At the moment, travelling throughout Europe, much like the rest of the world, is a bit tricky. However, the desire to pack your bags and explore the great outdoors remains. Fortunately, there are still plenty of exceptional sights to see in your own backyard. So, residents of Ireland: why not ditch the passports and plan a camping staycation exploring all the breath-taking views and cultural marvels that make your home country so great?
Brimming with life and activity, Ireland is one of the top staycation destinations in all of Europe. Whether you’re looking to explore rugged coastlines and rolling hills, to spend a weekend unwinding in a family-friendly campsite, to tackle top hiking trails from the backyard of one of many glamping or holiday parks or to enjoy a vibrant city break, there’s never a shortage of fun things to do in Ireland. Here are five reasons why Ireland’s residents should make their next vacation a staycation.
The stunning coastlines
Ireland is an island, so, naturally, there are plenty of opportunities to pitch a tent by the sea. The only difficulty is choosing which region of the country to explore first. Located in the quiet, rural town of Connacht, the award-winning Clifden Beach Camping is ideal for environmentally conscious holidaymakers seeking adventure by the water. Nestled amongst the sandy dunes on a secluded private beach, the site offers campers plenty of opportunities to swim, fish and take in the sights. Here, you can experience eco-friendly beachside camping at its finest. On the eastern side of the island in the town of Munster, you’ll find unparalleled views of the Irish Sea. One of the best caravan parks to enjoy these views from is the award-winning Bayview Camping Park, directly overlooking Dungarvan Bay. This site offers a variety of camping and glamping accommodation alike, as well as a ton of nearby activities such as golf, horse riding, water sports, birdwatching, cycling, hiking and even boating tours.
The ancient castles
Given Ireland’s rich history, it is no surprise that an abundance of fortresses and castles exist throughout the region, still standing after hundreds of years. One of the best places to experience these soaring spectacles from is County Galway, filled not only with historic castles but also metropolitan attractions such as art galleries, museums, shopping, great restaurants and local pubs. Galway sits by the North Atlantic Ocean and features a ton of nearby castles to check out such as Terryland Castle, Ballindooley Castle, Merlin Castle, Oranmore Castle… the list goes on! All of these ancient relics of medieval times are on full display throughout the area, easily accessible by car and open to guided tours. There’s an abundance of campsites ideally situated for history lovers such as Green Hills Farm Stay, located on a traditional working farm and surrounded by beautiful scenery. Cong Caravan and Camping Park is a great spot for big groups and families, where campers can combine exploring the region’s history with fun activities such as fishing and water sports.
The charming villages
When touring the Irish countryside, you’ll notice a number of beautiful small towns and villages along the way. Make sure to visit Kinsale in County Cork, (one of the most stunningly idyllic places in Ireland) with narrow cobbled lanes and colourful 19th-century architecture scattered throughout. Inistioge in County Kilkenny and Adare in County Limerick are equally picturesque examples of the fabled Irish charm, with thatched houses and stone bridges that appear to have been taken straight from the pages of an old storybook. Another must-visit is the seaside town of Dingle in Country Kerry, teeming with maritime pastiche and waterside allure. Those wishing to explore Galway must make a stop at the nearby County Mayo, well-known for its independent shops and delicious local fare on offer to travellers. Carrowkeel Camping and Caravan Park sits close by on the Clydagh River and offers campers a chance to unwind and soak up the views after a busy day of exploring.
The vibrant pub culture
Ireland is well-known for its Guinness and you cannot truly say you’ve visited the Emerald Isle without sampling a pint of this holy brew. And what better place to kick off a tour of Ireland’s famed pub culture than a stop at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin? Experience the history of Ireland’s famed stout and sample some of the goods while you’re at it. But before you start a pub crawl throughout this cultural capital, be sure to visit Phoenix Park in the centre of Dublin where you can rent bicycles, check out the All Ireland Polo Club or visit the Dublin Zoo. And of course, there are plenty of pubs to pop into on the way.
The invigorating hiking trails
Last but by no means least, Ireland is notorious for its rolling green hills, beautiful mountains and deep valleys, making it the ideal destination for those after an invigorating hiking adventure. The tranquil Fleming’s White Bridge Camping Site, south of scenic County Cork, is an excellent site for campers who like to set out on foot. This walking centre sits across a large swath of hilly countryside and offers grassy camping pitches, glamping options and caravan parking. For the more serious hikers, the trails throughout Wicklow Mountains National Park featuring rugged terrain and sweeping foliage are some of the most challenging and rewarding routes out there. Although wild camping in the park is allowed with a permit, those after something a little more comfortable can book a stay at one of the many campsites throughout County Wicklow, like the popular Hidden Valley camping resort.
Whatever it is you’re after in a camping staycation, rest assured that Ireland has you covered. Fall in love again with the greenery, the coastlines, the culture, the rich history and most of all, the views. Feeling inspired? Browse CampInn’s campsites in Ireland today.