South East Ireland Tourism
Travel guide to Ireland's south east
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Bunmahon, Waterford

West of Tramore lies one of the most spectacular coastal stretches known as the "Copper Coast", due to the tradition of copper mining in the area. This coastal stretch passes through five small villages (Fenor To Stradbally) and shows off glorious views of towering cliffs, sandy coves and caves.

500 million years ago "Bunmahon" was a spot on an ocean floor near the South Pole. Into it exploded a volcano the result of which is still to be seen all along the present "Copper Coast". If you are there on the evening of the Summer Solstice, the ogham stones will cast strange mystic shadows! Spectacular cliff-scapes reveal themselves a few minutes walk up-hill, west of the village. The more intrepid going eastwards will find themselves at Waterford's "Giants Causeway", the spectacular "Pipes of Baidhb". For all the middle part of the last century, copper mining took place around Bunmahon, employing 1300 people. The mines are nearly a quarter of a mile deep and out under the sea bed. The most spectacular remains are the engine houses on the cliffs at Tankardstown.

What to see and do in Bunmahon

Bunmahon’s blue-flag beach is a white jewel flanked by haunting cliffs. The lovely beach can be accessed from the centre of the village by foot or from the car park immediately east of the village.

Visit the Heritage Centre. Packed into this little building is a wealth of material relating to the life of the village. Various famous people were born (John Wheatley, politician), lived (Una Troy, novelist) or visited here (Edith Collier, artist). The visitor may visit a mine here, look at sampling of local minerals and then see minerals from other mines all over Ireland.

Take one of the walks – the cliff-top “mining trail” identifies the main features of Bunmahon’s industrial past. En route, to see the rocks themselves, visit the geological Park and its ogham stone alignment.

On the drive east towards Tramore, and visible from the village, is the ruin of the Cornish engine house at Tankardstown. This engine once pumped the mines to a depth of 400m.

Bunmahon Map

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