Waterford Attractions Guide

Below are some of the popular attractions in Waterford. Waterford Crystal Visitors Centre Waterford Crystal has a fine tradition of warmly welcoming to tourists from all over the world. The Waterford Crystal Gallery hosts the World’s largest display of Waterford Crystal. Inside the gallery the visitor will see breathtaking displays of Wedgwood, Rosenthal, Stuart Crystal, John Rocha at Waterford and Marquis by Waterford. Also, you can enjoy a DVD chronicling the history of the company and detailing how the crystal is made. You will also visit a Craft & Jewelry gift store, and an elegant restaurant. Waterford Municipal Art Gallery Erected in the early 19th century, this late Victorian church was designed in gothic revival style and was home to the Waterford Methodists until 1973. It was eventually purchased by Waterford City Council in 1989 and was adapted for use as the Municipal Art Gallery. The building houses the Municipal Art Collection and is home to a fascinating collection of works, including pieces from renowned Irish artists such as Jack B Yeats, Charles Lamb and Louis Le Brocquy. Reginalds Tower Reginald's Tower is the longest surviving urban structure in Ireland. It has played a key role in the country's history. The precursor of this tower is thought to be Dundory, a Viking fort built on the same site in the 10th century. This early fort was part of the apex of the triangular shaped Viking settlement and was a likely port for Viking longboats. The structure was strategically located on high ground between a tidal inlet of St. John's river in the south east and the River Suir to the north. In the medieval period, the tower remained surrounded by water. When the Anglo-Normans laid siege to Waterford in 1170, the tower was of strategically importantant and its capture signaled the fall of the city. The Hiberno-Norse (Irish-Viking) ruler of the city Ragnall MacGillemaire was captured by the Anglo-Normans and held in the tower and it is from him that the tower gets its name. It was in this tower that Strongbow met Aoife, the daughter of the King of Leinster. Their marriage changed the course of Irish history. In 1463 the Irish Parliament established a mint in the tower. In 1495 cannon in Reginald's Tower successfully fought the forces of Perkin Warbeck, the pretender to the throne of Henry VII. The city thus earned its motto "Urbs Intacta Manet" - "Waterford remains the unconquered city". In 1690, after his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne, King James II allegedly climbed the tower to take a last look at his lost kingdom before leaving in exile in France. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Tower served as a store for munitions and in the early 19th century was used as a prison. In the late 19th and first half of the twentieth century it became the home of the Chief Constable of Waterford. The Tower opened to the public for the first time during the 1950s. Lismore Castle Gardens The historic gardens at Lismore Castle are divided into two very distinct halves. The Upper Garden is an authentic example of the 17th century walled garden first built here by Richard Boyle, the 1st Earl of Cork, in circa 1605. The outer walls and terraces still stand and the plantings have changed from time to time to match the tastes of those living within the Castle. The Lower Garden was predominantly developed in the 19th century for the 6th Duke of Devonshire, Joseph Paxton's patron. This garden is more casual with shrubs, trees and lawns, but the stately Yew Avenue is far older. The Gardens are set in seven acres within the 17th century perimeter. You will find a fine collection of magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons, herbaceous borders and contemporary sculpture, and a spectacular Yew walkway where Edmund Spenser is said to have penned the “Faerie Queen ”. Tramore Beach Tramore, which means Big Strand, is one of the most appropriately named towns in the area, with its well known 5 km golden, sandy beach gently washed by the Atlantic Ocean, and one of the region’s choisest resorts. The panorama of Tramore Bay, broken by the jutting peninsula, which carries the promenade and the strand is truly awe inspiring. The town itself is settled on steep hills rising up from the beach. The long rolling waves in Tramore continually attract swimmers surfers alike. Surf lessons and equipment are available to rent locally. Sailing lessons and sea kayaking lessons are also available. Tramore beach is also popular for beach angling so bring or rent your favorite pole. The estuary flowing into the back strand has produced a number of record sized flounder and bass in recent years.