Nearby Attractions

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Curraghmore House 

Located in Portlaw, Co. Waterford only 12 kilometres from Carrick-on-Suir, Curraghmore is one of the finest of the great houses of Ireland.

Now the home of the 8th Marquis of Waterford, the house is the last of four castles built by the de la Poer family after their arrival in Ireland in the 12th Century. With 2,500 acres of formal gardens, woodland and pasture, Curraghmore is the largest private demesne in Ireland.

Perhaps the most curious feature of Curraghmore is the courtyard front of the house where the original Norman castle is encased in a magnificent Victorian mansion with flanking Georgian ranges. This combination of architectural features from several periods around the ancient core of the original castle produces a most unusual and instantly recognisable composition.

Curraghmore House is set amid ancient oak woods and formal gardens and offers visitors a wonderful mixture of attractions to explore, from the unique Shell House to the oldest bridge in Ireland, King John’s Bridge built in 1205, twelve miles of famine boundary walls to one of the tallest trees in Ireland, the 55 metre high Sitka Spruce.

House tours take in some of the finest neo-classical rooms in Ireland which feature the magnificent plaster work of James Wyatt and grisaille panels by Peter de Gree.

Curraghmore is open from Easter to the end of September, Wednesday to Sunday. Open October to Easter by appointment only. For further details of tours and events please go to http://curraghmorehouse.ie

Mount Congreve House and Gardens

Perched on a spectacular site overlooking the River Suir, Mount Congreve was built in 1760 for John Congreve. It was designed by John Roberts who later designed and built most of the 18th Century buildings in Waterford, including both cathedrals.

In 1963 Ambrose Congreve became the sixth generation of his family to live in Mount Congreve after he inherited the estate. The estate was bequeathed to the Irish State after his death age of 104 in 2011.

While the house is magnificent, Mount Congreve is ultimately famous for being the home of one of the great gardens of the World.

Consisting of about seventy acres of woodland gardens and a four acre walled garden, Mount Congreve is home to one of the greatest collections of plants in the world.

Inspired by Mr Lionel de Rothschild’s garden at Exbury in Hampshire, England, the late Ambrose became infected with a passion for plants such as Rhododendrons, Magnolias, Camellias and many other floras from every continent of the world.

The collection includes over three thousand different trees and shrubs, more than two thousand Rhododendrons, six hundred Camellias, three hundred Acer cultivars, six hundred conifers, two hundred and fifty climbers and fifteen hundred herbaceous plants.

Mount Congreve is internationally recognised for its rare species of plants and its plant nurseries. Ambrose Congreve’s gardening achievements were acknowledged by Queen Elizabeth, who awarded him a CBE for services to horticulture, and by Trinity College Dublin, which granted him an honorary doctorate. Ambrose Congreve also won 13 Gold Medal awards at the Chelsea Garden Show in London for this garden.

For further information and opening hours please go to http://www.mountcongreve.com

The Waterford and Suir Valley Railway

The Waterford and Suir Valley Railway is a unique way for all the family to enjoy the majestic beauty and tranquility of the River Suir. The magic of the golden age of rail is brought to life as you experience the beauty of the Suir Valley from a period carriage taking in the panoramic views of the river, rolling farmland and mountains.

This area is rich in history dating back to the Vikings and is only accessible by train. The partially open carriages offer views of the world famous Mount Congreve Gardens, Kilmeadan Castle, Carriganore House, Mossy Wood and the Lime Kilns.

With such a variety of habitats along the tracks such as reed beds, hedgerows and wild flora, a large number of diverse birdlife can be seen including kingfishers, cormorants, herons, little egrets, barn owls, reed buntings, sparrow hawks, finches and tits. And with such close proximity to the River Suir, there are sightings of a huge variety mammals along the line. Some of the hedges along the river bank offer routes to and from the water for bats, otters and badgers. Fox tracks are also evident along the railway bed.

The rolling stock includes a restored Simplex Locomotive, which had an arduous working life in the peat industry in the North of England and Scotland. It was also used in excavating the Channel Tunnel. It now pulls two partially open carriages traveling at 15km per hour. Other restored diesel engines are on display at the station.

Starting at the train station just outside the village of Kilmeaden, the railway runs along 8.5 kilometres of the abandoned Waterford - Dungarvan line to Gracedieu Junction.

A restored railway carriage serves as the ticket office and shop. Light refreshments can be purchased here and both indoor and outdoor seating is available.

The Waterford and Suir Valley Railway is open from April to the 30th September for the summer season. All facilities are wheelchair accessible.

Click here for further information http://www.wsvrailway.ie/index.shtml