Ireland is a beautiful Country with a vast number of breath-taking sights to see. Despite its small size, there are so many places yet to be discovered with no shortage of activities for the campervan enthusiast.
Whether you're a solo traveller, a family, or a couple, a motorhome provides a unique and memorable way to experience life on the road.
While most of us have enjoyed the magical Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, Slieve League and other well know destinations such as Glendalough we have put together a list of lesser known gems which are somewhat off the beaten track but every bit as breath-taking. No matter the season, it’s always the perfect time to pack up your campervan and hit the road.
The Copper Coast
Take the 40km Copper Coast drive from Tramore to Dungarvan and prepare to be dazzled with stunning beaches, inlets and coves protected by rocky headlands. On this route you can visit lesser known gems like Stradbally Cove, Kilfarrasy or Newtown Cove and there are also several campsites along the route. It’s pleasantly relaxed and undercrowded, which makes it all the more beautiful. For the outdoor enthusiast there’s no shortage of things to do. Take in stunning cliff sidewalks, visit the impressive Mahon falls, hike the Comeragh Mountain trail, cycle the Waterford Greenway, soak in the charm of Dungarvan or the idyllic coastal town of Dunmore East. Book your camping accommodation in Dunmore East well in advance (some recommend a year ahead of time). This is a very popular spot and a fantastic location if you have children, with the option of summer camps so you can avail of some cherished downtime of your own.
If you simply want to get away from it all Gougane Barra is the essence of tranquillity. Stroll around one of Ireland's purest Natural habitats, soak in the views at St Finbarr’s Oratory which commemorates his original shrine which dates back to the 6th Ramble through the national forest park which has 6 different walking trails for all levels of fitness and explore the lush valley at the edge of the Sheehy mountains. There are several campsites within 30 to 40 minutes driving distance, so you don’t have to travel too far from base.
Garnish Island in Glengarriff
A little slice of heaven on Earth for horticulturists, these very enchanting gardens were designed and created by famous architect Harold Ainsworth Peto. Originally a large Italianate mansion was to be built on the Island on behalf of the extremely affluent Bryce family, but unfortunately the mansion never materialised as the family lost their wealth during World War one. The island was landscaped, and other buildings completed which includes the Gardener’s Cottage, Exotic Walled Gardens, a Grecian Temple, Clock Tower, a Casita and an original Martello Tower. The true magic of Garnish Island starts with the ferry ride to the island itself, as you watch the seals up close in their natural habitat. When you approach the pier there is a great sense of anticipation and adventure as the beauty of the island slowly unfolds while you venture around its trails with rare and exotic planting. Head for Glengarriff, in Bantry Bay which has great daytime motorhome parking and the pier is a short walk away. Glengarriff is only a 16-minute drive from Eagle Point Caravan and Camping Park which makes it an ideal place to visit in your campervan.
Only 5km north of Ballycastle a visit to Downpatrick Head is without doubt one of the best things to do in Mayo. There is plenty of motorhome parking and the cliffs are a short walk away. Exercise with caution as the cliffs edges are exposed in parts with uneven ground. On arrival, you'll see the magnificent Dun Bríste sea stack and the Stags of Broadhaven’ (600 million year-old island rocks out at sea). Be sure to visit the site of a church founded by St. Patrick, the holy well and stone cross. Here you will also find the Eire 64 look out post signalling our neutrality to overhead planes during WW II. And last but not least, as you return to your cosy camper retreat head for "Poll na Seantinne" blowhole at the viewing platform.
Queen Maeve’s Burial Site
A treat for hikers, the burial site of legendary Queen Maeve at the summit of the Knocknarea Mountain is thought to be one of the best walks/mountain trails in Sligo and has received very positive feedback from the general public. You can start the trail at Knocknarea or Strandhill, the trail has 500 wooden steps, is 6km long and takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. It’s a small bit strenuous in parts, but very rewarding, as once at the top you are treated to incredible views out over Sligo and Ballisodare Bay and on a clear day, you’ll have views that stretch out as far the Slieve League sea cliffs in Donegal. The story goes that Queen Maeve is buried upright in full battle gear, facing her enemy in Ulster. Just remember that it’s open farmland so dogs are not allowed and climbing the stone cairn at the summit is forbidden. The best part of the trail is that sense of achievement, connecting with nature and our historical past. Once back in your camper you can chill out with a warm brew and enjoy the freedom that campervan life brings.
These are just a few of the many great locations to visit in a campervan in Ireland. Whether you're interested in stunning natural scenery, rich history and culture, or charming towns and villages, Ireland has something for everyone. Have your motorhomes and campervans at the ready to explore this beautiful country at your own pace?
Go n-éirí an bóthar leat!
If you are interested in becoming a campervan owner or purchasing a motorhome, come and visit us to see the range at our showrooms in Shannonside Business Park, Birdhill, Co. Tipperary V94VY98. Anchor Point Motorhomes is your Burstner, Weinsberg and Westfalia Motorhome Ireland dealer and we pride ourselves on delivering a 5 star service to all our customers.
Help is always at hand, so feel free to call us on 353 (0)61 379903 or pop in to see us. A warm welcome awaits!