From exclusive luxury to rustic charm, Ireland’s great outdoors has something for everyone. This amazing country has attracted pioneering adventurers for centuries, who travel there for its abundance of stunning natural beauty and ample exploration opportunities. Nowadays, more and more people are booking Irish camping holidays—not only to save money but also to embrace mother earth’s bounty.
There really is no better way to embrace your ‘wild-side’ than spending time at one with nature. The variety of Ireland’s camping spots is pronounced. Whether you’re after a glamorous glamping experience, an eco-friendly retreat or an outdoorsy digital detox for all the family, you’ll find something for you on the Emerald Isle.
Please remember, most land in Ireland is owned by someone so, if you opt to go wild camping, always seek the landowner’s permission and adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace.
Top Camping Spots in Ireland
Here’s a flavour of some of the best places to go camping in Ireland this year:
1. Pure Camping
An eco getaway in Querrin, near Kilkee, this site is a 15-minute walk from a gorgeous shingle beach. You can either bring your own tent or camper van, use a pre-pitched one, book into a bell tent—kitted out with bed and stove, or head into the woods for some wild camping. You’ll find a communal dome for escaping bad weather and the kids will love the donkeys, dogs, cats and hens.
A relaxing sauna and daily yoga is available. Solar showers, rainwater harvesting and discounts for cyclists add to the eco-friendly vibe.
Tent pitches start at €9 per night and €4.50 per child; furnished glamping accommodation starts at €55 per night.
2. Rock Farm
Slane, County Meath
For a dose of camping indulgence coupled with a romantic ambience, head to Rock Farm, county Meath to let your hair down in an idyllic forest setting. Ideal for a lovers’ weekend retreat, this site, set among ancient trees, offers double beds in yurts and shepherd’s huts, or bell tents for groups—where mattresses on the floor are made up with pristine linen.
The spot is situated within walking-distance of Slane Castle: the venue of the internationally acclaimed Slane Concert. (Pictured below: Slane Hill.)
Perfect for those who want to connect with nature but don’t want to leave the comforts of home, Rock Farm is a great ‘way-in’ regarding outdoor holidays. On-site activities include kayaking, electric biking and tree climbing. Glamping accommodation starts at €40 per person.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
3. Fin Lough Forest Domes
These forest domes, featuring 180° transparent walls, bring you closer to nature than ever before, while you lie in a comfortable four-poster bed. Witness bats flying overhead and spot the constellations in a cosy, outdoor setting.
Sleeping under the stars is magical; it’s one of the most alluring things about camping. In this quirky accommodation, you can enjoy celestial wonders and the forest’s midnight splendour.
The site also has a spa called the Element Trail Experience. It ‘was designed to reward guests for their physical efforts exploring the rugged beauty of the Fermanagh and Donegal landscape.’ Domes cost from €234 (£195) per night for two people.
4. Coomshanna Wild Camping
This spot is one of the many true wild-camping spots designated by Coillte: Ireland’s state-owned forestry business. (As with all wild camping in Ireland, ensure that you’re not trespassing on anyone’s land when you pitch your tent here.)
This particular spot is a flat area with a stream running nearby. The relaxing sounds of the water will make the ideal soundtrack to your holiday. From your tent, you’ll get breathtaking views over Dingle Bay (pictured below).
No fires are permitted and Leave No Trace rules apply. Near the site, you can visit the Glenesk Viaduct, between Glenbeigh and Cahirciveen, not far from Kells Bay.
Source: Ireland Information
Top Places to Visit in Ireland
On your epic Irish road trip, you’re bound to want to see some awe-inspiring locations along the way. Luckily Ireland is teeming with areas of spectacular natural beauty, UNESCO world heritage sites and historical spectacles. Read on to discover our top three must-see sights in Ireland:
1. The Ring of Kerry
Source: Alex Ranaldi
Perhaps the most scenic of Ireland’s tourist trails, the Ring of Kerry, spans 120 miles of southwestern Ireland’s most impressive landscapes and coastline. For many people around the world, this area of Ireland epitomises their image of the nation: ancient monuments, idyllic castles, spectacular gardens and colourful towns and villages.
Here, the idealised view of Ireland as a green and pleasant land becomes reality. Windswept outcrops, stunning lakes, rolling hills and plunging cliffs abound in this delectable stretch of fairytale-inducing land.
2. The Giant’s Causeway
Source: Giuseppe Milo
Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO world heritage site, the Giant’s Causeway is proof that only natural wonders provide the most dramatic tourist attractions. This coastal area of about 40,000 polygonal basalt columns, near the town of Bushmills in County Antrim, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland.
Be bowled over by the immense scale of the site and imagine the Irish giant, Finn MacCool, who, as Irish folklore has it, created the causeway in a bid to fight a rival Scottish giant named Benandonner.
In reality, the causeway was formed by a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago—not quite as fantastical then!
3. Skellig Islands
Reminiscent of a swashbuckling Hollywood film set, the Skellig Islands are a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site and worthy side trip from the popular Ring of Kerry tourist trail.
Majestic and stoic, these precipitous islands proudly rise up from the ocean’s surface like the tip of an iceberg. As they are incessantly buffeted by the Atlantic ocean, birds of all types soar around the islands’ cliffs and rich waters. Look out for Gannets, Guillemots, Cormorants, Razorbills and, if you’re lucky, even Puffins.
Rugged and steep like the Himalayan mountains, Skellig Michael, the larger of the two islands (pictured below), is home to an ancient monastic complex perched on a 230-meter high cliff top.
Climb a hair-raising 600 steps to reach the monastery—this isn’t one for those with a fear of heights!
(Feature image: Christian_Birkholtz)