Richard Corrigan's Ireland

By Richard Corrigan, a Celebrity Traveller

Read more on County Waterford.

Overall rating:5.0 out of 5 (based on 2 votes)
Enjoyable
5
5.0
Useful
5
5.0
Inspirational
5
5.0
Recommended for:
Activity, Beach, Food and Drink, Mid-range

I'm from County Meath but the counties of Waterford and Wexford have a piece of my heart thanks to fine beaches, wild fishing, delicious food and a traditional slice of the Emerald Isle

I’m from County Meath in Ireland but I have a burning passion for the south of Ireland, especially around the counties of Waterford and Wexford, and I just have to share these wonderful places.

It’s a beautiful part of the world and one I try to get to at least once a year since discovering it for myself just a few years ago. It was only four years ago actually - on recommendation from a friend in London - that I first discovered this part of Ireland. I just wanted somewhere I could take the car to but not drive the entire time I was there. I had never seen much of the southern part of the country before and it seemed like a great idea.

West Waterford in particular is delightful. There are wonderfully typical villages like Lismore, which are crammed with history and old stone buildings; soaring mountains, such as the Knockmealdown and Comeragh ranges; and dramatic rugged coastline as you head down towards Dungarvan and Ardmore. The population is fairly small in these counties so you never feel over-crowded. When you live and work in London like I do, finding peace in this part of Ireland is easy. I always manage to relax so well here and that for me, is the biggest compliment I can give.

Waterford and Wexford are two of the most traditional counties in Ireland. The city of Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city and sits on the River Suir. If you want a slice of tradition, you’ll find it in Waterford and Wexford. For sports fans, a hurling or Gaelic football match is a must and for music fans, well, you only need to find yourself in a cosy old pub in any town or village to hear the trad (traditional) music of the Irish.

The greatest space in the world, in my opinion, is the Hook Peninsula in Wexford. You’ll find a varied, unique and unspoiled coastline and the sort of beaches that will surprise and delight you – there’s one for every day of a fortnight. I can feel the stresses and strains of life just easing away from me as I take a breath of fresh sea air on the Hook Peninsula. It feels like a secret that shouldn’t be shared, and this part of the world really does feel like a secret part of Ireland that tourists rarely venture into. The friendliness and warmth of the welcome, however, is never forgotten.

Another pleasant past time here is fishing. I take a boat and then sail just over the border from Waterford to the coast off Youghal in County Cork. You can get charter fishing boats at many places along the coastlines of Waterford and Wexford for about 400 euros – one company I'd recommend is Wild Swan Fishing (www.wildswanfishing.com). You will catch cod, cod, cod, and maybe a few sea bass!

Where to stay

One of my favourite places to stay is the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore. It's perched on the rocks and it's incredibly beautiful. I stayed in room ten - it's right on the seashore - and I can honestly say it is the finest room I have ever stayed in, the finest in the world.

About twenty minutes away from Lismore, just over the border in Co Cork, Ballyvolane House is a beautiful old place with 18th century gardens, which are open to the public during the summer. When you stay here it’s like staying in their home. They don’t call themselves a hotel, or a B&B. They do say it’s like they’ve opened their home for people to stay and you really get that feeling; there’s something really pleasurable about that. There are no televisions, and you help yourself to the whiskey; it’s great.

Where to eat

Waterford is a real foodie area, mainly because the local produce is so good.

I always eat at the Tannery in Dungarvan (Quay Street; +353 58 45420; www.tannery.ie); they also have accommodation known as the Tannery Townhouse. Paul Flynn is in charge there and his food is always simple and exquisite. He is one of the best chefs I know. When I eat at the Tannery, I know it's going to be great. There is always a delicious seafood dish on the menu, guaranteed. I can have anything along those lines and know it’s going to be good. The entire place is decorated beautifully. It’s not too big and it’s not too flash. Two other fantastic features of the Tannery are a gorgeous little working garden, where the team grows all kinds of produce, and a cookery school, where they use produce from the garden and all around Waterford to cook and teach. It’s a wonderful place and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Whenever I’m in Arthurstown in Wexford I stop in at the Dunbrody House Hotel (+353 51 389 600; www.dunbrodyhouse.com). I often stop in there for a bowl of chowder, a glass of wine and a big chunk of fresh bread. Perfect.

In Lismore you’ll find the O’Brien Chop House (Main Street; + 353 58 53810; www.obrienchophouse.ie). It’s an unpretentious café/bistro and it’s fantastic. It’s almost like London in a small village in Ireland. You can get a nice local steak for around 20 euros and every dish just screams fresh, local produce. If I lived in Lismore I wouldn’t dare buy meat from anywhere but the local butchers. They are absolutely legendary in that area and rightly so.

I can’t wait to head back out to a place that has secured a piece of my heart and I couldn’t recommend the destination highly enough. Just don’t all rush there at once – I need my peace and quiet!

Save money on booking

flightshotelscar hire

by following our money-saving guides. They are written by our Simonseeks team of travel gurus.

More information on Richard Corrigan's Ireland:

Author:
Richard Corrigan
Traveller type:
Celebrity Traveller
Guide rating:
5
Average: 5 (2 votes)
Total views:
1172
First uploaded:
7 January 2010
Last updated:
4 years 28 weeks 2 days 2 hours 37 min 37 sec ago
Destinations featured:
Trip types:
Activity, Beach, Food and Drink
Budget level:
Mid-range
Free tags / Keywords:
fishing, history, food and drink, sports, traditional music

Richard recommends

Hotels

Price from Rating
(out of 5)
1. Cliff House Hotel
N/A
2. Ballyvolane House
N/A
3. Tannery Townhouse
N/A

What do you think of this guide?

Did it tell you what you needed to know?
Do you agree with the writer's recommendations?

Share your views by leaving a comment on this page.

Community comments (2)

Rating:
5
0 of 0 people found the following comment helpful.

Richard's lively and informative guide provides an excellent introduction to a part of Ireland with which we are not familiar. His enthusiasm is well communicated and I'm sure will inspire many to visit Waterford and Wexford. Perhaps ,when the snow clears, we'll check out the travel details.
Thank you, Richard.

Was this comment useful?
Rating:
5
0 of 0 people found the following comment helpful.

An excellent guide to one of my favourite parts of the world, thanks Richard. Your recommendation of the best room to stay in at the Cliff House Hotel is exactly the sort of personal detail we like and you can be sure I'll be dropping into the Tannery when in Co Waterford - you really tickled the taste buds with your thorough and lively description. Do update the guide if you ever want to tell us about new places opening or more excellent discoveries you've made.
What does everyone think of this guide? Have you found Ireland's secret places too? As always, rank and comment on guides to have your say on Simonseeks.

Was this comment useful?