Ardmore Seaview Motorhome Park (Dick’s Field)

Ardmore, Co Waterford is home to, among other things, a large boulder known as St Declan’s Stone. Legend has it St Declan left behind his bell when setting sail for Ireland and prayed to God to return the bell to him. The boulder, with the bell perched atop, floated across the sea and appeared alongside Declan’s boat. Declan vowed to set up his monastery wherever the stone landed and it landed in Ardmore, Co Waterford. This was quite fortunate as the the cliffs of Ardmore provided Declan and his congregation with breathtaking scenery that is enjoyed by tourists today. Had the boulder taken flight and landed in the bog of Allen I’m not sure his mission would have been quite so successful.

God may have blessed Declan with this scenery but he also seems to have smiled favourable on a man known as Dick Power as he provided him with a field that could not have been better designed for its purpose. The field is located immediately adjacent to Ardmore beach and a short stroll, either along the beach or the road, to the town of Ardmore. Geographic location sorted one might think that in order to open a motorhome park it would be necessary to install paved roads, hard stands etc but not so. The soil under this field provides the perfect blend of clay, sand, stone and topsoil to allow even the bulkiest of motorhomes to drive and park on it without sinking. Not only that but grass grows well on the soil meaning it doesn’t feel like a disused quarry underfoot. Sink a tent peg into the ground (no tents by the way, more on that later) and you will be met with a reassuring firm attachment but will still be able to release the peg with a direct pull when required. Someone should sample this soil and recreate it in motorhome parks worldwide.

Motorhomes in Ardmore Seaview Motorhome Park
My kingdom for an aerial shot … It is difficult to try and capture the sheer number and variety of motorhomes that can be found on site but if you enjoy looking at motorhomes you won’t feel short-changed.

The motorhome park is located just outside of the town of Ardmore at the end of a long hardcore finished drive. When you get to the end of this drive you are met by Dick or Risteard who will advise you about available spaces and brief you on the pricing structure. Availability an be an issue during peak times and pre-booking isn’t an option so timing your arrival or phoning ahead may be advisable. This year (2021) the price was €12 per motorhome per night or €15 per night if you have more than two occupants. It is cash payment and the town has no ATM so remember to bring sufficient cash to cover your stay. In exchange for the nightly fee you get access to fresh, grey and black water facilities and of course access to the field. A small number of electric hookups are available immediately inside the gate and bin collection has been added this year for a fee of four euros per bin; we found that four small bin bags would work for a single disposal so it works out at roughly one euro per small bin bag. The first time we visited the site we had to hold our waste until we got home – which can be an issue when you still have a child in nappies – so we were delighted to see the upgrade in facilities on our return visit. There is a slight slope across the site but if you park with your windscreen oriented directly towards (or away) from the sea you should be able to correct for the slope easily enough with a set of ramps. Space between motorhomes is ample enough to allow large vans and motorhomes the room to maneouver. Each space is simply marked with a flagstone or fence post. Aim to get front centre of your vehicle lined up with the marker and you’re good to go; there are no low hedges or trees marking out sites so you have plenty of options to align your vehicle. The absence of hedges and trees typical of normal sites might seem unusual to some but it’s no less functional.

Motorhome fields are a relatively new development and no doubt Covid has challenged people to seek out new opportunities to get away and resulted in what I can only describe as ‘static motorhoming’ becoming a bit of a local phenomenon. A small but significant number of motorhomes arrive early in the season and set up for the summer with the owners driving down by car when they get the opportunity – and the weather. This is an approach often used by caravan owners but isn’t all that common for motorhomes which are generally purchased with a view to shorter breaks and greater mobility. While this can add a minor element of staleness to a traditional campsite it’s less pronounced in Dick’s Field as most of the vans move around to get fresh water and empty waste; very few seem to take the approach of trundling containers up and down the site.

The site is neither child friendly nor unfriendly. By that I mean there are no play areas on site but then again you haven’t paid for any. You won’t have the option of letting young children entertain themselves at a playground within eyeshot. The beach functions as the main recreational area for children on site. The local town has a variety of beach based activities for older kids such as kayaking and for younger kids there is a really well maintained playground all within five minutes walk along the beach. If you have a baby in tow then a harness might be the best option to allow you to take the beach walk to town. There is also the option of taking a buggy into town via the road but you will probably need one with large air filled tyres to comfortably traverse the hardcore surfaced laneway leading to the road.

There is very little traffic moving on site as cars park outside of the motorhome area. When vehicles do move to go to the service point or on arrival or exit they seem to do so at a very gentle pace. Children roam freely (and respectfully) around the site but the motorhome demographic coupled with a number of empty units (from static motorhomers who are away) seems to ensure the right balance of children playing and peace. Noise picks up a little after dinner when most families are done at the beach and the kids start to play amongst themselves before bed. By ten at night (noise curfew on site) things quieten down as everyone retreats indoors. The site has a no-tent (and no-caravan) rule. This rule eliminates the occasional noise that comes with twenty-somethings bringing 24 cans of Heineken and a pop-up tent on their first camping trip. You might miss the spectacle that comes along with watching the carnage unfold but there’s no denying the piece of mind you experience from hearing quiet descend on site.

As a value proposition alone Dick’s Field is a winner but it’s more than just good value. The town of Ardmore is an excellent place to spend a few days. The beach, the town and the cliffs provided us with plenty of options and things. Do bear in mind that we tend to be relatively active on our breaks and did the cliff walk with the kids every day. If walking with your children or bringing them to the beach is your idea of hell then your options might be more limited but at €15 per night (with children) it’s certainly worth a roll of the dice.