It has to be said that the road between Limerick and Waterford isn’t great and over the past decades’ many regional authorities have been calling for a motorway to be developed but to no avail.
This is a pity really as the Port of Rosslare (close to Waterford) is the entry/exit point not only for tourist availing of ferries but also for Irish people travelling to Europe.
But if you have time on your hands the lack of a motorway can be used to your advantage and provides an ideal chance to get in some serious sightseeing as you travel between the two cities.
In this feature we look at five must-see attractions you could visit along the road between Limerick and Waterford.
1 – Tipperary Racecourse
Just forty-nine kilometres from Limerick on the N24 and just a few miles on the Limerick side of Tipperary Town is the village of Limerick Junction — also known for its rail interchange station.
This village boasts a superb racetrack which dates back to 1848.
Racing at Tipperary Racecourse (formerly called Limerick Junction Race Track) takes place over the summer months with about two meetings a month from April through to October.
Events include a family Summer Sunday and a BBQ meeting in August which are well worth visiting.
So if you can manage to organise your trip on a date that fits in with a race day, all the better.
Address: Ballykisteen, Tipperary, Ireland
2 – Cahir Castle
The town of Cahir is 61 kilometres from Limerick on the N24 and its principle attraction — one in my opinion well worth a visit is Cahir Castle.
The Castle built on an Island on the River Suir which runs through the town was built in 1142 by the then Prince of Thomond Conor O’Brien.
The Castle now owned and managed by the Office of Public Works hosts a fantastic audio-visual display where the fascinating history of the castle can be learned.
Apart from entering and visiting the castle, a simple walk along the adjoining river banks to take in the splendour of the surroundings — which by the way have been used in many film and historical television productions including the blockbuster The Tudors can be an exceptional experience.
The complex history of the castle is far too extensive to go into here but frequent guided tours are held and for those with even a passing interest in history should not be missed.
Address: Castle St, Townparks, Cahir, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
3 – Clonmel
Clonmel is the largest town in County Tipperary and as such contains the usual range of shops, pubs and amenities.
But what makes Clonmel worth visiting are the various attractions which can be seen by simply taking a short and leisurely stroll around the town.
These attractions include but are not limited to the 17th-century building called the Main Guard which was built by the first Duke of Ormond in 1673.
Now convert into shops the building still retains an exterior which showcases a beautiful and unique architectural design.
Clonmel’s town centre also contains a rare historical feature known as the West Gate.
The West Gate is a building originally intended to guard and defend the then Norman town from invasion by from the Irish natives who were not permitted to live within the town walls.
Clonmel, of course, is famous for the making of cider. One of Europe’s premier cider manufacturing plants, Bulmers is situated just a few miles outside the town.
This heritage is echoed at Dowd’s lane in the Bulmer’s Vat House in the heart of the town.
A short stop-off in Clonmel and even a simple stroll around the town centre is well worth the effort, and it is also advisable to check out and try to coordinate your visit with one of the many cultural events which take place throughout the year, especially during the summer months.
4 – Carrick on Suir
To be honest Carrick on Suir is a sleepy little town between Clonmel and Waterford city but it does have one particular tourist attraction which makes stopping here worthwhile, and that is the Elizabethan style manor house originally constructed during the 16th century by Thomas Butler the 3rd Earl of Ormond.
During the 17th century, the house was the residence of James Butler a first cousin of Anne Boleyn. Butler who spent many years at the court of Queen Elizabeth was greatly influenced by the Architecture of that period when he built Ireland’s first Tudor style house adjoining the Castle.
The castle and house are now controlled by the Office of Public Works and open to the public.
5 – The House of Waterford Crystal Waterford
Once you’ve reached Waterford City, you will be simply spoiled for choice with interesting attractions to satisfy your sightseeing curiosity. Far too many to go into here but one suggestion for this Ireland’s oldest city would be the well laid out Viking Triangle.
This includes the Medieval Museum, Reginald’s Tower and the Bishop’s Palace which makes up a trinity of must-see first-class museums.
Waterford, of course, is synonymous with exquisite crystal, and although the original factory has long since closed, there is a beautifully designed House of Waterford Crystal centre situated in the heart of the city.
Here you can interpret the history and skills involved in the manufacture of this rare crystal, definitely well worth the visit.
Address: 28 The Mall, Waterford, Ireland
Well, there you have it four interesting stops to make on a drive along the N24 between Limerick and Waterford cities with of course a few suggestions as to do when you reach your destination in Waterford.
If driving continuously the journey should take about two-hours however hopeful you might just decide to take in the above attractions and make a nice day of it. Enjoy!