We are looking at travel in Ireland in August 2010. We'd like to rent a camper of some kind, prepare our own meals, and stay in campgrounds. Family of 2 adults and 1 teen.
We'd really appreciate information about
1) how plentiful campgrounds are in Ireland
2) other peoples' experiences renting campers, either larger ones with beds and kitchen inside, or just vans with room to carry around tent/sleeping bags and ice chest, stove, dishes, etc.
3) Expected currency exchange rates US to Ireland.
I assume a large camper would be a problem driving some places in Ireland, but maybe not.
All input greatly appreciated.
I am Irish so i think I can help you out.
campgrounds are fairly plentiful in Ireland but not on the scale of Australia, New Zealand or even Europe, in my opinion. There are still lots to choose from in the areas worth visitings.
I personally would not recommend a tent. The weather in Ireland can be shockingly wet. Even though August is mid summer for us it can be extremely mixed - wet, windy, cold. I wouldn't take the risk of being stuck in a rain soaked tent so definitely a motor home is the right way to go.
Also, the road are small and can be winding but a normal sized motorhome would be fine, plenty of people do it!
Route-wise (Even though I know you didn't ask!) I would recommend starting out in Dublin, few days there and then head south to Wexford, Kilkenny, Waterford and make your way to Cork via the south coast, it really pretty then make your way up to Kerry, Clare and Galway - the nightlife (traditional music, atmosphere in Galway is amazing), Kerry has one of the most beautiful coast lines I've ever seen.
that would be what I would do anyway
Im Irish too and do a few camping trips each summer here in Ireland with the kids , but this is usually for a weekend only and is always weather dependant . Ladybug is right , you couldnt count on just camping for a whole holiday in ireland , with the weather .so camper van is probably best idea , if only 3 of you can get a small one .
try the camping Ireland website , has most of the sites . Many Irish sites also have what you would call holiday trailers , left there by city people as their get away places and there all year round , paying an annual sub to the owner , but most also have designated areas just for campers or camper vans also
I generally agree with the route suggested by Ladybug but depends on where u are flying into .
Amoung my favorite camp sites would be mountshannon , which is kind of old fashioned , right on lough derg , and you can rent motor boats from the owners to visit an ancient monasitc site on Holy Island , all on your own . its only about 45 minutes from Shannon Airport
I also like nore valley in Bennets bridge , with great pizza and lots of animals
A small site near fenore , covered in loads of sandunes overlooking a wonderful beach in Clare also a favorite
enjoy and hope u get the weather !
Here's a couple of Irish campervan sites I've checked out for you. I don't know any of them personally but I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for here.
Ladybug66 was right what she said about camping in Ireland and the Irish weather, but if you're determined you'd like to try it don't let the weather put you off. I think this is one of the official camping websites for Ireland http://www.camping-ireland.ie/ I think I 'm right in saying that camping sites are available but still fairly thin on the ground and not always located where you'd like. Campervan is still the best option. Plus, and it's a big plus... with the economy the way it is, don't accept the first price thrown at you, or the second for that matter. Come armed with competitors prices and I guess you'll get a deal, people are just crazy to get your business about now.
The dollar has strengthened slightly against the Euro but for how long that's going to last is anyone's guess. The Irish economists have been talking up an escape from recession in mid-summer so keep an eye on the rates and if they drop below 1.35/1 start thinking about buying Euros. But, I AM NOT an economist, so don't come calling to my house if you lose valuable and hard-earned money.
Most of all, plan your vacation in Ireland, there really is so much to see that you can stay too long in one place and then miss out on something else.
If you'd like to send me a private message I'll be glad to answer any specific queries you may have. Have fun planning.
A good site to try is http://www.gocampingireland.com
Remember to check and see that parking is available for free wherever you stay in Ireland.
A good guide for Dublin is -snip-
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Gary, hey Im from the good ole emerald isle as well.
Yeah I think you idea is a great one! You'll love camping here, though just be well prepared it may be wet some nights and if thats something you can handle it will be really nice.
Maybe not lots of campsites but there are quite a few around the place and I sure if theres somewhere you really wanna camp by, ask at the nearest house, they really wont mind im sure. Most irish are well happy bout having the odd tourist drop by and join the craic. Im sure you'll find they may even offer you to stick up your tent in some patch of grass by their house.
A camper van is very do-able as well. There will be some small roads etc but its just a case of using common sense and giving way to people, as you may already have experience of, on roads wherever you are.
As for currency, the North of Ireland is UK pounds currently approx £1=$1.60 US and in the South of Ireland its Euros currently approx €1 = $1.36.
Hope you have a wonderful hol in Ireland this summer!