The House of Waterford Crystal in Waterford city is a must see. It is housed in a very modern building on the Mall. Nearest car park is Bolton Street car park and I highly recommend that this is where you park as it is only 2 minute walk to the visitor centre and it is good value at one euro per hour. The car park is also very convenient to the lovely riverside walk which leads up to the town centre.
You pay the fee at a vending machine in the car park, the vending machine takes coins -no notes and it does NOT give change. Two hours should be enough time to visit the attraction and to do the one hour factory tour. In any case if you decide to stay longer you can always walk back to the car park and buy more parking time !!!. The car park ticket must be displayed on your dash board. The ticket has printed on it your expiry time. WHEW !!! Now, on to the review of the Visitor centre.
I love the new building where the collection is housed. It is modern, spacious, bright and clean. BTW, the public toilets are the nicest and cleanest that I have seen at a visitor site in many years.
Amazing displays of Crystal pieces are dotted around the very large display area and the then the more contemporary pieces/sets which are for sale take up most of the remaining exhibition space. Entry to this part of the building on the ground floor is free of charge. Staff there are very friendly and will answer any question for you. Two very nice ladies in reception will take your Factory Tour booking.
On the same floor is a very pleasant and bright cafe. We did not eat there because of time constraints but will do so on a future trip.
The factory tour costs €12 for an adult and €4 for a child. There are also other price options for family of four, seniors etc. The one hour tour is a 'must do' and a really lovely experience. You are guided by a real person and our guide was very knowledgeable and informative and really made the tour come alive. She asked participants where they were from and was able to give us information on a famous piece of crystal that made it's way to their part of the world. You can actually see the workers at work which is great for us, but I am not sure how they felt about it!! Loved it.
While the tour is suitable for children, it would be best if they were of at least school going age, say 8 yrs upwards, as it might be a little boring for any children under that age.
Definitely worth making a trip to Waterford for, and fantastic to see that the Waterford Crystal brand is still most definitely alive and well.
Don't miss it.
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