IRELAND’S East Coast
Map Information Highlights
Airport Car Ferry
Battle of the Boyne
Hill of Tara
Castletown House Newbridge Silver
Irish National Stud Mount Usher Garden
Rock of Cashel
Glendalough Walking Wicklow Mountains Kilkenny Castle
Walking Glen of Aherlow
Wexford Opera Festival
Lismore Castle Waterford Crystal Sea Fishing
Waterford boasts an excellent choice of world-class visitor attractions from the spectacular Copper Coast Geopark, to Lismore Castle and gardens.
WATERFORD Waterford has something for everyone. From its vibrant city life, to the rural charm of inland towns and villages, to its stunning coastline.
Waterford City, the oldest city in Ireland, is the perfect blend of ancient and modern. Its collection of pubs, gourmet restaurants and excellent shops and boutiques, co-exist with medieval city walls, quaintly cobbled back streets and the grandeur of historic buildings still standing proud after more than a thousand years.
The county offers a mix of mountainous scenery, river valleys with fine fishing, and mile upon mile of fine, unspoiled beaches such as Courtown, Rosslare, Duncannon and Curracloe. The South East Coastal Drive is perhaps the best way to take in part of Wexford’s 200 kilometres of stunning coastline.
Dunmore East Wexford Festival Opera Wexford is also home to the new state of the art venue – The Wexford Opera House. Wexford is a county of spectacular parks and gardens, such as The John F Kennedy Arboretum – ideal for a family walk and picnic. It is also world renowned for the diverse range of bird-life that inhabits and passes through its nature reserves. A full calendar of events, including the world famous Wexford Festival Opera and Wexford Fringe Festival, the Co. Wexford Strawberry Festival and the Duncannon Sand Sculpting Festival, ensures there’s always something fun to see and do.
Waterford’s picturesque coastline, stretching the length of the county, is dotted with a string of lively towns including Tramore, Dunmore East and Dungarvan. Dungarvan is a medieval port and a market town with a 12th century motte and King John’s Castle. Other coastal villages include Passage East, Stradbally and Ring, the centre of a thriving Irish speaking community.
For the adventurous there are plenty of water activities such as diving, kayaking, surfing, sailing and kite-surfing. To the west of the county, nestled close to the Comeragh Mountains, lie the pretty towns of Lismore, Cappoquin and Ballymacarbry along the Nire Valley. Just north of Lismore is The Vee, a wonderful scenic spot at the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains, this area offers scenic walks and a great driving route. Waterford really is a natural playground for equestrian, walking, angling, watersports and cycling holidays making it ideal for holidays of all kinds.
Kilkenny Shopping The county itself has a wealth of fascinating visitor attractions, from the wonders of Dunmore Cave and celebrated monastic settlements such as Jerpoint Abbey, to the magnificently restored Kilkenny Castle or the Castlecomer Discovery Park. Kilkenny’s many pretty towns and villages such as Inistioge and Bennettsbridge have a relaxed atmosphere, and visitors will feel at home from the moment they arrive.
Welcome to the EAST of IRELAND IRELAND’S EAST COAST
The Counties of Louth, Meath, Kildare, Wicklow, Laois, Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow & Tipperary make up Ireland’s East region. This region is at the very centre of Ireland’s history & culture and it promises to offer you a wonderful holiday experience.
For more information please contact: Fáilte Ireland Amiens Street, Dublin 1 T 1890 525 525 / +353 (0)1 884 7700 F +353 (0)1 855 6821 www.failteireland.ie www.discoverireland.com
Take a step back through time and discover amazing buildings and monuments just waiting to be explored as you learn more about Ireland’s past and how it still influences the present. Sights not to be missed include Newgrange (Bru na Boinne). Built around 3200BC, the UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the oldest astronomically aligned monuments in the world and puts on quite a show during the winter solstice. Ireland’s rich Viking & Norman past is evident from the numerous castles & historic houses to be found in the region, none better that the magnificent Kilkenny Castle and the Waterford’s Viking Triangle.
Ireland’s early Christian heritage is steeped in learning and spirituality, a heritage which continues today, with opportunities to visit religious sites, unique Celtic crosses and religious settlements. Be amazed by our ancient Christian heritage, the workmanship of the Book of Kells, the historic monasteries and churches throughout the countryside like Clonmacnoise, Glendalough and the mighty Rock of Cashel, once the seat of the Kings of Munster.
This region is home to many of Ireland’s most stunning gardens, such as the beautiful Altamont Gardens in Carlow and the Powerscourt House and Gardens in Wicklow, just two of the many stately homes and gardens open to the public. And of course, a visit to the region wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the new House of Waterford Crystal to marvel at the work of the master craftsmen.
The region is alive with a colourful mix of festivals, a lively music and arts scene and a feast of award winning, gourmet restaurants and farmers’ markets. Join in the year round festivities as the locals celebrate their unique and rich culture at festivals such as Wexford Festival Opera, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Waterford Spraoi, Loughcrew Garden Opera and the Wicklow Roar, to name but a few from a packed calendar.
Carlingford Lough Louth offers plenty of fun-filled days for families on holiday, whether it is visiting the monastic sites of the Boyne Valley, including Mellifont and Monasterboice or the many fascinating buildings including St. Laurence’s Gate, Millmount Motte and Martello Tower. Spending a day at one of the several seaside resorts, summer camps, participating in a range of activities, or just stocking up on the local delicacies at fantastic farmers’ markets, families will enjoy the Louth experience. Louth also offers a wide range of shops, if you are looking for anything from traditional gifts to designer labels you will be sure to find it in one of the shopping centres, craft centres, or chic boutiques which makes for an extremely pleasurable shopping experience.
County Meath along with neighbouring County Louth forms the historic Boyne Valley region. Don’t miss the chance to visit the world renowned prehistoric tombs at Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange), and the site of the Battle of the Boyne, located near Oldbridge. Kells with its High Cross and Round Tower, the splendid Norman Castle at Trim, the fabled Hill of Tara near Navan and the holy Hill of Slane are just some of the sites to be explored. There is horse racing at Fairyhouse, the home of the Irish Grand National, Bellewstown and Navan. There is a wide range of equestrian centres and golf courses throughout the county. The 2011 Solheim Cup was held at Killeen Castle. There are special gardens to visit at Loughcrew, Dunboyne and Kells, and good fishing to be found in the River Boyne, the Royal Canal, Lough Sheelin and Drumconrath Lakes.
Kilkenny Arts Festival
If you’re looking for a destination that holds the essence of Ireland you’ll fund it in Kildare and it’s neighboring County Wicklow. Kildare’s famous racecourses, The Curragh, Punchestown and Naas are home to exciting racing festivals, whilst the Irish National Stud is testament to the county’s strong horse breeding tradition.
Tipperary is a county of immense natural beauty, with a unique and ancient heritage. Shaped by the rugged Galtee Mountains and the River Suir, Tipperary has some of the South East’s most breathtaking scenery.
It’s a county of spectacular natural beauty with the Glen of Aherlow and the Vee Valley of particular note. Making it a paradise for walkers. Tipperary is a county famous for traditional music, hurling and bloodstock. In fact, the county is one of Ireland’s premier horseracing centres. Tipperary has some other fascinating places to visit, such as Mitchelstown Cave, one of Europe’s most spectacular and the captivating Brú Ború Cultural Centre, commemorating Brian Ború with a ‘cultural village’ celebrating Irish music, song, dance and theatre.
Glen of Aherlow
LAOIS Laois is a fascinating county with much to attract the visitor.
WICKLOW In Wicklow and its neighboring county Kildare you’ll find Ireland in a nutshell. Wicklow in particular is renowned for it’s scenery, beautiful mix of golden sandy beaches, rolling mountains, wooded glens, cascading waterfalls and lakes.
The K Club In addition, the county offers a range of special interest activities such as golf, motor racing at Mondello Park, fishing, ecology, cruising and walking. In September 2006, the K Club hosted the most prestigious international golfing event; The Ryder Cup.
Visit Newbridge, a thriving retail town and home to the world famous Newbridge Silverware factory. Spend time at Kildare Village Shopping Outlet. With over 50 luxury outlet boutiques you will be sure to pick up a bargain or two. Or for something quirky stop by the wonderful Butterfly Farm in Straffan.
Visit the Round Tower at Timahoe or the Romanesque door at Killeshin old church. Enjoy the gardens surrounding the splendid Gandon House at Emo and the Lutyens gardens at Heywood. Portlaoise, the county town is rich in retail therapy and nightlife and is a key gateway to the Slieve Bloom Mountains.
Emo Court Gardens
There are reminders in Portarlington of its Huguenot past, Mountmellick is famous for its lace, while the estate towns of Durrow and Abbeyleix, the latter a designated heritage town with an award winning library, have their own unique character. Castletown is a pleasant village to visit, set on the banks of the river Nore and built around a triangular green, fragments of a castle dating back to 1182 remain.
se The Curragh Racecour
Tranquility is easily found along the banks of the Grand Canal at Vicarstown, or on the walking routes in the Slieve Bloom Mountains.
Hidden around every corner are rich and interesting attractions including the 6th century monastic centre of Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Experience the magnificent houses and gardens such as Powerscourt, Kilruddery, Russborough, Avondale and Mount Usher Gardens which prove Wicklow’s reputation as the “Garden of Ireland”.
County Kildare’s many heritage attractions are of great importance to the island of Ireland and provide much to interest the visitor. Explore the heritage towns of Athy and Kildare. Visit Leixlip, where Guinness was first brewed and Maynooth, a traditional university town since the 18th century. Visit the Round Tower in Castledermot and the famous Moone High Cross. See the many houses and gardens on offer such as the magnificent Castletown or experience the wilderness of the Bog of Allen.
Louth is a walker’s paradise, with the legendary Cooleys providing the scenic backdrop as well as the perfect terrain for a walking holiday. Follow the path of Queen Meave on the Táin Trail or walk the 40km Táin Way which encircles the Cooley Peninsula in the north-east of the county.
Kells High Cross
You’ll be amazed at the variety of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed during your time in Carlow, including hiking, cycling, river cruising, angling and golf. Mount Leinster is an internationally renowned location for hang gliding and hang gliders can be viewed taking flight on most Sundays from March to October.
The rich heritage of County Meath ensures that every visit is memorable.
Enjoy the fine sandy (blue flag) beaches dotted along the coastline and take in the natural views and beauty of both land and sea. If you enjoy the great outdoors, there’s no better place for an activity based holiday, with excellent water sports, golfing, fishing, horse riding, walking and cycling on offer.
Whatever you are looking for in a holiday, be it a quiet break or an action packed getaway, County Louth which forms part of the historic Boyne Valley with neighbouring Co. Meath, contains a rich medieval past, abounds with interesting places to see and a host of different things to do.
Rock of Cashel
The county’s distinctive set of landmarks include the mighty Rock of Cashel, once the seat of the Kings of Munster and the magnificent 12th century Cahir Castle. Other heritage highlights include the Swiss Cottage in Cahir, the Ormond Castle in Carrick on Suir, the Main Guard in Clonmel and Fethard Medieval walled town.
Close to Tullow are the renowned Altamont Gardens, a romantic and lovingly restored garden and just one of the many public gardens for which Carlow is famous, visitors can now enjoy Carlow’s unique Garden Trail which features 16 different gardening attractions. Carlow is steeped in history; home to mystical pagan sites such as the prehistoric Brownshill Dolmen, early Christian settlements like St Mullins and magnificent Georgian country homes such as Duckett’s Grove with its beautiful restored gardens which welcomes visitors.
But what really sets Kilkenny apart is the extraordinary creativity of its people, earning it the reputation as the creative heart of Ireland. Visits to Kilkenny’s many craft studios and workshops, such as those on the “Made in Kilkenny Craft Trail” brochure and at the National Craft Gallery, provide a rare opportunity to watch the artisans at work, and to go home with a unique reminder of your time in the county.
The Viking Triangle lies in the heart of the city, home to the world famous Waterford Crystal Factory, the city’s Georgian Museum in the restored Bishop’s Palace and the Viking Museum at Reginald’s Tower. The new House of Waterford Crystal is renowned the world over for the craftsmanship of its master glass cutters.
Hook Head Wexford is a historic county with bustling towns such as Enniscorthy, Gorey, New Ross and Wexford Town. It has many fascinating visitor attractions to choose from including the remarkable Hook Lighthouse, the Irish National Heritage Park, the “living history” of the Dunbrody Heritage Ship, Irish American Museum and the Ros Tapestry in New Ross, the Irish Agricultural Museum at Johnstown Castle Estate.
The ancient medieval city of Kilkenny is today a thriving, modern capital that has protected its precious heritage whilst evolving as one of Ireland’s most vibrant and enjoyable cities in which to stay. Its narrow slipways, side streets and preserved buildings, are matched only by its reputation for fine dining, great shopping, entertainment and accommodation.
Carlow is a county of ancient beauty and mystical charm. To the south and south east, the dramatic Blackstairs Mountains frame the county, at the heart of which is Carlow town, a historic and bustling centre with great shopping and a reputation for lively festivals held during the year. Carlow’s scenery is matched by its wealth of picturesque riverside towns and villages, shaped by the rivers Barrow, Burrin and Slaney – towns such as Leighlinbridge, Bagenalstown, Clonegal, Tullow and Rathvilly.
Kilkenny – a beautiful and ancient county where history, modern living and rich culture fuse together across an unspoiled landscape.
WEXFORD With a spectacular coastline, a wealth of historic sites and attractive towns and villages, it’s little wonder that Wexford is a favourite holiday destination for visitors and locals alike.
Golfers will be spoiled for choice with a number of challenging courses including the world famous Mount Juliet near Thomastown, while horseracing enthusiasts can head for Gowran Park which holds prominent national horseracing fixtures throughout the year.
Wicklow’s landscape provides a perfect backdrop for a range of activities such as golf, walking, angling, outdoor pursuits and equestrian as well as scenic drives. Wicklow’s picturesque towns and villages have attracted many film makers for years producing such films as “Excalibur”, “Michael Collins” and “Braveheart”. Popular TV series such as “Ballykissangel” and “Glenroe” were filmed in the attractive villages of Avoca and Kilcoole. The coastal towns of Greystones and Bray offer good pubs, cafes, restaurants and shopping, combined with stunning sea views along the promenade. Or why not explore the heritage town of Baltinglass, in the southwest of the county on the banks of the River Slaney. Step back in time at Wicklow Gaol and explore 18th century prison life.
Stradbally is famous for its steam festival and museum. Why not visit the Donaghmore famine museum and the fly fishing museum in Attanagh. The county has fine uncrowded golf courses, good fishing and excellent equestrian facilities.