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Co Waterford: one walk, one run, one hike, one swim, one cycle, one park and one outdoor gym

Your essential, outdoor, family-friendly guide to Co Waterford

When the weather is good, there is so much to do outdoors in Ireland – solo, or with family or friends. Here are seven activities - with locations, descriptions, tips and some maps for a general guide.

Below you can read John O'Dwyer's pick for a great walking path, Conor O'Keeffe on a running route, Rozanna Purcell recommends a hiking trail, Mary McCarthy on an outdoor swimming location, Ian O'Riordan picks a cycle trip, Sylvia Thompson on a family-friendly park and Fiona Alston selects a popular outdoor gym.

And remember, whatever you do and wherever you go, please be safe. And enjoy.

Name Ardmore Cliff Walk
Distance 4km loop
Approximate duration 1.5 hours
Difficulty Easy, but care needed near the steep cliffs
Starting point Google Maps Ardmore village (grid reference X 191 776)
Amenities Parking, cafes and pubs
Undemanding ramble offering spectacular clifftop views and a sense of reconnecting with history. Minor roads and green trails lead you easily to the famous Ardmore monastic site founded by St Declan.
Read: St Declan's Path, Ardmore


Name: Anne Valley Route, Dunhill
Length: 9.6km (return)
Route type: Linear (Out and Back)
Terrain: Gravel pathway
Footwear: Road or Trail Runners
Background: The Anne Valley walk was developed by local landowners and the community. The almost 5 km the run winds through a protected wildlife area of forest and marshland next to the river Anne. If you are lucky you may see some of the many protected wildlife species such as the heron, kingfisher or otter and an amazing range of other fauna and flora. A most awe inspiring sight along the walk is the view of Dunhill Castle.

Location of Trailhead: Ample car parking is afforded at the start of this wonderful trail in the village of Dunhill which is central to many other towns and villages in Waterford including Tramore 12km, Dungarvan 32km and Waterford 17km.

Make sure that you give yourself enough time to check out the amazing flora and fauna that make their home along the Anne Valley Walk. The birdsong and insects busying themselves among the flowers brings a certain serenity to the route. So if you're trying to do a 5km or 10km time trial along this route make sure you take your recovery walking along the route to take in nature at its finest. (Aided by: Coillte)

Hike name Coumshingaun horseshoe loop
Distance 8km
Elevation gain 655m
Approximate duration 3 hours
Difficulty Intermediate
Route type Loop
Starting point See AllTrails Coumshingaun Lough Loop
Amenities Limited parking
Dog-friendly? No
Tips Go very early, as the car park usually fills up, with limited access available. Also, on your route down the path (if you go clockwise around the loop) it's almost impossible to see, but keep left to avoid the steep ground. Stop at Crough Coffee afterwards

Name: Pegs Rock
Location: Google Map: Dunmore East Beach
Swimming spot at the corner of Dunmore East's main strand
Amenities: Car park, toilets
Lifeguard: In summer
Water quality: Excellent – Waterford City & County Council September 2020
Tips: Tide needs to be fully in to jump off the rocks. There are steps but you go at your own risk as the council bricked up the gap that existed in the wall to let people in previously. Main beach great for swimming and life guards particularly nice.

Name: The Waterford Greenway
Start location: Waterford city
Gently rolling and all-paved pathway along the old railway line, from the quays of the city and along the base of the Comeragh Mountains to the (often) sunny seaside market town of Dungarvan.
Distance: 46km one-way/92km return
Time: 3-5 hours
Highlights: A fun, relaxing and not too strenuous cycle, especially given this was introduced to me as part of a stag weekend.
Look out for: Mount Congreve, a stop along the way that boasts one of the finest gardens of the world
Tips: The Dyehouse hotel, right on the quays, is a funky place to stay over.

Park name: Waterford Nature Park, Tramore Road, Waterford City
Amenities: This former city dump has been converted into 150 acres of parkland. Plenty of linear and looped walking/running trails along tarmac paths and on paths mown through meadows to allow children interact with nature.
Special features: Plenty of seats dotted along the routes for little ones to rest on.
Access: Free car parking. Google Map "Waterford Nature Park".
Dogs: Dogs on leads.
Tip: Bring a picnic and enjoy this traffic-free urban oasis.

Name: The People's Park, Waterford City
Equipment: Calisthenics area with pull-up bars, ab benches and various steps and dip bars.
Location: Google Maps
Information: Town centre park with play park and skate park.

Get Active Series
- 32 great walking routes in Ireland - one in each county
- 32 great hikes in Ireland
- 32 great running routes
- 32 great outdoor swim locations
- 32 great cycling routes
- 32 great parks
- 32 great outdoor gyms