Co. Waterford ABC ~ C is for The Copper Coast

Co. Waterford ABC is a feature here on Social Bridge where I am identifying my highlights of  this diverse county in Ireland where I was born and which has been ‘home’ for the last 26 years. There will be just 26 posts ~ one for each letter of the alphabet and I hope you will join me in discussing your views about the places, people,  events, things that I select. Would you have chosen differently? In a county with such natural beauty and diversity in terms of history and heritage, one could quite easily identify 26+  highlights for each letter!  (  See All Posts in this Series  )

The Copper Coast, Co. Waterford
(Highlighted in Red. Click to Zoom)


The Copper Coast is a stretch of stunning coastline in Co. Waterford that runs for some 25 kilometres between Fenor and Kilfarrasy in the east to  Stradbally in the west.  It is an area steeped in geological features, history and heritage and takes its name from the 19th century copper mines that lie at its heart.  The history of mining on the Copper Coast is very well documented by Des Cowman (2006) in his fascinating book: The Making and Breaking of a Mining Community: The Copper Coast, County Waterford 1825-1875+

Copper Mining Heritage Site at Tankardstown, Co. Waterford

The Copper Coast was awarded European Geopark Designation in 2001 and became a Global Geopark under the auspices of UNESCO in 2004.  The Copper Coast  Geopark Centre in the recently restored church in Bunmahon is a wonderful stopping point where one can learn about the many features of the Copper Coast and enjoy a snack and a chat in a hauntingly beautiful setting.

Sea View from Tankardstown, Co. Waterford

Going for drives along the Copper Coast has been a fundamental part of my life since I was born and it is the stretch of coastline in the whole world that brings me the greatest sense of peace.

‘Pride and Joy’ at Boatstrand Harbour, Co. Waterford

I love its rugged, unspoilt nature and the fact that it offers such a variety of beaches, coves, dramatic views of  the sea and the Comeragh mountains, quaint villages, the working harbour at Boatstrand  and a year round display of seasonal flowers and foliage.  Major highlights are the daffodils which line the road between Fenor and Annestown in Spring; the sea pinks that flourish in Summer, especially beween Kilmurrin and Bunmahon; and the magnificent Autumn tints that are found in Stradbally Cove. Of course, all year round, we have the gleaming yellow of wild gorse.

Stradbally Cove, Co.Waterford

There is a whole world to be explored in the Copper Coast area. Not surprisingly, it is a place that inspires creativity. The Wood Craft Shop at Boatstrand, which closed a few years back, was very special for me and I’m so glad to have lamps and clocks from there to keep the memories alive.

Sculpture by Collette O’Brien near Boatstrand, Co. Waterford

In more recent years, I’ve been captivated by Stradbally Jewellery Design and the beautiful pieces that they make. Handmade Silver Jewellery – Stradbally Jewellery Design.  Other exciting new developments along the Copper Coast, for creative types, are The Art Hand, an art school which runs a wide range of courses in various forms of art and creativity  the art hand . art school . waterford . ireland | painting . photography  and The Wool Shop, an online venture , run by Bernadette and Niall McCann, who are also closely involved in developing knitting in the local community.  The Wool Shop – The Wool Shop, Ireland For Yarn / Wool And 

There are just so many pleasures along the Copper Coast ~ undoubtedly one of Ireland’s jewels.

The Copper Coast looking towards Helvick at Sunset

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

6 thoughts on “Co. Waterford ABC ~ C is for The Copper Coast”

    1. Hi Michael, thanks for writing. Co. Waterford has more than enough wonders beginning with the letter ‘D’ to keep me busy. I agree that Dingle is lovely. How about a Co. Kerry ABC?

  1. Hi Jean, I’m from Kilkenny but have been living in Amsterdam for the last 16 years and have been living away from Ireland for 24 years. Every time I go home, it’s always to Kilkenny, which is a beautiful county also. But I keep saying to myself, that if I ever have the money, I would love to tour around Ireland in a rented car and discover more of the country. Waterford is a neighbouring county and it’s been so long since I’ve been there. The Copper Coast looks and sounds wonderful, from your writing and photographs. I’ll have to try and get there sometime soon 🙂 I have been writing a travel blog since 2009 but haven’t written anything yet about Ireland. I guess that’s because I don’t live there and haven’t had the time or money to rediscover it. But I will soon, hopefully.

    1. Hi Martina, Many thanks for writing and I hope that you get to see the Copper Coast when you’re next home. I’d be happy to take you myself! So, bus or train/bus from Kilkenny to Tramore and we’re away!
      Look forward to reading your blog and I couldn’t agree more that Kilkenny is a great county too. So much to do and see there. And what hurlers you have!

  2. Hi Jean, I just returned from a ten-day holiday touring around Ireland and visited the Copper Coast for the first time. (Been to Ireland three times prior) So lovely!! Went to Kilfarrasy Beach, Hook Head and stayed in Dunmore East. Can’t wait to return.

  3. Oh, I’m delighted you fell in love with Co. Waterford. Hope you get back soon.
    I was just down walking on the beach in Tramore tonight and the light from Hook Head Lighthouse was flashing away. It was divine!

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