Gone are the days where we find camping in a tent exciting.
Living in a country with weather as unpredictable as the poets on the English Leaving Certificate a tent is rarely a good idea. You’re either guaranteed to get soaked, blown away or be absolutely sweating – there’s no in between which means you’ll never have a good nights sleep. Even with a blow-up mattress, it’s rarely a comfortable affair.
When I was a teen we used to drag our tents down to the beach as often as we could, growing up by the sea had its perks. There’s nothing better than necking a few cans of Stonehouse, stinking of a bonfire and feeling the ultimate rebel for being awake so late.
Nowadays I’m a bit more classy, or at least I like to think so. My friends and I haven’t camped on the beach in Arklow in years but I have camped in some amazing places across the country, in a much more glam way that is.
Here are some of my favourite places to glamp across the Emerald Isle:
1. Aran Glamping – Inis Mor
Hop on a boat to the largest of the Aran Islands and camp on one of the most idyllic locations in the country.
There are nine pods on site that resemble ancient Clochán stone huts and overlook the stunning Galway Bay. It’s a great spot for a group of friends to get together and live it up on an island.
The Aran Islands are full of Irish culture and music so a trip to the pub for some trad and a ceilí is a must.
2. Emerald Glamping – Offaly
We bet you’ve been to Galway, Kerry and Antrim but have you actually ever stayed in Offaly?
Having a Supermacs in Barrack O’ Bama Plaza does not count.
Emerald Glamping boasts four yurts and two cabins among the flowered meadows of the heartlands.
There’s a large campfire that burns most nights at the back of the site and plenty of activities to enjoy in the area, such as cycling and kayaking. It’s ideal for hens and stags – great craic and quirky experience.
3. Finn Lough – Eniskillen
Finn Lough is one of the most incredible glamping experiences in the country and it should be on everyone’s bucket list.
These snowglobe-esque domes look like something out of a movie and they are ideal for the perfect romantic getaway. Look up at the stars as you lie in bed and take a moment to appreciate how stunning Ireland is.
You’d want to get booking ASAP because they are in high demand, for obvious reasons.
4. Podumna – Galway
These Eco pods lie in a tree-lined village landscape. They’re charming, very comfortable and make a great daytime base.
Set in the heart of Portumna Town, you’re only a stone’s throw away from the bustling nightlife and bars that Galway has to offer. Its unique position, where the Shannon enters Lough Derg and on Galway’s border with Tipperary, makes it the ideal base for exploring the wild and beautiful West.
5. Hobbit HillPod – Glencolumbkille
This amazing contemporary mountain pod was inspired by Irish archaeology. The bespoke ‘one-off’ retreat is the perfect destination for a special occasion.
The pod, located in wilderness landscape of Donegal is the ideal spot to be a Hobbit for a day and enjoy some mountain life by the sea. It’s surrounded by a secluded beach and private mountain as well as several lakes.
The round door gives this venue the Hobbit vibe but inside it’s very modern. There’s a double bed as well as a couch and desk as well as an en suite.
6. The Bee Pods – Donegal
The Bee Pods have everything you could wish for: a double bed, kitchenette, en-suite and seating area with a luxury stove for cosy evenings.
The area has outstanding natural beauty, along with panoramic views of Rossnowlagh Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.
The pods are a short stroll away from the beach, a stunning spot for a swim on a sunny day. There’s also a local surf school that offers tuition and rental boards.
7. Oak Woods – Westport
This peaceful retreat makes it the perfect location to venture into the mountains and go on a true Irish adventure.
It’s a toasty room with a small porch where you can kick back, relax and watch the world go by.
8. Birdbox – Donegal
Stay in the trees in a beautiful Gaeltacht area in Donegal.
Birdbox is a cosy, handcrafted treehouse nestled in the branches of beautiful mature oak and scots pine trees. To the front are stunning views towards Glenveagh National Park.
A short distance from The Wild Atlantic Way, The Birdbox is ideal for a fun, peaceful getaway or a great base from which to explore Donegal.
9. Moneylands Pods – Wicklow
Three private pods have just popped up on Moneylands Farm near Arklow, Co. Wicklow.
The pods include a stunning bedroom with a sea view, a little kitchenette and a bathroom. It’s in the middle of nowhere, there’s no one beside you, no one above you, no one beneath you – it can be your own haven of relaxation with no disturbances.
They also include a mini deck if you want to kick up your feet outside and get some of that fresh country air into your lungs.
10. Cozy City Treehouse Retreat – Kilkenny
Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the ideal spot for a relaxing break away from reality.
It’s a cosy little place with just a few chairs and tables and a bed upstairs. Even though it’s a simple plan inside, the room really does have character with lots of quirky art on the walls.
If you’re hoping to do some sightseeing during the day, the town is only about a ten minute walk from the treehouse.
It’s warm inside, it’s insulated and has two radiators and a fireplace to perch yourself beside in the evenings.
Just sounds like the dream really, the perfect mixture between rural and urban.