Whale Walks: Andrew Malcolm is West Waterford’s best guide for nature walks and can lead you on bespoke foraging, whale and birdwatching hikes. Dolphins, fin whales, minke and the occasional humpback are quite easy to spot off the Ardmore cliffs between November and February each year. Capitalise on this rare pleasure by wrapping up warm and heading out with binoculars, campstools and flasks of warm drinks provided by the hotel. Andrew will help point out these spectacular creatures. €50 per person for a two hour session, reduced group rates available.
Easy Local Walks: Of the walks from our hotel’s front door, the Ardmore Cliff Walk (5km, 60 mins) is highly recommended. Cunnigar – a long sandy strip across the mouth of Dungarvan Bay – is another excellent nearby route (6km, 90 mins), and Lady Louisa’s Walk from Lismore Castle (2 km, 30 mins) takes in the River Blackwater. Mahon Falls is a horseshoe walk around a waterfall near Bonmahon (4km, 120 mins).
Guided Day Hikes: At Cliff House Hotel we can provide guided hiking through the Comeragh Mountains with Ardmore Adventures. Driving time: 35 minutes
Fly-fishing: Various day-rods, beats and ghillies are available. Recommended specialists include Fortwilliam Fishery at Lismore, Blackwater Lodge at Upper Ballyduff, and Ballyvolane at Fermoy. River Blackwater’s exceptional salmon fishing, which some deem the best in Ireland, requires advance booking. Driving time: 35 – 90 minutes.
Saltwater Fly-fishing: Local Richie Ryan operates the first-ever licensed saltwater fly-fishing boat in Ireland out of the second largest natural harbour in the world. Driving time: 60 minutes.
Rock Fishing: There is rock fishing at Ardmore Head where wrasse, conger, pollock, codling, coalfish and mackerel are all common. From Ardmore pier – also within walking distance of our hotel – you can line-fish for bass.
Please ask reception for complimentary fishing equipment.
Deep-Sea Fishing: Numerous local fishermen offer half- and full-day deep-sea fishing excursions on boats out of Youghal, Dungarvan, Helvick and Ballycotton. Please enquire at reception and we will advise on availability. Driving time: 60 minutes.
Blue Shark Angling: Dungarvan is one of Ireland’s blue shark angling centres, with the fish usually plentiful from mid-June to mid-October. Dungarvan Charter Boats are specialists. Driving time: 25 minutes.
HORSERIDING AND GOLF
Horseriding: Horseriding in Ireland takes in the beaches, back-country trails and mountains on short rides and treks. We recommend three stables: Monatrea Equestrian Centre (10 minutes) Colligan Equestrian Centre (20 minutes) and Finisk Valley Riding Centre and Lake Tour Stables at Tramore (60 minutes).
Golf: Cliff House Hotel is well placed for golfing holidays in Ireland. Worldclass championship courses include Old Head of Kinsale with its 300ft cliffs, and Mount Juliet – both a 90-minute drive from Ardmore. Fota Island Golf Club and Waterford Castle Golf are challenging, picturesque courses and within an hour’s drive of our hotel. Local courses for a quick round include Youghal Golf Club, Dungarvan Golf Club, The Gold Coast and West Waterford Golf Club. At the hotel, we also have a golf tee box in the gardens allowing you to hit an environmentally-friendly golf ball towards a floating pontoon out in Ardmore Bay.
BLACKWATER ADVENTURES AND PAINTBALLING
Blackwater Adventures: Canoe down the River Blackwater with an experienced guide, then take a bike trip in the beautiful countryside with Lismore Cycling holidays. Equipment, maps and a picnic lunch are provided. Tickets €43 from Lismore Heritage Centre . Driving time: 35 minutes.
Paintballing: This thrilling paintballing Glenbradagh farm in Upper Aghada, Midleton offers a no-holds-barred approach and plenty of fun. Driving time: 35 minutes.
Horseracing: Horseracing in Ireland is a must-see activity, from the most famous course, The Curragh — a two-hour 20-minute drive from our hotel — to local point-to-points at Lismore (30 minutes), Ballyduff (35 minutes) and Tallow (15 minutes). Cork Race Course at Mallow is a one-hour 20-minute drive away. Our reception can advise on race meetings.
Scuba Diving: Seahunter Diving in Youghal is a well-equipped dive boat, while in Ardmore, Ardmore Diving benefits from the Bay’s sheltered conditions for inshore dives and local wrecks. Walking time: 10 – 20 minutes.
Quad Biking: Bridgefield Buggies at Castlemartyr lets you drive your own all-terrain quad bike on safari across nine miles of countryside. This popular experience is suitable for eight-year-olds and up. Driving time: 30 minutes.
Rally Driving: Rally Connection at Dungarvan provides a rally experience that’s a wild day out for both novice and experienced drivers. Driving time: 20 minutes.