Making family memories on our beautiful shores is what it's all about, and weaving around the idyllic Waterford and East Cork coves make for the perfect break away.  

If you love the sea and an unspoilt seaside village feel, the magical shores of Dunmore East in Ireland's Ancient East are a haven for every age, stage and adventure level. There are water sports, kayaking and Paddleboarding for the more adventurous traveller as well as angling, bird watching, golf, and plenty of long coastal walks for nature lovers. With its friendly, cute village feel, dotted with gorgeous restaurants, hotels, and secluded coves, these scenic headlands are just waiting to be explored. 

It's here in a sheltered cove where you’ll find family-run business, Dunmore East Stand-up paddleboarding and yoga where you can ease your way into the day with a yoga class with co-owner Mary (and Patrick the black pug!). Here, they take a 'Blue Mind’ approach to business, aka the meditative state we fall into when near, in, on or underwater. It’s the antidote to a ‘Red Mind’, the anxious, over-connected and over-stimulated state that defines our modern-day normal. The owners incorporate and educate customers on mindful theories and practices, water safety awareness and share knowledge of the local coastline, and how we can all do our bit to help save our oceans.

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Mindful 'Blue Mind' practices are woven into yoga and SUP classes - yoga classes combine relaxation on a paddleboard to soak in the surroundings, the gently bobbing waves and clean, fresh sea air that Dunmore offers, and the breathtaking beauty that Ireland’s Ancient East has to offer. All that zen fuelling of the mind calls for some re-fuelling, where you can hit Dunmore’s East pier fish and chip shop to sample the very best local, finger-licking offerings.

Further along, towards Tramore, join local sea swimmers and Coasteering enthusiasts at the sheltered coves of Newtown and Guillamene, awarded the Green Coast Awards in 2019. If sea swimming is your thing, these hidden gems have it all: deep, crystal clear water and plenty of likeminded sea-loving people bobbing about in these scenic coves at high tide. Sea access via ladders or a slipway means it's accessible to all, and car park, toilet and picnic amenities make it the perfect stop-gap if you’re travelling through Ireland’s Ancient East along the Copper Coast scenic drive.

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The Waterford Copper Coast, named after the 19th Century copper mines that lie at the heart of this spectacular stretch of cliffs, is now a UNESCO Global Geopark, one of only three in Ireland. It spans the Waterford coastline for 25kms between Tramore and Dungarvan. The rocky cliff formations make a dramatic backdrop to the scalloped coves and beaches, a walking trail and visit to the Heritage Centre are a must.

The Waterford Greenway is a must to explore on wheels, starting at Mahony's Pub in Durrow where local businessman and Greenway campaigner, Garvan Cummins, aka 'The Greenway Man’ can help you plan your journey. Garvan, who offers bike and history tours along this stunning stretch of coastline, was instrumental in helping this beautiful stretch get the green light in 2017, helping to pave the way - literally - for 46km - winding around the base of the Comeragh Mountains, dotted with moments of pure beauty at every bend. Along the route, you can visit Waterford city with its Viking roots and cycle to the pretty harbour town of Dungarvan, discovering beautiful gardens and architecture, stopping at idyllic havens like Kilmacthomas and Kilmeaden along the way.

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The Waterford Greenway is a must to explore on wheels, starting at Mahony's Pub in Durrow where local businessman and Greenway campaigner, Garvan Cummins, aka 'The Greenway Man’ can help you plan your journey. Garvan, who offers bike and history tours along this stunning stretch of coastline, was instrumental in helping this beautiful stretch get the green light in 2017, helping to pave the way - literally - for 46km - winding around the base of the Comeragh Mountains, dotted with moments of pure beauty at every bend. Along the route, you can visit Waterford city with its Viking roots and cycle to the pretty harbour town of Dungarvan, discovering beautiful gardens and architecture, stopping at idyllic havens like Kilmacthomas and Kilmeaden along the way.

To experience any of the areas visited in this episode, make sure to book in advance. Many sites, museums and attractions across the country are free or charge a nominal fee, but take into account capacity restrictions during this time.

There really is 'No Place Like Home'. There has never been a better time to take a break away for Ireland's Ancient East… learn more about where to go and what to see at www.discoverireland.ie

Watch No Place Like Home with Kathryn Thomas here