point in Waterford 45 minutes away.
For something completely different why not glide along the Waterford Greenway on a Segway from HireBot? These futuristic machines will have you zipping around the sights along the Greenway without working up a sweat. HireBot will show you how to use the Segway and provide you with helmets and safety pads, meaning that almost anyone can use them.
The Waterford Greenway is a multi-use trail which means that walking is also very popular on the trail. Shorter sections of the Greenway like the 1.5km from Waterford Institute of Technology to Killoteran or the 4km from Scartore to Dungarvan make for fantastic walks for people of all abilities.
Cycling the Waterford Greenway is a wonderful way to explore The Déise and get some exercise at the same time. Go at your own pace and discover the sunny south-east for yourself.
As you plan your escape, be sure to contact individual attractions and businesses in advance to confirm they're ready to welcome visitors again. Because our changed world means a new focus on public protection, social distancing and safe travel measures will be essential everywhere — as explained in the new nationwide COVID-19 Safety Charter.
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