09 Nov 2022
Lonely Planet has included Ireland’s Copper Coast in its new list of the world’s best offbeat places to visit, where crowd-free delights await.
The Copper Coast in Ireland’s Ancient East stretches some 25km from Kilfarrasy to Stradbally in County Waterford.
Named for the copper mines that operated there in the nineteenth century, and whose footprint can still be seen, it is an area that blends fascinating heritage, geological wonders and jaw-dropping beauty.
A car trip along this coastal route will take you past picturesque seaside villages, stunning cliff-side views, beautiful beaches and secluded coves.
But there is more to discover, as the area is a UNESCO Global Geopark. The landscape, forged by oceans, volcanoes, deserts and ice sheets, is now an outdoor museum of geological records.
Stop off at the Copper Coast Geopark Visitor Centre in Bunmahon to find out about the geological history as well as the archaeological and social heritage of the area.
To really appreciate what the Copper Coast has to offer, leave the car and follow one of the self-guided walking trails that explore the villages and hinterlands of Annestown, Boatstrand, Bunmahon, Dunhill, Fenor and Stradbally.
Here, along scenic country roads and cliff-top paths you will find the ruins of nineteenth-century lime kilns and engine houses, storage yards and chimneys from the copper mines.
Dunhill Castle, Annestown, Co Waterford.
At Dunhill you can visit the remains of a thirteenth-century castle and a 4000-year-old burial place, while the Copper Coast Geological Garden in Bunmahon presents a geological time path and two ancient Ogham stones that are aligned with the summer solstice.
The aim of Lonely Planet’s new Offbeat guidebook is to suggest “crowd-free, under-the-radar” alternatives to the world’s busiest places, for people seeking to avoid mass tourism and travel more sustainably.
The guidebook says of the Copper Coast: “On all but the busiest of summer weekends you can expect to have its gorgeously secluded, wave-whipped coves, walking trails and coastal woodlands largely to your lucky self”.
Among those secluded places are the beautiful beaches of Trá na mBó, Kilfarassy strand, Ballydowane and Stradbally cove.
Here you can surf or swim without an audience or simply soak up the tranquillity of these special surrounds.
Tra na mBo, Co Waterford.
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