21 pitch-perfect camping and glamping getaways for 2021 

If you’re looking for a romantic break in Killarney with some added al fresco appeal, then consider packing your hiking books (or even your Louboutins) for a dreamy glamping getaway in the town. Located just 3km from the centre and nestled on a tranquil site on the banks of the River Flesk, couples-only Killarney Glamping features charming tent suites which have been upgraded for this season with new private (versus communal) showers in their en-suites, along with existing private sheltered decks private outdoor kitchen. For added luxury, the site also features lodges which have each been kitted with a Weber BBQ this year. Note that Killarney Glamping is also an all-weather, all-season site and makes a fine bet for booking in shoulder season. From €139; killarneyglamping.com. TB

Rushin House Caravan Park, Fermanagh

Rushin House DCIM100MEDIADJI_0242.JPG

If you’re touring in your caravan or camper this summer it might be worth popping Fermanagh’s Lakelands on your itinerary. What began as part of a farm diversification project Rushin House Caravan Park set on the shores of Lough MacNean has recently been named ‘Best Site in Northern Ireland’ and (amid considerable competition). ‘Best Small Site in the UK’. The immaculate, wind-powered site features amenities like an outdoor gym and a neat kids playground and also features wheelchair-accessible toilets in its common block. The only snag for 2021 is that tents are not allowed — to take the pressure off shared common areas. The site makes an idyllic base for touring the region’s highlights, from the Cavan Burren just across the border to the massively popular Cuilcagh Mountain, known as the Stairway to Heaven. From £27 (€31) per night; rushinhouse.com TB

Sleepy Hollows, Donegal

Ar mhaith leat dul ag glampáil? Sleepy Hollow is an adult-only campsite located in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht which welcomes the full gauntlet of guests, from caravaners and campers to glampers. Along with its charming woodland pitches, highlights here are its glamping lodge and tiny glamping hut which has the architectural air look of some Icelandic tiny home. Campers from €12 per person, glamping from €80 per night. sleepyhollows.ie

For an alternative in the county, Lough Mardal, which features Mongolian yurts bedecked with antique furniture, offers one of the most scenic glamping get-ups in the country; loughmardalglamping.ie TB

Anchor Caravan Park, Kerry

Celebrating 50 years in business this year, Anchor Caravan Park in Castlegregory is the old-school site with perennial appeal. The campsite welcomes caravans and tents with spic and span family-friendly amenities but it’s really Anchor’s location that’s the winner here. Along with being the perfect base to tour the Dingle Peninsula, the site has its own access to a stunning sandy beach that adjoins the protected Maharees tombola. Consider it camping and walking heaven — plus the site is also dog-friendly. From €14 per person; anchorcaravanpark.com TB

Aran Islands Camping

Aran Island

Aran Island

The Aran Islands are going to be a hot destination this summer on the back of faster new ferry routes from Doolin, Co. Clare and the new Aran Island Ferries service from Galway City. But with day-trippers usually left with a taste of (Inis) mór, why not stay over? Aran Islands Camping and Glamping offer a fantastic base to explore the largest island. Their beehive hut-inspired clochán pods are already snapped up (keep an eye out on cancellations) but there is still availability for campers to pitch up on their organic grass fields. €10 per adult; irelandglamping.ie TB

The Apple Farm, Tipperary

Looking for a rustic retreat? The Apple Farm near historic Cahir is a campsite set in a real-life working orchard, set in the heart of the Munster Vales. The caravan and camping site is a sensitive extension of the Traas family’s fruit enterprise and features solar-powered shower units, a camp kitchen in a former apple store and you’ll even receive a bottle of the family’s apple juice as a welcome gift. The location makes a great base to enjoy the great hillwalking, heritage sites and Tipperary food producers in the area — maybe take a tasting experience at Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers or enjoy meadow walks and honey talks at Brookfield farms! €9 per adult; theapplefarm.com TB

Clissmann Caravans, Wicklow

Clissmann

Clissmann

For a quirky, family-friendly break in Wicklow, book a stay at Clissmann Caravans’ horse and donkey farm, set in the heart of the Garden of Ireland. You’ll overnight in a charm-laden glamping gypsy caravan (think Wanderly Wagon for any pre-Millennials reading) which can accommodate up to four guests. By day, either explore the nearby wonders such as stunning Glendalough or take a guided countryside tour with a horse drawn-caravan, where you’ll be taught everything from how to harness a horse to holding the reins and learning to drive. For something even more off the beaten track, Clissmanns also offer a pretty unique donkey walking experience, where you can trek across the Wicklow countryside accompanied, yes, by your personal donkey. Glamping from €90; clissmannhorsecaravans.com TB

Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, Mayo

If you’d like to take your camping next level, then Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park in Co. Mayo, really puts the ‘wild’ in wild camping. Ireland’s most remote stretch of mountain and peatlands offer adventurers a true camping wilderness for seasoned hikers — set up your tent for the night at a number of designated spots along the testing Bangor Trail, a one-time cattle trading route across the terrain. At up to 40km in length, you’ll need to bring your hiking legs but you can also access one of the nearer camp points and retrace your steps the next day. Free entry to park; you’ll need to preregister online at campingwildnephin.com before setting off. TB

Wild Atlantic Glamping, West Cork

Wild Atlantic Glamping Bere Island

Wild Atlantic Glamping Bere Island

With our growing grá for the great outdoors, there are a number of new additions to the camping scene this season, not least Wild Atlantic Glamping on beautiful Bere Island. The seashore site features a smattering of nicely appointed bell tents which also feature private decks to soak in those sea views. Welcome packs include freshly baked homemade scones, Irish butter, Bere Island honey, local blackberry jam, kindling for your stove for the first night and marshmallows for toasting over the campfire. The site is also hosting a series of workshops and activities for this summer including yoga, photography, foraging, music and kayaking. From €100 per night; wildatlanticglamping.ie TB

Clifden Eco Camping, Galway

Clifden Eco Beach

Clifden Eco Beach

Could this be Ireland’s most picturesque camping site? Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean with a Connemara backdrop, we think it’s a strong contender. Clifden Eco has always taken the sustainable approach towards their camping making them Ireland’s only carbon-neutral camping site. Embracing the pivot towards a season of outdoor dining, this year they have teamed up with Wildfolk Connemara Food Trailer and Dooncastle Oysters who will be selling their fresh produce on site. For those looking for a touch more comfort or just not open to spending hours trying to build a tent after a long drive, this season will see the arrival of the “Too Posh To Pitch” teepee, perfect for young families and couples. Pitching rates start from €14 for singles up to €28 for families; clifdenecocamping.ie MM

Glamping Under The Stars, Laois

Hobbit House

Hobbit House

If a blow-up mattress and sleeping bag aren’t your idea of the perfect break away then Glamping Under The Stars is the ideal compromise taking all the fun of a camping trip and adding some glamour in a quirky wood lodge or bell tent. Surrounded by glorious meadows and within close proximity to attractions such as The Rock of Dunamase and the Slieve Bloom Mountains, this is a prime location for plenty of family fun. The latest addition to their much loved glamping experiences opens on July 2nd. ‘Mountain Under The Stars’ glam-site offers six quirky, luxurious grass-roofed ‘hobbit style’ accommodation each with their own picnic bench and chiminea — as with every accommodation — ensuring that social distancing is not an issue. Prices start at €399 for a two-night minimum stay; glampingunderthestars.ie. MM

Further Space, Down

 Further Space Glenarm pod site drone

Further Space Glenarm pod site drone

Further Space certainly knows how to pick a spot to set up camp — or pods! Their list of idyllic pod locations include surroundings such as The Dark Hedges at Thornfield Farm in the Antrim Glens, Lough Erne in County Fermanagh and two new locations opening in County Down this July. Set in the heart of the Mourne Mountains, Leitrim Lodge pods offer a cosy rural escape for couples and families alike, and an ideal spot for hiking lovers. Further afield, Kinelarty pods offer the same Further Space experience at the foothills of Downpatrick. All pods have an en suite, private fire pit and sleep two adults and two children. Prices start at £125 per night; further.space MM

Buckled Wheel, Tipperary

Buckled Wheel tentbox

Buckled Wheel tentbox

An excellent example of innovation and creativity, Bucked Wheel adventure trailers and roof tents are great for those looking to take to the open road without any set destination. Each Terra Hibernia trailer sleeps two comfortably and comes fully equipped with fridge, oven, grill and gas burner with a range of additional cooking and heating extras available to hire from Fethard in County Tipperary. The tent box classic is a practical and convenient way to spend the night on the road with the pop up hard shell roof tent easily assembled — all you need is a roof rack for your car — while being waterproof and insulated. Next month will see the launch of The Tent Box Lite and The Tent Box Cargo for even more choice when it comes to rooftop camping. Roof top tents are available to hire from €75 for a three-night minimum rental, with trailers starting at €196 for three-nights; buckledwheel.ie. MM

The Mountain Forge, West Cork

There is no doubt that a trip to west Cork is on every staycation list this summer with its glorious coastline and envious food scene. The Mountain Forge campsite is a mere four-minute drive from Clonakilty town, in the fishing village of Ardfield overlooking Galley Head Lighthouse, and set on over two acres of land. They have a variety of camping options from pitch sites to pods and domes with beaches such Inchydoney, Red Strand and Sandscove all within a short drive from the site. This is the ideal location for surfers and sea lovers, while nearby Rosscarberry and Clonakilty have an abundance of boutiques and shops full of character. Tent pitching starts at €20 per night with the pod at €120 and the dome at €150 per night with a minimum two-night stay for both; mountainescape.ie. MM

Lough Key Forest Park, Roscommon

Lough Key

Lough Key

If adventure and the great outdoors are your idea of heaven then a stay at Lough Key Forest Park and Activity Park is exactly what you need. The campsites picturesque setting not only has some of the finest views in Roscommon with lakeside views and scenic woodland surrounding but it also has a whole range of activities from kayaking and orienteering trails to walking and cycle trails as well as the opportunity to get the view from the trees in The Lough Key Experience. The campsite offers naturally socially distanced pitches in a woodland setting with showers, cooking facilities and onsite food truck and is a short drive off the N4 Dublin to Sligo Road. Tent pitching starts at €12 per night up to €25 for a camper van; loughkey.ie MM

Fernwood Farm, Galway

Fernwood, Galway

Fernwood, Galway

Having opened their doors in 2019 with a stunning studio accommodation that provided the escapism we all needed, Fernwood Farm has added to their offering with the newly opened Treehouse Dome. The self-contained Geodisc dome sits five metres off the woodland floor in the heart of Connemara with all the amenities to allow you to completely switch off and escape real life. Complete with private decking and wood-burning stove, this is the perfect romantic couples break away – or an ideal solo trip for those looking for complete calmness and serenity! Rates start from €160 per night at The Studio at Fernwood Farm and €200 per night at The Treehouse Dome; fernwood.eco MM

Ardmore Glamping, Waterford

Ardmore

Ardmore

Ardmore Glamping is consistently growing and adapting their offerings to guests and this summer is no different with the arrival of three new pods to the six already existing ones. Taking glamping up a notch, the new pods will sleep six people and will each have their own shower and tv. Overlooking Whiting Bay and within a short distance of many more stunning beaches — not to mention Ardmore Cliff Walk — Ardmore Glamping makes a great coastal break. Smaller pods start at €150 per night while the larger pods will start at €250 per night with a minimum two-night stay during peak season; ardmoreglampingpods.ie MM

Let’s Go Hydro, Belfast

Let's Go Hydro iglu hut bedroom

Let’s Go Hydro iglu hut bedroom

The Splashworld and Aqua Dome of our water activities youth have been taken to a new level at Let’s Go Hydro, Belfast. Depending on numbers or the level of comfort you are after, guests can choose from pitching on site with or from a range of glamping options including multiple pod options, a forest domes, houseboats or an igluhut. All are close to the activity resort where you can spend the day kayaking, swimming, wakeboarding or taking on the giant floating inflatables at the Aqua Park. Other amenities include BBQ facilities and onsite restaurants Sea Container Cafe and Pizza Boutique. Tent pitches start at £10 per night up to £200 per night for the house boats; letsgohydro.com MM

Kilbroney Caravan Park, Down

Whether you’re looking over Carlingford Lough, or wandering through the forest there are no shortage of spectacular views at Kilbroney Park. Narnia lovers will love exploring The Narnia Trail that is said to have inspired a young CS Lewis, while walkers can choose from a variety of routes through the Mourne Mountains and along Yellow Water Nature Trail. Amenities onsite include tennis courts and playgrounds while dach pitch site includes cooking and BBQ facilities as well as an onsite café. Nearby you have beach walks at Cranfield or you can day trip across the lough on the ferry to Carlingford. Kilbroney is a dog-friendly site with plenty of space for them to walk and explore once kept on a lead. Pitch site costs £25.60 per night with electric hook-up or £20.40 per night for non-electric tent spaces; visitmournemountains.co.uk. MM

Céide Glamping, Mayo

Last but not least, this site is so hot, it’s not quite at the press yet, but Céide Glamping is a fresh site set to launch this summer on Mayo’s lesser discovered northern coast. The campsite will feature six luxury self-catering glamping pods overlooking spectacular Downpatrick Head, which could make a must-stop base along your next Wild Atlantic Way advenute. Céide Glamping is hoping to open in July — once those glamping pods finally arrive all the way from Cork via Lithuania! See their social channels for more updates. TB

    Note: with all touring sites, pre-booking is essential.

For an extensive list of Fáilte Ireland approved campsites, take a look at camping-ireland.ie

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