Viking Places to Visit in Waterford

Waterford City

Waterford City and county include several interesting sites to visit, some historically important in relation to Viking Ireland, and others that offer the opportunity to explore the beautiful south east and its stunning coastline. Here are some of our suggestions:

Reginalds Tower: Situated at the Viking circuit in Waterford's historic city centre, Reginald's Tower Museum has an exciting exhibition that displays a superb collection of historic and archaeological artefacts telling the story of Waterford's Viking heritage. 

Reginald's Tower is a circular defence tower built at the beginning of the 13th century, and therefore when the Normans first came to Ireland and at various stages in its rich history has been used as a mint, a prison and a military store. It remains Waterford's most recognisable landmark. It is located on the river near Parade Quay. When Waterford was captired by the first band of  Normans to arrive in Ireland, it is thought that many Vikings were put to death in this tower. Also Robert Fitzstepehen is thought to have been held prisoner here by the Norse leaders who wished to please Henry II so that he would come and help them fight off the encroaching Normans.

Not far away is Christchurch Cathedral in Cathedral Square near the river bank which dates from the 11th century.

Nearby is the Medieval Museum of Waterford. Situated between Cathedral Square and the Bishop's Palace, Waterford's latest museum is a tribute to Medieval Waterford and life in the city during that period. Carefully preserving several medieval structures within its walls, including the wonderful Choristers hall, the Museum was opened to the public in 2012.

Suir River Cruises offers daily trips on the River Suir from the Neptune Marina off Canada St.  Experience the rurual charms and Waterford’s picturesque coastline, stretching the length of the county. The tour takes in many lively towns including Tramore, Dunmore East and Dungarvan. Other coastal villages include Passage East, Stradbally and Ring, the centre of a thriving Irish speaking community. The trips must be pre-booked and last for 1 or 2 hour durations.  This is an excellent way to see the sights of Waterford such as Reginalds Tower, Clock Tower, Suir Bridge, Grannagh Castle and more.

Waterford County

Waterford County

Ardmore Monastic Site and Round Tower is located about 15 miles southwest of Dungarvan. It is believed to be one of the oldest monastic sites in Ireland, linked to St. Declan and dates from the 5th century. The round tower sits in the centre of an old monastic site on a hillside to the south of the village of Ardmore, looking out over the bay. It is probably of 12th century origin or possibly 10th.

Within the confines of the ruin are two ogham stones and various other samples of dressed stone and building material. Also on site is St. Declan's oratory. The view from here of the beaches is spectacular!

Lismore Castle site was originally occupied by Lismore Abbey, an important monastery and seat of learning established by celtic monks in the early 7th century. It was still an ecclesiastical centre when Henry II, French King of England stayed here in 1171 when he first set foot on Irish soil. In 1185 his son King John of England built a 'castellum' here, which later served as the episcopal residence of the local bishop.

Lismore Monastery was plundered in 833 by Vikings, and burned by Ivar in 883. It is also said that Aldfrith, King of Northumbria, spent some time at the school of Lismore, for he visited most of the famous schools of Ireland towards the close of the seventh century, and at that time Lismore was one of the most celebrated. It was also a place of pilgrimage, where many Irish princes gave up the sceptre and returned to Lismore to end their lives in prayer and penance. 

Molana Abbey was founded by monks in the 6th century and became Augustinian  by the 13th century. The ruins are situated on an island on the Blackwater River near Youghal. It is said to be the burial place of Raymond Le Gros, one of the first Normans to come to Ireland just a few years before Strongbow arrived to take up the offer made to him by Diarmuid Mac Murrough.

Walks within the Copper Coast European Geopark will allow you to explore an area of geographical heritage importance whilst at the same time discovering some fascinating trails, and perhaps following in Viking footsteps! The walks can be are self-guided or with appointed tour guides. The Copper Coast European Geopark is located on the South East coast of Ireland, between Tramore and Dungarvan in County Waterford. It extends between Fenor in the east to Stradbally in the west and up to Dunhill in the north.