7 Things You Need To Know Before Biking Waterford Greenway

Biking The Waterford Greenway

Riding a bike after an extended hiatus can feel like reuniting with an old friend. You might start off unsure, teetering awkwardly and trying to recall where that damn center of balance might be inside of you. But once you begin finding your cadence, pumping your legs left and right, letting stray hairs tickle the side of your face, you’ll naturally begin to relax.

It feels like you are picking up right where you left off, closing the gap between your present moment and not-too-distant past, and there is no better place to do it than the Waterford Greenway. It is a horizontal portal to Ireland’s crayon green fields, weathered pubs that had served countless pints of beer long before you were born, the smell of fresh rain on ancient stone buildings, and a glimpse into daily life happening around you.

Biking The Waterford Greenway

What is the Waterford Greenway?

The Waterford Greenway (also known as Déise Greenway) was formerly a railway line that has been repurposed into 46 kilometers or 28.6 miles of butter-smooth paved roads. It opened in early 2017 and has been steadily growing in popularity ever since. It’s practically impossible not to like; there’s something magical about letting brisk air glide across your face as you see idyllic landscapes and historical landmarks.

As Ireland’s longest greenway, it spans from the historic city of Waterford to Dungarvan and features 11 bridges, 3 viaducts, and a 400-meter tunnel. Despite its 46km length, the ride offers plenty of excitement and surprises. Visitors can discover charming details like handmade fairy doors in the Durrow Tunnel and the stunning scenery of Clonea Beach’s cobalt-blue waters.


What is the best Waterford Greenway starting point?

There are three main entry points for the Waterford Greenway; however, you can also begin in any of the cities that run between Waterford, Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden, Kilmacthomas, and Dungarvan. If you are looking to do the entire 46km, you can begin at either end in Waterford or Dungarvan. To save the tropical vibe of the Durrow/Ballyvoyle tunnel and the picturesque views of Clonea Beach as a grand finale to your ride, it’s recommended to start the journey in Waterford.

Kilmacthomas is located in the precise middle of the greenway with a distance of 23km to either end and another great starting jump-off if you want to trim your ride time in half. Keep in mind that all 3 of the viaducts are located between the Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan stretch, so if you are only going to ride half of the greenway, make sure it is this one.

Waterford Greenway map

Map of the Waterford Greenway. For additional information, the Waterford Greenway website is a solid resource [PDF Version of Waterford Greenway map]


How long will it take to cycle the Waterford Greenway?

It really depends on how often you plan to stop. The Waterford Greenway is best appreciated as a leisurely ride with an emphasis on the journey instead of the destination. Sure; if you blaze straight through the 46km, stopping only when necessary, you could bang out the ride in under 2 hours. However, I’d recommend making a full day (5-6 hours) with plenty of stops for coffee, snacks, photo opportunities, and soaking in the changing landscape around you.


Is this going to be strenuous? Will you get sweaty and regret doing this?

The Waterford Greenway is flat and silky, like Kyoto tofu. It’s great for all ages, from young to old, families, runners, dogs, skateboarders, scooters, walkers– you name it. Anyone in average health may work up a mild sweat, but that can easily be adjusted by changing gears or speeds. Let’s just say it’s one of those roads where you can try riding with “no hands, ma.”


What are some points of interest or good places to stop?

It’s recommended to travel from Waterford to Dungarvan to enjoy the finish of Clonea Beach, as mentioned previously. To help plan your journey, here is a list of photo opportunities and potential stopping points along the way from Waterford to Kilmacthomas and Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan.

Waterford to Kilmacthomas – 23km

  • Thomas Frances Meagher Bridge
  • Mount Congreve Gardens
  • Kilmeaden Castle ruins
  • Waterford & Suir Valley Railway

Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan – 23km

  • Coach House Coffee – Kilmacthomas
  • Kilmacthomas Viaduct
  • Flahavan’s oats mill
  • Durrow Viaduct
  • O’Mahony’s Bar and Shop – Shanacool
  • Durrow Tunnel (also known as Ballyvoyle tunnel)
  • Ballyvoyle Viaduct
  • Clonea Beach
  • The Anchor Bar or The Moorings for a meal – Dungarvan


Waterford Greenway Bike Hire?

Renting a bicycle for the Waterford Greenway is easy and convenient thanks to Waterford Greenway Bike Hire, which has three depots located along the route in Waterford, Kilmacthomas, and Dungarvan. Each depot is fully equipped with helmets, bungee cords, and other necessary equipment to help you get started right away.

The part I appreciate most about their service is that they have a free shuttle bus that can take you from any of the three locations back to your car. This is a serious bonus if you aren’t keen on backtracking or need to get back in a timely manner. You can begin cycling in Kilmacthomas, end in Dungarvan, and then take the shuttle back to your car in Kilmacthomas.


What should I wear to cycle the Waterford Greenway?

Not the biggest surprise in the world– Ireland can be a rainy place. Avoid the annoying stripe of mud that may spray on your back from a wet wheel by wearing a rain jacket that can be easily cleaned. The weather can change in an instant, so it’s best to come prepared with a hooded rain jacket, gloves, beanie/hat, and athletic shoes/boots. If you plan on bringing a backpack or purse, you may want to bring a plastic bag, so it doesn’t get wet in the event of rain.


You are now armed with all of the information you’ll need to happily cruise along the Waterford Greenway. I hope you have a blissful time and enjoy the ride! This is a fantastic way to connect with Ireland’s lush landscape and enjoy the beautiful scenery.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *