Pitch up in Ireland this St Patrick’s Day
Mar 4 2011 Posted by Lewis Shields
St Patrick’s Day on 17th March is the ideal time for camping in Ireland. Take your car, campervan or mobile home across to Dublin, Rosslare, Belfast, Larne or Dun Laoghaire ports and drive inland. From isolated Mayo to partying Dublin, there are hundreds of places to stay all around Ireland. Here are the top five from Pitchup.com. Fáilte!
If you want to be sure you have a pint of Guinness on St Patrick’s Day, Camac Valley just outside Dublin is a great spot to use as a base. The four-star campsite has 163 pitches, 24 hour security, free wifi, an animal farm, children’s adventure playground, fishing lake and putting green, and is popular with campers and festival goers who want to explore Dublin and the surrounding countryside. There’s a bus just outside with regular runs into Dublin city centre, taking you into Dublin for the St Patrick's Festival Day Parade starting at Parnell Square at 12pm. Spend a quiet day around the campsite and nearby Clondalkin Village on the 18th, then go back into the city centre for the festival’s Literary Treasure Hunt on the 19th.
With spectacular views, Kerry is an ideal spot for camping in Ireland, and Wave Crest Park offers some of the best. Run by Brid and John O’Shea, Wave Crest is set on a hill on the Ring of Kerry and overlooks beaches, coves and mountains, with the occasional basking shark or dolphin spotted in the water off the Blue Flag-accredited Derrynane Beach. Hill-walking, boat trips to the Skellig Islands, surfing, scuba-diving or just walking on the beach (Irish weather permitting) are all available within a 5km radius.
Taking in Giant’s Causeway and the Ulster Way as well as the golf courses and sand dunes of Portstewart, the Antrim coast at the very north of Ireland is one of the most scenic places you can be. A must-see if you’re in the area is Rathlin Island, a six-mile ferry trip across the Atlantic from the seaside town of Ballycastle and including an RSPB Seabird Centre with colonies of puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes. Rathlin so far is wild camping only and needs the permission of local landowners to pitch up, but most campers set up in the harbourside field next to McCuaig’s Bar, whose owners are very accommodating. Ring the bar in advance to let them know you’re coming: 028 207 63974.
Run by husband and wife team Margaret and Gerry Collins, the Cong Caravan and Camping Park is probably the only place in the world with nightly showings of the film The Quiet Man in a mini-cinema. Based a mile from Cong Village and on the borders of Counties Mayo and Galway, this park is visited not only by John Wayne fans keen to see where The Quiet Man was filmed, but also by anglers (rods and boats are available to take out on the many lakes and rivers), pony trekkers, golfers, hikers and history buffs – the park is next to caves, stone circles, castles, Cong Abbey and stone cairns, and is an ideal base for exploring nearby Connemara and Galway.
This family-run park on the banks of the River Shannon is open all year round and was listed in the Irish Independent’s ‘10 Best Irish Campsites’. The two-acre site has 40 pitches, including yurts available for glamping packages, a slipway for boating, children’s playground, game room, library and award-winning pub with traditional Irish music sessions. The River Shannon runs right through the site and no fishing licence is required if you want to try your luck casting a line. Nearby is the renowned Carrick on Shannon golf course, or if you want to relax, try a spa at Kilronan Castle.
Winner of Best Travel Information Site at the 2010 Travolution awards, Pitchup.com is the most comprehensive website in the camping and caravanning sector. Launched in July 2009, the site features 5,000 campsites and holiday parks in the UK and Ireland, including many in hard-to-find locations. The website enables users to search and book using more than 80 search criteria to fine-tune their holiday requirements, and features mapping technology to make getting there simple too. The site also lists accommodation near nine National Parks, hundreds of beaches, 17 World Heritage Sites and the main UK festivals and can view nearby Good Pub Guide pubs, National Trust properties and National Cycle Network routes. Website owners can also add custom Pitchup.com listings to their site.
Issued by Flagship Consulting
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