Dunmore East is a small harbor village just outside of Waterford. In addition to a popular beach, a large park and views of the neighboring county Wexford, it also offers a built nature trail along the cliffs.
I somehow missed the cliff walk and learned about it about a year ago on Instagram from an account I follow. Of course I wanted to go there. But I had two problems – the weather and how to get from Waterford to the village by the sea (the infrastructure in Ireland is… not good).
Fortunately, the latter was not the problem in the end. I found out that there is a fairly frequent bus between Waterford and Dunmore East, which we ended up using (the company has since stopped running, but the national carrier Bus Eireann has taken over, which means that you don’t have to pay in cash, but you can use the so-called Leap Card. This is simply better than dragging change around in your pockets).
The first half of last year didn’t look the best, but then the heatwave came and on July 9, my mom and I went to Dunmore East. It was quite windy and clouds came and go quite a lot that day, which I underestimated and ended up taking back home with me burnt arms and head oops.
I’ve been to Dunmore East a few times before, but usually we just walked around the village and the park and drove home. That’s also very nice – the view over the harbor and from the park is amazing. However, I was hungry for nature and only the cliff path could offer me that.
The entrance to this trail is about a two-minute walk from the newly built parking lot on the edge of the village. After taking in the views of Hook Lighthouse on the other side of the sea, head right past the car park, past the few houses and up the stairs in the small wood.
What’s so interesting about this cliff walk?
As well as the aforementioned views of the neighboring county and the second longest serving lighthouse in the world, the trail takes you past Portally Cove, home to a smaller beach, to Ballymacaw. I don’t remember exactly how long it took us to get to Portally Cove (we didn’t go further than that) because I stopped a lot to take pictures, but I would definitely recommend setting aside an entire afternoon for this. The trail is well-maintained, and in some places quite wide, so you can easily avoid other passers-by. There are also a few benches to rest on.
But I have to point out that the part of the trail just above Portally from Dunmore East is quite difficult to get up and even harder to get out – the steps are quite high. However, it can be managed, but expect quite some workout.
When you get back to Dunmore East, you can buy fish and chips just below the car park and eat them in the park, and don’t forget to stop at Indulge for a well-deserved ice cream or sorbet!
You can find more information about the trail here. (As I mentioned Suirway has long ceased to operate between Waterford and Dunmore East – more information on the local bus service can be found here.)