With 147km of coastline and situated in the Sunny South East of Ireland any visit to Waterford would not be complete without a visit to at least one of the 49 beaches scattered along the beautiful coastline. There are two An Taisce Blue Flag Beaches (Clonea and Bunmahon) and five with Green Flags (Annestown, Ballyquin, Goat Island, Guillamene Cove and Boatstrand Beach). The South East Coastal Drive is one way to explore as many of these locations as possible. This stunning route starts in Wexford Town finishing in Ardmore, County Waterford but you can join it anywhere along the route. For the adventurous there are plenty of water activities along the coast including diving, kayaking, surfing, sailing and kite surfing. For the less adventurous, there are still opportunities to get out on the water and enjoy a spot of angling or whale watching.
Situated just 10km south of Waterford City, Tramore is considered the premier resort of the South East of Ireland. The sandy beach in Tramore stretches for almost 5km and has some of the highest sand dunes in Ireland. Tramore is the best served beach in terms of amenities. Amenities around Tramore include surf clubs offering both lessons and board hire (Oceanics, Tramore Surf School and T-Bay). Thereís even the opportunity to learn Irish while surfing with Freedom Surf School! See the coast line from a different perspective with Sea Paddling.com who offer sea kayak tours and also run Irish Canoe Union Courses. If you prefer to stay on dry land, try pony trekking with Lake Tour Stables or a round of Pitch & Putt. Practice your driving skills at the Newtown Driving Range before having a round of golf in the Tramore Golf Club.
If the Sunny South East doesnít live up to its reputation, thereís still plenty to do indoors. For all the family thereís Splashworld with heated indoor swimming pool and giant water slides with an Amusement Park covering over 20hectares just opposite the promenade. For young kids visit Run Amuck, the Pottery Place, Laser Blast or Pirates Adventure.
One of the biggest attractions in Tramore are the Tramore Races which are held in January, March and August every year with musical entertainment after the races. And donít forget to enjoy some freshly cooked fish and chips while sitting on the prom.
The Copper Coast UNESCO Geo Park gets its name from the 19th Century copper mines that lie at its heart. It comprises some 25 kilometres of spectacular coastline consisting of scalloped beaches and coves buttressed and enclosed by rocky headlands. Oceans, volcanoes, deserts and ice sheets all combined to create the rocks, which provide the physical foundation of the natural and cultural landscapes of the Copper Coast. Visit the Geopark Information Point in Bunmahon for maps and brochures of the area, along with details of guided tours and workshops. The Copper Coast Geo Park passes through the villages of Fenor, Annestown, Boatstrand, Bunmahon and Stradbally with Dunhill just inland.
Dunmore East is a charming fishing village and seaside resort with beautifully thatched houses, striking red sand stone cliffs which host a huge colony of kittiwakes and some superb restaurants just 16km from Waterford City. There is plenty to do in Dunmore from golfing, to angling, deep sea charters and for the adventurous and families alike there is a range of activities at the Dunmore East Adventure Centre. Dunmore is also home to the annual Guinness Blue Grass Festival (August 27 th, 28 th & 29 th) as well as the Festival of Food, Fish & Fun (June 2010).
Woodstown is safe, sandy beach great for swimming when the tide is in. When the tide is out, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the beach and there are lots of sea shells to be collected and it is the perfect place for building castles. Woodstown is very popular with families for picnics and long walks.
Around Ardmore, in addition to Ardmore Beach itself there are a number of other beautiful unspoilt beaches including two Green Flag Beaches at Ballyquin and Goat Island. While in Ardmore, a visit to the Round Tower is a must.
Other Beaches of Note