Many of the people who visit Waterford, in the south-east of Ireland, are content to spend most of their stay exploring the city centre itself. In many ways this is understandable; Waterford is a fascinating combination of ancient Viking settlement and modern trading port, and its streets offer the chance to both explore medieval history at first hand and acquaint yourself with the pleasures of the traditional Irish pub.
It would be a shame to ignore the broader appeal of this part of Ireland, however, since the nickname of Waterford, Gateway to the South East, is singularly apt. From the centre of Waterford you can head in any direction and soon find yourself in the midst of the kind of forests, mountains, fields and coastline that draw people to Ireland from all around the world.
This broad appeal – urban and rural, inland and coastal – is reflected in the range of accommodation on offer in Waterford. All requirements are covered, whether you’re a family looking for a comfortable bed and breakfast, a couple seeking romance in a country house lodge or a stag party needing little more than a comfortable room within walking distance of some of the best Waterford pubs. No matter where you choose to stay, however, your accommodation will only be a short drive away from attractions such as the tiny fishing village of Ardmore.
Ardmore is a fishing village on the south coast that, during the off-peak season, boasts a population of some 300 people. When summer arrives, however, its glorious location sees this number swell dramatically, and it is this contrast that sums up the appeal of Ardmore. On the one hand, it is a genuinely unspoiled example of the life and environs of a small Irish village, on the other it has everything needed to keep its many visitors happy.
Getting to Ardmore
Ardmore is located some 44 miles south of the centre of Waterford, and the journey there is fairly simple. From the outskirts, take the N25 south until you reach the R673. At this point take a sharp left and drive towards the coast and Ardmore itself.
The centre of Ardmore itself is a compact, neat and tidy place, proud recipient of the 2014 Pride of Place award. The restaurants and cafes offer traditional Irish food and the many galleries and craft shops specialise in providing traditional one-off items crafted by artisans from both Ardmore itself and the rest of Ireland.
Several beaches are accessible from Ardmore. Their unspoiled beauty, as well as the chance to walk along the cliff top spotting aquatic life in the shape of porpoises, fin whales and dolphins, holds the key to Ardmore’s enduring appeal. The main beach is easily accessible from the centre of the village and is over a mile long. An activity centre adjacent to the beach offers all of the equipment and instruction needed to sample a range of beach-based activities including snorkelling, rock climbing, surfing, kayaking and archery.