It might be a tiny village but there is lots to see and do in and around Fenor — a place full of hidden treasures that you simply won’t find anywhere else… not to mention all the other things with which to fill your days just a short spin away.
Fenor Bog National Nature Reserve
Fenor Bog began to grow 10,000 years ago in a lake basin that was infilled by peat to eventually form a thick bog dome. In historic times the bog was cut for turf fuel. This ceased a century or so ago and the bog regenerated into a wet fen habitat.
The conservation of Fenor Bog is a unique Community Enterprise project. In 1999 some 140 householders purchased one of the last remaining Fen Bogs in Munster, recognising that it was in danger of being lost.
Fenor Bog contains over 200 species of plant, bird, insect and animal. A place of refuge for wildlife and visitors alike, it is owned by Móin Fhionnúrach Development Association and the Irish Peatland Conservation Council.
- Irish Peatland Conservation Council information visitor map & guide
- Discover Ireland page about the naturally regenerating fen habitat
- Amazing drone footage of Fenor Bog captured by Mark Walsh
Copper Coast UNESCO Global Geopark
Extending between Fenor in the east to Stradbally in the west and up to Dunhill in the north, the area was declared a European Geopark in 2001 and became a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2015. The Copper Coast gets its name from the 19th Century copper mines that lie at its heart. It comprises some 25 kilometres of spectacular coastline.
The Knockmahon mines were at their peak in or around 1840, exporting copper ore to Swansea in Wales from the nearby Cove. Only the ruins of the three engine houses and the shafts remain. Blue/green copper staining can be seen on the rocks at ground level.
- See the official website here, packed with information and insights
- “Stunning coastline”; “Fantastic”; “Absolutely amazing” – TripAdvisor
- Discover Ireland page about the area’s scenery and history
Award-winning Fenor Community Play Park
“Fenor, a tiny village near Tramore in Co Waterford, is home to a church, pub and, thanks to a community fundraising effort [organised under the auspices of Dunhill Fenor Boatstrand Annestown Community Enterprises], one of the best playgrounds in the country.
Built using local wood and stone and landscaped to reflect the surrounding countryside, it has a zipline, climbing frame, sand play area, tyre swings, and a slide set on top of rock boulders. Combine a visit with a break for refreshments in Mother McHughs pub or The Copper Hen restaurant, and a stroll on the boardwalked bogland opposite.”
– from Irish Times/50 Best Playgrounds in Ireland, 2017
Road Bowling heritage sport
Old traditions die hard, they say. Well, road bowls (or bouls as they’re commonly pronounced in these parts) have been played in the east Waterford village of Fenor since the 1950s, and possibly before, with the inimitable Jimmy ‘Skinner’ Flynn, Gerry Cremin, and club secretary Liam Power among those who’ve done most to keep the game alive, albeit with a new gang of enthusiasts (male and female) growing all the time.
As well as the usual Sunday morning fixture, the sport’s renewed popularity in these parts has been boosted by the staging of national-level competitions and the annual ‘Bowling Around the Bog’ event. The game essentially involves ‘bowling’ a 28 oz. cast-iron bowl down a straight(ish) country road, to see how far it goes. However, the power and skill exhibited by the better players is far from easily mastered.
- YouTube video of Road Bowling, Fenor-style
- Facebook page for all the local road bowling club’s events and updates
- Organising road bowling tuition and fun and games for tourists & groups
Copper Coast Mini Farm
A warm friendly welcome awaits you and your family at the family-run Copper Coast Mini Farm and The Copper Kettle Tearooms. Fun and educational for all the family, it’s a safe, child-friendly environment where kids can interact with the animals and enjoy a pony ride. Some animals are native to Ireland whereas some are of the more exotic kind.
Check out its Facebook page for all about the Mini Farm.
Carrigavantry Lake fishing
This 30-acre reservoir (above right) can be fished by permit for both brown and rainbow trout all-year-round by bank and boat. Waterford City & County Trout Anglers manages the lake to a high standard and have upgraded the facility considerably in recent years. According to waterfordflyfishing.ie, “The lake has a fairly consistent depth of 8-10ft with several shallower bays. The water is renowned for being very clear throughout the season and very prolific hatches of buzzer, olives and damsels occur. End of season dry fly action to daddies can be spectacular.” A wheelie boat is available by booking and a catch-and-release policy applies (as much as possible).
- Ballyscanlon Lough: Fenor means ‘The Sunny Side of the hill’ and the village is indeed on the sunny side of Ballyscanlon. Ballyscanlon Forest is beautifully situated overlooking the Lake (above) of the same name, with walking trails of relatively short distance within it.
JUST A STONE’S THROW AWAY…
- Annestown; Benvoy (one popular with families, surfers, the other a hidden gem)
- Tramore seaside resort (famous beach & dunes, teeming in summer, surfers’)
- Garrarus; Kilfarrasy (secluded spots, ideal if you want to get away from it all)
Anne Valley Walk
Starting beside Dunhill village, this beautiful 2.2km linear walk follows the Anne River, meandering through forest and marshland on a specially-constructed gravel path on the way to Dunhill Castle. Both buggy- and wheelchair-friendly, this peaceful amenity passes many picturesque ponds which are home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including protected species. There are fine views throughout, including of the castle. You can add an extra leg onwards to Annestown village and its lovely beach.
See the Anne Valley Walk Facebook page for lots more.
Depending on the fixtures schedule, you could catch a match at William Flynn Park, a mere puc fada (long puck) from the pub. The locals play with Fenor Hurlers and the Kill Footballers, and with Clann na Gael at underage level. Training takes place at the field (which backs on to the play park) most weeks between spring and autumn.
The Waterford Greenway
Possibly the most-talked-about tourist attraction in the country, this amazing €20million amenity opened in March 2017 and has been a runaway success. The spectacular 46km off-road cycling and walking trail along an old railway line between Waterford and Dungarvan, taking in three tall viaducts from the River Suir to the edges of the Comeraghs and on to the sea at Dungarvan.