This piece is from issue two of Go Wild Magazine.
For glampers and podders, camping no longer has to involve scrimping on comfort. You can enjoy the best of both worlds. We round up some of the best podding and glamping options along the Wild Atlantic Way to hopefully convert you
Grove Lane Glamping
Whether it’s a family affair or romance that you are after, Grove Lane Glamping was designed for those interested in an adventure-type break, but without compromising on home comforts. The luxurious bell tents lie in a countryside setting, yet less than a mile from Killarney. Shabby chic is the call of the day here with ‘real’ beds, gas stove heaters, coir carpet and just so that you feel right at home, each tent has its own private outdoor sheltered kitchen stocked with everything from tea towels to marshmallows to toast over your own fire pit. The site offers complete tranquility and you’re unlikely to bump into any neighbours – with the exception of the local heron, pheasants, deer and otters on the nearby riverbank. Horse enthusiasts will be happy to neigh to the local horses. There are electrical sockets in the kitchen and solar lights and cool boxes to keep the wine chilled ahead of evenings spent looking up at the stars. Bathroom and washing facilities are within metres of each tent and for those who may not be willing to give up their creature comforts entirely, Grove Lane offers a two night break where to ease you into the glamping world, you can stay at the four star Randles Hotel and Spa on night one, inclusive of gourmet breakfast before embarking on your glamping adventure.
With a fully-catered glamping experience, glamping at Ballyvolane in Cork is ideal for those who like the idea of camping, but are not willing to forgo their home comforts. Situated on the grounds of the luxurious Ballyvolane House, experience a turn-down service in the evening with hot water bottles and romantic lanterns. After a cosy sleep in the comfort of your yurt or ‘arc’, enjoy a home-cooked breakfast the following morning. And if eating beans out of a can doesn’t float your boat, pop into Ballyvolane House for dinner which is eaten ‘house-party’ style around a large dining table at eight o’clock nightly. The food here is taken seriously, with a four-course set menu featuring locally foraged ingredients, eggs from the on-site farm and vegetables from the hotel garden. For those who are not fans of communal dining, you can request your own table. Ballyvolane is child-friendly and this extends to its Children’s High Tea daily at 5.30pm and the procession of children helping to feed the pigs and collect the eggs every morning, while for grown-ups who fancy a break from the little ones, a local babysitter is available.
Activities on-site include tennis, badminton, croquet, fishing, swimming and trampolining. There are also beautiful woods to explore, vast gardens to get lost in, donkeys to pet and five very friendly dogs to be entertained. Canoe and foraging trips are also available. Another option is a tin can caravan, which caters for two people and also includes breakfast. And the biggest winner? Breakfast is served until noon daily, ensuring you get plenty of shuteye. fballyvolane.ie
With choices to sleep in a tree house, a luxury yurt or cute country cottage, there is something to suit all tastes at Teapot Lane. Situated on the border of Sligo and Leitrim, a holiday here can be what you make it – for those seeking a romantic break, read a book in a hammock or sip wine by the campfire, or if it’s activities you’re after, opt to horse ride or take surf lessons on the Atlantic coast. From the Ladybird, Honey Bee or Willow Yurt, each is a hand-crafted round tent and inside you’ll find king size beds with good quality bed linen and a wood burning stove – ideal for a natural eco-friendly break.
In 2013, Teapot Lane built what is Ireland’s first proper tree house rental – a tree house set nine foot above the woodlands with a real tree coming through the deck, kitchen and window seats which are ideal for bird watching and its very own wine fridge. The tree house sleeps two to three people and is suitable for children over the age of six. There’s also a vintage caravan and a cottage onsite for the less adventurous, and if you’re in need of a little pampering, the on-site spa prides itself on its holistic treatments. Furry friends are welcome at Teapot Lane, which is pet friendly. The site caters for events and special occasions and its Fairie Garden is ideal to spark the imaginations of little ones, while the local hens provide hours of entertainment, in addition to freshly laid eggs each morning. The site is self-catering only, but contains a fully equipped kitchen, as well as portable bbqs and onsite showers and toilets.For the more adventurous souls, there are composting toilets in line with the environmentally-friendly ethos at the site.
For those who really want to get away from it all, Portsalon Glamping in North Donegal promises tranquility surrounded by breathtaking scenery. The five yurts feature luxurious king sized beds, cosy interiors and wood burning stoves to keep the cold away. Situated close to the quaint village of Portsalon and a three-mile long sandy beach that boasts a blue flag for clean water, there is no shortage of activities for those who like an active break.
The site’s largest yurt, Mulroy, has disability access, power sockets, electric lighting and is situated in its own two-acre field with stunning views of Knockalla Mountain, Ballymastocker Beach and Mulroy Bay – perfect for those keen on watching the sunset or sunrise. The yurt is furnished with a comfortable king sized bed, a sofa bed and a double airbed, as well as bedside cabinets. For those seeking complete privacy, Dunree offers fantastic views of the Inishowen Peninsula, Lough Swilly, Fort Dunree and Dunree Lighthouse. Inside the yurt is a wood burning stove, a king sized bed and a sofa bed which sleeps two adults and two children. Dunree is just a stone’s throw from an organic garden and chicken run. fdonegalglamping.ie
Set in the heart of Erris on Claggan Island in County Mayo, Belmullet Coast Guard Station is all about luxury glamping, with stunning views of Achill and the Atlantic Ocean. The site can be rented out as a whole for get togethers, or individually for couples or families seeking a break away. Each luxury pod can sleep up to four adults and offers a light and airy space with elegant wood finish, comfy couches and beds with fresh and crispy bed linen. For that extra touch of luxury (wait for it!), each pod has its own toilet and wash hand basin and a converted barn contains a kitchen and shower area. For al fresco dining, the site has an outdoor area where you can sip on a glass of chilled wine and watch the sun set.
Claggan Island (Oileán Chloigeann) is Mayo’s newest island – it was officially declared an island in 1991.With a population of just eight people and one of the Mayo Discovery Points on the Wild Atlantic Way, the island is linked to the mainland by a narrow, sandy causeway that divides Trawmore Bay from Blacksod Bay and is circled by beautiful sandy beaches in every direction. The site offers plenty of activities and for those seeking to simply take in the sights, a walk around the north side of the island is a must to spot seals and otters. For those who want to be closer to nature, tents can be pitched beside the pods for an additional fee. fbelmulletcgs.com
Set in the historic Blake’s Estate, Galway Glamping is located 25 minutes from Galway city on an 11-acre site along the banks of the Abbert River in a special area of conservation. Guests can choose to stay in yurts, cabins or dormitory style accommodation, miles from the hustle and bustle of daily life in the peaceful grounds of Brooklodge. With yurts in a courtyard, each one can sleep either two or four people at a time and have a luxury interior. There are four cabins on site and each has its own deck area for those wishing to sit out and enjoy the views. On-site facilities include a kitchen, washing facilities and bbqs. As the site is located on the banks of a river, it attracts lots of fishing enthusiasts, while yogis looking to perfect their pose can take one of the site’s yoga classes. Hen party offerings include angel card reading, horse riding, cupcake decorating, millinery and cocktail making. The site can hold weddings and special events – it’s anything goes in this eco friendly site. fgalwayglamping.com