Glamp Champs: A camping break with a difference in Waterford
A stay at the new Ardmore Glamping Pods gives Leslie Ann Horgan a fresh excuse to visit her favourite Irish village.
Birdsong and butterflies punctuate the air over the wildflower meadow ahead, which melts into rolling green fields that in turn become a shimmering sea.
I pad inside my timber cocoon to stretch out on the couch. The calm is only broken by the odd exotic squawk from the enclosures up the hill. If not for the glass of Prosecco in my hand, glamping might feel like meditating…
With so much running around to be done, your troops will work up an appetite. Keep costs down for a family by stocking up at the supermarket in nearby Youghal and cook using the communal kitchen or outdoor BBQs.
Guests get 15pc off entry to the Ardmore Open Farm (€11pp/€41 for a family of four, open Fri-Sun until May, with extended days in high summer) which shares the site. No boring patch of mud, this mini zoo is home to marmosets (above), chinchillas and an albino python, among other wonders. Inside, there's a cafe (no tickets required) serving breakfast, lunch and early dinner. Parents can relax there while budding zoo-keepers try out the climbing frames, ball pit and soft play areas.
I ramped up the glamp with a morning at the Wellness spa at the nearby Cliff House Hotel. There, I drank in the views of Ardmore Bay from the comfort of an open-air seaweed bath (€40 for 45 minutes, cliffhousehotel.ie).
Feeling renewed, I strolled into town, stopping to browse for crafts in The Anchor Boutique and Ardmore Pottery & Gallery (ardmorepottery.com). On Main Street, there's an artistic ode to cattle to be found in the Brighid Shelly gallery (brighidshelly.ie) which doubles as an intimate wine bar on summer evenings. After a lunch of tasty chips - this glamper's nod to festival food - at Shipmates diner, I had a banoffee I'd sell my wellies for in the upmarket Whitehorses Restaurant.
The glamping site is some 3km out of Ardmore town, along a busy road that's not safe to walk on. Visits to the beach and shops require a car.
Ardmore is 50 minutes from Cork and an hour from Waterford by car. Leslie Ann was a guest of Ardmore Glamping Pods, which open from February to early November. They sleep up to four people and cost €125 per night.
To book, call (024) 87600 or see ardmoreglampingpods.ie.
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