I'm planning a trip for two to Ireland at the end of july, fly in and out from Dublin. At the moment we're swaying between renting a small car and staying in BnB's or renting a campervan.
Since I'm not from Ireland I need some practical info.
1) Are there any general laws prohibiting free parking i layby's or similair parkings spots? I'd prefer to go by campervan to be able to stop at my free choice in the country side, I'm thinking a little bit as the laws are in Sweden and Norway.
2) What will be most expensive do you think? Campervan for 5 nights or BnB?
I've never used a campervan here other than at a music festival but have some thoughts.
A campervan can legally park wherever a car can park - so while technically you can park anywhere suitable it's not that easy practically as a lot of the more scenic or tourist areas will have no overnight parking/no camping signs. It could be time consuming trying to park up - especially in the height of summer.
What part of Ireland are you thinking about visiting?
A b&b cost wise will be about 70-80 a couple a night for a good quality one. Would you have a car or use public transport?
I would agree with smmb that it may be difficult in places to find somewhere to park. There are a few campsites in some areas (mainly around the coast). In general there should be no major issues, although you may also have to pay for parking early in the morning. It all depends on where you want to go really.
Petrol/diesel costs might be an issue, a campervan would use a lot more fuel than a small car. Also, some people might find it challenging driving a campervan around some of the smaller windy roads in rural Ireland!
Thanks for the quick reply!
1) We're flying in and out of Dublin and will be there for 7 nights in total. We'll probably stay two nights in Dublin first and then head on eastwards toward Galway and than back to Dublin via the west->south coastal regions (haven't decided more on the specifics yet...). If you've got any must-see-tours I'll be glad to listen.
2) As for the petrol costs that shouldn't be a problem since I was thinking more of a camper van (minivan size) rather than a motor home. That should also take care of the small and winding roads .
3) Parking - As smmb states parking is allowed where parking is allowed... But what's the general custom? Do the "locals" accept camper vans here and there (you'll have to park out of the way and so forth of course so as to disturb as little as possible) or is it a general negative vibe against "free parkers"? I guess all that varies with where you go and who you meet, but I'm asking in general.
It doesn't come as a surprise that around the major tourism stretches there should be parking/camping prohibited signs but you can usually get by that by driving a few miles out of the way in to the country side on some small roads. Correct?
I can only simply add that the Irish B&B experience will not be matched anywhere in the world (if you pick well)
Campervan can be done anywhere.
All of Ireland can be accessed from Dublin by bus,train or motorway by hired car in hours.
Alan Fanning (owner of the oldest B&B in Dublin!)
I have been to Ireland three times.
and rented a car each time and stayed in B&Bs twice...
Brother-in-laws many relatives the third.
I agree with dub1.
The B&B experience ( this includes about 4 variations)... is the way to Really have the Irish Experience. The B&B owners take you in like family. You often have a living room to yourself or a couple more. And a peat fire in the fireplace is not uncommon.
It helps if your a little bit of an extravert, but you will find yourself amoung other B&Bers who like people. I can't tell you how many interesting and fun people we've met.
You can get packages that let you pick form a wide variety if you buy a weeks worth.
It helps if you like music ( and better if you can carry a tune) and a pint or two.
The pubs in Ireland are like public living rooms with stuffed chairs, couches.
You don't want to miss that stuck in your camper.
And of course there are B&Bs all over the place with lots of choices. There are places in town centers, that let you pick ... and you can pick anywhere in Ireland. And don't forget, the B&Bs come with a Big fine Breakfast that with a noon snack can carry you too Happy Hour.
Ireland's roads and driving on the left, make a small car the best choice.
Like your Itinerary... Galway... maybe up NW of there for a day.
Then head around Galway bay for the Burrens and the Cliffs of Mohre. Doolin sp music
Then don't miss the Ring of Kerry. and Dingle's stone huts & pubs.
[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jun-2013, at 17:07 by Rhmyers ]