Factory sights in Ireland
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The pride of every middle-class living room, Waterford Crystal has become one of the world's most famous luxury brands. The Waterford Crystal visitor centre, complete with restaurant and tourist office, is 2km south of the centre. You can lurk in the shop, but we recommend the one-hour factory tour.
The transformation of glowing-hot balls of glass into diamond-cut crystal is near miraculous, and the guides have real insider knowledge of the factory's workings. In summer buy tickets in advance from the tourist office to avoid queues. The first Waterford glass factory was established at the western end of the riverside quays in 1783, but closed 68 years later because of…