The Copper Coast in County Waterford is known as a Unesco Global Geopark (https://coppercoastgeopark.com/) . The reason why the area which stretches from Fenor to Stradbally is known as a Unesco Global Geopark is that the area and it's landscape is of international geological significance.
Driving along the coastal route, we admired the rocky coast on this particular wet day in November. There was a yellow weather warning in place, and where County Waterford and Wexford are normally known as the sunny South East, we got drenched every time we got out of the car.
But with the right wetgear on, we didn't mind the rain at all. We stopped at Killmurin Cove where we were greeted by a large seal who kept a watchful eye on us when we walked along the shore of this secluded cove.
Making our way towards Tankardstown, we reached the Tankardstown Copper Mines which are located high on top of the cliffs demanding a fabulous view across the sea. The 19th Century mining complex was once a location where the mining industry would have blossomed, nowadays forming an important element of the industrial heritage of County Waterford.
The mines were active between 1824 and 1877 and formed an important aspect to the local economy. Now in ruins, both the pumping and winding engine house are still standing.
At the entrance into the complex, a small minecart still stands welcoming visitors into mining complex. Across the road once stood the tramway engine house, and looking out over the cliff edge along the coast, you can't but admire the fabulous scenery
After a refreshing stop, we carried on along the rocky coastline towards the small town of Bunmahon, the home to the Copper Coast visitor centre which is located in a restored 19th century church. Here you will find information on the history of the copper coast, walking trail guides and a nice cafe.
Next stop was Ballydowane Bay, a beach flanked by imposing cliffs which allow you to admire a compressed cross section of 80 million of earth formations.
The many seagulls seem to love the free standing rock which stands tall in the water. We walked along the beach, admired the rock formations and had fun at the river which crosses the beach.
For us, it was the first time we visited the Copper Coast, but it won't be the last. Where we enjoyed the geological marvels along this stunning part of Ireland's south coast, we really enjoyed the scenery and even the rain. Where everybody nowadays talks about the Wild Atlantic Way and how stunning it is, we really loved the Copper Coast which should be on everyone's bucket list of places to visit.
About the Author
We are Peter & Dolores De Bie. We love the great outdoors, discovering new parts of the world and writing about our adventures along the Wild Atlantic Way and further afield