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The Emerald Isle – a Campervan adventure in Ireland


Dublin, Wicklow, Connemara, Galway and a chunk of the Wild Atlantic Way! This particular destination-dream became a reality as we embarked on a thrilling campervan adventure from the UK to Ireland, with our trusted VW California Ocean Campervan leading the way. From the excitement of a ferry crossing to the tranquillity of Irish countryside campsites and the vibrant energy of Dublin, this journey promised an unforgettable blend of exploration and relaxation.

Day 1: Departure from the UK and Ferry Crossing

Our adventure began with the anticipation of setting sail from the UK to Ireland. After securing the necessary ferry tickets, we loaded up our VW California Ocean Campervan, complete with all the essentials for a comfortable and enjoyable road trip. We opted for the ferry route from Holyhead to Dublin, a scenic crossing that allowed us to take in the fresh sea air and build excitement for the adventures awaiting us across the Irish Sea. In just under three hours, we were in Ireland!

Upon arrival in Dublin, we made our way to Camac Valley Campsite as our first stop. Conveniently located near the city, with fab transport links into Dublin, this campsite provided a great opportunity to unwind after the ferry journey and prepare for our exploration of the Irish capital. Set in the Clondalkin suburb, there were plenty of amenities for us all.

Day 2: Dublin City Break

Waking up in Dublin! We set out to explore the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. Our first stop was Trinity College, where we marvelled at the ancient Book of Kells, a manuscript dating back to the 9th century. Strolling through the cobbled streets of Temple Bar, we embraced the lively atmosphere and sampled traditional Irish fare in one of the many charming pubs.

In the afternoon, we delved into Dublin’s history at Dublin Castle and the National Museum of Ireland. The evening was reserved for a leisurely walk along the River Liffey, crossing the famous Ha’penny Bridge and taking in the city lights. As Dublin buzzed with energy, we retired to the campsite, ready to continue our journey into the heart of Ireland the next day.

Day 3: Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains

Leaving Dublin behind, we set our course for the Wicklow Mountains, a region renowned for its stunning landscapes and historic sites. Our campsite of choice was nestled near Glendalough, at the Roundwood Caravan and Camping Park. Surrounded by nature, this site offered a serene escape with modern amenities.

We spent the day exploring the Glendalough Valley, home to an ancient monastic settlement and two picturesque lakes. The trails offered breath-taking views, making it a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts. In the evening, we returned to our campsite, indulging in a cosy dinner under the stars, recounting the day’s adventures.

Day 4: The Coastal Drive to the Cliffs of Moher

Our campervan adventure continued with cross country drive through the spectacular scenery, heading for the West Coast, and County Clare (around a 3 and a half hour drive). En route to the world-famous Cliffs of Moher, we made a stop in the charming village of Doolin for a taste of traditional Irish music. Nagle’s Doolin Camping and Caravan Park, overlooking the Atlantic, provided an ideal spot to set up camp.

As the sun began to set, we found ourselves standing on the edge of the towering Cliffs of Moher, taking in the sheer beauty of the rugged coastline. It was a moment of pure awe and a testament to the natural wonders Ireland has to offer.

Day 5: Burren National Park and Galway

Leaving the cliffs behind, we ventured into the unique landscape of Burren National Park. This karst region, with its limestone terrain, was a fascinating contrast to the coastal scenery we had encountered earlier. Our campsite for the night was at Salthill Caravan Park, just outside the vibrant city of Galway, and is situated right on Galway Bay. What a view!

Galway, with its lively streets filled with street performers and eclectic shops, offered a second delightful city break within our road trip. We explored the city’s landmarks, sampled local seafood, and soaked in the artistic atmosphere. As night fell, we returned to our campsite, ready to continue our journey through the heart of Ireland the next day.

Day 6: Connemara National Park

Our campervan adventure in Ireland took us deeper into the west of the country, and round the coast, as we explored the rugged beauty of Connemara National Park. The Clifden Eco Beach Camping and Caravanning Park, situated along the coastline, provided a stunning backdrop for our final night in Ireland. Camping right on the Wild Atlantic Way! Nestled amongst the dunes your views don’t get much better than this. 

Connemara, with its wild landscapes and charming villages, offered a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration. We hiked through the national park, took a boat trip to explore offshore islands, and savoured the tranquillity of the sandy beaches. It was a fitting finale to our Irish road trip.

Day 7: Return to the UK

As our week-long campervan adventure in Ireland came to an end, and we headed back towards Dublin to catch our Ferry home. (Clifden to Dublin, approx. 3 and half hours). We reluctantly bid farewell to Ireland and set sail back to the UK. The ferry crossing allowed us to reflect on the incredible experiences, amazing people and simply stunning scenery we had shared on this campervan adventure. From the lively streets of Dublin to the rugged coastlines and serene landscapes, each day brought new discoveries and lasting memories.

In conclusion:

A campervan road trip from the UK to Ireland is a unique and unforgettable way to explore the beauty of these two neighbouring countries. With the freedom of the open road, the comfort of a VW California Ocean Campervan, and the diverse landscapes of Ireland, this journey provides the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Whether cruising along coastal roads, exploring historic sites, or enjoying the vibrant city life, a campervan holiday in Ireland promises a truly immersive and enriching experience.

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