Residing effectively in Waterford – My lively break in Ardmore

Paddle boarding within the ocean at Ardmore is not cardio, there is not any adrenaline pumping, it’s pure mindfulness

Birthday woman Liadan at Cliff Home

Dishes within the Michelin-starred Oceanside are mind-blowing

Residing effectively in Waterford – My lively break in Ardmore

The reality is that my excellent day can be spent lounging on my sofa, consuming ham and cheese brioche rolls and watching Agatha Christie.

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The reality is that my excellent day can be spent lounging on my sofa, consuming ham and cheese brioche rolls and watching Agatha Christie.

That mentioned, one journey sports activities vacation earlier this yr has gone to my head, and I now like to think about myself a daring, sporty sort. It is just a matter of time earlier than I start forcing my four-and-three-quarter-year-old to eschew our annual two weeks by the ocean in Spain in favour of exercise holidays.

Whereas my precise exercise vacation concerned abseiling down the facet of a 28m cliff, that stage of daring was most likely a one-off. My future goals are extra for the mid-level exercise vary; biking, strolling, presumably some canoeing.

This stage of exercise has a brand new buzzword; you might be now not taking the sedate exercise vacation possibility, you might be engaged in lively wellness. Gwyneth most likely invented it. What it means is holidays which embrace motion that’s all about getting out within the recent air, taking day out in nature, with out exhausting, or terrifying your self.

On a current financial institution vacation journey to the Cliff Home Lodge in Ardmore in West Waterford for a weekend exercise break, I introduced the BF with me. The BF is a real outdoorsy individual, a lady who would suppose nothing of climbing no matter mountain you set in entrance of her, who swims within the sea on a weekly foundation. I are inclined to neglect she is an precise actions hun; none of those are issues we do repeatedly collectively; I’m, as I mentioned, a fake actions individual.

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The Cliff Home Lodge is the third, and most stunningly located of the three Cliff lodges, the others being the Cliff Townhouse on St Stephen’s Inexperienced and the Cliff at Lyons in Kildare. Actually carved into the cliffside in Ardmore, a picturesque seaside city which one native knowledgeable us had its personal microclimate attributable to its low setting and the encircling hills (that means it usually avoids rain close by hamlets are experiencing), the Cliff Home is a five-star boutique-sized resort, well-known for its outside seaweed baths and spa therapy rooms.

Birthday girl Liadan at Cliff House
Birthday girl Liadan at Cliff House

Birthday woman Liadan at Cliff Home

I had not too long ago staged my very own lively wellness vacation for my fortieth, going away with a bunch of buddies for a weekend and forcing them to go on an all-day hike. I might sense their dubiousness earlier than we set out, precise mutiny had been averted by agreeing they might lie in till at any time when they awoke; we set off late. If it hadn’t been a giant birthday I do know there would have been outright dissension within the ranks.

Actually, all of them got here crawling again afterwards to concur, to my immense smugness, that it was a genius concept on my half. Those that knew one another bought to catch up, those that did not, bought to know one another. I’ve grow to be an evangelical stroll bore since, so was delighted that this weekend’s itinerary was kicking off with a ramble across the resort’s well-known adjoining cliff stroll.

The stroll, which follows the sting of the cliff head, goes previous St Declan’s Effectively, the preserved Ardmore Spherical Tower and a 12th Century cathedral. We had been accompanied by native information Andrew Malcolm, a forager and whale-spotter who collects vegetation for the chef on the Cliff Home Lodge. On the crest of the hill, Andrew confirmed us his favorite spot for whale, shark and dolphin watching, together with a formidable report of his most up-to-date sightings. By the top of our stroll I had chatted to everybody and stretched the legs after the drive down from Dublin.

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Which was fortunate, as a result of the Cliff Home Lodge takes meals severely; working up an urge for food was vital for the feast that was to return at dinner. The Oceanside is a Michelin-starred restaurant, and we had been handled to a multi-course meal; tasting programs woven round our mains.

You might be unlikely to seek out extra imaginative meals elsewhere. The introductory bread choice included sea vegetable brioche, potato, onion and blonde beer bread, and natural spelt, honey and thyme bread. A spherical of savoury snacks adopted, which included fennel and seaweed dashi (a sort of soup), white asparagus panna cotta, soy & thyme marshmallow, and a smoked popcorn Ardsallagh goats cheese dome.

The following day we set off to Mahony’s Pub in Durrow, a conventional Irish pub value a go to for a post-wellness pint by the hearth. On this event although, we had been there to satisfy our information, Garvan Cummins, also called the Greenway Man. In addition to bike rent, Cummins additionally provides historic excursions.

The Cliff House
The Cliff House

The Cliff Home

On my earlier actions vacation, it had been the biking a part of the journey that, to my nice shock, had vanquished me (I blame rocky terrain and barely dodgy gears). The Greenway provides a a lot calmer terrain for many who are getting again within the saddle for the primary time in years. There are additionally choices for kids which contain an attachment to an grownup bike, giving a toddler the choice of pulling their weight and biking, or sitting again and letting the guardian do all of the work.

In complete, the route provides 46km of off-road biking and strolling path alongside an previous railway observe between Waterford and Dungarvan. Our journey ended with lunch in Dungarvan at The Moorings, a bistro-bar fashion restaurant the place the consensus was to carb-load (it is an actions individual factor) with their scrumptious lasagne.

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The ultimate exercise of our journey was to be on the water, with Ardmore Adventures. Paddle boarding is basically browsing with a paddle, besides the board is way larger and extra steady than a surf board, and all the expertise calmer. Carrying a wetsuit, you climb aboard your board within the water; it is pretty steady, so will not dip or sink.

To start, you might be kneeling, earlier than ultimately, in phases, making your technique to a full stand. Yoga devotees can enable themselves to really feel very smug about their core coaching with this one. You progress at a gradual sufficient tempo, and get a view of the world you would not from a ship. This is not cardio, there is not any adrenaline pumping, it’s mindfulness. Wellness.

By the top of our journey, we had been effectively to the max. Re-entry into actual life was exhausting!

Getting there


Dishes within the Michelin-starred Oceanside are mind-blowing


■ Cliff Home Lodge is an intimate five-star resort set within the cliffside at Ardmore Bay in West Waterford.

■ The resort’s spa, The Effectively by the Sea, consists of an infinity swimming pool, exterior tubs and a Jacuzzi. All get pleasure from spectacular views throughout the bay.

■ Cliff not too long ago launched The Effectively at CLIFF, a variety of handcrafted skincare merchandise created from 100computer pure merchandise.

■ Out of doors actions obtainable for lively wellness breaks embrace the well-known cliff stroll in Ardmore, biking the Waterford Greenway and water sports activities with Ardmore Adventures (

■ Cliff Home Lodge, (024) 87800,

NB: This function initially appeared in The Sunday Unbiased.

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