Sunday 17 February 2019

'You don't want it to end' - Waterford Greenway named Ireland's Favourite Adventure

Winner: Waterford Greenway

Reader Travel Awards

"It's beautiful and you don't have to be an athlete to do it," said one reader.

Their take could be a tagline. The 46km Waterford Greenway opened in 2017, but already it feels like a fixture in the southeast.

You cited its "stunning scenery", with highlights ranging from the "epic" Ballyvoile viaduct and the "kinda spooky" Victorian tunnel at Durrow to sweeping views of the sea and River Suir.

"You don't want it to end," you said, underlining the accessibility and family-friendly nature of its traffic-free walks and cycles.

Young enthusiasts on Waterford Greenway. Picture: Patrick Browne
Young enthusiasts on Waterford Greenway. Picture: Patrick Browne
Waterford Greenway. Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile
Cyclists on the Waterford Greenway
A viaduct along the Waterford Greenway, Ireland's longest off-road walking and cycling experience.
A cyclist on the Waterford Greenway.
Kevin Dwyer, Grainne and Seán de Paor celebrate the opening of the Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan section of the Waterford Greenway. Picture: Patrick Browne

"The route is beautiful, renting bikes couldn't be more straightforward and it is littered with great places to stop, eat and rest," you told us. "Plus you don't need to be a fitness freak to get the most out of it."

Lots of readers mentioned "safety" too, applauding a relatively flat and well-maintained pathway where "all abilities" can exercise "without being in danger".

Top 5 Irish Adventures

  1. Waterford Greenway, Co Waterford
  2. Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk, Co Wicklow
  3. Lough Key Forest Park, Co Roscommon
  4. Howth Cliff Walk, Co Dublin
  5. Castlecomer Adventure Park, Co Kilkenny

It seems like a simple idea, connecting Waterford to Dungarvan along a disused railway line. Judges noted, however, that its quick success belies the hard work that went into bringing this now-iconic project over the line, not to mention the way local communities and businesses have clubbed together to use their new amenity, and to grow it into a thriving attraction that improves each year. The Waterford Greenway has got excellent word of mouth, but it has earned it.

"It's just brilliantly executed," you said, noting attractions from Mount Congreve to the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway to stops like the Coach House in Kilmacthomas and O'Mahony's pub and shop in Durrow.

"Best addition to southeast tourism, without doubt... The beautiful outdoors, the wind in your face and your feet tingling - it just makes you feel alive!"

See visitwaterfordgreenway.com.

More: Waterford Greenway: 10 tips for Ireland's longest off-road cycling route

NB: The Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2019 are sponsored by Iarnród Eireann. Read the full list of winners here.

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