The pocket of our island stretching south from Waterford city down towards Dunmore East, Tramore and towards Wexford has some of the most beautiful, rich, lush scenery you will experience, especially as the River Suir opens into the Irish Sea through the Hook Channel and the land rises out of the water giving great views as you drive along. I will focus on Dunmore East for the moment but will be back with more on this area in the future I hope!
Traditionally a small fishing village, Dunmore has grown popular with day trippers out of Waterford and many people from surrounding counties choosing to own a holiday home here. These holiday homes are discretely hidden away and just the village, thatched cottages and local amenities are on view to passers through.
Built around the curve of the coast line, as you come into Dunmore from the Waterford side you have the choice of parking up and finding a spot on The Strand or a seat on the Spinnakers deck, or veering right and making your way up to the other end of the village, towards the Haven Hotel, tennis courts and harbour.
You will pass pretty little thatched cottages all looking towards Hook Lighthouse and as the road dips down, you will see the busy harbour that has been central to the income of the area for as long as the village has been here.
While still a commercial fishing port, Dunmore harbour provides sheltered berths for visiting yachts in the summer, along with a welcome at the local sailing club and an active RNLI station. Next to the slip is the Dunmore Adventure Centre with some of the best waterslides and trampolines supposedly for children but I know plenty of grown-ups who love a go on these when they can too!!
If water based activities don’t float your boat (sorry), there are a number of walks that you can do. There is a gentle woodland walk that begins at the park next to the tennis courts. My favourite walk to do in this area is the Cliff Walk from the harbour over towards Portally Cove and back. If you have 2 cars available you could drive out and walk from Portally back to the village taking in the views across the water to Hook Head.
If all that seems to strenuous, there is nothing wrong with bringing the buggy, a picnic or a book and whiling away a few hours in the park or on the beach!
With plenty of options to eat well, it all depends on what you are after. The Lemon Tree has coffee, cakes and café style salads to eat in or take away and is about 200metres from when you finish the cliff walk. If the sun is shining and you can get a table outside, a glass of cool wine and some of Azzuro’s anti-pasti or home made pizza’s will have you wishing for time to stand still and down on The Strand the Spinnaker is the place to watch the village pass by with a pint and a “feed” as the locals say!
Some of my other favourite places to visit in Waterford are…