Waterford Greenway Cycle: when to visit, what to see, and things to know

There is no better way to explore County Waterford in the Sunny South East than by hopping on a bike and cycling Waterford’s Greenway. Here is everything you need to know about the Waterford Greenway Cycle.

Often regarded as one of the most scenic cycling routes in Ireland, the Waterford Greenway is not to be missed when exploring the Emerald Isle.

Also known as the Déise Greenway, this 46 km (28.6 miles) route meanders through years of history, rich culture, and breathtaking scenery.

This car-free cycling route follows a historic railway line that operated in the late 19th-century right up until the late 1970s. The trail connects the historic city of Waterford, a city founded by the Vikings to the historic port of Dungarvan.

As the longest off-road walking and cycling trail, it passes through quaint towns and villages while also encompassing some of the most beautiful views on the Emerald Isle.

This trail can be completed all in one go, or you can break it up into smaller sections, ensuring you get to enjoy all the sights on offer here.

The route is enjoyed by cyclists, walkers, joggers, and even dogs (as long as they are kept on a short lead). Since this route follows the old railway line, there are relatively few inclines making for a perfect family day out!

Attracting upwards of 280,000 visitors to the Waterford Greenway, this dedicated walking and cycling path is one of the best ways of exploring County Waterford. The route is car-free, which makes for a peaceful and hassle-free way of discovering the area.

When to visit – considering weather and crowds

When to do the Waterford’s Greenway Cycle.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

As Waterford is located in what is known as the Sunny South East, we would advise experiencing the Waterford Greenway during the summer months. The summer months in this region are often said to be like those experienced on the continent, with very little rain!

Understandably, the summer months are the busiest season for visitors to the area. However, the cycling route is so long that even in the height of summer, you will not be surrounded by other visitors at all times on the route.

Bike hire operators run throughout the year; however, they have restricted opening hours during the winter months. As such, it is always best to get in touch with the operators in advance of your cycling adventure to ensure that they will be operating!

What to see – beautiful sights

Beautiful sights along the Waterford’s Greenway Cycle.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

The Waterford Greenway features 11 stunning bridges, three viaducts, and a 400-metre tunnel.

These beautiful pieces of architecture are just one of the many incredible things to keep your eyes peeled for a while traversing this 46 km (28.6 miles) route.

Our favourite bridge would have to be Thomas Francis Meagher Bridge, the largest bridge in Ireland, which crosses over the River Suir.

County Waterford is home to one of the largest collections of plants in Ireland and is known as one of the great gardens of the world.

Don't miss Mount Congreve.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Mount Congreve is an 18th-century Georgian estate set on about 70 acres of immaculate gardens, which is one of the romantic date spots in Waterford. This spectacular garden is a must-visit when cycling the Waterford Greenway.

Address: Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford, X91 PX05

For those with an interest in Irish history, head to the Kilmacthomas Workhouse and have a look into the lives of the peasants during the famine.

Take a guided tour of this dark and eerie place to gain a greater insight into the difficulties facing millions of Irish during the 19th-century. These buildings have since been repurposed as a design studio and café, so it is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee!

Address: The Courtyard, The Workhouse, Union Road, Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford, X42 VY33

This breathtaking cycle takes you on a beautiful journey with some incredible views

Enjoy the views of the remarkable Comeragh Mountains that overlook you as you do the Waterford Greenway Cycle.

Waterford is home to some of Ireland’s most stunning pieces of coastlines. Blessed with its sandy coves, secluded beaches, and rocky mountains, so be sure to stop and admire these, as the views are truly magnificent.

Things to know – useful information

Useful information you need to know.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Most places to rent bikes from on the Waterford Greenway offer regular bikes and electronic bikes. Electronic bikes come with an electric motor to assist you when you get tired.

These are especially helpful if you plan to tackle the entire 46 km (28.6 miles) route in one day.

Many bike-hire companies offer a shuttle bus service for those who rent from these.

These shuttle buses are perfect as they allow you do see more of the Waterford Greenway without having to double back on yourself. Bike-hire companies will arrange for a shuttle bus to bring you back to your starting point.

Those who are expert cyclists can complete the route in around two hours. However, we suggest taking breaks so that you can enjoy all that the area has to offer.

For the average person, the 46 km (28.6 miles) trip can take around eight hours, but that includes enjoying the sights and also stopping for a bite to eat.

Insider tips – what you need to know

Insider tips for visiting Waterford’s Greenway Cycle.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

If you are planning on completing the entire Waterford Greenway Cycle trail, we suggest you travel from Waterford in the direction of Dungarvan.

By doing this, you will finish up near Clonea Beach, which is considered to be one of the best beaches on Ireland’s south-east coast. Take a tip in the clear waters before finishing up your adventures for the day!

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