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Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

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Alice Springs...
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Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

Hi,

We're having a few days in Ireland before spending Christmas with family in England. We will be in Waterford for 1 night - Dec 21 - and are wondering whether the visitor centre will still be open. The dates on the website are for 2005!

Are there any locals who can advise?

Thanks.

Waterford, Ireland
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1. Re: Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

I rang Waterford Crystal and they said the last tour before Christmas will be on the morning of the 21st, there will be only the one tour on that day, but they couldn't yet confirm what time it will be.

I would suggest you shouldn't come to waterford specifically to do the tour, and be warned, traffic and people will be more or less a heaving mass! But that's going to be true anywhere as factories etc close early for the holiday. If you wish to tell me where - or what part of the area - you will be staying I will try and tell you the best way to get to it, otherwise you could spend a lot of the day in traffic jams.

Alice Springs...
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2. Re: Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

Thanks so much Doneraile,

Our program is as follows:

Dec 18 - Arrive late at Cork from Heathrow, staying at airport hotel

19 - Pick up car, maybe Blarney Castle, head to Killarney, staying at International hotel 2 nights

20 - Ring of Kerry

21- Back through Cork to Waterford - hmmm, sounds like we might miss that tour - what else would you suggest seeing. Staying at Rosewood B & B

22 - Head towards Dublin - 2 nights at Jurys Inn Christchurch

23 - Visit Guiness & ??

24 - Mid morning flight to Exeter

Thanks for your help so far, any other ideas on sightseeing welcome.

Sue

Cork, Ireland
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3. Re: Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

Sue,

In December it will be dark from 4:30pm until 8am. Just factor that in to your itinerary.

On the 19th, your trip to Blarney then Killarney is very doable, but start as early as possible in the morning as the traffic from the airport down towards the city and Blarney will be chronic. I kid you not. either leave at 7:30am in the morning or wait until 10am, otherwise you will just sit in slow moving traffic for much of your journey.

Be sure you want to visit Blarney because it would be much easier for you to head straight to Killarney from the airport. You just drive down the airport hill and at the first major roundabout you take the first exit which is the main road to Killarney.

Not so easy for Blarney, this journey will involve driving from the airport through much of Cork City, not a major nightmare, but my tip is to stop and ask for directions at every opportunity. Once you hit the city you need to ask for directions to Blackpool (a suburb) on the northside. Once there signposting to Blarney is good.

I estimate your journey time from airport to Blarney Castle will take you 60-90 minutes depending on traffic.

Journey time from Airport to Killarney without a stop is about 90 minutes, but do plan to break your journey at Ballyvourney, a little village half way between Cork City and Killarney where there is a nice traditional pub called The Mills Inn. Fine for morning coffee and a scone, but better for lunch and evening meal.

Alice Springs...
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4. Re: Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

Thanks Bryno,

That's really hepful.

You say "Be sure you want to visit Blarney ". Is there a reason why we wouldn't? I guess we only have it on our list because it's so well known by name - not that we actually know anything about it.

Are there better places to see with our limited time?

Assuming we do go to Blarney, to then go on to Killarney do we need to come back through Cork?

thanks - appreciate your advice.

Cork, Ireland
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5. Re: Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

No, I would actually recommend that you go to Blarney because I do like the place and it should be seen at least once. I only asked the question because the journey to there takes you through the city, but really it's not that bad. I was serious when I said stop as soon as you think you might be lost as you don't want to make matters any worse by guessing !!!!

The quickest way to Blarney from the airport is actually to drive right into Cork City. I can give you directions later, but now must go help with dinner as the loud shouting is breaking my concentration.

The great thing about being in Blarney is that no, you will not have to go back through the city to get to Killarney, you can use the R617 and R618 towards Macroom. This is a lovely scenic road and bypasses the city. Before you leave Blarney village make sure you ask a local for the correct road out towards Killarney.

Waterford, Ireland
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6. Re: Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

Yet again I have written a long reply and then lost it by touching – what? the touch pad? Very irritating. So I’ll start again in Word and copy and paste.

Your b&b is on the opposite side of the river to the side you approach the city – not far out and not a problem most of the time, but on that Friday afternoon you will have to plan a bit. I would suggest you warn them that you will be there later and not go over the bridge till after about 8pm. You could have a look round town and have a meal before you go, because once you get over there I doubt you will want to go back to Waterford! I’m trying to think where you could park, and I don’t think even a local will be able to find parking by that afternoon. I’ll have a think about it and message you if I come up with any ideas. What to do? There will be a good deal of buzz around the town so you might just want to wander, but Christchurch cathedral is worth a look, and the Catholic Cathedral will have a crib. The Museum of Treasures is interesting and has a good exhibition about the history of Waterford. If you check Whazon Waterford a bit nearer the time you may find a carol service or other event, but it’s a bit early yet for information. Some things – like Waterford Crystal and Reginalds tower will be closed. Again a lot of the restaurants will be booked up with Christmas Parties so you will have to look around earlyish. If you don’t want a restaurant there is a large café which is ok above Boots in Baronstrand Street. Geffs (pub) at the Applemarket is a place where locals hang out, and while a bit unlikely looking, does a good Panini. There are loads of cafes, it will just be a matter of getting in to one!

When you head off for your b&b go across the bridge, stay in the righthand lane (of the left side of the road!) round the roundabout and take the New Ross/ Wexford road. You will probably find yourself still in the right lane, so move into the left lane when you can. Just follow the road round a couple of curves in the road and past the big church on the right. After that you are going out into the country and shortly after you leave the urban area you will see the sign for Slieverue to the left. I don’t think you will have too much trouble after that, but take your time it’s a fairly rural road.

Cork, Ireland
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7. Re: Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

"I have written a long reply and then lost it by touching........ "

Doneraile, the story of my life.

Alice Springs...
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8. Re: Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

Thanks both of you for your help. It's great to have so much detailed information adn really appreciate your time.

I've downloaded street maps from www.multimap that show where everything else so I know where you're talking about.

Reaally loking forward to our trip - only 5 weeks to D-day now!

Sue

Cork, Ireland
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9. Re: Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

Sue, are you living next door to Alice, Springs?

Just wondering.

Queensland...
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10. Re: Waterford visitor centre - open in December?

Hi Sue,

I've just stumbled upon this posting, and am interested to read your itinerary, as we are fellow Australians flying into Cork around the same time as you (we arrive on the 21st Dec, and are also excitedly starting to count down the weeks now, after months of planning!)

I hope you also have a great trip!

I'm interested in the replies from Bryno and Doneraile as well, and would like to ask a couple of questions.

1) Bryno and Doneraile, you mention traffic issues - we pick up our hire car from the Cork airport on the 23rd, and that will be our first full day of driving. Planning to get to Skibbereen and back, having lunch in the Skibereen area. The car is booked from 10 am, but apparently we may be able to collect it an hour earlier, which sounds like a good idea, to get an earlier start on the day. Would you anticipate that traffic would be heavy from Cork city to the airport at around 8.30am? Other people in previous postings have responded to my questions about this day trip to the southern coast of Ireland, and I guess I'm open to cautions about weather conditions, fog, poor visibility in winter etc, but I'm also pathetically optomistic by nature and am really looking forward to this particular excursion!

2) After Cork we're based in Kilkenny for 5 nights, and on one or two of the days in this area I imagine that we'll explore Waterford and Wexford counties (maybe get to the Ring penninsula). I've realised now that the crystal factory will be closed, and was interested to read your alternative sightseeing suggestions. Waterford certainly sounds a lot buzzier than when I visited 21 years ago! You also mention a 'heaving mass of traffic and people", so I'm starting to think that, even though it will be the off season, the Christmas period itself must make the cities and towns pretty busy with people travelling home to visit relatives for Christmas. Would it be right to anticipate a fair bit of congestion on the roads in any built up area? It's hard to judge from the guide books, because they focus so much on summer tourism.

Thanks for your time in reading this!

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