Out of 31 other European Greenways, Waterford Greenway came second for Excellence with representatives from Waterford Council presenting the popular cycle and walking trail to the judging panel. European Greenways Awards are presented to greenways that stand out for their excellence and demonstration of best practice.
We decided to take a look at all of the greenways & blueways in the region.
1. Waterford Greenway
The scenic Waterford Greenway follows old railway lines from exciting Waterford City, through the foothills of the Comeragh Mountains, and onto the charming harbour town of Dungarvan. You can walk a portion of the route, cycle both directions, or cycle one way and take the bus back to Waterford from Dungarvan. The length of the Greenway takes approximately 3.5 hours to cycle, so if you plan on cycling both ways – you will definitely need over 7 hours, or realistically 8 hours to cater for a break! The Greenway is 46km in length from Waterford City to Dungarvan and vice versa.
2. Suir Blueway Tipperary
The Suir Blueway Tipperary is a 53km kayaking and canoe trail from Cahir to Carrick-on-Suir and also a 21km walking and cycling trail from Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir along the natural beauty of the River Suir.
Enjoy a relaxing swim River Suir’s flowing, clean waters, go for a cycle or walk along the banks, go for a hike up a nearby mountain such as Galtymore – the highest and the most prominent mountain in Tipp. When you are finished taking in the scenery you can go for a snack in the local towns & villages.
There’s a 2 day itinerary available here to allow you to take in some of the best spots in Tipperary.
Day 1; you will travel to Cahir Castle which is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles, you will then visit the Swiss Cottage which is 200 years old, finally you will go for a paddle from Cahir or Ardfinnan to Clonmel to finish off day 1.
On Day 2 you will travel to Carrick-on-Suir where you will visit the beautiful Ormond Castle which was built in the 1560s by Thomas Butler, the 10th Earl of Ormond.
We believe no trip to Tipperary to be complete without visiting the Rock of Cashel. This is an ancient royal site of the Kings of Munster and first acquired importance as a fortress.
3. The Barrow Way
The Barrow Way follows the towpath, which was originally a patch alongside the River Barrow where horses pulled barges and goods for transport. The path offers an array of architectural interest for those who walk along the path. The full length of the Barrow Way from Robertstown to St. Mullins is 113km.
STAGE 1 of the Barrow Way begins in Robertstown, County Kildare, and travels 23 kilometers to Monasterevin. The canal’s elevated banks provide stunning views of the surrounding countryside, including the Hill of Allen and the Wicklow Mountains.
STAGE 2 Monasterevin to Athy – 23km. With many old bridges and houses, this stretch provides the visitor with a wealth of historical and architectural interest.
STAGE 3 Athy to Carlow – 19km. Starting from the heritage town of Athy, the route passes many interesting lifting bridges and old mills before reaching Carlow town.
STAGE 4 Carlow to Bagenalstown – 16km. Milford, located 7km South of Carlow, is one of the most scenic stretches of the River Barrow. It is famous as a triangle with regular sightings of herons and kingfishers, and is set in an idyllic location with three bridges, mill buildings, and a large wooded area. This section of the walk is densely packed with historical structures, castles, and industrial gems in
STAGE 5 Bagenalstown to Graiguenamanagh – 26km. This route passes via the charming villages of Goresbridge and Borris before arriving in Graiguenamanagh, a charming abbey town and popular boating destination. Duiske Abbey, which overlooks the River Barrow, was founded in 1204 by Norman monks from Stanley Abbey, Wiltshire.
STAGE 6 Graiguenamanagh to St. Mullins – 6km. The religious hamlet at St. Mullins, where the walk concludes, is nestled in lovely woodland surroundings with a strong ecclesiastical flavor. It offers a picnic spot and is located on a beautiful stretch of the Barrow Valley.
More on The Barrow Way here.
4. New Ross to Waterford Greenway
The first phase of the New Ross to Waterford Greenway (which includes the Kilkenny Greenway) has recently begun. The Greenway will be a cutting-edge 24-kilometer cycling and walking path that will connect New Ross, County Wexford, with Ferrybank, County Waterford, through the beautiful countryside of South Kilkenny.
The Greenway will be built along the former railway line between Mountelliott near New Ross and Waterford City, crossing the River Barrow via the iconic Red Bridge and passing through South Kilkenny’s scenic countryside, skirting close to the villages of Glenmore and Slieverue. The Greenway will also provide breathtaking views of the new Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge as it crosses the Barrow River before reaching Abbeylands and Ferrybank on the outskirts of Waterford City. It will then connect to the Waterford Greenway resulting in a continuous 72km Greenway of regional significance stretching from New Ross to Dungarvan.
The New Ross to Waterford Greenway is scheduled to open in Spring 2022.
Read more news from around the region here.