Guide 8: Copper Coast. Co Waterford

Guide 8: Copper Coast. Co Waterford

Location: The Copper Coast is located on the southeast coast of Ireland in County Waterford. This scenic route stretches for 20KM and runs between the towns of Tramore and Dungarvan, offering incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and rugged cliffs. View Map

About: The Copper Coast gets its name from the 19th-century copper mines that once dotted the landscape. Mining activity peaked in the 1800s, leaving behind a legacy that is still visible today in the form of engine houses and mine shafts.

The dramatic coastline was shaped over 460 million years ago by volcanic activity and glaciation, resulting in a diverse array of rock formations during the Ordovician period. The area's mining heritage and unique geological formations led to its designation as a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2004, recognising its importance on a global scale.

Get there: Located between the towns of Tramore and Dungarvan, getting there is fairly handy, but you'll probably need a car as public transport options are limited. 

- By Car: From Waterford City, take the R675 south towards Tramore. Continue along this road as it hugs the coastline, passing through picturesque villages and offering stunning sea views. The drive from Waterford City takes about 30 minutes.

What to do: Scenic Drives and Walks: The Copper Coast offers some of the most scenic drives in Ireland. Stop at viewpoints like Bunmahon and Tankardstown to take in the panoramic ocean view. For walkers, the Copper Coast Geopark has several marked trails, such as the Dunhill Ecopark and the Fenor Bog, where you can explore the unique geology and diverse flora and fauna.

Beaches and Swimming: Visit the sandy beaches at Annestown, Boatstrand, and Ballydowane. These beaches are perfect for swimming or chilling at.

Geological Exploration: Explore the region’s rich geological heritage at the Copper Coast Geopark Visitor Centre in Bunmahon. The centre provides detailed information about the area’s geological history, mining heritage, and natural environment.

Water Sports: The coast is ideal for surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Local operators offer equipment rentals and lessons for all skill levels.

Wildlife Watching: The Copper Coast is home to a variety of wildlife, including seabirds, dolphins, and seals. Birdwatchers will enjoy spotting species such as fulmars, gannets, and kittiwakes along the cliffs.

Historical Sites: Visit the ruins of the Tankardstown Copper Mine, a remnant of the region’s mining past, and the picturesque village of Dunhill with its Norman castle ruins.

Local cuisine: Sample fresh seafood and local produce in the area's pubs and restaurants.

Copper Coast Mini Farm: A hit with families, this small farm offers a chance to check out and play with various farm animals.


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