The Ultimate Guide to Glamping in Ireland

The Ultimate Guide to Glamping in Ireland

Five stars are great but try glamping and you’ll have them all as you look up to the sky. Take a breath of the freshest air amidst scenery that will steal it away and enjoy the plush pairing of comfort and nature. Portmanteau of glamour and camping, that’s what glamping is all about. Glamping in Ireland’s generous greenery and ravishing coasts is a wonderful alternative to discover the country.

The whole island is sprinkled with a growing number of glamping accommodations that grant wanderlusters many options ideal for lovers of the great yet comfortable outdoors: from palatial tents worthy of a travelling prince to chic eco-friendly Pods that provide a cozy bubble to stylish scouts.

Wanting to come up with the most comprehensive list to date about glamping in Ireland we discovered many inspiring places and, since food is such an important part of any holiday experience, we got the hosts of the sites to recommend the foodie highlights that visitors can enjoy…

KILLARNEY GLAMPING

Linda and Mike honour their motto “as unique as it is luxurious”. Each of their lavish Bell Tents are sheltered by a wood framed canopy and filled with double beds and shabby chic furniture. Goes beyond saying that electricity is fully available and on cold days a gas stove will keep you warm.

The foodie highlight: Linda explains that “every Bell Tent has its own private outdoor kitchen alongside complete with BBQ, gas hob and everything from tea bags to cutlery.” The hosting couple will be happy to recommend the best nearby restaurant for you and well as to supply you with a picnic kit which includes complimentary marshmallows, blankets and cool boxes that you can take to the lower meadow or to the stunning Killarney National Park.

Where is it: Approximately 1 Km away from Killarney, Co. Kerry.

Ideal for: Couples and small families.

Price range: €65 to €130 per night for 2 guests.

More information: killarneyglamping.com

 

PINK APPLE ORCHARD

“A luxury eco-camping retreat in Leitrim’s beautiful surroundings” sumarises the experience of the site that features three stylised celtic yurts, a teepee tent and a bow topped gipsy wagon. Host Jessee Johnson proudly points out that “all the accommodation has been designed and hand crafted to a high standard, right here on site. The glampsite is all set within an orchard and willow fedges, which captures a truly magical sight.”

The foodie highlight: A beautiful secluded outdoor communal seating and dinning area with BBQ and fire pit that is conveniently roofed “allowing dining al fresco whatever the weather!”. Jessee knows all the best picnic spots around: Correy Strand and Spencer Harbour are his favourites.

The place also produces its own cider from its orchard’s apples. Seasonally, guests might also enjoy other organic produce from the land. Home baking on arrival is also a given (as well as candles, wood for the stove and other personal touches).

Where is it: Corry, Drumkeeran, Co.Leitrim.

Ideal for: Families, friends and couples wishing to relax and enjoy nature.

Price range: €225 for a two night stay for a family of 4.

More information: irelandglamping.com

 

WILDFLOWER GLAMPING

A small but charming site consisting of five accommodation units: Daisy Yurt, Wild Rose Wagon, Hobbit Hut, Foxglove Tent & a shepherds Hut.  Thanks to its proximity to Cavan, there are lots of activities within easy reach: canoeing and visiting the Marble Arch Caves are two of the most popular.

The foodie highlight: “Each unit has its own kitchen area fully equipped with all cookware and dishes and their own private picnic table to eat outdoors” explains hostess Stephanie Adams. Picnics at the nearby Killykeen Forest Park are also a great option.

Guests looking for a good restaurant will do well by following Stephanie’s pick, The Olde Post Inn, just a fifteen minutes drive from the site.

Where is it: ten minutes from Cavan Town and just beside the Killykeen forest park.

Ideal for: Early in the season the place is known for its fabulous hen parties (they offer exclusivity and won’t book in other guests on hen party weekends so visitors can arrange a mid-week stay instead). During the summer, it’s all about the families.

Price range: €180 for a two night mid-week stay to €270 fro a weekend stay during July or August.

More information: wildflowerglamping.ie

 

TEAPOT LANE

Within a beautiful woodland site located on the Wild Atlantic Way, the place combines yurts, a treehouse, a country cottage and a little vintage caravan. All of them with heating and proper beds. Derval McGovern, hostess at the glampsite, highlights the place’s excellent location -on the border of Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim- as an ideal base to discover the whole region.

The foodie highlight: “We have cute communal areas for cooking and eating as well as a campfire every evening for guests to enjoy” says Derval, who also points out that foraging hikes can be arranged upon request. Guest can pre-book picnic hampers filled with home made goodies and groups can have some classy fun if they ask for the Vintage Tea Party Weekend, one of the site’s most popular packages.

Where is it: Tawley, Co. Leitrim.

Ideal for: It’s very popular with hen parties (they offer exclusivity and won’t book families and hens at the same time). Families with small kids also have lots to enjoy. The treehouse is the most romantic, and the couple’s favourite.

Price range: € 150 per 2 night for the little caravan to €300 per 2 nights for the treehouse.

More information: glampingireland.ie

 

GALWAY GLAMPING AND EVENTS

The former farmyard complex of the Blake House is now a posh glamping site where finely furnished yurts accommodate demanding guests. Colm Boyle, from Galway Glamping is happy to list some of the stunning nearby heritage buildings: “the oldest one is a 16th century towerhouse with later 18th century stables attached on two sides, and several 19th century additions such as The Coach House, bridge, cottages & the chapel/schoolhouse.”

The foodie highlight: Tuam and Galway are close enough to visit for a restaurant experience (Colm will point you to one that suits your needs but suggests trying La Visutta and Bia Bella in Tuam or Tribeton, Aniar and Loam in Galway). One of the in-site foodie plans include their popular cupcake decorating classes (family friendly of risqué depending on the audience), as well as BBQ and marshmallow roasting over the bonfire.

Where is it: Brooklodge Demesne, Ballyglunin, Co. Galway.

Ideal for: Parties and celebrations.

Price range: €25 per person per room Sun-Thu and €45 on Fri-Sat and Bank Holiday Sundays.

More information: galwayglamping.com

 

TEEPEE VALLEY CAMPSITE

Children of all ages (including those well after their twenties) will have a great time at this campsite. Linda Gilmore explains that the inspiration to create the place came from her own kids. For her, nothing beats the excitement of sleeping under canvas, lighting and singing around a campfire, cooking over an open fire and spending quality time with your loved ones.

The foodie highlight: Linda points out some of her favourite restaurants in Armagh (a short drive away from the site): The Moody Boar, Uruly, Alexander’s Gift Shop and Restaurant (Markethill), Grouchos (Richhill) and Sintons at the Bridge (Scarva). “Hampers are available from Moody Boar and you can have a great picnic at Gosford Forest Park” she says, and adds that guests will also enjoy free range eggs from the site’s hens and some seasonal home grown rhubarb crumble. “Armagh is the Orchard County so take a look at the local produce, especially jams, cider and apple juice.”

Where is it: 20 Shanecrackan Road, Armagh.

Ideal for: Families with children and kid’s parties, although couples and friends yearning for some outdoorsy fun will have a blast as well. Large family reunions are also well catered for.

Price range: £130-£170

More information: tepeevalleycampsite.co.uk

 

DROMQUINNA MANOR

Fifteen safari tents custom made by experts in India grace the 40 acres of parkland that surround Dromquinna Mannor, an elegant estate from the late XIX century that is the heart of a luxury complex that also features a restaurant, a motorhome site and an area for parties and celebrations. “This tents have all the luxuries of a five-star hotel, Goose Down duvet and pillows” says John, the place’s director.

The foodie highlight: “There is a BBQ area for all guests and we can also arrange picnic baskets with homemade yogurt and granola, jam, croissants, tea and coffee”, says John, who highlights the in-site gourmet restaurant The Boathouse Bistro which focuses on seafood and features an impressive gin menu as well as a diverse and tempting wine list.

Where is it: Dromquinna Manor, Sneem Rd, Kenmare, Co Kerry.

Ideal for: Honeymoons and “families that wouldn’t normally go camping”.

Price range: €150 per night for the luxury couples tent and €165 per night for the luxury family tent.

More information: dromquinnamanor.com

 

PORTSALON LUXURY CAMPING

Donegal and the magical Wild Atlantic Way are the setting for this fine glamping site. As hostess Helen Haworth explains, “with fantastic coastal views, the site offers five fully furnished luxurious yurts plus high quality facilities.” These include king sized beds, carefully selected furniture and wood burning stoves for chilly evenings. Helen proudly points out that “Portsalon Luxury Camping adopts environmentally friendly policies using only eco-friendly cleaning products and recycling all waste. Chemical use is avoided around the site and biodiversity is actively encouraged with native planting.”

The foodie highlight: Guests can enjoy fresh produce from the 100% organic vegetable garden as well as free range eggs from the site’s hens. They can cook on fires and barbeques alongside their yurts. For those wishing to visit a nearby restaurant, Helen suggests “Sarah’s Restaurant in Portsalon village, just a mile from the site and with a fabulous outlook over the world famous Ballymastocker Bay.” Other suggestions within reach from the site are Rathmullan House, The Cook & Gardener, The Tap Room and The Curlew Restaurant.

Where is it: Cashelpreaghan, Portsalon.

Ideal for: Couples looking for a relaxing break, although it is also family friendly. Helen mentions that it is possible to arrange a full-site booking for events and celebrations.

Price range: €65 to €113 per night depending on the date.

More information: donegalglamping.com

 

KINSALE GLAMPING

Privacy is guaranteed at this site which has only one yurt located in its own private sea side garden. Diana from Kinsale Glamping highlights that in this remote oasis sleeps two people only, “so guests don’t share their space with anyone else.” There is a little chalet in the garden, ideal for sunset sharing.

On a separate garden they also have a beautiful Gardener’s Lodge, which has two bedrooms and a studio apartment, and they rent a room in the main house, “which has it’s own entrance, is ensuite and has a large terrace overlooking the sea.”

The foodie highlight: Breakfast arrive in a fabulous hamper every morning, and even though the place has a BBQ area, Diana explains that most guests go out for meals, “as Kinsale is known as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland. We are 15 min. walk from town centre.” Two of the closest restaurants (less than 10 min. walk) are The Man Friday and The Bulman. Other foodie spots of interest are the Kinsale Gourmet Academy in Ballinacura House, “where Michael Jackson stayed when in Kinsale and where the  the award winning  Chef David Rice teaches.”

Where is it: Scilly Walk, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Ideal for: Honeymooners and couples looking for a romantic getaway. “Our guests say we must be the most romantic destination in Ireland”, says Diana.

Price range: The yurt goes from €280 for two nights (which is the minimum stay). This includes wood for the stove, towels, cotton linen, dressing gowns and toiletries. The studio apartment is €110 per night, the Terrace Room in the house is €100 per night and the Gardener’s Lodge (self-catering) is €1050 weekly during the summer and €850 off season.

More information: kinsaleglamping.com

 

THE OLD FORGE GLAMPING

The Old Forge Glamping is a boutique glamping site set amidst the rolling Wicklow hills. With a log cabin, two yurts, a teepee and a bell tent (sleeps up to five people in each) the place is ideal for a family trip or a getaway with friends. Each tent is furnished with full linen, a stove, campfire, outside furniture and BBQ.

Belinda Bielenberg, who runs the place explains that “because we are so close to Dublin people can drive down to us after work and chill out for the evening in this gorgeous setting just off the Wicklow Way Walk.”

The foodie highlight: There is a complete kitchen inside a repurposed beautiful 17th century tractor house. A breakfast hamper containing Belinda’s father in laws awarding winning sausages from Premier Meats is provided. Foraging in the area “is amazing as there is a mixture of streams, woodland and grassland so you’ll get the best of wild garlic, blackberries and mushrooms.” They also keep an organic vegetable garden.

“For the more adventurous glampers there is a spit roaster where we have cooked lamb, basting it with orange and mint dressing as it slowly cooks over 7 hours” Belinda says, and she also recommends to visit “nearby Sharo Bistro in Clonegal where Michelin Star chef Stephane will always prepare an excellent meal, and Tinahely Farm Shop owned by Darina Allen’s niece Becky Allen.”

Where is it: On the Wicklow Way between Shillelagh Co Wicklow and Tullow Co Carlow .

Ideal for: Parties of up to 22 people as well as families.

Price range: From €99 per night, minimum stay 2 nights.

More information: theoldforgeglamping.ie

 

BOUTIQUE CAMPING

This glamping site located on a forest of over 100 acres. Eleanor Nolan, Wedding Coordinator at the site, highlights the place as an ideal destination for parties, especially weddings. This luxurious self-catering site is located at the heart of the lakelands and consists varied styles of outdoor-friendly accommodation such as yurts, shepherds huts, caravans, tin huts and cottages.

The foodie highlight: “We do all our own catering here on site for the venue and also for Café Bazaar which is in Mullingar town. There are endless options for a picnic on site, down by the lake, over at Granny’s kitchen and why not, have your food served to you in the Barn”, says Eleanor. She also highlights the pizza from their own wood oven as “a must.”

Where is it: Castletown Geoghegan, County Westmeath, Ireland

Ideal for: Weddings.

Price range: €90 – €120 for a couple staying 1 night.

More information: boutiquecamping.ie

CHLÉIRE HAVEN

With genuine Mongolian yurts, gloriously positioned overlooking the quiet south harbour with views out onto the Atlantic Ocean, Chleire Haven is a place to retreat for relaxation and peace. According to Sally and Dave, the coupple who run the place, “there is plenty to do on the island, especially outdoor activities such as kayaking and snorkeling and you can also visit the heritage museum”

The foodie highlight: During the summer, Thursdays are for “fabulous, authentically prepared Thai food”, and Sally insists that “booking is essential”. Guests will also enjoy the picnic area, and those with kids can offer them a learning experience at the nearby goat farm “where you can watch the goats being milked”, a working farm with home baking and refreshments for sale.

Where is it: Cape Clear Island. Skibbereen.

Ideal for: Families, couples, honeymooners or small weddings.

Price range: From €90 to €110 for a night for two, depending on the season. Accommodations for groups of up to 6 are available and range from €120 to €140 per night.

More information: yurt-holidays-ireland.com

CLISSMANN HORSE CARAVANS

Glamping gets in motion at Clissman Horse Caravans. Guests can explore Wicklow’s countryside in a relaxed fashion inspired on the old times gypsy caravans, pulled by real horses that will be kind enough for even beginner or medium level riders. The setting calls for a nomad experience without loosing the comfort of a cozy and top quality caravan.

The foodie highlight: There are several pubs farms near the area that will be open for visits. Neassa Clissman, hostess at the site, explains that she’s happy to create an itinerary for visitors planing to spend the night on the caravans and they can use some of these places as “overnight stops” (they charge on average between €20 and €25 for the facilities).

Where is it: Cronybyrne, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow.

Ideal for: Families and couples.

Price range: €90 per night for the glamping caravan.

More information: clissmannhorsecaravans.com

POD UMA VILLAGE

Pod Umna Village, located in Portumna Co Galway, “is the first and only urbanised Glamping Village in Ireland and possibly the only one in the world”, explains Dick Ridge, co-owner of the place. “Visitors get to have the best of both worlds, the peace and quiet of a woodland setting and the convenience of being in easy walking distance to shops, restaurants and pubs.”
Pod Umna Village has ten glamping options, six Eco Pods, a Shepherds hut and three very large Bell tents, plus for those who would prefer something a little bit more conventional there are three bedrooms en suite.

The foodie highlight: There is a modern kitchen available to guests as well as BBQ areas. Picnic lovers will wonder at the beauty of Portumna Forest Park’s 1.500 as they sit on the many well-allocated picnic benches “and watch fallow deer as they pass by or spot a red squirrel climbing the trees.” Guests can enjoy organic and fresh local produce and breakfast and lunch hampers. Those looking for a place to dine out can follow Dick’s recommendation and get pizza at Beehive, Roma or Bethlehem. Cafe Rose and Blas are his coffee houses of choice and O’ Meara’s Bar or The Ferry Inn won’t leave you without a good pint.

Where is it: Dominick Street, Portumna, Co Galway.

Ideal for: Families, couples and small to medium groups of friends.

Price range: €100 per night at the Pods (€110 for the Shepherds Delight Hut). €35 for a single room in the main building (sleeps 2) and €65 for a large room in the main building (sleeps 4).

More information: podumnavillage.ie

 

TOP OF THE ROCK PÁIRC & WALKING CENTRE

This unique farm accommodation is located at the heart of West Cork, among rolling hills in the Ilen Valley. David Ross, co-owner, says “visitors can enjoy nine miles of walkways on riverbanks, small farms and mountain paths.” Castledonovan Castle, the Alpaca Farm and the renowned Glenilen Farm are among the main attractions, but the village of Drimoleague itself, is a must in its own merit thanks to its shops, pubs and churches as well as it’s welcoming, kind people.

The foodie highlight: “Here at the Top of the Rock we offer a breakfast bag delivered to your Pod each morning”, says David who then mentions that it includes fresh home made scones and raspberry jam. Other foodie experiences include a walk to Glenilen farm which is run by David and Elizabeth’s extended family nearby. “At the Top of the Rock, children have a chance to gather duck eggs each morning, roast marshmallows over the campfire in the evening and get involved with bottle feeding lambs twice a day.”

Where is it: Rockmount, Drimoleague, West Cork.

Ideal for: Relaxing family holidays.

Price range: €49 to €55 per Pod per night (bring your own linen). Larger Pods €65 and the fully furnished luxury Pods €79 to €89 depending on the season.

More information: topoftherock.ie

 

GILTRAPS GLAMPING KINNITTY

Giltraps Glamping Kinnitty provides the ideal setting for guests to ‘unplug’ and ‘get closer to nature’ as they explore the unspoilt magical natural beauty of the of the Slieve Blooms and county Offaly. It provides six Log Cabins and a Mongolian Yurt. ‘The whole team is focused on providing guests with a unique but comfortable accommodation experience along with quality fresh food’, explains the owner, John Clendennen.

The foodie highlight: They keep their own chickens and pigs onsite, contributing to their signature cooked breakfast hamper! Giltraps Café opens Friday to Sunday and serves Fair-trade Coffee along with a selection of delicious savory and sweet treats. It is also worth visiting the award winning Giltraps Pub in the centre of the picturesque village, ideal for the perfect pint, which has also established a reputation for their tasty barbecue options, available to groups bookings.

Where is it: Kinnitty Village, Birr, Co. Offaly. Ireland.

Ideal for: Parties and family holidays.

Price range: €80 to €120 per night (rooms fit between 2 to 4 people, 6 can be accommodated in the quadruple room).

More information: visitkinnitty.com

 

ABOUT GLAMPING PODS

One of the biggest growing glamping accommodation styles are the Pods, which are sturdy dome-shaped insulated cabins ideal for merging with the great outdoors while keeping all the comforts of a room inside them. We spoke with David Griffin from Pods Ireland, the only licensed distributor of Pods in the island, who explained that his Pods are present in 14 glamping locations across the Ireland and Northern Ireland.

He has also sold a few Pods for private use (i.e. artist’s studio or family’s private estate) and he points out that his eco-friendly pods, which are manufactured in Co. Kerry, are a trade marked product and only Pod sites featured on his official page are working with the authentic Pods.

David has been a very vocal promoter of the glamping industry and has been one of the key names in working with Failte Ireland to develop new Welcome Standards for glamping sites. The creation of these is expected to “allow greater innovation, individuality and authenticity in approved tourist accommodation businesses”, as stated on Failte Ireland’s website.

OTHER GLAMPING SITES IN IRELAND

Emerald Glamping: Luxury yurts and cabins in Gorteen, Daingean, Co. Offaly.

Rock Farm Slane: Gold-Certified Eco-Tourism luxury camping on the River Boyne.

River Valley Park: This large holiday park in Wicklow is great for families and it features “micro-lodges” or “glamping tents” for those looking to stay comfortable.

Ballyvolane House: Award-winning Irish Country House offering luxury outdoors accommodation in 4 in-estate finely furnished bell tents.

Battlebridge Caravan and Camping: Set on the banks of the River Shannon, this charming park combines  rustic surroundings with luxurious accommodation.

Causeway Coast Wigwams: The first to bring Wigwam Holidays to the North Antrim Coast of Ireland.

ARTICLE BY GABY GUEDEZ

Gaby ProfileGabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.

Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.

Gabriela Guédez Gabriela Guédez

 

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