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Tramore

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Tramore is a beach resort in County Waterford in Ireland - Trá Mhór in Irish is "big beach", referring to the 5 km spit across the bay. It's the county's second largest town, with a population in 2016 of 10,381.

Understand

Tramore began as a fishing village, in a hazardous inlet that could easily be mistaken for Waterford Bay. After several tragedies, notably the loss of the Sea Horse in 1816, markers were placed on the headlands not to guide boats in but warn them to clear off and head further east. The town adopted the Greek motto θάλασσά θάλασσά - (thalassa thalassa, "the sea, the sea", from Xenophon's Anabasis) and the sea horse coat of arms (as did Waterford Crystal, and they too sank commercially). The town grew with the fashion for sea-bathing especially once the railway from Waterford arrived, chuffing and puffing, in 1853 - this was never connected to the rest of the Irish network, and closed in 1961. Tramore then slumped as a resort once holidaymakers discovered the Med, but began to attract surfers, and became a commuter town for the city.

Tramore Tourism is the TIC on the main street, open M-F 10:00-15:00.

Get in

The nearest railway station is Waterford, which has trains every hour or two from Dublin Heuston.

JJ Kavanagh Bus 736 runs from Dublin Airport and several city stops (but not Busáras) via Carlow and Kilkenny to Waterford. You may have to change there for the 360, but four buses a day continue to Tramore. Expressway 4 / X4 also runs from the airport and city to Carlow and Waterford.

Bus 360 / 360A runs every 30 min from Waterford, taking 30 min to Tramore. An adult single fare is €2.80 by cash, €1.96 by Leap Card.

By road from Dublin follow M9 to its end, use N25 toll bridge (cars €1.90) then R710 to bypass the city, then R675 south.

Get around

Everything in town is within walking distance, but you need wheels to reach Ballynageeragh and the Copper Coast Geopark.

See

  • 1 Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens (小泉八雲―ラフカディオハーン庭園), Tramore House, Pond Road, ☏ +353 87 960 013. Daily 11:00-17:00. You start through Victorian, American and Greek gardens, tracing the life journey of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904). He was born as Πατρίκιος Λευκάδιος Χερνon on Lefkada but bundled off to Dublin, where he was equally unwanted; he emigrated to become a newspaper reporter in Cincinnati then New Orleans. From 1890 he settled in Japan, changing his name to Koizumi Yakumo, and his many writings helped introduce Japanese culture to the west. Self-tour the gardens, or guided tours are available. Assistance dogs only. Adult €6, child €2. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 2 Lakelands is mostly a public park, but the Amusement Park and Splashworld take up the southwest corner.
  • 3 Holy Cross Church (RC) is a stout Gothic Revival church completed in 1871; the interior was re-modelled in 1977.
  • 4 Tramore Beach is a 5 km spit, ending in grassed-over sand hills; it's accessible at all tides. At the foot of the spit east edge of town there's a large car park, toilets and cluster of surf shacks. Dogs are permitted on most of the beach, but in some sections they're not allowed June-Aug 11:00-19:00. The north side of the spit or "Back Strand" is muddy with salt marshes, good for bird-watching.
  • 5 The Metal Man perches atop one of the three navigation towers on Newtown Head west of Tramore Bay; two more towers are on Brownstown Head east side. Their message is No! - this isn't Waterford Bay, don't sail in here by mistake! They were erected in 1823 after several tragedies, the worst being the wrecking of Sea Horse in 1816. She was bringing troops home from the Napoleonic Wars but was caught in a storm, where the first fatality overboard was the only man who knew this coast well; only 30 survived of the 394 aboard. Two accompanying ships were wrecked further along the coast. The 3 m tall Metal Man wears a Georgian sailor outfit and is distinctly camp, though you only get a limited view from the clifftop path. He has an identical twin at Rosses Point near Sligo at the opposite end of the country, who not so much points as minces towards the safe channel.
  • See Waterford for Mount Congreve Gardens, the WSV Railway and the Greenway hiking and cycling trail at Kilmeadan to the northeast.
  • 6 Ballynageeragh is a megalithic portal tomb of a type common before 3000 BC. It's hidden in the back lanes near Dunhill 6 km west of town. Another km south, Dunhill Castle is the stump of a medieval tower house, while to the north near R682 are the Gaulstown portal tomb and a tall standing stone.
  • See Dungarvan for the Copper Coast Geopark, and for the section of Greenway near Kilmacthomas, with impressive viaducts and a tunnel.

Do

  • Tramore Races at the north end of town has both flat racing and National Hunt (jumps), with the big meeting held over four days in August. Until 1911 racing was on the beach, which become eroded, so they relocated to this right-hand track of 7 furlongs / 1400 m.
  • Tramore Golf Club is southwest edge of town towards Newtown Head. The Old Course blue tees are 6658 yards, par 73, and there's also the Newtown with 9 holes.
  • Guillamene Cove below the camp site is marked "Men only" but that's just a historical marker. Until 1980 women and children were supposed to bathe at Newtown Cove adjacent.
  • Although there's a small marina, the shallow bay makes it impractical to base commercial boat trips here: try Dunmore East or Dungarvan.

Buy

The retail park is west up Summerhill past the church. Tesco is open M-Sa 08:00-22:00, Su 10:00-20:00 and has a filling station.

Eat

  • Esquire (Raglan Road), 1 Little Market St X91 N639, ☏ +353 51 381 324. M-F 16:0-23:00, Sa Su 12:00-23:00. Raglan Road is the pub, Esquire is the restaurant famed for its steaks, though there's seafood and veggie / GF choices. It hit a disappointing patch late summer 2020 but generally earns good reviews. (updated Oct 2020)
  • Banyan at 3 Strand St does Thai food daily 17:00-22:00; Voujon Cafe almost next door does Indian daily 16:30-23:00.
  • One the Waterfront is best on a fine day, where you can dine outside on the decking with great sea views, swatting the gulls away from your chips. They're open M-Su 09:00-17:00, Sa 09:00-21:00. They also have rooms.

Drink

  • The Vic, 12 Queen's St X91 XR66, ☏ +353 51 338 144. M-F 15:00-23:30, Sa Su 12:00-00:30. Friendly pub with good selection of beer and whiskey, has a beer garden. (updated Oct 2020)
  • Other pubs include Raglan Road (see Eat), Robinsons, O'Neill's, and Shanty Bar within Sands Hotel.

Sleep

  • 1 Newtown Cove Caravan & Camping Park, Newtown Road X91 E099, ☏ +353 51 381 979. Open May-Aug, it's 2 km southwest of town but the closest place for camping. Clean, well-run site. Unit €24-€30. (updated Oct 2020)
  • Fitzmaurice's Caravan Park in town is open April-Sept, accommodating tourers but not tents. The nearby Atlantic View Caravan Park is just for static units on long lets and doesn't accept tourers or campers.
  • Lots of B&Bs around town, there isn't a hostel hereabouts.
  • 2 O'Shea's Hotel, Strand Street, ☏ +353 51 381 246. Friendly small hotel on the beach front, dogs welcome. B&B double €90. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 3 Majestic Hotel, Lower Branch Road, ☏ +353 51 381 761. Upscale but relaxing hotel, family-friendly, with a good restaurant. Free parking. B&B double €150. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 4 Beach Haven, Tivoli Terrace, ☏ +353 51 390 208. Smart welcoming place has B&B and self-catering accommodation, they no longer run a hostel. No dogs. B&B double €90. (updated Oct 2020)

Connect

As of Oct 2020 the best signal is with Three, which has mobile and 4G coverage. Eir and Vodafone are patchy even in town, and the roads and countryside are dead. 5G has not reached this area.

Go next

  • Waterford has the best choice of visitor amenities and an excellent medieval museum.
  • Dunmore East is a small beach resort. There's a clifftop path for 5 km between Portally Cove and Dunmore.
  • Lismore has several castles, mansions and gardens, and north of it rise the Knockmealdown Mountains.



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