Drive from Dublin to Waterford City, Ireland’s oldest city, on the Southern Coast.
Visit Metalman Brewing, established in 2011 at the start of Ireland’s craft beer renaissance. The name of the brewery is inspired by a navigational aid on the Waterford coast. The Metal Man stands on one of three pillars overlooking the bay, his purpose to guide seafarers, and keep them on their true course.
The brewery has been growing steadily and in 2014 they installed the very first canning line at an Irish craft brewery.
In Dec 2017 Metalman opened their own bar in Waterford city serving quality craft beer.
Brewery: Metalman Brewery
Core Range: Metalman Pale Ale, Equinox Wheat Beer, Heatsink Smoked Porter, Ironmonger IPA
Seasonal range: Sgt. Pepper saison, Windjammer Amber Ale, Ginger Blonde ale, Port Lager.
After a tour of the brewery and a can of beer for the road, we get kitted up with bikes, helmets and a packed lunch and hit the Waterford Greenway. The Waterford Greenway is a spectacular 46 km (28miles) off-road cycling and walking trail along an old railway line from the quays of Ireland’s oldest city all the way to Dungarvan. Enjoy a beautiful journey through diverse nature across three tall viaducts and a long atmospheric tunnel, all the way from the River Suir to the sea. It’s a flat(ish) track with a restored heritage railway on the first half of the journey.
No, the train won’t take you and your bike! However, if anyone would like to experience the greenway but feels that 46kms (approx. 3 hours leisurely cycle) is too much, there’s always options. The Coach House is a beautiful café about half-way along the track where you can relax, have a coffee and cake and we will pick you up there before driving onto Dungarvan to meet with the rest of the group at the end of the Greenway. Everyone will be thirsty and more than ready for another beer at this stage!
Visit Dungarvan Brewery, who specialise in bottle conditioned beers. After eight years of operation, Dungarvan Brewing Company is a well-established microbrewery with a strong reputation for their traditional style, bottle conditioned ales and stouts. No chemicals are added to the beers, they are unfiltered, unpasteurised and vegan-friendly.
Brewery: Dungarvan Brewery
Core Range: Black Rock Irish Stout, Copper Coast Irish Red Ale, Helvick Gold Irish Blonde Ale and Mine Head American Pale Ale
Seasonal range: Mahon Falls Rye Pale Ale in springtime, Comeragh Challenger Irish Bitter for summer and Coffee and Oatmeal Stout for winter.
Check into a comfortable B&B style accommodation in the town centre.
Enjoy the evening at leisure in the harbour town of Dungarvan with plenty of choices of where to eat and drink.
Pick-up at 9 am at your accommodation, take a scenic drive to the nearby Comeragh Mountains. Stretch the legs, enjoy a leisurely stroll with the sheep to see Mahon Falls, a 240-foot waterfall with spectacular views over the Copper Coast.
Drive to Kilkenny City, also known as ‘the marble city’ a medieval town in Ireland’s Ancient East. Impressive Kilkenny Castle was built in 1195 by Norman occupiers. The town has deep religious roots and many well-preserved churches and monasteries, including St. Canice’s Cathedral and the Black Abbey Dominican priory, both from the 13th century. Walk the picturesque ‘Medieval Mile’ of narrow lanes and historic buildings strung between castle and cathedral along the bank of the River Nore. Kilkenny is a centre for arts and crafts, and home to many fine restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops.
Free time in Kilkenny – approx. 3 hours to have lunch and choose from the following activities:
- St Canice’s Cathedral Ireland’s second-largest medieval cathedral (after St Patrick’s in Dublin) has a long and fascinating history. The first monastery was built here in the 6th century by St Canice, Kilkenny’s patron saint. Outside stands a 100 foot high round tower, one of only two in Ireland that you can climb. A magnificent view of the whole city is your reward.
- Kilkenny Castle – A 12th century castle set in extensive parklands, built for William Marshall and remodelled in Victorian times. This was the principal seat of the Butler family, the Dukes of Ormond. The castle park and gardens are accessible free of charge while daily tours of the castle are available. Admission €8.00
- Black Abbey Founded in the 13th century the name derives from the black cloak which Dominicans wear over their white habits. When the priory was founded the 13th century, the town of Kilkenny was divided in two parts by the River. One part was occupied mainly by indigenous Irish and the other by English settlers. The Dominicans established the priory between those two towns and outside the city walls, because they wished to show their independence from either side.
- Butler Gallery – One of Ireland’s most vibrant contemporary art spaces, the Butler Gallery is central to Kilkenny’s cultural life. It houses an excellent range of exhibitions from renowned Irish and International artists and is free of charge.
- Kilkenny Design – Built in 1790, this unique complex of stone buildings in a courtyard setting was once the stables/coach houses of the Castle. It’s a hub of creativity and design and has helped Kilkenny become recognised as a centre of design excellence. Explore the courtyards and visit the National Craft Gallery.
- National Craft Gallery Established in 2000 by the Crafts Council of Ireland, this is Ireland’s leading centre for contemporary craft and design. The Gallery brings together the best and brightest of Irish and international designers.
- Smithwick’s Experience Go back in time to the 1300’s, visit the site of St. Francis Abbey where the monks first brewed and learn more about Smithwick’s red ale now brewed in Dublin by Diageo on the same site as the Guinness Brewery.
- Travel back to Dublin in the late afternoon having explored medieval Kilkenny. Should anyone wish to jump off and spend the night in Kilkenny, it’s a very buzzy city and we can recommend pubs, restaurants and accommodation.
- Drop off in Dublin City centre approx. 5:30pm.