Waterford Attractions

- Posted on: 13/02/2023 - External banner Dooley's Hotel

Let's explore the best attractions in Waterford city and county to visit in 2023 – You’re invited to come and Stay!

House of Waterford

Located in the heart of Waterford City, the House of Waterford Crystal allows visitors to witness the creation of crystal stemware, giftware and masterpieces right before their very eyes. The factory tour is a unique and captivating experience that is sure to enthral visitors of all ages, both national and international. Go behind the scenes for over an hour and see exactly how Waterford Crystal pieces are made - witness every stage of production, from the initial design stage right up to the final engraving of the piece. Each year, the House of Waterford Crystal melts down over 750 tonnes of crystal!

King of the Vikings

This life was epic and brief. But now Reginald, King of the Vikings, beckons you into his domain. And so you step into this innovative Viking Virtual Reality Adventure – a world first – in a recreated Waterford Viking house in the City’s Viking Triangle: on the very spot where Reginald built his fort in 917. On and on you are drawn by animated information panels, far away from the modern City, and you don a “magical helmet” to journey back through 1,100 years: even meeting the ghost of King Reginald as he spars with the ghost of an Irish Christian monk. Close, personal, you really feel what it was like to be a Viking. Epic and brief his life may have been, but the legacy of Reginald and his fellow Vikings lives on around you in Vadrefjord – Waterford.

Epic Tour of Waterford

It’s people who so often hold the keys to the past and you will meet some great characters on the Epic Tour of the Viking Triangle: a theatrical comedy whirlwind journey with props, costumes, singing, dancing and plenty of craic! Bring the kids, bring your granny, bring everybody – because it’s suitable for families of all ages to enjoy. Scripted by Waterford writer Liam Meagher, who many people will know through his work with children’s theatre company Little Red Kettle, the Epic Tour shares the stories of Waterford Treasures brought to life by actors. From Reginald’s Tower to Christ Church Cathedral, from Vikings to Victorians, costumed re-enactors will give you the keys to unlock 1,100 years of Waterford history.

Masterpieces in Glass

The guided tour of the Bishop’s Palace has become home to an original and innovative visitor experience on early glassmaking in Waterford. The new re-enactor tour is led by Susannah Penrose, granddaughter of one of the original founders of the Penrose Glass Factory. Her mother, Elizabeth Penrose’s beautiful shell cabinet, featuring a menagerie of delicate glass animals, was returned to Waterford City in 2014 and now forms the centrepiece of the exhibition as a direct link to the family. The museum itself has been revamped, with new installations of delicate glassware, fine silver and exotic porcelain to give visitors a real taste of the wealth and finery of upper-class eighteenth-century living.

Medieval Museum

What does the 13th century ring brooch tell us about courtly love? Why was The Great Charter Roll of Waterford created? What is the link between the dazzling Cloth of Gold Vestments and the Renaissance? Why did King Henry VIII give his red velvet cap – the only surviving piece of his wardrobe – to the Mayor of Waterford in 1536? The stories behind these treasures and many more are revealed in the Medieval Museum, the only building in Ireland to incorporate two medieval chambers, the atmospheric 13th century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault.                                                                                                                 

Reginald’s Tower

Raiders, settlers, traders, the Vikings left many legacies in Ireland – if you know where to look. Reginald’s Tower, Ireland’s oldest civic building, has been in continuous use for over 800 years and was built on the site of the original Viking fort named after Ragnall who founded the City in 914. Inside you will find a Viking warrior’s weapons, the exquisite 12th-century Waterford Kite Brooch, even pieces from ‘hnefatafl’, a Viking board game similar to chess. Get to know the real Vikings through the prized possessions they left behind.

Mount Congreve Gardens

While the great houses and gardens of Ireland’s Ancient East invariably boast a rich history, sometimes it’s the heart-stopping views, walks and surprises that most captivate you. That’s certainly true of the gardens at Mount Congreve, Waterford, which flourish over some seventy acres of richly planted woodland and a four acre walled garden. The passion and creation in modern times of the late Mr Ambrose Congreve, who was inspired by Mr Lionel de Rothschild’s exceptional garden at Exbury in Hampshire, England, the collection ranges from more than three thousand different trees and shrubs, to fifteen hundred herbaceous plants. Wandering paths and ponds, surrendering to breathtaking sweeps of Azaleas, Camellias, Magnolias and Rhododendrons, being surprised by a Chinese Pagoda or revelling in vistas over the River Suir: such are the magical moments that enthral.

 Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens

Come on a journey, through these unique gardens and the life of Victorian writer, translator and journalist Patrick Lafcadio Hearn. In their style and planting, the gardens, in Tramore in County Waterford, pay homage to Lafcadio Hearn with elements of the gardening traditions of the countries and cultures he visited during his varied travels. Begin in the Victorian Garden dedicated to the memory of Hearn’s happy childhood summers in Tramore, explore the American Garden, the Greek Garden and the traditional Japanese Tea Garden – Lafcadio Hearn was famed in Japan for his literary descriptions of the country’s people and culture, and children in particular will be entranced by his fairy tales and folklore. East meets West and they grow together on your unforgettable garden journey.

Lismore Heritage Centre

Opened in 1992 to share insights into Lismore’s formidable history and heritage. Boasting a picturesque location at the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains, Lismore is famous for the magnificent Lismore Castle (dating back to 1185) that was once the home of, the famous Broadway performer, Adele Astaire and Kathleen Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy. Inside this private residence can only be viewed using through the Lismore Castle Experience.

 Lismore Castle Gardens

The historic gardens of Lismore Castle are essentially two distinct gardens. Both are set within the castle walls and comprise of 7 acres with spectacular views of the Castle and surrounding countryside. The lower garden was mostly created in the 19th century for the 6th Duke of Devonshire, Sir Joseph Paxton’s patron. Entry to the upper garden is through the Riding House. This walled garden was first constructed by Richard Boyle, the 1st Earl of Cork in about 1605, where most of the walls and terraces remain the same although the plantings have changed to suit the tastes of those living within the Castle


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Discover Waterford

From its vibrant city life, to the rural charm of inland towns and villages, to its stunning coastline Waterford has something for everyone. Waterford City, the oldest city in Ireland has a perfect blend of ancient and modern. Its collection of pubs, gourmet restaurants and excellent shops and boutiques, co-exist with medieval city walls, quaintly cobbled back streets and the grandeur of historical buildings still standing proud after more than a thousand years.