East of Waterford City
Waterford Castle, located on Little Island in the River Suir at Ballinakill, began life as a medieval stronghold of the Fitzgerald family. It was considerably remodelled over the centuries, culminating in 1900, when it acquired its present lavish pseudo-Elizabethan baronial style.
Its current incarnation as the luxurious Waterford Castle Hotel receives generally good reviews, particularly for its restaurant (Irish Breafast Award winner 2008, and the afternoon tea is also especially highly praised by guests) and range of outdoor activities (croquet, clay pigeon shooting, archery, boules etc.) and also rents out self-catering holiday homes.
The castle gardens and the ancient woodlands of the 310-acre island’s former estate demesne are beautiful.
Waterford Castle Golf Club was founded separately, however, the two enterprises advertise jointly as the Waterford Castle Golf & Country Club Resort.
Little Island is served by a very short ferry trip. Apparently a new Marina and Spa are under construction.
Faithlegg & Cheekpoint (Co. Waterford / East)
Faithlegg (originally covering over 7000 acres of pastureland) was granted in 1177 by King Henry II to the Aylward family from Bristol, who ruled the area from Faithlegg Castle for almost five centuries until Oliver Cromwell dispossessed them in 1649.The property was then granted to William Bolton.
Faithlegg House was built in 1783 by Cornelius Bolton. In the C19th it came into the possession of Nicholas Mahon Power, a wealthy Waterford City merchant. In 1873 the family commissioned Samuel Roberts to alter and enlarge the mansion; they also built Faithlegg’s Roman Catholic church on the site of Faithlegg Castle. The Power family crest remains the emblem of Faithlegg to this day. In 1935 the mansion was sold to the De La Salle order and served as a novitiate until the 1980s. In 1998 it was restored to form Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Club, whitch also rents out self-catering holiday homes at Faithlegg Mews
Faithlegg Forest has several walks commanding wonderful panoramas over the Suir Estuary.
Cheekpoint, set on a headland east of the city above the confluence of the “Three Sisters“, the River Suir and the twin Rivers Barrow and Nore, retains the air of a pleasant fishing community. (Photo by David Morgan).
The area has a long and rich maritime history. What makes a trip to these villages particularly enjoyable are the views and local sea food restaurants and pubs en route.
Faithlegg & Cheekpoint are not far from Passage East on ByRoute 1.