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

Waterford city was founded by the Vikings in 853, and was later extended by the Anglo Normans. It is set in a commanding site on the River Suir's estuary, and became in time the southeast's main seaport. During the 18th century onwards, the industry of the city prospered, most famously it's glass industry. The strong commercialism still exists today, and the port is still one of Ireland's busiest. Waterford not only boasts some of the most beautiful countryside in Ireland, particularly the splendid scenery of West Waterford's mountain passes, but you will also find a spectacular coast line with miles of safe sandy beaches, perfect for the whole family.

Things To Do

Waterford is also known as the "Crystal County". Waterford Crystal is a world renowned quality product and its factory and visitor centre is one of the premier tourist attractions in the south-east.

There is no better way to see and understand the history, archaeology, and architecture of Waterford City than by visiting Waterford Museum of Treasures located on Merchant’s Quay.

Another highly entertaining way of discovering the history of Waterford city and its people, is to take a guided Walking Tour. The walk is interactive, with the guide’s “gift of the gab” and art of storytelling.

Along Merchant’s Quay is a Victorian-Gothic structure which was built in 1861 known as the Clock Tower. The clock was added in 1864. Its original purpose was to provide water for the horses. Further along the Quay stands Reginald's Tower, the most historic urban monument in Ireland. Oppposite Reginald's Tower, William Vincent Wallace Plaza functions as an amenity area where the goings and comings of the river can be savoured and performances can be enjoyed.

The Cathedral of The Most Holy Trinity in Barronstrand Street has the distinction of being the earliest post-Reformation Roman Catholic cathedral in Britain or Ireland. Designed by John Roberts in 1792, who also designed the Protestant, Christchurch Cathedral. The two cathedrals offer two remarkably different styles from the hand of the same designer.

Also built by the inimitable John Roberts in 1783, is City Hall. It is in this imposing and historical setting that the well-known Waterford Light Opera Festival takes place (along with the Theatre Royal).

Whiskey is still blended in the city, most notably Downes No 9, which is on sale in a two hundred year old public house in Thomas Street. Moondharrig Whiskey can be sampled in Meagher's public house in O' Connell Street. The Blaa, a bun-like piece of white bread, is popular, particularly at breakfast-time. It is said to have been introduced by the Huguenot refugees who came to the city in the 1960s.

There is plenty of activities to choose from in and around the city: Golf, Equestrian Centres, Greyhound Racing, and much more.

Many important festivals take place every year in the city:  Waterford Spraoi Festival which takes place during the August Bank Holiday weekend is a colourful, dramatic, exciting festival which brings an outpouring of talented exuberance to the streets of Waterford - the festival last for 3 days - it's fun and it's free.  Waterford New Music Week, Hullabaloo International Children's festival, the Waterford Light Opera Festival to name but a few, marks Waterford as the perfect setting for a sojourn in Ireland's longest established City.

Waterford City Map

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