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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Waterford, Ireland

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Waterford (Port Lairge, "Lairge's Landing Place"), county town of Waterford county, lies near the southeastern tip of Ireland on the River Suir, some 20mi/30km above its mouth.
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Blackfriars Priory

From the bridge over the Suir in Waterford is the street known as Merchants' Quay. Parallel to Merchants' Quay is O'Connell Street. At the corner of this street and Bridge Street can be seen a church tower, all that remains of an old Dominican house, Blackfriars Priory (1226-1541).

Garter Lane Art Centre

From the bridge over the Suir in Waterford is the street known as Merchants' Quay. Parallel to Merchants' Quay is O'Connell Street. A short distance along O'Connell Street can be found the Garter Lane Arts Centre, where Irish art is displayed.

Waterford Chamber of Commerce

In Waterford's Great George Street is the Chamber of Commerce, a handsome building by John Roberts (1794).
Address: George's Street, Ireland

St Patrick's Church

In a lane off Waterford's Broad Street, near the Chamber of Commerce in Great George Street, we reach St Patrick's Church (mid-18th C.) with a charming gallery.

Holy Trinity Cathedral

In a lane off Waterford's Broad Street, near the Chamber of Commerce in Great George Street, we reach St Patrick's Church. Across from St Patrick's, between Parade Quay and High Street, stands Holy Trinity Cathedral, by John Roberts (1793), with a late 19th C. facade.

French Church

Going down Waterford's Parade Quay from the Holy Trinity Cathedral, we see on the right the French Church (National Monument), with a 15th C. nave, chancel and tower, all that is left of a monastery founded in 1240. From the 17th to the 19th C. the nave was used as a hospice for paupers, while the choir became a place of worship for Huguenot refugees and the Lady Chapel a place of burial for the leading families of the town.

Waterford Heritage Museum

Going down Waterford's Parade Quay from the Holy Trinity Cathedral, we pass on the right the French Church. In a building near the church finds from excavations in Waterford and district since 1984 are displayed.
Address: Grey Friars Street, Ireland

Reginald's Tower

At the far end of Waterford's Parade Quay, The Mall, an attractive street with a number of Georgian houses, branches off on the right at a sharp angle. On the corner is an imposing round tower known as Reginald's Tower, with walls 10ft/3m thick. It is reputed to have been a part of the defenses against the Vikings - its date is generally given as 1003 - but in its present form it appears to be a remnant of the Norman times. It now houses the City Museum.
Address: The Quay, Ireland

Waterford City Hall

South of Reginald's Tower in The Mall, which lies to the far end of Waterford's Parade Quay, is the City Hall (by John Roberts, 1782), which has been preserved in its original state, and the Theatre Royal, also by Roberts (1788).

Christ Church Cathedral

Waterford's principal Protestant church, Christ Church Cathedral, stands beyond the City Hall and the Theatre Royal, south of Reginald's Tower in The Mall. Christ Church Cathedral (by Roberts, 1779) has a spacious interior and two fine tombs, the Rice monument (1469) and the Fitzgerald monument, of Carrara marble. On the south side of the Cathedral is the Bishop's Palace (18th C, restored 1975).

Waterford Court House

A short distance from Waterford's Christ Church Cathedral, off the Mall to the left, we come to the dignified Court House of 1849, in grounds which are linked to the wooded People's Park to the south by a footbridge over the little John's River.

Cromwell's Rock

Cromwell's Rock stands opposite the People's Park on the north side of the Suir, in the Ferrybank district of Waterford. It is from Cromwell's Rock that Cromwell is said to have watched the siege of the town (fine view).

Waterford Glass Factory

1.5mi/2.5km from the Waterford city center on the Cork road (N25), the continuation of the Mall, is the Waterford Glass Factory, famous for its hand cut crystal. On a conducted tour through the works visitors can see the crystal being blown and polished by hand. In the Crystal Gallery adjoining the factory crystal articles can be purchased.
Address: Kilbarry, Ireland

Waterford International Festival of Light Opera

This annual two-week festival takes place in late September and includes nightly performances by amateur operatic societies from throughout the United Kingdom and the United States. A competition and various fringe events are also incorporated in the festival. The main operas are performed in the Theatre Royal.
Address: 60 Morrison's Avenue, Ireland

Joan Clancy Gallery

Joan Clancy Gallery, Mullinahorna.
Joan Clancy Gallery is a family-run business featuring emerging stars of the Irish art world as well as other influential painters.
Address: Mullinahorna, Ring, Co, Ireland

Waterford Museum of Treasures at the Granary

Treasures at the Granary feature exhibits of gold, silver, crystal from eras of the Vikings and Norman invasions, as well as King John.
Address: Merchants Quay, Ireland

Surroundings

Passage East, Ireland

6mi/10km east of Waterford on the R683 lies Passage East, where the River Suir flows into the inlet called Waterford Harbor, after joining the River Barrow at Cheekpoint. This was once a fortified town, where Strongbow landed in 1170 with 1,200 men, going on to take Waterford. There is a passenger ferry to Ballyhack, on the other side of Waterford Harbor.

Dunmore East Adventure Center

On the west side of the mouth of Waterford Harbor, southeast of the city of Waterford, is Dunmore East, a seaside resort prettily situated on the slopes running down to the sea, with a boating harbor and a good beach (diving).

Established in 1993, Dunmore East Adventure Centre is situated in the picturesque fishing village of Dunmore East. It is renowned for its idyllic sailing and watersports conditions, as well as being a popular holiday resort. The Adventure Centre provides land and water-based outdoor activities for both the complete beginner and the practised expert. Activities are organised for groups, individuals, adults and kids.

Address: The Harbour, Ireland

Knockeen Dolmen

From Waterford the R675 runs south to Tramore Bay. A minor road on the right leads in 2.5mi/4km to the fine Knockeen Dolmen (National Monument), believed to be 4,000 years old, with a rectangular chamber roofed by overlapping capstones.

Tramore

From Waterford the R675 runs south to Tramore Bay. A minor road on the right leads in 2.5mi/4km to the fine Knockeen Dolmen, and the main road comes in 8mi/13km to the popular family resort of Tramore, with a beautiful sandy beach 3mi/5km long and recreation facilities for every taste (fishing, horse racing, golf, amusement park).
The most recent attraction, opened in 1992, is "Celtworld" (opening times given). By means of the most modern technology (holograms, lasers, computer graphics, etc.) the myths and legends associated with the Celts are brought to life in an hour's amusing performance.

Portlow

Leaving Waterford on the N25, which runs west up the Suir Valley, and turning northwestwards on to the R680, we come in 9mi/15km to Portlow, an old Quaker settlement, with tanneries which contribute a large proportion of Ireland's leather production.

Curraghmore

On the west side of Portlow is Curraghmore, one of the most beautiful demesnes in the country, with an interesting shell house. An avenue over 1mi/2km long leads to the house (by John Roberts, 1745), seat of the Marquess of Waterford, with good interior decorations and works by famous painters (not open to the public).

Granagh Castle

Northwest of Waterford (the N9, then the N24) in Kilkenny county, stand the imposing ruins of Granagh Castle (National Monument) high above the north bank of the Suir, with a 13th C. keep and curtain walls reinforced by towers and a 16th C. great hall.

Touraneena Heritage Center

The Touraneena Heritage Center is located on the 300 year old thatched farmhouse which was the home of the O'Keefe family for the past eight generations. The staffs are dressed in costume and hands on demonstrations in the dairy.
Address: Touraneena, Ballinamult, Ireland

Mount Congreve Gardens

This beautiful contemporary garden is an addition to an 18th C. walled demesne along the River Suir.

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