Located just minutes drive from Waterford City Centre, there are lots of things to do near Waterford Castle Resort
. The private Island boasts an ideal location for exploring the many attractions around Waterford and surrounding areas of Ireland's Ancient East. Keep reading to find out some of our top recommendations and highlights, based on local staff knowledge and positive feedback from our past guests.
❄︎ Christmas in Waterford ❄︎
Although Christmas 2020 will certainly be different, it will still be a special time to remember. Alongside our festive offerings including our Festive Afternoon Tea
and our self-catering lodge packages with a Santa visit, the Waterford Winterval Festival will take place this year with many ticketed events available including the popular Waterford Eye Ferris Wheel. The streets of Waterford will also be decorated with bright Christmas lights.
This year more than ever, we are also encouraging everyone to shop local and support the wonderful businesses in Waterford and around Ireland. If you can't make it to Waterford, many shops are offering nationwide delivery. You can also purchase Gift Vouchers, such as our own Waterford Castle Gift Vouchers, or a Waterford Chamber Gift Voucher which can be used in many shops and cafés in Waterford City.
Mahon Falls and the Comeragh Mountains
This picturesque walk is suitable for all ages and fitness levels due to a nearby carpark, however adventure seekers and experienced hikers can do a longer route. The Mahon waterfall and walk allows for scenic mountain views, and you might be lucky enough to see some sheep and goats! You can read more about it on the Visit Waterford website here
Anne Valley Scenic Walk
This peaceful walk is one of Waterford's hidden gems, featuring marshland and views of the ruins of Dunhill Castle. You might spot some fairy doors along the way too..... The walk is very accessible with benches dotted along the way, and is suitable for most wheelchairs and prams/buggy's. You can read more about it here.
Activate - Recommended by Valerija (Reception)
As a mother, Valerija knows all too well how difficult it can be to keep children entertained, especially in the changeable Irish weather. She recommends Activate - an indoor family fun centre with activities such as bowling, mini golf, roller skating, laser tag and more. Perfect for those rainy days and only a 5 minute drive from the Island Resort. Read more and book here
Hook Lighthouse - Recommended by Philippa (Marketing)
This iconic Irish attraction is actually located in neighbouring Wexford, where Philippa is from. The drive is itself an adventure, taking in the nearby Passage East Car Ferry (a little bigger than our own Mary Fitzgerald!) and stunning coastline views. Hook Lighthouse
is the oldest working lighthouse in the world and is open for tours. Hook is about 45mins drive from the Resort, depending on the departing Passage East ferry times, which can be checked here
Inistioge - Recommended by Sarah (Reception)
Pronounced "in-ish-tee-guh" - this small village in nearby Kilkenny has a lot to offer. Kilkenny native Sarah enjoys going for the lakeside walks, and Woodstock Gardens and historic Jerpoint Abbey are also closeby. The village is about 40 mins drive from the Resort, and you can find more about things to do here
The world famous glass factory and tourist attraction remains the most popular attraction with our guests. Our reception team are on hand to assist with bookings, or for more information visit their website
This small seaside town on the scenic Copper Coast is a firm family favourite, and located just 20mins drive from the Resort. The town features a Blue Flag Beach with a number of surf schools, an amusement park (open seasonally), an indoor swimming pool with a fun aqua park and stunning cliffside walks. While there, we recommend to eat at our new sister property One the Waterfront
, offering beach access, a spacious outdoor terrace, panoramic sea views and an informal atmosphere.
Opened quite recently in 2017, the magnificent 46km route has quickly become one of the most popular attractions in Ireland's Ancient East. The impressive route takes in tunnels, historic viaducts and seaside views. There are a number of bike rental companies in Waterford City, our reception team are happy to assist. Read more about the Greenway and plan your route here
These extensive gardens are home to one of the largest collections of plants in Ireland. The gardens have over 16km of walkways with curiosities such as a Chinese Pagoda and a Greek-style temple, and over 3,000 different varieties of trees and shrubs. Visit their website here
The Waterford Treasures consists of three museums located in the historic Viking Triangle area of Waterford City Centre. Together they tell the story of Waterford, Ireland's Oldest City and founded by Vikings in the 9th Century. The Medieval Museum features an impressive collection of medieval artefacts, however the enchanting 13th Century Choristers Hall is likely to be the highlight for many. The Bishops Palace recreates life in a 18th Century townhouse, and has recently added a new state of the art 3D experience which brings to life the fascinating story of glass making in Waterford. Finally, Reginalds Tower is Ireland's oldest civic building with hundreds of years of history within its walls. Read more about the museums and plan your visit here
Walsh's Bakehouse is home of the Blaa - a local Waterford specialty soft white bread roll (similar to a bap). It is popular for breakfast and lunch, and of course we have them on the breakfast menu for you to try! If you are not content just to eat them, they also offer tours which you can read about here
If you really want to try a unique activity in Waterford, a visit to Axe Junkies Waterford City is a must! Strictly over 18's and with rigorous safety measures in place, axe throwing is described as "think of it as darts...but with an axe". While it may not be for everyone, it's certainly an experience you will never forget! Visit https://axejunkies.ie/
for more information
This hidden gem is popular for photographers and social media, especially Instagram. The fairytale stone towers were built in 1850 by a wealthy estate owner for his wife. It is located near Lismore in west Waterford and you can find directions here
The Sea Gardener
Perhaps the most unique experience in Waterford - join Marie Power (better known as The Sea Gardener) foraging for seaweed on the beautiful Waterford coastline or a seaweed cookery class. Learn about the different uses and benefits of Irish seaweed - from dining to health, beauty and gardening. You can read more here
The modern distillery produces popular brands of gin and Irish whisky which you can taste in both our Fitzgerald Bar and Kings Channel Clubhouse. The gin in particular is a popular souvenir or gift, with Irish infusions such as Wexford strawberry or Barrys Tea. Tours of the distillery, located about an hour away in Ballyduff, are available for adults and children aged 9 and up. You can book on their website here
Waterford Castle Resort
Can we name ourselves as a hidden gem? We think so! From the unique ferry crossing to the rich history of the Castle and grounds (from its time as a monk settlement, to the family home of the Fitzgerald family - to its time as a farm!), the Island Resort is not just a hidden gem, but a jewel in the crown of Ireland's Ancient East.