As Ireland moves through its recovery roadmap, there's more and more to see and do! Start planning your Waterford adventure now, but before you set out remember to contact the places you wish to visit to book tickets or to check opening hours; that way, you'll avoid disappointment as some attractions may not have reopened yet for visitors (but they will soon).
Whether you'd like to visit the birthplace of world-famous crystal or climb ancient towers to take in the seascapes of the Copper Coast – now is the time to explore Waterford. Read on for our pick of the best things to do in The Déise...
1. Visit Waterford Treasures
Uncover the story of Ireland’s oldest city, founded by the Vikings in 914, at Waterford Treasures. A trio of museums each set in historic buildings, the Viking Museum, Medieval Museum and Bishop’s Palace Museum are all within minutes’ walk of each other in Waterford City’s Viking Triangle. Marvel at 9th century Viking warrior armour and the largest collection of Waterford Glass in the world, while costumed actors guide you through the story of Waterford from 1700 to the 1970s. Check website for opening hours.
2. King of the Vikings Virtual Reality Experience
Steps from The Viking Museum, get up close and personal with the Viking warlords who founded Waterford city at King of the Vikings. The dynamic, virtual reality experience is set in a replica Viking house within the atmospheric ruins of a medieval monastery. Don your magical Viking helmet (a 3D headset) and travel back 1100 years, where you’ll come face to face with the legendary Viking leader Reginald, King of Waterford and York. Currently closed, but check their website for more information.
3. Walk or Cycle the Waterford Greenway
The longest off-road walking and cycling route in Ireland, the Waterford Greenway runs from the city, along the scenic route of an old railway line, to the pretty quay-side town of Dungarvan. Bike or walk a section, or the full 46km if you’re feeling energetic and you’ll be rewarded with pretty picnic spots, hidden history, towering viaducts and even a vast tunnel. Soak up the views, stopping off for refreshments along the way, until you reach the impressive panorama of historic Dungarvan Bay.
4. Curraghmore House and Gardens
The ancestral home of the ninth Marquess of Waterford, Curraghmore House and Gardens near Portlaw is Ireland’s largest private demesne, with over 1,000 hectares of formal gardens, woodland and grazing fields. The Marquess’ ancestors, the de la Poers, came to Ireland from Normandy around 1170 and tours of Curraghmore House take in some of the finest neo-classical rooms in Ireland.
A Sitka spruce planted on the estate in the 1830s is said to be one of the tallest in the country and stands guard over King John's Bridge, the oldest bridge in Ireland. The estate, which hosts the All Together Now music festival during the August bank holiday, opens to the public from May until September. Opening up to public again from July 22 2020 with pre-booked visits only.