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      01.05.2001 06:46
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      Stradbally is in the county of Waterford.It is a pretty village not too big and not too small. I used to holiday in Stradbally every year between July and September to help my grandfather with the harvest. This was over thirty years ago, I went back two years ago to have a look at the old place and to see family, well I did not see much of family. If you stand in the main square and look down the street with the garda station and grocery shop to your left and walk down the street, you will pass some old pretty houses and on the left will see what looks like the drive of a house. Go down this drive and you will be at what the locals call the cove. It has a large semi circular beach of golden sand, on the left is a river of icy cold clear water which runs all around the beach until it reaches the sea, if you can cross the river there are caves and cliffs. As you walk to the sea there are cliffs on your left which can be climbed via a path of sorts. When I first climbed the cliff you could go to the end where there was a gate, we children were told that it was to stop cows falling off(I think they were pulling our legs). You cannot go as far now due to falls and erosion but the view is worth it none the less. The beach is fairly large and when the tide is out it is a long walk to the sea but it is worth the walk, it is also ideal for horse riding and you will quite often see the horses on the beach especially in the early morning. I think you can hire horses for hacking locally but the garda are very helpful and will point you in the right direction. The church in Stradbally is very fine and on the way to it you will pass by an old outdoor bowling alley where we had great fun years ago. To get to the church you go back to the main square and stand with your back to the garda station and grocery store, on your right is a large red house, this used to be my grandfathers farm, and you walk straight up the road , bearing to the right and up a hill. It is a fair step and if you are not very good at walking it is best to drive. Once there it is interesting to look round the churchyard where you can see whole generations of the same family buried, in fact most of my Irish family are here as most people born in Stradbally tend to stay there. If the priest is in the church he will normally be happy to talk about the village if he is not preparing to take mass or confession. The church is not normally locked as they are in England. Just away from Stradbally is Tramore a pretty quiet fishing village with some very good restaurants serving local food. There are not so many fields as there used to be but there is still plenty of scope for walking or just a nice relaxing holiday.

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