From unique historical sites to great family attractions, Ardmore, Co Waterford, has something to suit all tastes when it comes to holiday enjoyment.
Ardmore Round Tower, Cathedral and St Declan’s Oratory
For centuries the village of Ardmore has been dominated by the 97 foot tall tower that overlooks it. The Round Tower dates from the 12th century and is one of the best preserved examples of this type of building in the country.
Alongside it are two other historically notable buildings, the Cathedral and St Declan’s Oratory. The Cathedral was built in the 13th century with one of its outer walls featuring carvings retrieved from an earlier 9th century building.
The Cathedral also houses two ancient Ogham stones, resting within small alcoves inside the ruins of the building.
St Declan’s Oratory is a much smaller structure and legend has it that Declan himself is buried here. It predates both the tower and the cathedral having being built in the 8th century.
The Cliff Walk – A spectacular stroll with amazing views
The renowned Cliff Walk has got to be one of the most spectacular walks in the country with breathtaking views over Ardmore Bay on one side and out towards Youghal Bay and Caple Island on the other.
The walk is best started just behind the Cliff House Hotel, at which point marker posts can be followed along the route and back to the village.
On the way you’ll have loads to keep you occupied starting with St Declan’s Hermitage, and leading to the wreck of the Samson, a watchtower dating from Napoleonic times, a World War II look-out post, and a well on the cliffside called Fr O’Donnell’s Well.
No visit to Ardmore is complete without walking this route. So give yourself an hour or two to do it and we know you won’t be sorry.
Beautiful Beaches – and so many to choose from.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding somewhere to stretch out in the sun, explore the rock pools, jump into the waves or help out with the sandcastles.
Ardmore beach is easily located. Just follow the main street through the village and head left at the roundabout. But if you have time, then go exploring. To the east of Ardmore beach are two further stretches of sand. Curragh Beach and Ballyquin Beach. Simply take the road for Dungarvan and both will be easily found after a few miles. Keep to the right and you can’t go far wrong.
To the west of Ardmore is the spectacular cove of Goat Island. To find it head up Round Tower Hill and take the first right. Then after a mile take the sign-posted left. Another mile or so later you’ll arrive in a little bit of heaven.
Further west again is a much larger beach called Whiting Bay. The easiest way to access this beach is to head out of the village towards Youghal where you’ll find a number of roads leading to different parts of the bay.
Watersports – swimming, kayaking, sailing and more
Because it faces South East, Ardmore Bay is relatively sheltered. This makes it an ideal place for watersports and especially for those keen to explore waterbased activities for the first time.
Kayaking tours can be arranged in the village through ‘Ardmore Adventures’ and the kayaks themselves can be hired on site.
Small boats can easily be launched from Ardmore Beach, which itself is accessible from the road. Alternatively, a good sized slipway at the Boatcove (just beyond the church car park) provides a good location to launch larger craft.
Because Ardmore Head tends to block the strength of a westerly swell, rowing, sailing and fishing even in the smallest of craft, can be a comfortable and very enjoyable experience.
And of course if you’re a bit of an adrenalin junkie and your idea of fun is riding the waves on a surfboard, then you’ll be looking out for good South-Easterly winds. They’re rare, but when they happen they’ll give you all the surf you need.
Ardmore Open Farm – Great fun for all the family
Brand new to Ardmore, having been just opened this summer, is Ardmore Open Farm. It’s easily found, located just two miles from the village on the road to Youghal.
As well as being able to get up close and personal with all your favorite farm animals – plus a few slightly more unusual ones – you’ll also find great outdoor and indoor play areas here for the kids. These include a zip-line, carts, a soccer pitch and soft-play areas.
Opening times are 10.30am to 5.30pm daily and prices are €9.50 per child and €8.50 per adult, with special rates for families and groups.
For more information about the farm and to have a look at some pictures of their wide range of animals, why not check out their facebook page. You’ll find it at www.facebook.com/ardmoreopenfarm
Arts & Crafts – In Ardmore inspiration comes naturally
Ardmore is an inspirational place and has always attracted writers, artists and craftspeople. Best-selling American novelist Nora Roberts has set a number of her books in Ardmore, while Booker Prize-nominated author of the classic ‘Good Behaviour’, Molly Keane, spent most of her life in the village.
There are a number of full-time artists working in and around the village and you can find out more about each by visiting their websites or of course their studios. Here are some links to get you started: Brigid Shelly, Brenda Harris and Judy Shinnick.
The Ardmore Gallery and Tea Room, located on the Main Street is also a wonderful haunt for art-lovers, with a huge variety of original work adorning the walls. Make sure you give yourself time for a coffee and a browse.
Finally, no trip to Ardmore is complete without a visit to Ardmore Pottery and Craft Shop. Located in an idyllic setting on the Cliff Road, overlooking the bay, this working pottery is also home to a wonderful gift shop.