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.
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 €31 per night; rushinhouse.com
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
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
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
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