Waterford Greenway

Waterford City – Kilmacthomas – Dungarvan

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Bike Hire

Accommodation

About Waterford Greenway

Opened in 2017, the spectacular Waterford Greenway (also called the Deise Greenway) provides 46km of glorious car-free pathway stretching all the way from historic Waterford City to the beautiful sea-side town of Dungarvan in west Co. Waterford. The Comeragh Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop to a breathtaking journey across eleven bridges, three viaducts, through a 400m-long tunnel, along the lush banks of the River Suir, all the way to the scalloped beaches of Waterford’s famed Copper Coast.

Family of four cycle the Waterford Greenway with coast in the background

Map of Waterford Greenway

There is lots to do and see on the Waterford Greenway. To ensure you see all the highlights ensure you get you self the Waterford Greenway Map  Having a map will ensure you see all the highlights on and off the Greenway.

Waterford Greenway Sections

Dungarvan - Clonea Road

Distance: 4 km.

Set off from Dungarvan Town Centre and follow the old railway line to Clonea Road.

Clonea Road - Durrow

Distance: 6 km.

This section starts at Clonea Road and run along the coast with sea views and passes through the Ballyvoyle tunnel.

Durrow - Kilmacthomas

Distane: 12 km.

Pass through the Waterford Countryside with spectacular view of the Comeragh Mountains in the distance

Kilmacthomas - Kilmeaden

Distance: 13.5 km.

Travel through the Waterford countryside and end up at the old Kilmeaden station where you can watch the WSVR train come and go.

Kilmeadan - Kilternan

Distance: 3 km.

With views of the River Suir and passing  Mount Congrieve

Kilternan - Waterford City

Distance: 7.5km

The final stretch the Greenway which runs parallel the the WSVR railway and now run into Waterford City Centre. Free parking in Bilberry

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Bike Hire

Bike Hire is available in a number of locations on the Waterford Greenway. Check out the bike hire in Dungarvan, Kilmacthomas and Waterford City.

Bike Hire Locations

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Dungarvan to Clonea Road (4km)

Dungarvan is an exciting starting or end point for your greenway journey and it provides wonderful and ever-changing views of the beautiful Copper Coast, named for the vast mines that lie at its heart and ran here throughout the 19th century. The Copper Coast comprises 25 kilometres of spectacular coastline, scalloped beaches, enclosed coves and rocky headlands. Oceans, volcanoes, deserts and ice sheets all combined here over 460 million years, creating the diverse geological formations and foundations of its wonderful and varying natural landscapes.

Your final destination is the historic harbour town of Dungarvan which is full of character and great places to visit and and to eat! A must-see is the impressive Anglo-Norman, Dungarvan Castle, built by Prince  John in the 12th century. The castle commanded this strategic location at the mouth of the River Colligan for hundreds of years before becoming an RUC barracks in 1889. It was partially burnt down by Republicans during the War of Independence and was later used as a Garda barracks, it now hosts a great exhibition about the castle and the locality.

There are a number of great places to visit in Dungarvan while you’re here, such as the lovely St Augustine’s Church, which incorporates the ruins of an atmospheric medieval abbey,  Waterford County Museum, which holds permanent and temporary exhibitions relating to the county’s history, and Dungarvan Brewing Company (where you can take a tour of this popular brewery). The Greenway’s official end is in Walton Park at the centre of town. The park was named after a famous local physicist, Ernest Walton, who is known for splitting the atom!

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Clonea Road to Durrow (6km)

The Durrow to Clonea Road section begins on the flat and then starts to decline a little towards Scartore, providing a rare chance to pick up some speed as you head downhill! A must-stop spot here is at Shanacool (from the Irish for ‘Old Corner’) pub and sweetshop where you’ll enjoy a warm traditional Irish welcome from Tom and Helen O’Mahony! The pub has been in Tom’s family since it opened in 1860 and you can enjoy old photos on the wall which chart the history of the former railway and its workers, who once frequented this historic pub.

Next you’ll hit perhaps the most iconic feature of the Waterford Greenway, the atmospheric, brick-lined, 400m-long Ballyvoyle Tunnel. As you emerge from the tunnel you are greeted with a stunning area of ferns, mosses and over-hanging trees that give a other-worldly quality to this beautiful stretch.

Not long after the tunnel, you will cross the Greenways’s third and final viaduct at Ballyvoyle which spans the beautiful River Dalligan valley. Also built in 1878, the viaduct was blown up in 1922 during the Civil War, rebuilt in 1924 and now offers serene views out over the valley and surrounding countryside. Soon you will begin to smell the fresh sea-air of Waterford’s famed Copper Coast, one of only 147 UNESCO Global Geoparks in the world and glimpse your first views of the picturesque strand at Clonea.

The village is perhaps best well-known for the great views it provides of the elegant and imposing Kilmacthomas Viaduct, built in 1878 for the Great Southern and Western Railway.

As you continue on your journey west, you’ll pass close to the Cloughlowrish Stone, an enormous Ice Age ‘glacial erratic’ which was carried and deposited here by a slow-moving glacier at the end of the Ice Age around10,000 years ago. Local legend holds that a lie cannot be told near the stone or it will split in two! (They must be very honest folk in Waterford as the stone is still in one piece!)

While continuing on your journey and enjoying the stunning panoramic views of the Comeragh Mountains, you’ll cross the impressive Durrow Viaduct, also built by Great Southern and Western Railway in 1878, which crosses the River Tay. As you come towards the locality of Durrow, you’ll pass some reminders of its heyday, the old railway station and signal box which now sits derelict and covered in ivy and a red-roofed shed, which served as the village’s heaving dancehall in the 1940s and 50s!

Kilmacthomas Workhouse was one of 163 workhouses built throughout Ireland from the 1840s to the early 1920s to house Ireland’s destitute families. Today it is a thriving business centre and has a cafe and a great burger joint to feed all the hungry cyclists! A further 1km brings you to Kilmacthomas Village itself.

Clonea Strand from Waterford Greenway
Cyclists entering Ballyvoyle Tunnel - Waterford Greenway tunnel
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Durrow to Kilmacthomas (12km)

You’ll find lots of opportunities for a rest and some well-earned refreshments in the lovely village of Kilmacthomas which marks the half-way point of the Waterford Greenway. Referred to locally as ‘Kilmac’, the village has seen its fair share of historic figures passing through it. Cromwell spent two nights in a field that is now the village’s public park during his infamous conquest of Ireland in 1649, while the great Catholic liberator, Daniel O’Connell wrote of the enjoyable interactions he had with the villagers while enjoying his breakfast in a local inn while on a campaign trail!  

The village is perhaps best well-known for the great views it provides of the elegant and imposing Kilmacthomas Viaduct, built in 1878 for the Great Southern and Western Railway.

As you continue on your journey west, you’ll pass close to the Cloughlowrish Stone, an enormous Ice Age ‘glacial erratic’ which was carried and deposited here by a slow-moving glacier at the end of the Ice Age around10,000 years ago. Local legend holds that a lie cannot be told near the stone or it will split in two! (They must be very honest folk in Waterford as the stone is still in one piece!)

While continuing on your journey and enjoying the stunning panoramic views of the Comeragh Mountains, you’ll cross the impressive Durrow Viaduct, also built by Great Southern and Western Railway in 1878, which crosses the River Tay. As you come towards the locality of Durrow, you’ll pass some reminders of its heyday, the old railway station and signal box which now sits derelict and covered in ivy and a red-roofed shed, which served as the village’s heaving dancehall in the 1940s and 50s!

Kilmacthomas Workhouse was one of 163 workhouses built throughout Ireland from the 1840s to the early 1920s to house Ireland’s destitute families. Today it is a thriving business centre and has a cafe and a great burger joint to feed all the hungry cyclists! A further 1km brings you to Kilmacthomas Village itself.

View of Kilmacthomas Viaduct in distance behind Greenway.
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Kilmacthomas to Kilmeaden

This section of the Greenway brings you deeper into County Waterford’s lush rural landscape with the majestic Comeragh Mountains coming into view as you approach Kilmacthomas. Heading west from Kilmeadan Station, you will pass the romantic gardens and small contemporary art gallery at Fairbrook House. Look out for the chimney stack of Fairbrook Mill – an 18th century paper mill which became a woollen mill in later years.

Kilmacthomas Workhouse was one of 163 workhouses built throughout Ireland from the 1840s to the early 1920s to house Ireland’s destitute families. Today it is a thriving business centre and has a cafe and a great burger joint to feed all the hungry cyclists! A further 1km brings you to Kilmacthomas Village itself.

lots of cyclists on a train platform, sunny day.
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Kilmeaden to Killoteran (3km)

If this is your first excursion on the Waterford Greenway, the Killoteran to Kilmeaden section is ideal, if you’ve got small in kids in tow or you just want to start with a short stretch, its the easiest 3km of the Waterford Greenway. 

Beginning close to the fantastic Mount Congreve Gardens with its world-class collection of Azaleas, Camellias and Rhododendron, this stretch provides beautiful views of the River Suir and its wildlife – look out for heron, otter or the bright blue flash of the kingfisher! You will pass the atmospheric ruins of the 17th century Kilmeadean Castle which was taken by Cromwell’s forces in 1649. A highlight of this section of the Greenway is a journey on the Waterford & Suir Valley Heritage Train, which you can get at Kilmeadean Station and which provides   spectacular views of the valley which are only accessible by train.

Waterford Greenway Train
mount congreve
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Killoteran Waterford City (7.5km)

The Waterford Greenway begins at Grattan Quay in Waterford,  Ireland’s oldest city, this section slowly winds its way south-westward out of the urban setting, along the beautiful banks of the River Suir and out in to the lush Waterford countryside. Here you will pass the old Red Iron Bridge (once Ireland’s longest bridge and a central part of its transport network) and the impressive Thomas Francis Meagher Bridge which spans the River Suir and is named after a C19th century Waterford rebel.

The fascinating Woodstown Viking site, discovered by archaeologists in 2003 when building the bridge, uncovered extensive archaeological finds from a 9th century Viking site that predates Waterford City. You can view these fascinating artefacts at Reginald’s Tower Museum in the Waterford City. The site at Woodstown is not accessible at the moment but can be viewed from Killoteran bridge where you can also see a very impressive four bay limekiln. Once prevalent across Ireland’s countryside, limekilns were used to burn lime for farming and whitewashing houses in the 19th century.

waterford, co Waterford
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Testimonials

We had such a great time on the greenway. It was a great day out for all the family. The highlight for us had to be the Ballyvolyel tunnel and the views of the beach as we approached Dungarvan. If you havent done this greenway it’s a must. Can’t wait to try some of the others

Bríd O'leary

Mountmellick, Co. Laois

My first Greenway was the Old Rail Trail in 2021. I’ve now completed them all. This is my third time doing the Waterford Greenway and I absolutely love doing them.

The thing I like most about the Waterford Greenway is going into Dungarvan afterwards for something to eat and a few well earned pints. 

Always sleep so well afterthe day. 

Tom

Tuam, Co. Galway

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The Greenway Code

The Waterford Greenway is a ‘shared space’ which means it’s for all types of users to enjoy – walkers, cyclists, wheelchair-users, dog-walkers and children.  This is why there is a simple code of conduct which is based on respect.

There are signs at key access points on the Greenway  which explains the simple Code:

  • While walking or cycling please stay left and pass on the right. 
  • If you are on a bike, cycle at a safe spend and remember to ring your bell to make sure that walkers know you are behind them before passing. Remember, walkers listen out for those bells. 
  • Cycle slowly and with caution at Ballyvoyle Tunnel and at Greenway underpasses near McGrath’s Cross and Kildermody.
  • Stop and give way to traffic at level crossings-signified by red chicane gates (a set of red gates that are used at all junctions along the Greenway).
  • All dogs should be kept on a short leads and remember to clean up after your pets.
  • Leave No Trace – Please bring your rubbish home and keep the Waterford Greenway beautiful.

Now, go out and enjoy the Waterford Greenway!

 

Waterford Greenway Accommodation

There is absolutely no shortage of accommodation in County Waterford! Whether you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful hostel, a luxury hotel experience, family camping, friend’s glamping, a couple’s love-nest or a heritage hideaway, as a popular tourist destination – Waterford has them all!

AirBnB

AirBnB has a mouth watering selection of self-catering heritage hideaways on offer near and around the Waterford Greenway. From a 300-year-old historic mill building, a rustic 18th century cottage to the loft of an old granary building with stunning views out over the rugged coastline  – you may not want to leave! 

Prices vary greatly depending on the number of beds, location, services on offer etc but start at about 80 for a one-bed and as low as €136 for a 3 bed (sleeping 6 guests). 

Of course, if you’d prefer not to be doing the cooking and cleaning, then there are plenty more traditional-style guesthouses and B&Bs on offer too – leaving you more time for exploring the greenway!

 

Hotels

You will find the majority of hotels within reach of the greenway are located in either Waterford City or Dungarvan. In Waterford City there is a huge selection of hotels to choose from, particularly along the quays, with rooms starting at just 42 and increasing to €200 for a 5 Star stay. It’s worth remembering that the greenway begins at WIT West Campus, situated on the south quay and western outskirts of Waterford City, so it might be worth booking somewhere near by.

If we were to choose one hotel to highlight in Waterford, particularly if you’re looking to indulge yourself (both in a bit of luxury and in Waterford’s history) it would have to be the sumptuous, 15th century Waterford Castle, located on a 300 acre island in the middle of the River Suir, this place is grandeur personified!

Dungarvan also has a host of well-appointed hotels, located in and around the town, which should be well able to cater for most budgets and requirements.

One popular Dungarvan bolt-hold worth mentioning is the lovely boutique Tannery Townhouse, located in one of the town’s oldest residential buildings and home to the award-winning Tannery Restaurant, the 14-bedroom hotel is just a short walk from Dungarvan’s seafront and the greenway itself.

Parking Locations on the Greenway

There is ample parking, most of which is free, at or very near to the Greenway’s access points. If you wish to do the entire Greenway starting from the Waterford end, we suggest starting from the Waterford WIT West Campus as there are hundreds of free parking spaces available here.  Best advice if arriving late in the day. EG: WIT has loads and dungarvan town centre.

Here are the spots that you can park you car along the Greenway:

  • Waterford City – Lots of paid parking on quays.
    Rental bikes available from here.
  • WIT West Campus – 300 free parking spaces.
  • Bilberry – Free parking
    No bike rental available here.
  • Killoteran – Free parking.
    No bike rental available here.
  • Kilmeadan – Free parking. Also park here for the Waterford River Suir Valley Railway.
    No bike rental available here.
  • Kilmacthomas – Free parking at Kilmacthomas Mill, Station & Workhouse – all fill up quickly in the summer months!
    Rental bikes available from Workhouse and from the town centre.
  • McGrath Cross – Free parking in the Greenway carpark (small carpark which fills up quickly in the summer months!)
    No bike rental available here.
  • Durrow O’Mahoneys Pub – Free parking in the Greenway carpark(small carpark which fills up quickly in the summer months!)
    Bike rental is no longer available here. 
  • Clonea Road Access Point – Free parking in the Greenway carpark(small carpark which fills up quickly in the summer months!)
    No bike rental here.
  • Dungarvan – Free parking in the car park behind Eurospar which is right beside the Greenway.
    Rental bikes available from here.

 

Best Places to Eat in County Waterford


Bodega, 
Waterford City

Located in the heart of Waterford City, Boedega provides a world-class local-food experience. Using only the finest seafood & shellfish from Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay, the most succulent beef and organic pork from the Comeragh Mountains, free-range Wexford chicken and the famous ‘Blaa’ from the local artisan baker, the very best in local produce is treated with loving care by chef, Sebastian Lajoye. With early bird menus from €23, this is an affordable treat in a relaxed atmosphere.


Granary Café, Waterford City

With no less than seven McKennas’ Guide awards to its name, the Granary Café continues to go from strength to strength. Also located in the heart of Waterford City, the Granary provides excellent dining in a light and relaxing environment, housed in a charming quay-side granary built in 1870. The Granary uses only the best and the freshest ingredients in all of their dishes, providing a warm welcome and a good food experience every time.

 

The House Restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore
Perched on a dramatic clifftop in Ardmore, one hour south of Waterford City, the House Restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel provides a Michelin-starred fine dining experience that is sure to impress. The restaurant offers a six or ten-course tasting menu in its beautiful sea front dining room. Executive Chef, Ian Doyle, and House Restaurant Head Chef, Adam Kavanagh make up the new and dynamic young team at the helm of this elegant coastal retreat. They have a focus on sustainability, supporting local producers, using wild ingredients and taking inspiration from their wonderful surroundings.

 

Playgrounds near the greenway

Even when setting out with best-intentions, younger kids can begin to lag on the Greenway. Playgrounds can be a great way to encourage them to keep going! Telling them there’s a great playground not far down the trail can be just the motivation they need sometimes!

There’s two great playgrounds within easy reach of the playground: 

  • Kilmacthomas – just a five minute walk up Railway View from the Greenway access point at Kilmacthomas Station.
  • Abbeyside, Walton Park – just a five minute walk from the Greenway access point at Dungarvan.

 

Places for a Picnic

(Clonea Road) You may notice the collections of stone boulders set along the side of the Greenway every couple of kilometers. We believe these have placed along the Greenway to provide snacking-spots along the route! The boulders are not the most comfortable but do the job for a sandwich and packet of Taytos before you hit the road again!

A great spot for a picnic can be found halfway between Shanacool (Durrow) and Scartore (Clonea Road) where you can exit the Greenway and head down towards the coast where a beautiful little beach can can be found.

 

Awards

The Waterford Greenway has proved hugely popular with Irish and overseas visitors alike and has scooped up tourism, sustainability and

2020

  • Irish Examiner – ‘Top 10 Destinations for Families in Munster’
  • Irish Independent – ‘Top 6 Local Attractions for 2020’
  • Irish Independent – ‘Top 10 Family Cycles in Ireland’


2019

  • Irish Independent Readers Travel Awards – named ‘Ireland’s Favourite Adventure’
  • Irish Tourism Industry Awards – Finalist for Ireland’s Best Ancient East Tourism Experience (Large).


2018

  • Gold – Best Tourism Initiative – Ireland Community & Council Awards organised by Local Authorities Members Association & iPB Insurance.
  • Grand Prix Award – Ireland Community & Council Awards organised by Local Authorities Members Association & iPB Insurance.
  • Entente Florale – Jury Chair’s Award for the Mitigation of Climate Change

2017

  • Chambers Ireland – Excellence in Local Government Awards Winners – Supporting Tourism sponsored by Failte Ireland
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Eurovelo Cycling Route

Waterford Greenway also forms part of the Euro Velo Atlantic Coast Route, a European long-distance north-south cycling route that passes through Norway, the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal.

Find out more about the route and how the Waterford Greenway incorporates into the EuroVelo on the following websites. 

https://euroveloireland.ie/

https://eurovelo.com/

 

Waterford Greenway EuroBelo Route

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for the Waterford Greenway

How Long is the Waterford Greenway?

The Waterford Greenway is 46K (29 miles) long. It stretch from Waterford City to Dungarvan.

Most people don’t cycle the full length of the Greenway. They pick and choose the section that best meets their needs. To see a breakdown of the different sections of the Greenway please check out Waterford Greenway Route & Map

Where does the Waterford Greenway Start?

The official Start point is either Waterford City or Dungarvan. It’s your choice about which direction you want to go.
Remember also that you can start at any of any of the points that take your fancy.

 

Can You Walk the Waterford Greenway?

You sure can and many do just that. The full route is 46km, if you wish to walk it ensure your give yourself loads of time, but your should be able to do it in one day. 

If your note feeling that energetic, pick one of the many entry points and walk for along or as short as you like. The great thing about the greenway is that each section offers something different, visually, lenght or difficulty. 

Is the Waterford Greenway safe for Kids?

It really is safe for kids when accompanied by an adult. As a segregated cycleway there are no cars or lorry to worry about. There are a few points where the Greenway crosses small roads but these generally are protected by staggered gates to ensure nobody cycles across at speed.

The Balvoyle tunnel is a highlight for kids. The fair doors and tunnel make it worth effort.

Which is the best section for kids

It really is safe for kids when accompanied by an adult. As a segregated cycleway there are no cars or lorry to worry about. There are a few points where the Greenway crosses small roads but these generally are protected by staggered gates to ensure nobody cycles across at speed.

The Balvoyle tunnel is a highlight for kids. The fair doors and tunnel make it worth effort.

Where can I hire a bike?

Bike hire is very popular with lots if busineses offer a range of service. The main places for bike are

MORE FAQ's CLICK HERE

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