Cycling the Waterford Greenway
Experience Ireland’s wildlife, scenery and culture at a leisurely pace along Ireland's longest off-road cycling route at the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East.
If you’re looking for a mix of cultural treasures, active exploration and natural beauty, look no further than a trail that boasts Norman castles, medieval ruins and a Viking settlement.
Start by taking in the medieval splendour of Waterford city, before embarking on a journey through stunning countryside to the impressive curved viaduct at Kilmacthomas.Explore Day 1
In Waterford city you’ll find charming locals, attractive scenery and some of the best food in Ireland, all at a laid-back pace. Spend some time here exploring Waterford's Viking heritage at the immersive King of the Vikings virtual reality experience, marvel at exquisite creations at Waterford Crystal and admire the 13th century stone fortress, Reginald’s Tower. Getting prepared for your cycling adventure couldn’t be easier: choose from a range of bicycles, including electric bikes, at Waterford Greenway Bike Hire where staff will talk you through all you need to know before setting off. If you have more time, you can savour one of Ireland's best farmers markets, held in Waterford every Saturday.
Beyond the city
Rich in history and heritage, County Waterford oozes charm with plenty to discover. Listen to the whispering of the trees along the River Suir as the Greenway meanders towards Mount Congreve House and Gardens, nestled amongst gorgeous meadows and woodlands. If you have more time, make sure to check out the site where the first Vikings settled in Waterford at Woodstown.
A railway tradition
From Mount Congreve House, head further west past the ruins of Kilmeaden Castle and follow the wooded path to the Waterford and Suir Valley Railroad. Grab some refreshments in the quaint café housed in an old period railway carriage then set out on a journey to remember. This narrow gauge railway follows a scenic 8.5km stretch of the abandoned Waterford to Dungarvan route, offering wonderful view of the River Suir and the gardens at Mount Congreve. If you’re feeling hungry, dine on tasty traditional fare at O'Donnacha’s Bar, while a little further along the Greenway, old-world charm awaits at Haughton's Pub.
Birds and brews
The trail winds on through a variety of different landscapes – farmland, riverbanks and woods – to the imposing Kilmacthomas Viaduct above the tranquil waters of the River Mahon. Delve into Waterford’s history in the Kilmacthomas Workhouses, built to house families that could no longer support themselves after the famine of the 1840s. Set within one of these historic buildings is the charming Coach House Coffee where you can stop for a break. While you're here, pay a visit to Mayfield Birds of Prey, before storing your bike and enjoying a restful night at the family-run Comeragh View Lodge. If you have more time, explore a charming walled garden and learn about Waterford's woollen milling history at Fairbrook House.
Wake up refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to experience the natural beauty of County Waterford as you cycle from Kilmacthomas to the town of Dungarvan.Explore Day 2
Captivating Copper Coast
Take yourself away from the trail for a short time and uncover Waterford's Copper Coast with a visit to nearby Bunmahon Beach. It's incredibly picturesque and makes a great place to relax and unwind. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not catch some waves with the friendly folk at Bunmahon Surf School? If you have more time, pop along to Tankardstown Engine House and take in the architectural relics from Waterford’s mining past.
Onward to dramatic Durrow
Heading back to the Greenway, you can expect stunning views of the Comeragh Mountains. This section of the trail is an immersive back-to-nature experience: Irish native trees rustle and birds flit around you as you pedal towards the pretty village of Stradbally. Further along the path amongst lush greenery, the dramatic landmark of Durrow Viaduct will take your breath away.
Golden sands and local charm
With far-reaching views across the golden sands of Clonea Strand, this section of the Waterford Greenway offers natural beauty and local charm by the bucketload. Stop for a drink at O'Mahony's pub and savour the warm hospitality of owners Tom and Helen. Afterwards, follow the trail through the brick-lined Ballyvoyle Tunnel, before crossing the Ballyvoyle Viaduct, rebuilt in 1922 after the Irish Civil War.
A fitting finale
Head onward over Barnawee Bridge as the sun sinks, to the laidback market town of Dungarvan. Pay a visit to Dungarvan Brewing Company and learn about traditional brewing methods (you’ll need to book ahead for a brewery tour). The town is a foodie hotspot too, hosting the West Waterford Festival of Food each April, and after a couple of leisurely days peddling past three viaducts, 11 bridges and one tunnel, it's time to tantalise your taste buds and refuel at the elegant Tannery Restaurant. If you have time, make sure to finish your journey with a flourish at Dungarvan Castle.