With its golden beaches and abundant parks and wild areas, Waterford is a paradise for free-range children. Sometimes a family holiday can seem just too expensive to bother, but many of the attractions in Waterford will cost you nothing. Check out the native wildlife at Fenor Bog, picnic on the shore of Coumshingaun (Europe’s finest glacial lake), drive through the Comeragh Mountains and see the Magic Hill and Mahon Falls - and all without paying a single entrance fee!
Set among red sandstone cliffs and secluded coves, Dunmore East is a playground for kids. A 15-minute drive from Waterford Airport, it overlooks Hook Head lighthouse and offers two excellent beaches: the south-facing Counsellor’s Beach and Ladies Cove in the village. A charmingly kitschy seafront, glorious 5km beach, and 30-metre-high sand dunes make Tramore the most popular of County Waterford’s seaside resorts. Local activities companies are anxious to preserve Tramore’s beach environments, so it’s a great place to bring the kids surfing.
Tours with a Difference
Children and guided tours are not always an ideal match, but at least two of Waterford’s institutions are different. The multi-award-winning Waterford Museum of Treasures
is always a huge hit with kids. If offers a separate audio guide specifically for children, and under-5’s go free. To really bring history to life, costumed actors lead visitors through Waterford’s streets, delivering imaginative tours of the 18th-century Bishop’s Palace and the atmospheric Medieval Museum. If you have children aged 7 or older, visit Gallweys Chocolate Factory. You’ll get to see how these delicious treats are made and even have a go at making your own chocolates.
The Great Train Trip
Experience the beauty of the Suir Valley without having to tire out short legs by taking a trip on the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway
from the village of Kilmeaden, 9.5km from Waterford City. This narrow gauge railway follows a route along the picturesque banks of the River Suir, offering views of the renowned Mount Congreve Gardens that are only available by train. Continue your enjoyment of the great outdoors with a visit to the Bilberry Goat Herd. These wild goats are descended from a herd kept onboard the ships in which Huguenots (French Protestants) fled France in the 1700s.
Time for an Adventure!
Dunmore East is a wonderland of delightful coves and beaches that could keep the family occupied for hours, but if you fancy something different try the Dunmore East Adventure Centre
, which specialises in sailing, archery, rock climbing and kayaking for all the family. (Enquire about the family discounts). Younger children will love the delightful playground in the village park.
in Waterford City is a delightful French restaurant that offers incredible value, and, although it does not advertise its suitability for children, families of all ages will enjoy the comfortable setting and delicious food. Bellissimo
, on the Dunmore Road, is a more traditional children’s venue, offering dishes such as pizza and pasta. A traditional venue for romantic dinners, Bodega
is also great venue for families (go for the early bird menu), offering children healthy options in an effort to get them into good food early.