Ireland's oldest city celebrated its 1200th birthday this year. Here is a list of the top things to see and do, if you ever visit Waterford. Situated in the sunny southeast, the 'déise' county holds many of the countries oldest amenities. This list will provide you with both the old and new wonders that makes this wonderful city what it is today.
1. Waterford Crystal
The historic Waterford crystal is a name recognised throughout the world. In January 2009 it was closed down due to bankruptcy. After several difficulties and takeovers, it re-emerged later that year. In June 2010, Waterford Crystal relocated almost back to its original roots, on The Mall in Waterford City. It was renamed the House of Waterford Crystal. Only last week they hired 10 apprentices for the first time since 1986, which is a good sign that the tough times have nearly passed. The Waterford crystal museum tour is extremely interesting. It is around an hour long but the tour guide will keep you involved and interested the entire time. You will go through a short introduction and then they will take you through an actually working factory. You will be able to watch as the employees are blowing the glass into there shape and etching the designs. You will be able to see some beautiful artwork and designs. Towards the end they will show you some designs that they are in the process of making that will be going to major events or extremely famous people. The Waterford Crystal Museum tour is a must if you are visiting Waterford.
2. Reginald's Tower
Reginald’s Tower is Waterford’s landmark monument and Ireland’s oldest civic building. It has been in continuous use for over 800 years. The first tower on the site was built by Vikings after 914 and formed the apex of the triangular settlement, an area known to this day as the Viking Triangle. Re-built by the Anglo Normans in the 12th century the top two floors were added in the 15th century. Until about 1700 the tower was the strong-point of the medieval defensive walls that enclosed the city. The Reg bar and restaurant is situated beside it, and it boast a wonderful rooftop bar and restaurant where you can enjoy the view of the tower and Waterford quay.
3. Suir Valley Railway
The Waterford and Suir Valley railway route follows just six kilometres of abandoned railway track along one of the most beautiful scenic routes in County Waterford. The railway carriages that follow the route are restored historical carriages and some of themn are partially open. It's a lovely little trip and allows you to see parts of this area that are inaccessible to other traffic. If you like they can organise special events and cater for group bookings. They do a champgne sunset express during the summer months, a Santa express at Christmas time, and a Spooky Express at Halloween. One of the nicest things about this project is that it is a registered charity. The trip also allows you to see the new bridge in Waterford.
4. Dunmore East
Dunmore East has to be one of Ireland's best kept secrets. A little gem of a fishing village perched on the cliff edge. In all its quietness and beauty, this place is sure to captivate your mind, body and soul. Discover the real Ireland and spend some time rambling our quaint streets, meeting the locals along the way, sampling the local seafood and relaxing with a quiet pint or a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants and pubs, or let the wind out of your sails and try something a little more adventurous. Steeped in history, beauty and tranquility, Dunmore East has something special for everyone. With an extensive choice of accommodation, visitors to the village can enjoy music, festivals and a number of sporting activities such as golf, tennis, walking, water sports and much much more. The bluegrass festival takes place at the end of August every year and always attracts big crowds. Fans of bluegrass, honky-tonnk, blues, country, and rhythm n roots flock to the village to see bands from America, Canada, Ireland, and England entertain the crowds for free. A must see if you are ever in Ireland in August!