LOVED by locals and tourists alike, the Waterford Greenway has been named ‘Ireland’s Best Visitor Attraction’ in the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2022.
What was once the railway line from Waterford City to Dungarvan is now a spectacular 46km off-road cycling and walking trail, crossing eleven bridges, three impressive viaducts and winding through an atmospheric tunnel.
The popular route in Ireland’s Ancient East is peppered with heritage, history and natural beauty as it runs alongside the world renowned ornamental gardens at Mount Congreve, Waterford Suir Valley Railway, former woollen mills and railway stations.
It also offers views of the River Suir, the Comeragh Mountains, The Copper Coast UNESCO Global Geopark, and Dungarvan Bay.
It is always alive with people
Mayor of Waterford City and County, Councillor Joe Kelly was delighted with the win, which is a great boon for tourism in the region.
“It’s a much loved amenity here in Waterford and the South East, but it is wonderful to see how much an impression Waterford Greenway has made throughout the country,” he said.
And Irish Independent readers were also full of praise for the amenity.
“The surface is perfect,” one user wrote. “It is always alive with people. It promotes exercise, social get-togethers of families and mental well-being through its safe routes,” they said, adding: “It soothes the soul.”
It soothes the soul
Johnny Brunnock, trails officer at Waterford City and County Council, said the combined efforts of locals and the business community had helped to create a fantastic amenity that the county can be very proud of.
“It’s been a tough two years for everybody, but amenities like Waterford Greenway give people the opportunity to get out and about, and stay connected, and all the while taking in some of the most breathtaking scenery that the county has to offer,” he said.
This is not the first time that Waterford Greenway made an impact with Irish Independent readers. In 2019 it was named ‘Ireland’s Favourite Adventure’ in the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards, while in 2021 it was awarded silver in the Excellence Category at the 10th European Greenways Award Ceremony. In 2020 it was the first Irish Greenway to attain Green Flag status, which it retained in 2021.