Ardmore is located just a few kilometers off the N25, mid-way between the thriving cities of Cork and Waterford, while Youghal and Dungarvan, with their wide variety of services and golf courses, are less than 20km away.
For years Ardmore has attracted tourists from all over the world because of its perfect coastal setting allowing for long lazy days lying on the beach. A picturesque fishing village with beautiful sandy beaches, Ardmore is an ideal family resort and was a winner of Ireland’s Tidiest Village award.
Ardmore (Irish for “the great height”) may well be the oldest Christian settlement in Ireland. St. Declan, its founder, is said to have been a bishop in Munster as early as the mid-4th century, well before St. Patrick came to Ireland. Tradition has it that the small stone oratory, situated in a cemetery high above the town, marks his burial site.
St. Declan’s Oratory is one of several stone structures here composing the ancient monastic settlement, which you can explore freely on your own. The most striking is the perfectly intact 30m high round tower, arguably the finest of all round towers in Ireland. There are also the ruins of a medieval cathedral and, nearby, St. Declan’s well and church.
Ardmore Pattern Festival – A Week-Long Celebration!
St Declan’s feast day is ‘Pattern Day’, every 24th of July. The tradition of the ’Pattern’ of St. Declan, patron saint of Ardmore, goes back hundreds of years. Thousands of people from near and far made the annual trip to the small seaside village in West Waterford on the 24th July each year to venerate at the Holy Well and reputed grave of St. Declan.
The Ardmore Pattern Festival Committee first came together in early 2007 with the aim of organising a Festival to revive the traditional ’Pattern’ of Ardmore in a modern context. Since the inaugural Festival, which took place from the 27-29 July 2007, it has gone from strength to strength, increasing in size and popularity year on year.
The Festival has a huge programme of musical, sports, arts and other events, with something for all ages and tastes, but also includes events relating to the Pattern of St. Declan. These include the annual St. Declan’s Mass, walk down St. Declan’s Way, Historical Tours of the Village and surrounding area, as well as a pageant re-enacting St. Declan’s arrival in Ardmore.