Exploring Ireland: Dunmore East
In a move that is very unlike me, we recently planned a trip for the weekend to Waterford on a Monday. Waterford, only 2.5 hours away, so no big deal, right? Well, we planned to go to Dunmore East the weekend of their annual Bluegrass Festival. Ever since I’ve known P he has talked about this festival and wanting to take me. He’s been before and even played in it, but he knew I would love this seaside town and of course the music from home.
When we decided to go, I headed to Booking.com and was met with what I was expecting - no rooms left. I headed to the local tourist website and decided to email the hotels directly just in case, for any reason, maybe they had a spot! Lucky for us The Strand Inn came back with an affordable price of €130 for the night which included breakfast. I wouldn’t normally spring €130 for one night on a weekend trip but since we did leave it last minute with an event on in the town, I couldn’t complain.
Dunmore East itself is small and extremely walkable. Taking the car around would actually be more hassle than walking and you can’t drive if you’re planning on having a few drinks anyway! The location of The Strand Inn was super convenient and once the car was parked we didn’t use it again until we left. That said, if you are thinking of a visit to Dunmore East, you would need a car.
We left Dublin about 11:30am and got to the hotel about 2pm. We checked in, I got ready, and we headed out. To save some money we ate sandwiches in the car so we wouldn’t have to buy lunch and dinner. Thanks for that lesson to both our moms for doing that to us growing up!
We first walked around Dunmore East so I could see it and take some photos. Because the town is small and easily walkable this didn’t take too long and allowed us to explore where some of the bars and restaurants were that would be holding gigs later that night.
The festival ran from Thursday to Sunday but we only went for the Saturday night. After our walk and I was happy with my photos we headed to The Spinnaker and caught the last of a local duo that I unfortunately didn’t get the name of. We wanted to have dinner there as well but they were fully booked out. My fault for not making a reservation on such a busy weekend!
A realistic part of any trip with P is if a Liverpool match is on, we will be watching it. We went back to our hotel, The Strand Inn to watch. For reference of how close everything is in the town, P walked from The Spinnaker to The Strand Inn to ask them if they would be playing the match and came back to me at The Spinnaker in under 5 minutes. We (he) watched the match and we had beer out of plastic cups. I felt like I was back in college! You don’t get plastic cups anywhere here!
After the match, it was off to Azzurro to try and squeeze in for dinner. They were SO busy and SO understaffed. I felt bad because most people working there were quite young and management obviously dropped the ball on preparing for such a hectic weekend. They were left frazzled and visibly stressed. The food was decent, but anything would have been welcomed after having nothing since our sandwiches so many hours before!
We did a bit of pub hopping before ending up listening to Whiskey Deaf at Powers Bar. They were from California so it was nice to hear some familiar accents! They were my favorite act we saw, and not just because they’re American! We then stayed out until nearly 2am which is another thing that is so unlike me!
I had never been to Waterford but would definitely go again. Dunmore East was the perfect weekend getaway for us as a couple but I think it would be a fantastic family holiday too. There are a lot of kid-friendly hotels (The Haven Hotel looked especially welcoming to kids) and a water adventure park. Dunmore East is a quaint Irish village to add to your list if it isn’t already on it!
DISCLAIMER: If you use my Booking.com link I will get a €15 credit, but you will get a credit too!