A complete era of individuals like me had been raised on holidaying at residence, on annual household escapes and adventures to campsites from West Cork to Wexford and past.
Certain, some rainy-season sojourns had flavours of a Father Ted getaway, however there was all the time an harmless journey behind the tenting vacation: establishing an awning, exploring a jingly new cellular residence or sighting the arrival of an unique French household in some roof-racked Renault.
Over time, issues modified. Price range airways, reasonably priced abroad journey and, let’s be sincere, notions noticed home tenting turn out to be a more durable pitch. Irish shoppers had been in search of extra thrilling alternate options, and the common-or-garden tenting and caravan park did not all the time present it.
Effectively, now they do. Throughout the island, a contemporary wave of thrilling tenting choices is rising: from glamping for romantic getaways to havens for nature lovers and old-time favourites for nostalgia-hunters.
Glamping at Legan Citadel
“We have already had a bumper Easter,” says Irish Caravan & Tenting Council CEO Con Quill, who provides that Irish campsites are gearing up for a document yr. “Some campsites have recorded their busiest season but.”
Gross sales of caravans, motorhomes and tents are up, and Fáilte Eire says caravans and campsites noticed the most important share of home guests of any lodging sector in 2018 – rising from 52laptop in 2017 to 60laptop final yr.
The enchantment is evident. Tenting getaways supply an reasonably priced and inexperienced getaway. Inspired by final yr’s sweltering summer time, individuals are assured to take a punt – and as immediately’s journey particular proves, there have by no means been extra locations to take it. In reality, nothing makes you’re feeling extra at one with Eire than unzipping your tent on a dewy summer time’s morning.
Your finest vacation may lie proper forward… this is find out how to discover the proper pitch.
1. Hidden Valley, Co Wicklow
There’s an artwork to balancing pin-drop serenity with family-friendly enjoyable, and Hidden Valley has it mastered. The beech-blotted park in Rathdrum was voted Eire’s Favorite Small Keep in our Reader Journey Awards 2019, and never solely serves as a patchwork for tenting, caravans and cabin lodging, however for memory-packed pursuits like kayaking, laser tag and in-house cinema nights. A Splash Valley Aqua Centre is an exciting new addition – suppose water theme park meets a problem from Eire’s Fittest Household.
Bonus Level: As one of many closest campsites to Wicklow Nationwide Park, Hidden Valley is the right springboard to find a few of Eire’s wildest landscapes.
Particulars: irelandholidaypark.com; 086 727 2872; from €16pp or €36 per household.
Extra: Worth within the Valley: Contained in the campsite you voted Eire’s Favorite Small Keep
2. The Apple Farm, Co Tipperary
The Apple Farm – tenting in Tipperary
Need to be a sensible apple? Think about a tenting vacation in Eire’s secret orchard nation. Positioned on a working farm within the coronary heart of the Munster Vales, The Apple Farm is without doubt one of the nation’s unsung tenting settings. Pitches right here sit amid an unlimited acreage of pear, plum and apple orchards, including such gloriously continental feels, you would be forgiven for considering you are within the Loire Valley. Additionally they organise native foodie actions, from orchard walks to granola-making.
Bonus Level: Small touches make the distinction… friends are welcomed with a bottle of The Apple Farm’s award-winning juice (simply convey bubbles for morning cider bellinis).
Particulars: theapplefarm.com; zero52 744 1459; from €7.50pp or €25 per household, per evening.
three. Jungle NI, Co Derry
Treetop adventures at Jungle NI. Picture: Tourism NI
Welcome to the jungle! This big park in Co Derry attracts households to its grassy knolls with actions starting from zorbing and llama-trekking to a youngsters’ Gruffalo path and its personal forest faculty. There are cosy touches, too. Finnish-inspired BBQ huts can be found to hire, making an incredible setting for some night household bonding.
Bonus Level: Should you’re simply passing by, the park additionally gives open family-fun days the place you’ll be able to pay as you go for on-site actions.
Particulars: thejungleni.com; 0044 28 8674 8881; from €8pp or or €36 per household, per evening.
four. Morriscastle Strand, Co Wexford
Lengthy earlier than the Wild Atlantic Manner, there was Eire’s unique vacation spot model: the Sunny South East. So it is little shock that Wexford’s beloved shores stay residence to one among Eire’s unique campsites, Morriscastle Strand Vacation Park. Celebrating its 50th birthday this yr, the caravan park has perfected all of the basic kids-and-adults facilities, from tennis courts for Wimbledon season to neat clubhouse providers; from Pilates lessons to a charity bookshop in case you neglect your Kindle. The setting of a sandcastle heaven is the principle promote, although, the place early birds can absorb Eire’s most spectacular sunrises.
Bonus Level: Fancy taking your 99 to the subsequent degree? The campsite options its personal on-site ice-cream parlour the place you’ll be able to order the infamously creamy-crispy Tayto Swirl.
Particulars: morriscastlestrand.com; 053 913 0124; from €8pp or €25 per household, per evening.
5. Castlewellan Forest Park, Co Down
Animal Wooden Park at Castlewellan. Picture: Tourism NI
One in every of Northern Eire’s hottest summer time hubs is Castlewellan Forest Park, a shocking historic demesne set within the foothills of the Mourne Mountains. The park’s caravan website is an idyllic spot for touring and tenting, with a slew of enjoyable actions from orienteering and fishing to unearthing some close by Recreation of Thrones areas.
Bonus Level: The park’s Peace Maze consists of two miles of labyrinthine hedges – nice for teenagers.
Particulars: castlewellancastle.org; 0044 28 4377 8733; from €18 for as much as 4 folks (e.g. a pair or household of 4).
6. Wildflower Glamping, Co Cavan
Love character? There is a campsite in Eire’s Hidden Heartlands which gives it in bohemian bucketloads. Wildflower Glamping, a bucolic haven exterior Cavan city, gives a unusual mixture of imaginative glamping habitats, all divided by blooming foxgloves and buttercup-crowded pastures. Amongst them, there’s Dotty the classic caravan, a daisy yurt, and the delightfully trippy hobbit hut. The positioning is each couple- and group-friendly, with packages obtainable for hen events searching for a free-range getaway.
Bonus Level: The park is situated simply exterior Killykeen Forest Park, an outdoorsy haven for mountain climbing and kayaking.
Particulars: wildflowerglamping.ie; 087 257 7718; from €50pps
7. Killarney Glamping, Co Kerry
Nestled on the banks of the scenic River Flesk, Killarney Glamping gives campers swathes of protected Kerry habitat all inside strolling distance of Foremost Avenue, Killarney. With its couples-only coverage, visiting romantics can get pleasure from peace, tranquillity (and Prosecco, if you happen to improve) in all-weather luxurious tents, every kitted out with their very own out of doors kitchen-cum-BBQ. Come night, the secluded dark-skies location makes stargazing potential, whereas electrical blankets and a fuel range permit friends to regulate the atmosphere from open-air to toasty.
Bonus Level: The park has simply launched new, self-contained cabins for these nonetheless wishing to benefit from the nice outdoor – simply with just a little extra ‘indoors’.
Particulars: killarneyglamping.com; 087 975 0110; from €40pps
Kerry like an area – 50 issues to do within the Kingdom
eight. Finn Lough, Co Fermanagh
Welcome to Nordic Eire! Secluded within the leafy Fermanagh lakelands, Finn Lough has introduced a dreamy Scandinavian really feel to the wilds of Ulster. The resort’s six dome capsules wow with a fresh-off-Instagram look the place clear ‘partitions’ create a seamless window to nature. Luxurious comes as normal, too, with furnishings gilded with four-poster mattress, Nespresso machine, fluffy robes and a every day breakfast. This does come at a value, however you may discover nothing else prefer it between right here and Lapland.
Bonus Level: With personal telescopes in every dome, the stargazing from Finn Lough may be fairly astronomical.
Particulars: finnlough.com; 0044 28 6838 0360; from £122.50/€140pps per evening for bubble domes (e book forward).
9. Lough Mardal Lodge, Co Donegal
In Eire, it may be troublesome to make a Mongolian yurt appear harmonious, however the heathery wilds of south Donegal do this type of lodging justice. Opening this summer time, Lough Mardal guarantees a significantly photogenic website fusing luxurious comforts with rugged ‘scapes. Native materials, pure furnishings, sheepskins and tapestries give the sky-domed tents a cover-shoot polish – with a dramatic setting of lake, mountain, and forest views.
Bonus Level: On the lookout for a dog-friendly glamping? Lough Mardal Lodge additionally gives one pet-friendly tent – it is obtainable with superior reserving.
Particulars: loughmardalglamping.ie; 086 173 1813; from €32.50pps
10. Teapot Lane, Co Sligo
Eire’s glamping scene has developed massively from the times of a tepee with a hot-water bottle to immediately’s new, imaginative hotspots that are reshaping attitudes of the sector. One of many nation’s unique outfitters is Teapot Lane, whose quirky curation of lodging within the wilds of Sligo made our Fab 50 record of Eire’s 50 finest locations to remain this yr. You possibly can hit the eiderdown in a comfortable yurt, a luxurious treehouse or the significantly charming and newly renovated 1960s classic caravan.
Bonus Level: Benefit from Teapot Lane’s prime borderlands location with actions from Sligo meals trails to herb workshops at Leitrim’s Natural Centre.
Particulars: glampingireland.ie; 087 934 0341; from €55pps
11. Legan Citadel, Co Kilkenny
That is what summer time mornings seem like at Legan Citadel Farmhouse.. @Indo_Travel_ @Failte_Ireland #IndoFab50 #Glamping #IrelandsAncientEast #LoveIreland #Kilkenny pic.twitter.com/exB52uxTIM
— Legan Citadel (@legancastle) April 11, 2019
Give the camp range a break! What’s distinctive to Legan Citadel, cosying across the stays of a 16th-century destroy close to Thomastown, is its meals story. Contemporary connoisseur breakfasts are a spotlight, with friends handled to mouthwatering creations from poached eggs and avo’ to deliciously contemporary waffles. As for the lodging? As one other inclusion on our Fab 50 for 2019, you’ll be able to anticipate luxurious, fairy-lit bell tents made all of the prettier with a setting alongside pastures of Connemara ponies.
Bonus Level: Should you convey the children, your host will probably be completely happy to show all of them about nation residing, from gathering kindling to gathering freshly laid eggs.
Particulars: legancastle.ie; 056 781 1024; from €85pps
12. Glamping Underneath the Stars, Co Laois
Glamping Underneath the Stars
Whereas the glamping increase in Eire has seen many clothing stores use off-the-shelf pods that lack sparkle, Glamping Underneath the Stars prides itself on providing just a little extra magic. The positioning, nestled close to Cullenagh in Co Laois, features a unfold of boutique lodging (suppose bell tents, wooden cabins and a shepherd’s hut) – none quirkier than their handcrafted Sundown Lodge.
Bonus Level: Household-friendly glamping? A Shephard’s Hut sleeps as much as six and includes a triple-decker bunk mattress. Hen events can e book out the positioning for a two-night weekend, too.
Particulars: glampingunderthestars.ie; 086 065 1485; from €60pps
Clissman Caravans in Co. Wicklow
13. Clissmann Caravans, Co Wicklow
Nothing says gradual tourism just like the clip-clop of a local Irish pony by the Backyard of Eire. A singular tenting vacation, Neasa Clissmann’s fairy-tale outfit invitations friends to discover the Wicklow countryside partnered with their very own horse and Wanderly Wagon-style drawn carriage. Come night, camp up at charming designated spots en route – idyllic farmsteads within the shadows of Glendalough, for instance. Novices welcome; hay supplied.
Bonus Level: Donkey strolling experiences are additionally obtainable, the place a loyal donkey will accompany you on a scenic trek.
Particulars: clissmannhorsecaravans.com; 0404 46920; from €45pps; horse caravans from €580 for 3 nights.
14. Lazy Days Campers, Co wicklow
Lazy Days Campers in Connemara
Should you’re considering of embarking on the good Irish street journey, campervan holidays are rising as an more and more fashionable area of interest. Lazy Days Campers began enterprise with a fleet of old-school VW Kombi vans, however have since upgraded to a brisker (and extra dependable) fleet of VW Transporters – retaining the enchantment of ‘das Auto’. Vans are kitted out with each tenting necessity, from espresso plunger to Scrabble boards, and in contrast to bulkier motorhomes, these low-guzzle machines imply you may spend much less time on the petrol station forecourt and extra time off-roading.
Bonus Level: Do the mathematics! With charges from €100 per evening, the automotive rental and lodging combo is perhaps extra engaging than you thought.
Particulars: lazydays.ie; 087 288 5771; from €50pps
15. Eagle Level, Co Cork
There’s one thing magical about driving west in Eire – and Eagle Level, situated on its very personal personal peninsula in Bantry Bay, makes for one of the spectacular finish locations. Views are king right here, with spectacular panoramas overlooking Beara and Hungry Hill, whereas the positioning’s seven pebble coves imply you may all the time discover a spot of solitude in your deckchair. For water infants, the park’s sheltered waters are perfect for swimming and kayaking in addition to fishing if you happen to’re already planning supper.
Bonus Level: Bantry Bay’s rugged inlets make an ideal habitat for seals – make a journey to close by Garnish Island to see them basking in glory.
Particulars: eaglepointcamping.com; 027 50630; from €12pp or €33 per household, per evening.
16. Anchor Caravan Park, Co Kerry
The seashore at Anchor Caravan Park, Co Kerry
Typically, the highest criterion for a vacation is proximity to a seashore. So if you’ve a caravan park which sits proper on one, you have struck gold. Anchor Caravan Park, close to Castlegregory on the Dingle Peninsula, is situated alongside the sugar-sanded Aughacasla Strand, with the dramatic Slieve Mish Mountains as a backdrop. On-site, easy however spick-and-span facilities lend an old-school enchantment to this website, whose guestbook now spans 4 generations.
Bonus Level: The Maharees are what seashore horse-riding was made for, so take a trek with native clothing store O’Connors, who supply all-level experiences.
Particulars: anchorcaravanpark.com; 066 713 9157; from €9pp or or €22 per household, per evening.
17. Blackstairs Eco Trails, Co Carlow
As a substitute of waking as much as an alarm clock, what in regards to the faucet of a woodpecker? If that sounds interesting, Blackstairs Eco Trails is perhaps for you. Set close to Borris in rustic County Carlow, Mary and Robert White’s blissfully noise-free website (nature excluded) gives friends quaint, shepherd-hut lodging in probably the most sympathetic of nation settings. Geothermal central heating retains you toasty, water comes from their very own nicely – and, though the ambiance at this Fab 50 household pitch is proudly unplugged, you may nonetheless be capable of use your individual electrical cost level.
Bonus Level: Whilst you’re there, why not avail of one of many website’s wonderful workshops on eco-topics from foraging to wildflowers? There is a new stargazing supply, too.
Particulars: blackstairsecotrails.ie; 087 270 7189; from €37.50pps
Carlow reaches for the celebrities as new ‘chill-out capital’ of Eire
18. Pure Tenting, Co Clare
Pure Tenting, Loop Head, Co. Clare
Seeking to switch-off? You understand you are off the grid if you’re transferring belongings from automotive to tent through complimentary wheelbarrow. That is the earthy ethos of Pure Tenting, remotely poised on Clare’s Loop Head. The positioning, which gives a decide of rustic wood cabins, furnished bell tents and tent pitches, is cleverly powered by solar-heated water, harvested rainwater and reed-bed sanitation. To unwind, friends can avail of the positioning’s personal sauna or yoga classes, the place practising pranayama round a blazing log fireplace brings a next-level tenting zen!
Bonus Level: Sustainable residing is the message – every thing from biodiversity walks to fire-making lessons is on supply.
Particulars: purecamping.ie; 065 905 7953; from €12pp or €36 per household, per evening.
100 nice household days out in Eire: Our county by county information
19. Rock Farm, Co Meath
Tree climbing at Rock Farm, Slane
Set on an natural farm overlooking the long-lasting Slane Citadel, Rock Farm is the right postcard ode to Eire’s Historical East. Gold-certified for eco-friendliness, the positioning gives secluded yurt getaways in a dreamy bocage setting alongside the Boyne Valley. Come night, after romantic wanderings alongside the river-bank trails, take a dip in Rock Farm’s effervescent sizzling tub set beneath a fairly enchanting hawthorn tree.
Bonus Level: Need to discover? Rock Farm gives electrical bike rent, so you’ll be able to tour in every single place alongside the Boyne Valley at your individual tempo.
Particulars: rockfarmslane.ie; 041 988 4861; from €50pp
20. Eco Seaside, Co Galway
‘Rugged Connemara diamond’: Clifden tenting
Solar, sea and sand dunes mark the backdrop for this rugged Connemara diamond, positioned alongside a dramatic pocket of the Wild Atlantic Manner. The positioning is a pioneer of Irish eco-tourism, and was the primary lodging in Eire to be accredited as climate-neutral. In the present day, its shores welcome a celebration of seasoned inexperienced travellers, who pitch their tents in beautiful surrounds, and rookie campers who avail of the positioning’s sustainable packages – suppose every thing from tent rental to kayaking excursions.
Bonus Level: Self-guided strolling excursions may be taken from the positioning to the tidal island of Omey close by.
Particulars: clifdenecocamping.ie; 095 44036; from €13pp or €28 per household, per evening.
NB: Glamping costs based mostly on two sharing. Tenting costs based mostly on a) two sharing with their very own tent or caravan and b) a household of 4. Costs topic to vary. Additional prices for showers, electrical energy and typically automobiles might apply.
High 5 tenting ideas
Glamping in Killarney
1. Take a trial run
Should you’re a novice camper, ensure that to do a follow run along with your tent earlier than leaving residence. Even pop-up tents, which may be easy as pie to erect, want some brainwork to deconstruct.
When looking for the right tent, contemplate going two berths bigger than the variety of folks you are anticipating to share with. You may be glad of that additional residing area when you arrange.
three. ‘Appy days
To avoid wasting Googling on the street, Tenting Eire’s useful app maps out all of the campsites throughout the island, so you may by no means be removed from a pitch; campingireland.ie
four. Make investments
Sure, tenting may be low cost as chips. However selecting high-quality tenting gear won’t solely make your journey extra pleasing, you may lower your expenses along with your boot of sturdy gadgets for years to come back.
5. The proper pitch
Some of the frequent rookie errors is tenting beneath a tree. Certain, it gives shelter, however in wet climate, that fixed drip-drop will take a look at your sleep, whereas birds can supply unwelcome droppings too!
Extra: The Irish Journey Bucket Listing: 25 days out to attempt earlier than you die!
Do you know?
Lough Tay, Co Wicklow
Whereas wild tenting is forbidden throughout a lot of the island, Wicklow Mountains Nationwide Park gives one of many few pockets in Eire the place you’ll be able to pitch up with Mom Nature.
See wicklowmountainsnationalpark.ie for designated spots.
5 Ideas in your tenting package
Neglect disposable plates.
An all-in-one bamboo-ware set is extremely sustainable, dishwasher-safe and makes an incredible addition to any picnic blanket; €49.99, 53degreesnorth.ie
Sleeping luggage alone will not minimize it if you happen to’re resting on a tree stump.
Charles Tenting shares a Vango Shangri-La memory-foam pillow for candy slumber, regardless of the parts; €33, charlescamping.ie
Woven from 100laptop recycled wool, Blarney Woollen Mills’ trendy throws double as an additional layer of cosiness at evening and a cutesie picnic blanket by day; €69.90, blarney.com
Outwell’s wi-fi Obsidian lantern not solely gives your camp an ambient glow; it performs music and solutions your cellphone, too; €85, greatoutdoors.ie
Do not underestimate the ability of a top quality cleaning soap when tenting. Versatile for every thing from washing faces to dishes, Dr Bronner’s green-friendly liquid cleaning soap is a must-pack; €10, organico.ie
10 high ideas for tenting in Eire