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Campsites in Ireland: our pick of the best


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Glorious beaches, far-off islands, towering cliffs and lush green mountain slopes – from the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland to the stunning Kerry coastline in the Republic of Ireland, it’s a photographer’s dream at every turn

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are countries of immense beauty and, with a vast choice of attractions, it can be difficult deciding where to visit on a touring or camping holiday. To make life a little more hassle free, we've created this guide and suggested a selection of top campsites in Ireland to use as a base for exploring.

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Words by Claire Tupholme


Why go to an Irish campsite?

Irish campsite

(Photo from Unsplash)

Camping in Ireland offers a unique and captivating experience, beckoning nature enthusiasts to explore its diverse landscapes. The 'Emerald Isle' boasts lush greenery, rugged coastlines, and picturesque mountains, creating an idyllic backdrop for outdoor adventures.

Campsite holidays in Ireland offer a perfect blend of natural beauty, comfort, and community. Nestled in enchanting landscapes, these campsites provide a gateway to Ireland's unforgettable scenery, from coastal wonders to serene countryside. Well-equipped facilities and amenities cater to varying preferences, ensuring a comfortable stay for all. Families, friends, and solo travelers can revel in the camaraderie of communal spaces, including communal fire pits and barbecue areas, fostering a shared camping experience.

While wild camping is generally permissible in certain areas of Ireland, prior booking or permits may be required and there is a strict code of conduct to follow. We'd therefore always recommend choosing a campsite in Ireland to enjoy your break instead. As a popular destination we'd also advise you to prebook your campsite as they can get busy, especially in peak season.

Many campsites in Ireland provide a range of accommodations, from traditional tent pitches to modern glamping options, accommodating different preferences and levels of outdoor expertise. The allure of campsite holidays lies in the opportunity to explore Ireland's rich culture and heritage, with many sites located in proximity to historical landmarks and vibrant local communities.

Whether seeking relaxation or adventure, campsite holidays in Ireland promise an immersive and memorable escape, blending the joys of outdoor living with the warm hospitality of the country.

Our favourite things to do in Ireland and Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is home to the world-famous Giant’s Causeway on the Antrim coastline. It is a World Heritage Site and the heritage coastline extends 12 miles to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The Causeway Rambler Bus Service allows people who don’t want to drive or walk the full route to access all the attractions along the coastline easily.

The Giant’s Causeway is renowned for its 40,000-plus polygonal columns of layered basalt that resulted from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. People visiting this geological marvel can walk across the columns and enjoy four trails of various grades, which offer breathtaking views of jagged cliffs and wave-lashed bays. There are routes suitable for all ages and abilities.

In County Clare, in the Republic of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher are 214 metres tall at the highest point and stretch for nearly five miles along the Atlantic. They are home to one of the major colonies of cliff-nesting seabirds in Ireland. A boat trip will give you a magnificent view of the towering cliffs from sea level. Many boat companies operate from Doolin Pier, offering services direct to each of the three Aran islands and also cruises to view the Cliffs of Moher. Cruises vary from trips to one island, all the islands, hour trips just to view the Cliffs of Moher, to full day outings.

Three rocky limestone outcrops make up the unspoilt Aran Islands. On the islands the way of life is still traditional; full of character and history. The landscape is dramatic, with stone walls, narrow winding roads, craggy shores and sandy beaches.

When driving along the Ring of Kerry route (a tourist trail covering the south coast of Ireland), some of the most beautiful coastal scenery opens up before you. The Ring of Kerry can be explored by tourist bus, there is a signposted Ring of Kerry cycling path and the alternative walking route is the Kerry Way.

Two beaches in County Kerry to look out for are Derrynane and Rossbeigh. Derrynane Beach, near Caherdaniel, has a wide, expansive beach with white sand and when the tide is out you can walk over to Abbey Island and the ruins of Derrynane Abbey. Further up the coast is Rossbeigh Beach which stretches out for about three miles into the north Atlantic. The backdrop to the beach are the mountains and village of Glenbeigh. You can’t spend all that time looking out across the sea to far-off islands without being intrigued as to what lies out there. Regular boat trips run from various points in County Kerry to the World Heritage island of Skellig Michael.

There are few places that can offer the outdoor enthusiast such freedom and vast expanses of landscape to explore as a National Park. It is said that in Killarney National Park you will find a different walking route for every day in the year. Walkers can choose from low-level parkland, lakeside and woodland walks, to higher-level hill walks on old bridle paths. For the more adventurous, take on the 1,000-metre summits of the MacGillycuddy Reeks. Killarney has a plethora of loop walks – some can be completed in 30 minutes, while others can take four-plus hours. The distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls gives the area a jaw-dropping beauty, and a variety of wildlife calls the park home.

Best campsites in Northern Ireland

From the aforementioned Giant's Causeway to the Mourne Mountains, the scenery and landscapes to discover in Northern Ireland are on a grand scale, with plenty of picturesque coastal towns and inland highlights to explore, too. These are the best campsites in Northern Ireland to help you make the most of your trip.

Ballyness Caravan Park

Co Antrim

Ballyness Caravan Park

(Photo courtesy of Ballyness Caravan Park)

Ballyness is a multi-award-winning campsite with 50 fully serviced hardstanding touring pitches. The immaculate amenity building has free hot showers, an accessible shower room, family bathroom, laundry room and dishwashing area. Motorhomes are catered for with extra-large pitches and a service point. There is an outdoor play park and football field, plus an indoor games room.

There are three wildlife ponds on the campsite and the eight-acre Gypsy’s Way Dog Walk provides a great area to allow your dog off the lead or to take an evening stroll. During the spring and summer, guests can hop onto the Causeway Rambler bus from the park to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge via the Giant’s Causeway and on to Portrush and Coleraine.

Find out more: Ballyness Caravan Park  

Best campsites in the Republic of Ireland

Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is a stunning landscape created by a unique climate, kept mild by the Atlantic Ocean, with plenty of rainfall to maintain the beautiful, green scenery. The vast majority of the isle is part of the Republic of Ireland, encompassing everything from the wld coast of Galway to the still waters of Lough Erne in County Fermanagh. Explore it all by visiting these campsites!

Mannix Point Camping & Caravan Park

Co Kerry

Mannix Point Camping & Caravan Park

(Photo courtesy of Mannix Point Camping & Caravan Park)

Situated at the edge of Europe on the spectacular Gulf Stream coast of Kerry, the pitches face across the bay to the nearby islands, hills and mountains. A full range of facilities include a well-equipped kitchen and dining room, a picnic garden and bbq. The cosy sitting room, warmed by a turf fire, is the venue for many impromptu music sessions.

The campsite is perfect for watersports, archaeological sites, hill, mountain and foreshore walks, subtropical gardens, fishing, Blue Flag beaches, horse riding, birdwatching, fabulous cycle and car tours, or simply relaxing. Tripadvisor Hall of Fame – five-star Certificate of Excellence six years in a row. No pitch price increase in six years.

Find out more: Mannix Point Camping & Caravan Park  

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