In Redwater, EastEnders characters Kat and Alfie Moon do a spot of detective work in Ireland.
The drama was filmed in Dunmore East, a fishing village in County Waterford, which has long been a favourite with Dubliners in need of some sea air. It doesn’t have a spring carnival where people don silly costumes, but it really is the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else’s name. (It might also have a few dark secrets but sadly I failed to uncover any when I visited last month.)
In episode one, you’ll spy the village’s lovely beach, with its red sandstone cliffs and crystal-clear water. There are also a handful of sheltered coves, perfect for secluded picnics, swimming and shrimping.
Lawlor’s Beach and The Strand Inn, which was painted blue for the show
“Peter Dolan’s Pub” is actually The Strand Inn, a hotel, restaurant and pub on the seafront. The crew camped out in its Georgian townhouse during filming and this is where I checked in – into a very comfortable but unfussy room with a glorious sea view.
The Strand Inn is also popular with locals because its chic restaurant and terrace are right next to the beach. The menu includes fresh fish caught by two brothers who go out on their boat every day. I also recommend the seafood chowder and garlicky crab claws.
Kat and Alfie’s house is located five minutes’ walk from The Strand Inn
Nowadays Dunmore East’s harbour is more likely to shelter pleasure boats than fishermen. There’s a sailing club and an activity centre where adults and children aged five and up can try sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, climbing, caving and archery. In summer, giant inflatables are pushed out into the water, turning one of the coves into Ireland’s only “Wibit Wipeout” waterpark.
There’s a stunning cliff walk, which I had all to myself apart from some curious cows. The woodlands surrounding the village also make for a nice stroll and were carpeted with bluebells when I was there in April.
St Andrew’s Church also has a cameo in Redwater
If you’re into golf, Dunmore East Golf Club overlooks the village and must boast better views than any course in Ireland. 20 minutes’ drive down the road is Faithlegg golf club (Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace stayed in its hotel, although told villagers they’d rather have been in Dunmore East).
For such a small village, Dunmore East has a surprising number of good cafes and restaurants. I dined on fresh John Dory and an excellent risotto at family-run Italian restaurant Azzurro and enjoyed a pint at cavernous Power’s Bar, a pub stuffed with nautical artefacts. The pub interior in the drama is actually The Spinnaker, a gastro-pub behind The Strand Inn.
There’s plenty to do nearby, too. Waterford’s Viking Triangle has some good museums chronicling the city’s chequered history. Hikers should head to the Comeragh Mountains, while those who like scenery but don’t like working up a sweat should do the Copper Coast drive. The newest attraction is Waterford Greenway, a 46km off-road cycling and walking route from Waterford to the seaside town of Dungarvan, via viaducts, a spooky 400m tunnel and lots of lush countryside.
No wonder Shane Richie says he’s looking to buy a house in Dunmore East.
Radio Times Travel holidays
Waterford, Wexford and the Garden of Ireland tour, 5 nights from £549pp. Based in the charming riverside town of Enniscorthy, this six-day break offers a fascinating insight into this lovely and varied part of Ireland. See the dramatic landscapes of the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough, watch skilled craftsmen at work at the Waterford Crystal factory and discover the stories of the Great Famine and the American Migration. Click here for the full itinerary and to book
Visit radiotimes.com/ireland for our collection of short breaks