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Waterford Walking Tour Basics
Before we dive into the hidden gems of Waterford, let’s talk about the basics of a walking tour. Walking tours are an excellent way to explore a city, and Waterford is no exception. The city is compact and easy to navigate on foot. There are many different walking tours available in Waterford, and it’s important to choose one that suits your interests. Some tours focus on Waterford’s Viking past, while others explore the city’s medieval history. There are also tours that focus on Waterford’s food and drink scene. No matter which tour you choose, you’re sure to discover some hidden gems along the way.
Waterford’s Viking Roots
Waterford was founded by the Vikings in 914 AD, making it Ireland’s oldest city. The Vikings settled in Waterford because of its strategic location on the River Suir. Today, you can still see evidence of Waterford’s Viking past in the city’s architecture and street names. A walking tour of Waterford should start with a visit to Reginald’s Tower, a round tower that was built by the Vikings in the 12th century. The tower is now a museum that houses artifacts from Waterford’s Viking past.
The Medieval Museum
After exploring Reginald’s Tower, head over to the Medieval Museum. The museum is located in a restored medieval building and houses some of Ireland’s most impressive medieval treasures. Highlights include the 15th-century cloth-of-gold vestments, a 13th-century sword, and the only surviving piece of clothing worn by a king of England.
The Bishop’s Palace
Another must-see on a walking tour of Waterford is the Bishop’s Palace. The palace was built in the 18th century and was home to the Bishops of Waterford and Lismore. Today, the palace is a museum that showcases Waterford’s Georgian heritage. Highlights include the Napoleon Clock, a stunning example of Georgian craftsmanship, and the oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal.
Waterford’s Walls and Towers
As you walk around Waterford, you’ll notice that the city is surrounded by walls and towers. These fortifications were built in the 13th century to protect the city from attack. Today, you can walk along the top of the walls and enjoy stunning views of the city and the River Suir.
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral is another must-see on a walking tour of Waterford. The cathedral was built in the 18th century and is home to some of the city’s most impressive stained glass windows. The cathedral also has a fascinating history. It was used as a courthouse during the 17th and 18th centuries and was the site of many important trials.
The People’s Park
The People’s Park is a beautiful green space in the heart of Waterford. The park was opened in 1857 and features a stunning bandstand and fountain. It’s a great place to take a break and enjoy the scenery.
As mentioned earlier, Reginald’s Tower is a must-see on a walking tour of Waterford. The tower was built by the Vikings in the 12th century and is now a museum that showcases Waterford’s Viking past. Highlights include a Viking sword and a 13th-century stone cistern.
Waterford’s waterfront is a stunning place to walk and take in the scenery. You’ll see the River Suir and the famous Tower Hotel, which was once a woolen mill. The waterfront is also home to the Bishop’s Palace, which is now a museum.
House of Waterford Crystal
The House of Waterford Crystal is a must-visit for anyone interested in glassmaking. The factory has been producing crystal for over 200 years and offers tours of the production process. You’ll also have the opportunity to purchase some of the exquisite crystal pieces.
Garter Lane is a cultural center that showcases the best of Waterford’s arts and culture scene. It’s a great place to catch a performance or exhibition.
Waterford Treasures Museum
The Waterford Treasures Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in Waterford’s history. The museum houses artifacts from Waterford’s Viking and medieval past, as well as pieces from the city’s Georgian and Victorian eras.
St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre
The St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre is a cultural center that hosts a range of events, from concerts to theater performances. It’s a great place to experience the best of Waterford’s arts scene.
A walking tour of Waterford is an excellent way to discover the city’s hidden gems. From its Viking past to its medieval architecture and Georgian heritage, Waterford has a rich and fascinating history. By taking a walking tour, you’ll be able to explore the city’s many attractions and discover some hidden gems along the way.