I felt like I was entering uncharted territory when I hit County Waterford a few weeks ago. Yes, I’m shit at updating my blog while I’m travelling. It’s because I’m too busy overdosing on fun.
Most people head to the west coast or Dublin when they visit Ireland (and with good reason), but since I was here researching my ancestry, I was fortunate to get a little off the beaten path.
I spent about a week in Waterford bumming around. If you haven’t been, here were some of my highlights.
Much quieter than any other city I’ve visited in Ireland, but with a rainbow of buildings dotting the waterfront, making it ideal for some epic photos. I didn’t get any, because it rained most of the time. But you get the point.
It’s also Ireland’s oldest city, so history buffs will get their fix at the Waterford Museum of Treasures.
While you’re there: eat at Three Ships Inn. Go to the House of Waterford Crystal, where you’ll see actual crystal production. Waterford City had a mild nightlife in comparison to even the smaller towns I stayed in, but there are still several pubs scattered all over the place with friendly bartenders behind the counter. Try Katty Barry’s, for example.
Probably my favourite town in Waterford. There’s a fair number of young people here, and it has a busy vibe. I spent most of my weekend at The Local pub, where there’s usually a good trad session every Saturday night. The owner of the pub is a famous bodhran player by the name of Donnchadh Gough, and you’ll find the folks here extremely friendly. I met an Irish speaking family from Ring here, among other fabulous hosts.
Eat at Nude Food, a place recommended to me by a radio host who raved about it. There are vegetarian options, and the cook is a lovely lady who bustles around the open kitchen as if she were cooking for you from her home. Tip: try some blaa bread, a soft sort of roll which is native to Waterford.
A clean, neat little town located not far from Dungarvan. Since all I seemed to do on this trip is eat and drink, grab a Panini at The Summerhouse Café. If you want to impress your travel partner by buying them a sexy three-course meal, opt for the Lismore House Hotel.
If you have a couple thousand to drop (right?), try a stay at Lismore Castle. It was originally built in 1185 by King John, and is owned by the Duke of Devonshire today. Scott and I actually had no idea what kind of a privilege it was to stay in the Burlington Wing until we realized that hardly anybody else in town had ever done so, and you know, by the fact that its former guests include the likes of Fred Astaire and JFK.
I’m probably going to write a full post on this baby, because it was easily one of the coolest (and most haunted) experiences of my life.
Check out the Ardmore Round Tower, where monks would have hid from the Vikings during the raids. Vikings were kind of assholes, guys.
There’s also a great coastal walk that starts around the Cliff House Hotel (just ask someone for directions, it’s a small place).
Cruise the Copper Coast
I’ve already posted a photo essay on this route between Tramore and Dungarvan on Route 675. The coast was some of the prettiest I’ve seen in Ireland, and it was basically deserted. We stopped at the coppery (duh) Kilfarrasy Beach, and had the whole area to ourselves.
Same story with Annestown Beach, although that one was more pebbly rather than soft and sandy. Also, Ireland, WTF is up with your palm trees?