County Waterford is a county in the Southeast Region of Ireland. It is in the Munster province. The county seat is in the town of Waterford, which is also the largest town in the county and the oldest city in the country. Other towns within the county include Ardmore, Lismore, Dungarvan, and Ring. Waterford is bordered by counties Cork to the west, Wexford to the west, and Tipperary and Kilkenny to the north. To the south is the Celtic Sea. It is accessible by bus from Dublin; to explore the region, it is best to have your own transportation.
Waterford is one of Ireland’s Ancient East counties. Viking influence can still be seen in the county; Reginald’s Tower is believed to be the first brick and mortar building in Ireland. It dates from the 13th century. Nearby is Woodstown, the only large 9th century Norse settlement thus far found in western Europe. Prehistoric artefacts include megalithic tombs and ogham stones, as well as other smaller sites. As with much of Ireland, many of the tourist attractions in the county are early Christian churches.
Waterford is mainly a cultural destination; there is only about 30km of coastline and much of that is rugged. A large swath of it is considered of UNESCO geological importance and is known as the Copper Coast. Coastal Ardmore is one of the county’s top tourist towns, even though its year-round population is only around 350. If you are looking for sandy beaches and a resort-style town, Ardmore is where to go. The main industry in Waterford was glass-making, and that is evident in the many crystal shops in the region. Waterford crystal is highly renowned worldwide, however the last glass factories closed in 2009.
There is some hiking in County Waterford; it tends to be more coastal than mountainous. Near Ardmore, there is a cliff walk that passes a ruined church, a shipwreck, and an abandoned Coast Guard lookout dating from the WWII era.
Travellers looking for hostel accomodation in County Waterford are advised to look in the main town of Waterford. There are just a few hostels in the county; budget accommodation in Ireland is generally found in b&bs and guesthouses rather than traditional European-style hostels. Once you have your accommodation sorted, explore the rich culture of County Waterford!
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