camping holidays in Ireland

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10 Camping Essentials For Your Staycation In Ireland

Camping essentials

Planning on going camping this summer? From tents to tennis rackets, sleeping bags to seats, bike racks to barbecues, I’ve got all your camping essentials covered.

Whether you are a first time camper or a camping expert, it is vital you have the right camping essentials with you when camping in Ireland. A good quality tent is a given, but so is a sleeping bag and insulation mat, to cope with our ever changing weather conditions.

Roof boxes can be a handy way to double your boot space, but a powerbank to charge multiple devices in one go is probably at the top of your kids priority list! Unfortunately in Ireland we don’t have the luxury of campsites with swimming pools and restaurants that you find overseas, so you need to bring cooking equipment and cooler boxes, and of course no camping holiday is complete without games!

family camping holidays in Ireland

With this in mind I have teamed up with Irish owned MicksGarage.com, who are Ireland’s number one online store for all your car and camping essentials. They have a wide selection of camping equipment online, many of which are available with next day delivery. 

 

1. Tents

High quality tents are the ultimate camping essenitals

There is a wide selection of tents available, including small tents for couples, luxury tunnel tents that can sleep up to six, and cool pop-up play tents for kids. Choosing the right tent really depends on how much camping you plan on doing. Luxury brands like Husky and High Peak produce high quality tents which are ideal for camping holidays in Ireland.

The High Peak Leesburg six man tent is like an outdoor home! It comes with a 11-15m2 of living space, a sewn-in floor to keep moisture, dirt and creepy crawlies out, transparent windows which can also be opened, and a large canopy to provide shade and protection against the wind. 

But if you are camping for the first time and are looking for a smaller, basic tent, Micks Garage have those too. Search the full range here:

See more here

 

2.  Sleeping bags and Air mattresses

Husky sleeping bags are ideal for camping holidays in Ireland

The best tent in the world won’t feel like it if you don’t have a good sleeping bag to go with it. The high quality Husky sleeping bags are available for both adults and kids, and they cope with extreme conditions as well as warmer temperatures.

Make sure you pick up a camping mat too. The self inflating ultralight mats provide insulation, and their compact size are ideal for backpacking.  

See more here

 

3. Portable camping furniture

camping essentials - inflatable seats.

From camping holidays to festivals, every home should have inflatable chairs. Micks Garage have a great selection with prices from just €15.90. You will also find portable dining tables and popup hammocks – the ultimate camping essentials!

See more here

 

4. Roof racks

how to choose a roof rack

If you are worried about being short on boot space for your camping holiday, then you should invest in a roof rack. There are many different types to choose from, with prices from as little as €69.

Micks Garage’s easy to use roof rack tool will show you how to choose a roof rack in minutes. They have a wide selection of roof boxes to choose from too.

Read: How to choose a roof rack in three easy steps

See more here

 

5. Bike racks

bike racks.

Cycling has become more popular than ever, and Ireland has many gorgeous greenways that are just waiting to be explored. However, renting bikes for all the family is not cheap, and many kids and keen cyclists feel more comfortable using their own bikes. Bike racks are an efficient and economical way of transporting your bikes, both on holidays, or for days out at home.

MicksGarage have a wide selection to choose from – you carry bikes on the roof, towbar or rear door of your car, with prices from €49.99. They also have a new electric bike carrier in stock too.

Read: 5 Greenways to cycle in Ireland this summer

See more here

 

6. Portable barbecues and stoves

portable barbecue for camping.

Cooking on a portable stove or barbecue is part and parcel of camping holidays, and there is nothing better than barbecued burgers on the beach! Micks Garage have a wide selection of cooking equiment available as well as Chilly Bottles and camping cutlery.

See more here

 

7. Powerbanks and Jumpstarters

a good quality powerbank is a camping essential

 

A jumpstarter is one of those things we all mean to buy, but often don’t. As well as jump starting a dead battery, they also double up as a powerbank and can recharge multiple devices on the go, including phones and tablets. Many also feature an LED light for use at night or low light conditions. These can be particularly useful if camping in Ireland and are one of those camping essentials that you will be glad to have with you.

See more here

 

8. Roof boxes and tow boxes

roof racks can be handy for camping holidays

Double your boot space for your staycation this year but adding a roof box or tow box to your car. Store bulky items in the roof box, and allow plenty of room in your boot to bring a selection of clothes for all weather eventualities – remember you may get four seasons in one day in Ireland.

See more here

 

 

9. Games and activities:

Games are camping essentials for family camping holidays.

Is a camping holiday even a camping holiday without fireside games and activities? From Swing Ball to Limbo, tennis rackets to darts, there is a wide selection to choose from, as well as kids crab nets, fishing rods and inflatable swimming pools.

See more here

 

10. Cooler boxes

cooler boxes are vital camping esentials

Did you know that Coleman cooler boxes can retain ice for up to 3 days? Cooler boxes are not only camping essentials, but they are something that every home should have. There is nothing better than reaching for a cool drink on a hot day! There are many different cooler boxes to choose from, including personal coolers for short excursions and extreme coolers for longer trips. 

See more here

 

 

MicksGarage.com are Ireland’s number one online store for all your car and travel essentials. They have a wide selection of camping equipment, SUP boards, bike racks and roof racks, many of which are available to order with next day delivery. Rated 4.7 on Trustpilot, MicksGarage.com should be your first port of call for staycation essentials this summer.

This post on camping essentials was sponsored by MicksGarage.com. I hope it helps you plan a trip away soon. 

 

Like this post? You might like:

10 staycation essentials that you should be buying now

5 Greenways to cycle in Ireland this summer

Inflatable paddle boards, why you should buy one, and which one to choose

How to choose a roof rack in three easy steps

 

Sarah 

 
Holidays in Ireland

Campsites in Ireland Available This Summer

Clifden Eco Camping

Fancy going camping this summer? I’ve checked-in with many campsites in Ireland to find out what is available for July and August.

Campsites and holiday homes are the most popular accommodation choices for staycations this summer. I have many posts featuring self catering accommodation that is available, but campsites in Ireland are not proving as easy to source!

Read: 20 self catering breaks in Ireland  

Read: 20 Airbnbs on the Wild Atlantic Way Available in July & August

One of the main issues I discovered was that many campsites in Ireland are not accepting online bookings at present, or don’t have the facility to do so. I spend many hours calling numerous campsites all over Ireland, only to find out that many are fully booked for tents in July and August, or simply not taking bookings for tents.

There are plenty of spaces for caravans and motorhomes, but many campsites have restricted their numbers for tent pitches due to social distancing, and the requirements for campers to use bathroom facilities.

family campsites in Ireland.

Another issue that is frustrating campsite owners in Ireland is the size of tents that campers have. Tents are usually allocated specific pitches for two-man / family tents etc. However, some campsite owners recounted stories of people booking a pitch for two, only to arrive with a massive three-roomed tent with a gazebo and deck chairs – a sign of the times I guess!
 

 

 
This became such a massive issue last year that many campsites in Ireland will not confirm your booking until you confirm the size of your tent.  This has lead to another issue for campsite owners such as Wave Crest Camping, who take enquiries by email. The popular Kerry campsite said they ‘will have availability in due course, but they are still going through 1000’s of emails that they have received since January to find out what dates and size pitches people want’. 
 

 

 
I heard similar stories in many campsites I called. Meanwhile popular campsite Achill Camping is not opening for booking until government guidelines for reopening have been confirmed, and Dunmore Holiday Park are only accepting bookings for motorhomes/campervans as they are self sufficient. This may change closer to the beginning of the season, depending on Government and industry advice at the time.

wild camping on Achill Island.
The good news is that if you are having difficulty securing a pitch in a specific county, remember that many campsites in Ireland are not yet open for bookings. I suggest adding your name to their mailing list if they have one, or calling them to ask them to contact you when they are open for reservations.

That being said, family pitches in coastal campsites will be the most popular this summer, so if you are able to get availability now, I suggest you book your space. I also suggest getting your camping gear, bike racks and SUP boards now if you are planning any outdoor activities this summer.

Read: 10 staycation essentials you should be buying now.
 

 

 
I have listed some popular campsites in Ireland that are accepting bookings for tents in July or August now. If other campsites have availability please comment below or contact me and I will add your site to this list. 
 

Family campsites in Ireland:

IOAC Rosslare, Wexford: IOAC – Pitch from €32 per night

IOAC family campsite in Ireland

The IOAC (International Outdoor Adventure Centre) is a great choice for families looking for plenty of onsite facilities within a large holiday park. They have availability throughout July and August – there are 70 camping pitches as well as glamping pods and an RV park.
 

 

 
Children and teens will love the adventure park with high ropes, crate stacking and archery, and kayaking is among many sports available on its purpose-built activity lake. IOAC is ideally located in Rosslare, just 15 minutes from Wexford Town and within easy access of Wexford’s top attractions. It is also pet-friendly.

Read: 5 things to do in Wexford with kids

Read Top tips for family camping in Ireland

See more here 
 

 

 

Nore Valley Park, Kilkenny:  Pitch from €35 per night 

Castlecomer Discovery Park is one of the top things to do in Kilkenny with kids
Castlecomer Discovery Park

Nore Valley Park is very popular with families, especially those with younger children. It is situated on an open farm where kids are encouraged to assist with animal feeding. There is a kids play area, sandpit with diggers and a games area with pool table, crazy golf, pedal karts etc – extra charges apply. Continental breakfast, pizza, quiche and home-made bread is available daily.
 

 

 
We visited Kilkenny last summer and found it a great destination for families. We enjoyed a super day out at Castlecomer Discovery Park ( pictured above), which is just 30 minutes drive from this campsite.

Read: 10 things to do in Kilkenny with kids

See more here
 

 

 

NireValley Eco Cabin, Waterford, €176 per night B&B

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

For those looking for the camping experience without having to pitch or purchase their own tent – why not try glamping? There are numerous glamping sites all over Ireland that are suitable for families as well as couples.

Read: My top picks for glamping in Ireland

Read: 20 Airbnb glamping sites in Ireland

We stayed at NireValley Eco Camp a few years ago and loved it. There are five cabins, each set in its own field, with double beds, showers, a stove, and a delicious breakfast basket is delivered to you each morning.
 

 

 
It is set in a quiet area but ideal for families or couples looking for a relaxing stay. We explored the Munster Vales during our trip, the camp is within easy reach of Waterford, Cork and Tipperary. Various dates are available in July and August.

Read: Top things to do in the Munster Vales

See more here
 
Limited availability at selected campsites:

Hidden Valley Holiday Park and Westport House are two of Ireland’s most popular campsites for families. They have very limited availability for pitches in July and August.
 
 

 

 

Campsites in Ireland available for couples:

 

Clifden Eco Beach Camping: €23 per couple per night. €5 extra for electricity.

Connemara beach perfect for camping holidays in Ireland

If a private secluded beach in Connemara sounds good to you, then I would book this now! I was surprised that the multi-award-winning campsite was still available in July or August, but this ecological park restricts the number of family bookings in order to have a balanced, sustainable campsite. While the family pitches are sold out, there are pitches available for couples – and all have sea views. All of your carbon footprint whilst at the site is completely offset.
 

 

 
There are numerous cycle routes close by and plenty of opportunities for kayaking, SUPping etc. The popular town of Clifden is just ten minutes away. There is no games room or activities but there is a communal kitchen and showers available. It is a more traditional camping experience than some of the others mentioned, but there are lots of things to do nearby. It is also pet friendly.

See more here

 
Read: The ultimate camping equipment checklist for first time campers
 

 

 
Sarah

Holidays in Ireland

Top Tips And Ideas For Family Camping in Ireland

family camping

Thinking of trying camping for the first time? Find out some top tips on camping in Ireland, and some campsite recommendations from the converted camper, Eibhlin.

I had numerous requests for recommendations on camping in Ireland, but unfortunately I was unable to help. I have tried glamping on a few occasions and loved it, but I believe to experience ‘real’ camping, you need to pitch your own tent – something I have yet to do with the kids. I decided I needed help.

Instagram

I asked on my Instagram stories if anyone with personal experience of camping in Ireland would like to write a post for me. I was absolutely delighted when I received a kind offer from Eibhlin, who has camped many times in Ireland with her family. These are Eibhlin’s top tips and recommendations for camping in Ireland with kids. 

Hi everyone!

I’m Eibhlin and I live in Cavan with my husband and two daughters. By day, I’m a primary school teacher and by night I plan my future travels. I love reading travel books, blogs and posts, so I’m very excited about this opportunity to write a post for Sarah, whom I’ve followed for years.
 

 

 
When I started camping you could definitely call me a ‘reluctant camper’. My husband loved camping and had great memories from his times in tents at various festivals around the country – long before married life! I however, was more partial to a stay in a luxury hotel.

I ignored his hints at camping trips for years, with many valid reasons, but when the children were old enough I felt like I had ran out of excuses. So I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. Maybe you could even call me ‘the converted camper’ now! I consider myself a novice still, definitely learning along the way with every new trip.

camping in Ireland, Achill

The main reason I decided to give camping a go was my two children. It was an experience I wanted them to have, and so far, they are really enjoying it, (they are aged 8 and 9). They love the freedom it gives them, and their camping highlight is running around in the dark with their torches. We have spent some time every summer for the last five years at various Irish campsites and I would like to share some hints and tips with anyone out there considering camping in Ireland for the first time.

family camping holidays in Ireland
Ruby and Rosie settling down for the night

Don’t get me wrong, I love travelling and I still fit in as many hotel trips and sun holidays as possible, but camping has now become another way to travel around Ireland and discover new places.
 

 

 
Camping is a very cost-effective way to holiday in Ireland. Most pitches for tents without electricity will vary between €25 – €45 per night. We usually stay for three nights and I feel this is the perfect length of stay for any novice campers. There is an element of hard work to camping, and it takes time to set up and pack away a tent. After all that effort, it’s nice to sit back and relax. I’m going to go mad this year and stay for four nights, but I’d say this will be my limit.
 

 

 
The most expensive camping trip will be your first trip, as you will need to purchase your tent and all your camping needs. It may be a good idea to borrow a tent for your first trip before you spend a lot of money on camping essentials – just in case it’s not you!

family tents for camping in Ireland

When you are camping in Ireland, you will see many groups of campers pitched up side by side, enjoying each other’s company. We usually take the opportunity for a family get-together on our camping trips. The children get to enjoy some wholesome outdoor fun with their cousins, and the adults get to enjoy a bottle of wine together at night.

All of the campsites I’ve visited have strict quiet-time policies at night, usually after 10 or 11pm, and for the most part this is adhered to. It is advisable to check TripAdvisor reviews before booking a campsite.
 

 

 
We usually split our time between the campsite and exploring the local area. We always cook breakfast at our tent, but we eat lunch/dinner out from time to time, to enjoy all the locality has to offer. I’m definitely a fan of combining a little bit of luxury into my camping trip!

Featherdown Loop Head Glamping

After many years of ‘winging it’ and throwing things into the boot of the car, last year we decided to compile a list of all our camping needs. Every year, we add a little bit more to our camping collection – this year, hopefully we will add a fire-pit. Making a camping equipment list is one of my first top tips – see more below.
 

 

 

My top tips for camping holidays in Ireland:

 

1. Make sure you have all the supplies you need.

Bringing tents and cooking utensils might seem obvious, but my ultimate camping equipment checklist has many items that you should bring too. Dressing gowns to go to the bathroom at night, flipflops for the shower, clothes pegs for hanging wet clothes, and a dustpan and brush for sweeping up sand or grass that gathers inside the tent – these are just some of the things that I have learned are needed after five years of camping in Ireland.

Read: The Ultimate Camping Equipment Checklist
 

 

 

2. Pack the car in advance.

camping holidays

I recommend packing the car as much as possible the day before you head off. You will be surprised how long it takes, and it will help everything run more smoothly on departure day!
 

 

 

3. Bring snacks and dinner for your first night

camping snacks

I usually cook a Bolognese at home before we leave and bring it with us for our first dinner at camp. I also make sandwiches and bring them – unpacking the car and putting up the tent is hard work, and it is nice to sit down and put on the kettle and have a decent snack at this stage.
 

 

 

4. Make your bed as comfortable as possible.

If you are a poor sleeper, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep camping. I bring my own pillows and bring an extra cosy throw/blanket to place on top of the airbed (like a mattress protector). If you find ear plugs and eye-masks useful, bring them too.
 

 

 

5. Think ahead – get your gear early

portable barbecue for camping

Buying camping gear in the winter is a good idea –  there is plenty of availability and prices may be reduced. There are some deals to be had on camping gear on second-hand websites like Adverts and Done Deal. My brother-in-law bought a good quality new tent, never used, last week for almost half price. You can also pick up deals on portable barbecues, and travel accessories for the car on MicksGarage.com

 

 

 

6. Relax and enjoy it.

You will not always have a tidy tent or clean children when you are camping, so my advice is just to relax, enjoy and go with the flow!
 

 

 

My favourite campsites in Ireland

 

1. Hidden Valley, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow

Hidden Valley family camping holidays in Ireland
Cousins enjoying the water at Hidden Valley

I have been to Hidden Valley a few times and I actually had my first camping trip here. However, Hidden Valley is an extremely busy campsite during the summer months, and it can be a bit overwhelming until you get settled and find your bearings.

There are lots of activities onsite like crazy golf, pedalos, movie nights and much more – note extra charges may apply.  I found other campers very friendly here and really helpful to first time campers.  

See more here
 

 

 

2. PureCamping, Querrin, Co. Clare

Purecamping Clare, family camping holidays in Ireland
Sarah’s kids enjoying the pizza oven at Purecamping

I know Sarah has spent time glamping here in this very special campsite, but they also take a small number of tents. This place is in complete contrast to Hidden Valley! It is in the middle of nowhere and all my children had to play with was a big tree and a small wooded area. But boy, did we all love it here!
 

 

 
I got the sense that people came to digitally detox from their busy lives. All the children gathered together and read books to each other at the tree, and played with their teddies – there was not a screen in sight!

Trea, the owner, runs weekly yoga classes, and there is a pizza oven and campfire at night which is great for meeting fellow campers. Looking out on the Atlantic Ocean, it is a pretty idyllic spot. Also. It was the perfect place to explore the Loop Head Peninsula.

See more here
 

 

 

3. Duncannon Holiday Park, Duncannon, Co. Wexford

Hook Head Lighthouse - Wexford
Hook Head Lighthouse, Wexford

This is a lovely quiet campsite across the road from the beach, and a perfect base to explore the Hook Head Peninsula. I think this campsite was the quietest at night that I’ve ever visited. The only downside is the walk to the toilets, showers and small children’s playground, is a little bit too far for my liking. You have to walk on a public road for a couple of metres and I had to accompany children on every trip for safety reasons.

Read: 5 Things to do in Wexford with kids

See more here
 

 

 

4. Lough Key Forest Park

family camping holidays in Ireland - lough key forest park
Ruby loving Zipit in Lough Key

The campsite in Lough Key is my number one campsite! We visited in summer 2020 and it was one of the highlights of that tough year. I felt very safe in Lough Key as Covid guidelines were being strictly adhered to. The forest park itself is beautiful, and there is plenty to keep the children occupied such as, swimming in the lake, cycling the forest trails and Zipit high wires.

At the Visitor Centre, there was a coffee truck, ice-cream van and fresh pizza truck, which was a nice treat now and again. There are also places to visit close by – we spent a morning at the ‘Eagles Flying’ experience, which the children loved.

See more here
 

 

 
This year, we are booked into Nagles Campsite, Doolin, Co. Clare. We had to pay a deposit which is fully refundable in case any travel restrictions are in place. I have found them to be very friendly and helpful so far, and with great Tripadvisor reviews, maybe it might become my new number one spot.

 

Happy Camping Campers!

Eibhlin

 

Like this post? You might like:

The ultimate camping equipment checklist for first time campers

20 top picks for glamping in Ireland

Top Airbnb glamping sites in Ireland

The best family hotels in Ireland for all tastes and budgets

The best beaches in Ireland and where to stay nearby

 

Sarah

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