Visiting Tramore | An Irish Seaside Town With a True Summer Vibe
My earlier research about Bundoran and Ireland’s love story with surfing had brought another seaside resort to my attention. On Ireland’s south coast, the little town of Tramore had embraced the surfboard since the late sixties. Tramore had even hosted the first Irish National Surfing Championships in 1967. That sounded promising.
As I sat comfortably aboard the train and started daydreaming about beaches and sunsets, booking online soon revealed itself to be the best idea I had for this trip. The train was suddenly besieged, the alley obstructed by sleeping bags, yoga mats and backpacks too big to fit into the overhead compartments. A young crowd was taking over the train, heading to a music festival I had never heard off. Slightly delayed the train finally departed, full to the brim.
Staying in Tramore
Breakfast was served at the back of the house, the morning sun warming up the room. On the menu: Irish breakfast, pancakes, French toasts and never-ending refills of coffee. Stuffed and fully awake, I was ready to enjoy a real slice of summer.
My Favourite Things to Do in Tramore
Enjoying the Beach and Seafront
The long stretch of golden sand and pebbles offered the perfect spot for a long walk along the shore. As I looked eastwards towards Brownstown Head, two distinctive white pillars were standing above the cliffs against the blue skyline. Like the remains of a Greek temple overlooking the Aegean Sea, three more could be seen facing the Celtic Sea on Newtown Head on the opposite side of Tramore bay.
The pillars had not been built to celebrate or appease the Gods though. They were here to warn against the bay’s treacherous waters. At the top of one of the pillars standing on Newtown Head was the Metal Man. Built in 1823 after the sinking of HMS Seahorse and the loss of 360 lives onboard, the giant metal sculpture dressed in British sailor clothes warned ships to keep out of the dangerous rocks.
Visiting the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens
Taking Surf Lessons
Home of Ireland’s oldest surf club, Tramore has been a centre of surfing since the 1960’s. Its beginner-friendly beach-break saw countless children and older daredevils learning to ride the waves of the cold but invigorating Celtic Sea.
Sitting outside among a small group of strangers trying to look comfortable in their tight-fitting wetsuits, I was listening closely to the instructors going through the basic surfing techniques. We were soon on our way to the beach, walking in pairs, a surfboard under each arm.
Time flew. The lesson was soon over and the surfers regrouped on the beach, slowly dragging their board back to the shore, relief for some, regret for most. Back to the surf school and not yet freed from my wetsuit, I was already planning more time in the waves the next day.
FREEDOM SURF SCHOOLFrom €35
Cost: a surf lesson costs from €35 for a group lesson to €95 for a private lesson (equipment included).
Address: The Gap, Riverstown, Tramore, Co. Waterford
How to get there: From the Promenade, take a left turn at the roundabout. The surf school is located in a cul-de-sac off Riverstown Road.
Other activities available: Bodyboarding, Stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP)
Eating in Tramore
One The Waterfront: a new addition to Tramore’s food scene, this restaurant had the best view over the bay if you fancied having a drink on its terrace before relishing on a tasty burger.
Fish n’ Chips
Sitting by the window, I enjoyed a delicious caramel and raspberry square with an orange blossom iced tea, all I needed to put back some energy in my tired body. The cafe also doubled up as a shop selling local food and products like the lusciously scented Kilfarrasy vegan soaps.
Essential Tips for Visiting Tramore
- Getting There | Book your train ticket early from Dublin to Waterford with Irish Rail. You’ll find the best price online. No booking is available (or even necessary) for local bus 360 from Waterford to Tramore.
- Where to Stay | Tramore is a small town with few hotels and B&Bs so make sure to book early especially during the high season. It is best to stay closer to the beach and the town centre where the restaurants and pubs are located. Check the latest prices.
- Where to Go Next | Known as the Viking city, Waterford is well worth a visit; its Medieval Museum and the Bishop’s Palace are two of my favourite attractions. On the way to Dublin, the medieval town of Kilkenny boasts a superb castle that shouldn’t be missed.
- Planning | To help you plan further, why not buy Lonely Planet’s Ireland Travel Guide. I like to bring a hard copy on my travels for last minute research and inspiration.
- Travel Insurance | Don’t forget to buy travel insurance before visiting Tramore. Heymondo has a nifty app to help you get the assistance you need while on the go.