~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A Trip To Waterford ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Im just back from another fantastic weekend in beautiful Ireland and thought i should write about it...
We left Holyhead on Friday morning on the Stena Swift boat at 8.55am. This boat took us to Dun Laoghaire in Dublin and the trip only took 1 hour and 45 minutes. The boat trip itself was a good one, the boat was rather busy but this was to be expected as it was a busy bank holiday weekend in Ireland. The weather was great for being at sea and it was a pleasent crossing.
Once we got to Dun Laoghaire we headed South for Wexford. It took us ages to get out of Dublin and I fear without sat nav we may have been in trouble. I am actually Irish but have lived in the UK for what feels like forever so I cant really remember any routes once I leave Dublin!
Anyhow once out of Dublin our journey was fairly good, the traffic was pretty heavy but the roads in Ireland are much better these days so within a few hours we were nearing Waterford. It is important to point out at this stage if you are ever driving in Ireland you really need to have your wits about you as there are some really crazy people on the roads!
Once we neared Waterford we were taken back by the sheer size of the area. It has been years since I went there and the City seems to have sprawled much further than I ever remember. We stopped and asked directions and were directed to our Hotel in Canada street.
We arrived at the Waterford Marina Hotel which is looking out on the quays and looks just stunning, and promptly checked in. The hotel itself is gorgeous. It has stunning views of the river suir and is perfectly situated in the city centre. The hotel has a very seafront feel to it throughout and also has a seafood restaurant which serves some seriously tasty salmon.
It is family friendly and has around 80 rooms en-suite, each with satelite tv, internet access, phone and tea and coffee facilities. Our room was lovely, big and comfortable and just right for a child-free weekend away! We spent the rest of our first day lounging around the hotel and had a wander down the quays. We ate a fantastic dinner that evening in the resteraunt at the hotel and had a few drinks in the bar before bed ( a very comfortable bed at that!).
On day two of our stay we had planned to meet up with an old college friend of mine in Tramore. Tramore is a beautiful sea-side town about 15 minutes outside Waterford city. It is a fantastic spot during the summer months and there is loads to do.
We drove the short journey there and with a while to spare before we were due to meet friends we walked along the stunning seafront and took in the fantastic scenery.
There is so much to do in Tramore. We spent a little time in one of the seafront arcades acting like big kids and has a fab ice cream down by the beach.
We met our friends in a place called the Esquire and had a fantastic lunch and spent the rest of the day wandering around Tramore simply enjoying the relaxing atmosphere. Tramore literally means Big Beach in Irish and it really has one of the biggest and best beaches I'v seen.
We left Tramore mid afternoon but I would have liked to stay on as I hear the nightlife there is second to none.
Back in Waterford we decided to have a quick dinner and hit the town. Even though we were on our own we had a fantastic night with no shortage of traditional pubs and mad Irish just wanting to have the 'criac' with us. My hubby and I eventually fell into bed well into the wee hours a little worse for wear but definetly having enjoyed a great night out!
On the last day of our stay we headed driving around the scentic coast. We left Waterford and headed first for Dungarvan. Dungarvan is renouned as a seaside market town and it is another stunning location on the East coast of Ireland. It sits beneath the Comeragh mountains and is surrounded by sea.
There is loads to do here also, we first visited a very old round tower and later took a walk which leads right up the mountains(although we did not make it that far!).
We had lunch in a beautiful little pub in the town centre and just sat throughout lunch taking in the breathtaking scenery.
We decided to head back for Waterford as I wanted to visit the Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre just outside the city. This is another great tourist attraction. Waterford crystal is a well known brand all over the world and the visitor centre is a great place to find out all there is to know about this huge company and pick up some lovely souvenirs for going home.
As it was Sunday evening we went to a lovely beer garden right in the city centre and ended up getting chatting to a group of Irish lads who had obviously been there all day! However, they were very friendly and great fun and they really mad eour last night in this magical city one to remember. My hubby had suddenly turned into one of the Irish lads, laughing and joking and putting on his his best(worst) irish accent... I feared I may be travelling back to the Uk the next day alone!!
End of Holiday
We woke up on Monday morning to a scorching day and a beautiful sunny view over the quays, and both of us truly wished we had more time to discover this gem of a city. After checking out of the hotel, we had one final walk along the quays before setting off on our journey back to Dublin. The journey back was not too bad as it was bank holiday monday, however the 9pm boat was busy. We arrived at Holyhead absolutely shattered just after midnight and promised to return to Ireland as soon as possible!
We had a fantastic weekend and I can honestly say Waterford does not recieve the attention it deserves. It is a beautiful part of Ireland, but what really makes it is the people there. I hear there is a festival during the summer in Tramore and i am thinking this would be the perfect excuse for another trip!
Waterford, the Crystal County, is my county of origin. Waterford is probably most famous for it's Waterford Crystal, a lifestyle product of exquisite craftsmanship. The county offers a dazzling coastline, beautiful river valleys and a glorious range of very accessible mountains. Admittedly many of these are often overlooked by the locals as they see them everyday. Waterford City was established in Viking times. Waterford County's coast plays host to lively and quiet Seaside Resorts and lovely Mountain & River Valley towns and villages. The range of activities that one can enjoy include Golf, Equestrian, Walking, Cycling, Angling and Water Sports enthusiasts, Waterford offers the complete holiday experience. If you get a chance go to my home county because I think that it's one of the best in the world.