DAY 1 - 23km - 3 Points of Interest
Planning a great day out with the family in County Waterford but not sure where to start? Look no further! We’ve selected the best of what the county has to offer families, whether it’s indoor or outdoor, culture or fresh air, city or countryside, there should be something here to keep everyone happy!
Route: Waterford City, Kilmeaden, Kilmacthomas
THE BEST way to start any day out in Ireland’s oldest city is to start with the Vikings of course! Head down to the recently opened ‘King of the Vikings’ virtual reality experience which brings the world of the Vikings alive right before your eyes. The hour-long adventure takes place in a reconstructed Viking house in the centre of the Viking Triangle, where ‘real-life’ Vikings can also be found going about their daily business!
Once you are comfortably settled back into the 21st century, take a 15-minute trip west out of the city to the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway and get ready to be transported back in time to the 19th century!
The 40-minute ride in the period train-carriage allows you to experience the beauty of the Suir Valley, the panoramic views of the river, the rolling farmland of Waterford and south Kilkenny, and the world-famous gardens at Mount Congreve. The ‘Spooky Express’, the ‘Santa Express’ and ‘Meet the Easter Bunny’ should also add a seasonal flavour to any mid-term or holiday visits.
If everybody is still feeling energetic in the afternoon, why not try out the Kilmeaden to Kilmacthomas section of the Waterford Greenway. The family can choose to walk, cycle or use electric bikes on this 15km stretch, and childseats and trailers are available for those with younger children. The path brings you deep into the lush Waterford countryside, with lots of farm animals and wildlife for the kids to spot.
Look out for the chimney tower of Fairbrook Mill, an 18th century paper mill, and later a woollen mill. Enjoy the stunning views of the Comeragh Mountains to the north. After about 30 or 40 minutes, you’ll arrive at the old Famine Workhouse in Kilmacthomas. If you’ve left your car in Kilmeaden, a free shuttle- bus will drop you back to collect it.
DAY 2 - 83km - 3 Points of Interest
Route: Waterford City, Tramore, Ardmore
On a second day in Waterford take the opportunity to do the fantastic 45-minute, Epic Tour of the Viking Triangle. The tour walks you through 1,000 years of Waterford’s fascinating history, from the Vikings to the Victorians in 1,000 paces.
This engaging tour takes in the city’s most well-known and interesting buildings such as Reginald’s Tower, Greyfriars Medieval Friary, Choristers’ Hall, the Mayor’s Wine Vault, the Bishop’s Palace and Christ Church Cathedral. For any families with budding historians or archaeologists among them, this is the tour for you!
Next up, head 15 minutes west of Waterford City to the seaside village of Tramore where the kids can enjoy the town’s pristine beach (in the summer months!) or head for Splashworld during the months when there’s a chill in the air (check opening dates and times in advance)! This fantastic waterpark has lots to keep the kids busy including a wave machine, water slides, bubble pool, paddle pool, water cannon, rolling rapids along with a steam room, sauna and four-lane pool for Mum and Dad! You’ll be hungry after all that activity so be sure to enjoy some of Tramore’s fantastic fish and chips before piling into the car and heading further out into the countryside.
An hour’s drive west along Waterford’s spectacular coastline brings you to Ardmore Open Farm & Mini Zoo. The 16-acre farm places a particular emphasis on rare breeds and has sourced animals from all over Europe. Dedicated petting times are held throughout the day allowing kids to hold reptiles, furry favourites, birds and more. Ardmore Farm also offers a great range of other facilities including a restaurant, kiddy-rides, go-karting, mechanical diggers, indoor sand-pit, outdoor playground, zip wire, soccer pitch and a pool table.
Finish off the day back at the Fitzwilton Hotel with a delicious evening meal in the Met Bar Cafe or Restaurant Chez K's before retiring to your relaxing room for a tired but happy night of restful sleep.