A Walking Tour of Waterford City
Duration: 4 1/2 hours
Tour Code: WAT-001
Experience a close-up look at the historic Viking City of Waterford on this guided walking tour.
Meeting your guide on the pier, it's a 30-minute coach transfer into the city center where your walking tour commences. The Vikings founded Waterford City some 1,100 years ago and it had extensive trading links with Viking settlements overseas. Later, in the year 1170, the city was taken by the Normans who sealed their victory by the marriage of their leader Strongbow to Aoife, daughter of the King of Leinster. Learn the history of this fascinating city in a humorous and light-hearted way as your guide walks you through the narrow winding streets. Your guide will also relay some interesting facts about the city. For instance, the only family in the world, which has a father and son both decorated with the Victoria Cross for bravery, was the Roberts family who hail from Waterford.
This guided walking tour includes visits (external and internal) to six national monuments dating back to 1190 through 1783. You will pass Reginald’s Tower, where until about 1700 was the strongpoint of the medieval defensive walls that enclosed the city – there will be time for photos of the exterior. Continue past Greyfriars Medieval Franciscan friary onto the Medieval Museum. The eye-catching giant sculpture on the gable was inspired by a tiny 13th century belt mount found in Waterford. It is Ireland’s only purpose-built medieval museum and the only building on the island to incorporate two medieval chambers, the 13th century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault. A short visit will be made inside this modern structure where you can witness a demonstration of how coins, dating back to Anglo Normans, were made. Souvenir coins will be provided for each guest.
Following your visit to the Medieval Museum, will continue your guided walk to the Bishop’s Palace. The Bishop’s Palace charts the history of Waterford from 1700 to 1970 and gives a wonderful insight into the history, of what up until the 1750’s, was Ireland’s second city. The museum reveals the story of Waterford from 1700 to the 1970s and contains many items of national and international significance, including the only surviving Bonaparte “mourning cross”, which was one of 12 produced upon Napoleon Bonaparte’s death in 1821. It also contains the Penrose decanter, the oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal, which dates back to 1789.
Following these enjoyable and informative visits, free time will be allowed in the city center for you to explore on your own and perhaps revisit the Medieval Museum or the Bishop’s Palace (no additional fee), or do some shopping before it's time to re-join your coach for the return transfer to the pier.
Please note: This tour is primarily a walking tour and guests should be able to walk and/or stand for up to 3 hours. The tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or those guests with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of sites visited may vary.