Please note, this post is part of a series. Click here to read from the beginning.
First of all, I would like to apologise for this post not being as good as it could be. I spent about an hour writing a post about my experience of camping in Ireland, only for WordPress to delete it!
When we disembarked the ferry at Rosslare, we casually drove towards the south coast, expecting there to be lots of camp sites to choose from along the way. We learnt the hard way that, although there are many campsites along the west coast of Ireland, there isn’t so much choice further south. After a few hours driving, and stopping as a coffee shop where a kind barista did his best to give us some encouraging words, I spotted a teeny, tiny sign for a campsite in the village of Leap. It was already gone 9pm, so I turned the car off the main road and followed the signs to The Meadow, Glandore. I felt a bit rude turning up so late, but the owner didn’t bat an eyelid. The campsite was lovely, with good facilities and just a short walk from the village. Although very quiet, Glandore is a beautiful setting to sit with a drink in the evening.
Purely by chance, we also happened to be camped about a mile from the Drombeg Stone Circle, which my friend had really, really wanted to visit.
We decided to camp in 2 different sites on our trip, and use them as bases to explore the area. Equally as lovely was our second campsite, Woodlands Park at Tralee. Virtually in the town centre, it’s really convenient for exploring both Tralee and the surrounding area. The campsite also has great facilities including Wi-Fi, a TV room and even a fully fitted campers kitchen and BBQ area (apologies to all my fellow campers who were trying to eat their dinner when I lit our BBQ and smoked you out).
Ireland seems to be a perfect mix of what you would consider traditionally Irish and modern European. For example, you still have to pay cash in a lot of places as they don’t accept card, but that cash is euros. The campsites, though, feel very European. At least the ones I experienced did. They were all very clean, well thought-out with great facilities. I find it annoying in Wales that, unless you stay on a very basic site (ie a field with a toilet if you’re lucky), you are charged based on the size of your tent. Even though, whether I take my 2-man or 4-man tent, I’m still given the same size pitch. Rules, which there are a long list of, are often very strict on UK campsites. I’m sometimes not allowed in at all because I ‘look young and could make noise’. I was once questioned by a campsite owner when I was travelling on my own with my young godson, I wondered how much trouble they expected me to make with a 5 year old. In Ireland, all they asked was how many of us there were and if we wanted electric hook-up.
As we had to catch the ferry at 8am the next morning, on our last night in Ireland we decided to stay at a hotel in Rosslare.
Off-peak camping for 2 adults @ The Meadow, Glandore: €22 per night + €1 for shower
Off-peak camping for 2 adults @ Woodlands Park, Tralee €24 per night (showers included)