THE WATERFORD GREENWAY – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

The 41km (25 miles) Waterford Greenway starts in Kilmeaden and finishes in Dungarvan and is a combination of towpath and green space with the River Suir in the middle. It’s fantastic for recreational use and ideal for visitors to and locals alike wanting and discovering and exploring the countryside of Waterford in a leisurely way.

The trail goes right through the center of towns and villages so you see the rural landscape of Waterford in a really special way.

The Greenway has been designed to be accessible to everyone, with a focus on low maintenance. It is suitable for people of all ages and abilities, whether you are out walking the family dog or cycling down with your club.

The Greenway follows the river for much of its route so if you’re looking for an activity that involves getting involved with nature, the Greenway is perfect for you.

ABOUT THE WATERFORD GREENWAY

The Waterford Greenway is Ireland’s first long-distance walking and cycling trail. It opened in July 2010 and follows an old railway line through County Waterford.

The railway that the greenway follows was built in the 1840’s to carry coal, limestone, and other goods between Waterford City, Kilmeaden, and Mount Melleray Abbey. The route was closed to freight after 2009 but reopened as a walking and cycling trail.


WATERFORD GREENWAY SECTIONS

The Waterford Greenway is conveniently broken into 6 sections which vary in difficulty.

Stage 1: Waterford City to Killoteran (7.5km)

Stage 2: Killoteran to Kilmeadan (3km)

Stage 3: Kilmeadan to Kilmacthomas (13.5km)

Stage 4: Kilmacthomas to Durrow (12km)

Stage 5: Durrow to Clonea Road (6km)

Stage 6: Clonea Road to Dungarvan (4km)

How Long will it take me to Cycle?

Not sure how long it’ll take to ride the Waterford Greenway? Here’s the answer.

It’s no secret that Waterford Greenway has become one of Ireland’s biggest tourist attractions. With the majority of the route flattish, it’s a great choice for anyone looking to get outdoors for exercise or explore the many interesting towns along the way.

It runs for a distance of 43.3kms from Toomevara in North Tipperary, to Dungarvan Harbour in Waterford City. The Greenway traverses flat lands for most of its length, making it very accessible for all ages and skill levels.

It would take me at least 3 – 4 hours to cycle the route, one way. We would suggest budgeting a full day of cycling

Places to Park

WIT West Campus 52.25464 – 7.18054 / Killoteran 52.24492 – 7.20525 / Kilmeadan 52.24644 – 7.24664 / Workhouse 52.20199 – 7.40631 / Station 52.20609 – 7.42098 / Mill 52.205858 – 7.424621 / McGrath’s Cross 52.1899 – 7.46559 / Shanacool 52.129048 – 7.506394 / Scartore 52.100245 – 7.565395 / Dungarvan 52.092489 – 7.616947

WATERFORD GREENWAY ROUTE

The Waterford Greenway is a scenic trail that runs through the heart of Ireland’s southeast coast. Starting in Waterford City, you can bike to Dungarvan, passing through towns and villages, beautiful parks, farmland, winding rivers, historic castles and gardens en route.

The Waterford Greenway is Ireland’s first long-distance walking and cycling trail. It opened in July 2010 and follows an old railway line through County Waterford.

The railway that the greenway follows was built in the 1840’s to carry coal, limestone, and other goods between Waterford City, Kilmeaden, and Mount Melleray Abbey. The route was closed to freight after 2009 but reopened as a walking and cycling trail.

STAGE ONE.

WATERFORD CITY TO KILLOTERAN (7.5KM)

There are only just over 7 kilometers between the City and Annestown but there’s so much to see and do along the way and lots of ways to extend your route if you have time. The Greenway is a great option for those wanting to experience a taste of Waterford and part of its heritage with little exertion.

You set out this morning for a nice easy run along the river Suir to Tipperary. Along the way, you’ll pass Power’s Quay which was once known as “The Harbour of Kings”. You can continue up the river past the Waterford Crystal Glassworks factory, to Mount Congreve which you can scale for stunning views. Keep going and you’ll pass Woodstown, the archaeological site of the 8th century Viking settlement that predates the city of Waterford. Artifacts can be seen at the Waterford Museum of Treasures and at Reginald’s Tower.

You’ll be cycling through the lush heart of Ireland, where there is abundant wildlife and the famous Suir Valley is home to rare birds such as choughs and red-billed choughs.  Arriving in Carrick-on-Suir you will find a cluster of great places to stay and eat including The Georgian House Hotel and the Crane Hotel. If you like history, don’t miss Carrick Castle, one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Ireland.

Follow the twists and turns of the Suir as it flows south through the green fields of the Golden Vale to Carrick-on-Suir. The town grew up around a Norman Castle and Monastery built-in 1185 A.D. It was once the principal port city on the River Suir, but over time silting and re-routing of the river took its toll and eventually led to its decline as a port city.

Waterford’s river walk is the main route of the famous R574 path, also known as the southern bank of the River Suir Way. The other side of the Suir is known as the North Bank.

STAGE TWO.

KILLOTERAN TO KILMEADEN (3KM)

The Killoteran to Kilmeadan section is also the most diverse of all the sections of the Greenway. On this flat and easy part, you can spot several ruins from medieval times, as well as a Norman castle. You can also visit Mount Congreve Gardens or explore the ruins of a medieval church at Kilmeadan.

The Greenway passes through Killoteran Bog where over 100 species of plants, fish, and insects have been found. On your right are four-bay lime kilns used in the 19th century to burn lime for farming and whitewashing houses. There are points along the towpath where you can stop to refill water bottles or take a brief break.

There are plenty of gorgeous water views in this section. Keep an eye out for wildflowers, butterflies, and dragonflies.

STAGE 3.

KILMEADEN TO KILMACTHOMAS 13.5KM

The Waterford Way runs along the border of County Cork and County Waterford, with dramatic views of the River Suir, passing through the village of Kilmacthomas. On this stretch, you’ll encounter occasional ups and downs on a mostly flat surface. You’re entering a more rural area of the route now, with evidence of farming and livestock all around you along with an abundance of wildlife and birds.

Kilmacthomas

one of the oldest villages on the Greenway, was once a busy port on the River Suir. Here you’ll find lots of shops to stop off in, an eatery if you get peckish and access to your next stretch of Greenway.

Tradition claims St. Cadoc established a monastery at Kilmacthomas in the 5th century and this history lives on today with the ruins of Kilmacthomas Abbey built on the site of an earlier monastery. But even more modern is the vitality of this small village along the Waterford Greenway. A crossing place of two rivers – the Suir and the Lorum – Kilmacthomas has its own swimming hole, “Biggs’s Hole” and an idyllic children’s playground for impromptu visits.

When you reach Kilmacthomas you have the choice of a left turn to take in some historic sights in Kilmacthomas and Kilduff, or a right turn that carries on past the captivating Ballinamult Abbey ruins.

On your right is also a patch of woodland where it’s a good idea to keep a keen eye out for the resident population of fallow deer. As you pass Kilmacthomas village, you’ll be able to visit the local castle and gardens.

Here, you’ll pass the ruins of the 13th-century Kilmacthomas Friary on your left. You’ll also go past some impressive mansion houses and stately homes along this stretch, perhaps stopping to admire some of them and their attractive wooded grounds.

The area is also close to the village of Clonmel, where you can take a break from your ride at the Coolmine Park & Lifestyle Centre. There is a café on site.

STAGE 4.

KILMACTHOMAS TO DURROW (SHANACOOL) (12KM)

It’s rare to have a cycle ride that is free from the need to pedal hard. That’s exactly how it is on the Waterford Greenway as you pass through this charming, rural part of east Waterford. The surface is smooth and flat for these 12km (guided of course by the signs), and you can amble along at a gentle pace of around 5 km per hour. It’s also stunningly beautiful, with plenty of river-side views and old bridges like the cherished Kilmacthomas Vicar’s Bridge.

From Kilmacthomas the Greenway continues to twist and turn for another 12km until it reaches Durrow, where you can find some great accommodation options including an eco-campsite. 

The path narrows again at this point because there is no longer room for two lanes of traffic; however, fortunately, because the surface is mostly crushed limestone (like the rest of the Greenway) it is easy to create wide enough paths to allow bikers to spread their wings.

STAGE 5.

Durrow to Clonea Road (6km)

The Durrow to Clonea Road section is a real favourite. It’s mostly off-road and there’s some nice scenery, particularly the parts that run along the old railway. The Clonea section of the Greenway finishes in Clonea with a series of gentle inclines.

One of the most gripping bike trails in Munster runs from Durrow to Clonea, through a gripping landscape of woods and lakes. The now-iconic tunnel and the Ballyvoyle Viaduct, as well as vivid nature, will keep you spellbound as you cycle along this lovely Greenway.

The Ballyvoyle Viaduct is one of the most recognizable landmarks on the new Greenway. It crosses the River Deen on 25 twin arches, each spanning 20 meters. It’s an impressive structure on a cycleway that attracts hundreds of riders every year.

It’s a gentle track, starting with a flat stretch for the first two kilometers (along the R418) before turning downhill towards Scartore.

Heading back up towards Clonea brings its challenges for cyclists. The climb begins at the top of the pass at Scartore through the Clonbara Bog complex. This heathland area holds a surprising amount of wildlife, with many species of birds flocking to feed during the summer months. Climb up past the entrance to Ballinahone Woodlands Centre, take a peek out towards Durrow Abbey or get to know your neighbors on this sun-soaked section of road.

STAGE 6.

Clonea Road to Dungarvan (4km)

Dungarvan Town is situated on the coastline of Ireland’s southeast coast, on the south coast. Dungarvan is just over 1 hour from Waterford City and 90 minutes from Limerick so is ideally situated for tourists visiting either city. It is easily accessible by road or rail at the junction of the N24 and N25. The railway line which runs along the coastline between Cork and Rosslare Harbor also serves Dungarvan.

3 WATERFORD GREENWAY HIGHLIGHTS

A story of beautiful views with an epic history

There are three viaducts and eleven bridges on the railway. Ballyvoyle viaduct was constructed in 1878, blown up in 1922, and after a second thought rebuilt in 1924. The route of the railway line changed dramatically at that point; before that trains were diverted through Loughrea, where they crossed the Derrycunnihy viaduct (also referred to as Ballyvoyle viaduct).  It makes for extremely beautiful views as a lane for cycling the Greenway.

The track now passes under this viaduct instead of crossing it.

The story of the viaduct is in itself an interesting one.  The design was created by Mr Bowes , who was also responsible for designing Victoria Bridge in Dublin. Bowes did his homework well apparently. He was the first to use concrete. It is regarded as one of Europe’s outstanding Victorian engineering achievements.

Rockfleet Castle and Burrishoole Abbey (both to the northwest) have ties to Grace O’Malley, a famous 16th-century pirate queen. The Great Western Greenway bike and pedestrian trail runs from Westport to Achill Island in het northwest.

Just a few miles from Achill Island, this west coast town is home to one of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches – the blue flag 4-star Westport Beach has hosted international swimming events, and offers sailing, diving, kayaking and windsurfing. 

A fishing port long before tourist hype ever set foot in this corner of the country, the harbourside still bustles with activity.

The coastal region is wild and windswept, with the Aran Islands visible to the west. The modern town has a long history: it was founded in 1693 as a port for local fishing boats. In the late 18th century, it became a hub for trade with North America, facilitating the shipment of local whiskey and linen between Westport and Canada and Boston.

Waterford Suir Valley Railway

The Waterford & Suir Valley Railway is a registered charity operating a 3′ gauge railway along approximately 10 km of track from Kilmeadan back towards Waterford, Ireland. The line shares much of its route along the banks of River Suir with the Waterford Greenway.

The railway was originally built as part of a sugar plantation on a nearby estate, and was restored in the late nineties as a tourist attraction.

The railway line was originally built by the Waterford & Limerick Railway Company in 1852 and was known as Great Southern and Western Railway (Ireland) but this changed in 1925 when it was registered to become part of the Great Southern Railways (Ireland).

Mount Congreve

A perfect blend of Georgian architecture and scenery

Mount Congreve is a stately home, manor house or country house in Ireland. Mount Congreve is not a castle although it gives the impression of being a small fortified building. The architectural style is Georgian.

Mount Congreve was the former residence of the Viscounts Congreve, who were descended from Sir William Congreve (1670–1726), the creator of ‘Congreve Rockets’; he became Lord Keeper of His Majesty’s Privy Purse in 1718 and succeeded to the title in 1720. The house was situated on a 1,886-acre estate overlooking Waterford Harbour.

Mount Congreve passed out of the ownership of the Congreve family in 1916 and since then has been rented out for a variety of purposes including a mining academy for wealthy Germans during World War I and a seminary after that war.

The house is surrounded by extensive formal gardens, which are considered to be among the finest examples in Ireland.

Given its location in the vicinity of the town of Waterford, Mount Congreve is an important landmark. It commands views of the city and of the countryside to the east and south.

WATERFORD GREENWAY BIKE HIRE

In Waterford, Ireland, there are several bike hire companies that you can consider for your cycling needs:

  1. Waterford Greenway Bike Hire: They operate from multiple locations including Waterford City, Kilmacthomas, and Dungarvan. They offer a variety of bicycles suitable for the scenic Waterford Greenway.
  2. Viking Bike Hire: Located in Waterford’s Viking Triangle, Viking Bike Hire offers a wide selection of bikes and is known for its convenient location near both the Waterford Greenway and the city.
  3. Waterford TFI Bikes: This service provides an ideal way to explore Waterford, blending the ancient and modern aspects of Ireland’s oldest city. They have 14 stations with 220 bikes available.
  4. Waterford Greenway Bike Hire & Visitor Centre: This company serves the entire Waterford Greenway and offers a wide selection of bikes from three key locations in Waterford, Kilmacthomas, and Dungarvan. They also provide a shuttle bus service.
  5. The Greenway Rent‑a‑Bike: Located at the start of the Greenway in Dungarvan, this service offers a range of bicycles for hire all year round.

These companies provide various options for bike rentals, including different types of bikes and additional services like shuttle buses, making them suitable for exploring the beautiful landscapes and historic sites in and around Waterford.

RECCOMENDED PLACES TO EAT IN WATERFORD

It pays to have good taste. Waterford’s fine selection of restaurants provides high-quality food and service at affordable prices. Whether you are looking for some traditional pub fare, a tasty light bite, or something more sophisticated, Waterford restaurants have it all.

WATERFORD DINING

Five recommended restaurants in Waterford, Ireland, are:

  1. Bodega: Known for its fresh seafood sourced from local areas and beef from the Comeragh Mountains, Bodega is celebrated for its food artistry and presentation.
  2. The Granary Café: Ideal for a light meal in a relaxed setting, The Granary Café offers tasty pastry dishes accompanied by a range of fair trade coffee and tea.
  3. Emiliano’s: A highly regarded high-end restaurant in Waterford, Emiliano’s specializes in Italian cuisine made with fine local Irish ingredients, known for its friendly and knowledgeable staff.
  4. McLeary’s: This popular restaurant focuses on seafood and various beef dishes, offering a quality dining experience at reasonable prices. It’s known for its welcoming atmosphere and helpful staff.
  5. The Olive Tree: A fairly new establishment in Waterford, The Olive Tree is the only place in the city where you can enjoy tapas. It blends local culinary traditions with Spanish style, gaining a reputation for quality and affordability.

Dungarvan is a gorgeous town in Ireland’s sunny south-east. It is the perfect base for touring County Waterford or just exploring the many attractions in this area of Ireland. The town has so much to offer, from shopping in the pretty streets, to visiting some of its historic sites, great restaurants and lovely pubs!

Dungarvin is brimming with excellent restaurants. You can find pretty much anything your heart desires or cater for any taste. The diversity of the restaurants in Dungarvan makes it well worth visiting. The following list details some of the very best places to eat in Dungarvan so if you’re looking for an experience somewhere head on over to one of these places.

FAQ’S

How do I get to Waterford?

Waterford is easily reachable by car, bus or boat. It’s even possible to drive part way and finish up on one of the Celtic Link buses between Waterford, Rosslare and Dublin. And if you find yourself in Waterford for longer than a day or two, it’s always worth considering public transport for getting around, whether it’s using the city’s buses or hopping on board one of Ireland’s best-known vessels, The Swift.

How do I get from the Aran Islands to Waterford

To travel from the Aran Islands to Waterford, you’ll need to use a combination of ferry and land transportation. Here’s a typical route:

  1. Ferry from the Aran Islands to the Mainland: Start by taking a ferry from the Aran Islands to either Rossaveal (Ros a’ Mhíl) in County Galway or Doolin in County Clare.
  2. Travel to Galway City: From Rossaveal or Doolin, head to Galway City. If you’re in Rossaveal, there are usually bus services to Galway City timed with the ferry arrivals. From Doolin, you might need to arrange a taxi or find a bus service.
  3. Bus or Train from Galway to Waterford: Once in Galway, you can continue to Waterford either by bus or train. Bus Éireann and Irish Rail provide services between these cities, but the journey may involve transfers.
  4. Arrive in Waterford: After reaching Waterford, you can use local transport to get to your final destination in the city.

It’s important to check the latest timetables and travel advisories for ferries, buses, and trains as they can vary, especially in response to weather conditions or seasonal changes.

Can you walk the Waterford Greenway?

The Greenway is the perfect place to get used to life on the go. The few days that you spend walking it will give you valuable insights into how your body copes with long periods of physical activity. By the end of it, you’ll have calculated various averages, including distance walked per day, calories consumed, hours on feet etc. These are valuable statistics to have in your back pocket when you are doing more major challenges.

Is the Waterford Greenway one way?

Whether you plan to cycle from either Dungarvan or Waterford, it doesn’t matter. You can start anywhere along the route at any of the six stages, and just do one stage if you wish!. This scenic route will certainly be enhanced by taking in the amazing views of Lough Derg, The Eye Peninsula and the Slieve Felim mountain range.

Are there toilets on the Waterford Greenway?

Of all the aspects of this great Greenway, toilets are probably a question that gets asked most often by travellers or visitors to Waterford. Fortunately, every kilometre of the Waterford Greenway is serviced by at least one toilet. This means that whether you start your cycle in Waterford city or Dungarvin, or anywhere in between; you can find a toilet without any hassle whatsoever.

Water Stations?

Visitors to some of the most popular sections of the Greenway will be able to refill their water bottles at a number of specially designed water bottle refill stations. These are ideally suited to cyclists who have greater difficulty in accessing suitable drinking water points on their journey.

Water bottle refill stations on the Waterford Greenway are located along the Greenway at Abbeyside, Ballylynch Cross, Kilmacthomas Station and Bilberry. These enable Greenway users to refill their water bottles as they enjoy the Waterford Greenway.

Playgrounds near the greenway?

The Greenway is a wonderful facility and it’s important to keep children’s interest with activity and fun along the way. So grab a ball, go exploring and have some fun!

A playground is a really important aspect of a local network, and we’re very lucky to have some great playgrounds nearby on the Waterford Greenway.

There are two well constructed playgrounds that are easily accessible from the Waterford Greenway should you want to make a day out of it. Both Kilmacthomas and Abbeyside, Walton Park have play areas for kids of all ages, picnic tables, car-parks, shelters, electric barbecue facilities and toilets. Best of all there are no entrance fees !

There is also a playground at the Waterford City Park but it’s located on the south-side and takes longer to reach than either of the above.

Using The Greenway as a link between playgrounds can allow children to complete their original plans, but also try something new after all that energy has been used up.

everyone loves the Aran Islands when they have been on an ebike

Client testimonials

Lisa D.

Customer

Definitely the highlight of my recent trip to ireland. I am am going to buy an Ebike in the next few weeks.

Hanna A.

Customer

I had no idea how cool cycling an ebike was!. I loved every minute of my tour and will definitely return to the Aran Islands to explore it in details. Thanks Guys!.

Andrew R.

Customer

I only had a few hours on the island. The ebike allowed me to get up to Dun Aonghas much faster that if used a regular hire.

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