Lismore is a historic town located in the county of Waterford, Ireland. Though it is a bit smaller, there are still plenty of things to do in Lismore, Waterford’s hidden gem.
1. Lismore Castle Gardens
Lismore Castle Gardens consist of two distinct gardens encapsulated within the castle walls. Originally started back in the 19th century for the 6th Duke of Devonshire, these acres of greenery now provide incredible views of the Castle and florals surrounding you.
2. Lismore Heritage Centre
Lismore Heritage Center first opened in 1992. Since then, the centre has served as an information center for all-things-Lismore, specifically the history. The Lismore Heritage Center is therefore an invaluable asset for travelers like yourself to catch up on the years you weren’t around Lismore to witness.
3. The Towers
The Towers & accompanying grand lodge are drop-dead gorgeous buildings, but that’s not all. Take the small loop hike around the castle to discover the real beauty of this ancient ruin.
4. The Cotton Library
The Cotton Library boasts a collection of historical, ecclesiastical and theological books. These manuscripts were once owned by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton MP, hence the name The Cotton Library. This collection is normally closed to the public, but, if you’re lucky, the dean of Lismore might just have it opened it up for a few days while you’re visiting!
5. Lismore Farmer’s & Craft Market
The Lismore Farmer’s & Craft Market is open every Sunday from March to October. This gem is located on Castle Avenue, leading up to the Lismore Castle. So, if you’re planning on heading there as well, it’s a great way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. At the market, you’ll find just about anything ranging from fresh produce to jewelry.
6. Fortwilliam Fishery
Fortwilliam Fishery is located 2 miles outside of Lismore city, but it’s completely worth the small trek. For 3.5 miles along both sides of Munster River Blackwater, you’ll find an abundance of fishing opportunities for salmon and trout.
7. St. Carthage’s Church
There are actually two St. Carthage Cathedrals in Lismore, which gets a bit confusing. The catholic version of the church has incredulous stained glass windows and architecture. Just a stone’s throw away from the castle, it’s an easy way to make your rounds around some of the best sights in the city.
8. The Classroom Bar
The Classroom Bar hosts an unreal atmosphere filled with Irish music, hoppy beer and happy people. It truly is the local’s place to be.
9. Robert Boyle Escape Room
If you’ve ever had any interest in trying to break out of an escape room, then the Robert Boyle Escape Room is for you. I say this because it’s probably one of the least expensive escape rooms I’ve ever seen, and the price continues to decrease as the size of your group continues to increase. Bring your wits if you hope to survive.
10. Ballyin Gardens
Close your eyes; now imagine yourself getting lost in six alluring acres of historic gardens lining the river Blackwater—Welcome to Ballyin Gardens. Dating all of the way back to the early 1700s, the gardens have been described as, “a sight which no visitor to Lismore at that period [the 1800s] ever missed.” Today you’ll find a plethora of plants from all over the world blooming here.
11. Summerhouse Cafe
Summerhouse Cafe is an Irish cafe that serves breakfast & lunch. It’s a cozy & relaxing cafe with lovely food and a welcoming staff. Don’t forget to try their homemade cakes!
12. Foley’s on the Mall
Foley’s on the Mall is a pub in Lismore with exceptional food & generous portions. With everything cooked fresh to order and the beer ready to pour, you really can’t go wrong with a meal at Foley’s on the Mall.
13. The Booley House
The Booley House used to be home to farmers who herded their cattle to graze in the mountain areas surrounding the house. These farmers would gather around at night, keeping themselves entertained with a story, song & tune….today, that tradition lives on. The Booley House now hosts shows of Irish music, dance and song for all to enjoy. For tickets and events, check out their website.
14. Blackwater Valley Opera Festival
The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival is held once a year, every year, since 2010 in Lismore. You’ll get your share of classical music and opera at this festival, which usually runs in the end of May and beginning of June. Check and see if you’ll be around Lismore during this marvelous festival.
15. Lismore Castle Art Gallery
The Lismore Castle Gardens & Gallery are the hub of all art and events going on in Lismore, as well as Ireland as a whole. Continuously hosting refreshing events and new exhibitions, you never know what you’ll come across while visiting this attraction.
16. Lismore County Library
I know what you’re thinking–I absolutely cannot wait to head to Ireland and go to the library. Guys, it’s cool–I swear. Lismore County Library has books on books, but my favorite part is probably their local studies collection. I always find it so much more intriguing to see a place after I know the trauma and beauty that it has lived through. Head to the Lismore County Library before you begin exploring the city and you’ll appreciate all of the attractions 10x more AND look smart in front of your friends, family & other tourists.
I hope this quick guide gave you a sneak peak into the tourist-musts, as well as the local hotspots in Lismore.