Destinations for our days out are chosen for what we perceive as their safety, their lack of people, and the village of Ardmore in the west of Co. Waterford suits our requirements perfectly. A quick dash to Wikipedia tells me that it has a permanent population of around 430 but, of course, this swells during the summer months as it is a popular tourist destination. The season is hardly over and the Cliff Hotel seemed to be busy yet the village was quiet and was perfectly pleasant for our day away.
Our purpose in visiting Ardmore was to take the Cliff Walk, a very enjoyable 4 kilometre loop walk which starts at the Cliff Hotel. Naturally, the circuit of Ardmore Head and Ram Head has excellent sea views but there are other interesting features on the route also. There is the early Christian St. Declan’s Well, an old coastguard station, the wreck of the Sampson which ran aground on the cliffs in 1988, two lookout posts with one dating from 1867, Fr. O’Donnell’s Well and the 12th Century Cathedral and Ardmore’s Round Tower as you begin your return journey. It is a pleasant and easy walk which takes a leisurely hour.
Views on the Cliff Walk: (Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow)
The cliff walk is also a good spot for those interested in whales, dolphins and seabirds as it gives great views out to sea. It is also a good location for wildflowers and I snapped the following as we walked along:
On another occasion, under other circumstances, we might have dropped into the Cliff Hotel for lunch but on this day it was chicken sandwiches and coffee, with apples for dessert, on Ballyquin Beach, across the bay to the east of Ardmore. It is a beautiful beach, far enough from the village to be quiet even in the busy season and almost deserted at this time of year. A couple sat on their deckchairs half way out to the water’s edge; a man walked his dog while another swam. Otherwise we had the place to ourselves, simply perfect!
Views of Ballyquin Beach: – Oh, I forgot to mention that couple walking! Getting crowded there!
The beach was also a good place for wildflowers with some which were especially interesting:
It was good to get out, a change of scene, a rest from the daily gardening and Ardmore is certainly a beautiful place to visit.