Ireland the myths and the reality

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by jimiol, May 3, 2016.

  1. jimiol

    jimiol Funster

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    Hi all as a Cornishman, motorhome owner who now owns a small campsite in Doonbeg, Clare, Ireland.
    I thought I might be able to assist people who are thinking of touring Ireland.

    Firstly, the Ferry across the Irish Sea is bloody expensive, no matter which route or company you chose.
    But at present the exchange rate helps when you get here. Diesel is well under £1 a litre. Pint of Guinness in my local(s) £3.10. Meals out are usually very good quality and priced about the same as the UK.

    It rains here, a lot, but there is also some of the best sunsets I have ever seen here on the West Coast.
    The Wild Atlantic Way is the longest Coastal Road in the World, according to the Irish Tourist Board.

    The Roads, I would say in the main the surface is better than the UK but there are a lot of "L" roads L followed by 4 letters these are often very narrow and it is not un common to have grass growing in the centre of these.

    The People are laid-back, friendly and helpful.
    Wild camping is possible in Most Counties but equally there are lots of height barriers to stop travellers setting up.

    There is similar forum to this one which lists all the wild camping spots and has a downloadable map.
    Replace Fun with Craic for more info.

    Campsites here are not as common as the UK by common I mean there are not as many. Several Touring sites are actually a bolt on to a static site.

    Others have said about being able to empty cassettes and getting water being relatively easy. Rubbish is more of a problem as in Ireland Domestic and Commercial rubbish disposal is expensive hence there are very few bins and the ones that you will find are purposely very small.

    My own opinion Ireland is one place you'll love or hate it. The Coastline and Countryside is fantastic.

    Regards Jamie from Strand Camping Doonbeg.
     
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  2. jimiol

    jimiol Funster

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    Some more information. There is a scheme called safe nights, where people pay approx £10 and you get a list of places to stay which costs €10 or less. Never used it myself and I have heard some good and bad things about the scheme.

    There are a few hard copy guides for campsites in Ireland, the official one from the Irish Tourist Board but many campsites do not feature in this guide as it costs €2000 per annum to be in the guide so it is not viable. There is another guide referred to as the Green Guide after the owner of a campsite Charles Green who created the guide. This guide also has a website http://www.caravanandcampingireland.com/ it is a useful guide but does not list prices.

    Britstops now includes Ireland.

    If you are coming over here give yourself either plenty of time or do not plan to cover a huge amount of miles it simply does not work like that here. We have met plenty who have arrived here with the list of places to go and things to see who are missing the point and the best bits.

    Ireland's pubs are not in the main dog friendly as dogs are not allowed in areas where food is served, so a large majority of pubs do not allow dogs. Town and Village pubs in many cases started off as a family home or another business that also sold alcohol and compared to the UK there are less pubs that have outdoor seating areas or beer gardens.

    Ireland relies heavily on tourism and the people here respect that and therefore people genuinely appreciate tourists, not all but most.

    If you are planning on staying on a campsite have a good look around before you pay or agree to stay as standards vary considerably.

    Many pubs, restaurants, tourist attractions and even hotels and B&Bs will let you stay on their land, just ask first.

    Gas, different fitting here to the UK so bring plenty as you might have to get a new regulator and or bottle if you run out here. LPG is available but not widely so if you have an LPG tank or refillable bottles find out where you can fill up and plan accordingly.

    There are few Toll roads here, not many but a few and a Motorhome is charged at a car rate usually €1.90 and pay at a booth but around Dublin it is more expensive and there are no booths so it is best to pay online. There are less motorways/bypasses and to get from a to b will often involve going through the centre of towns and villages.

    It is the law here to wave at other motorhome users and other vehicle drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, horses and cattle. Be prepared for RSI. a half an hour walk will take 60 minutes if you see anyone local as they will invariably want to chat, usually about the weather.

    Food and alcohol in shops here is more expensive than the UK as a whole but as I said pubs and restaurants are on par. If you are poured a pint of Guinness in less than a minute it will not be very good, it can take a bar person 5 minutes to pour a Guinness I think one of the reasons is so that you really want it by the time you eventually get it.

    Ireland is the host of many festivals, not just music, most towns and villages have at least one festival a year so if you have a route in mind you might want to contacts the County Tourist Office and ask about events in the area. Many Festivals are free.

    Finally one last bit of advice, the word Yolk is used to describe anything,,,,, That's a great yolk referring to your motorhome,
    to pass us that yolk a hammer.

    If you are coming to County Clare and you are in the area pop in and say hello. I can also advise on some good wild camping spots in the area.

    Regards Jamie
     
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  3. Adbt

    Adbt Funster

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    Many thanks for the info , nearly took the plunge and visited last September but in all honesty the cost of the ferry put us off and the lure of Spanish sunshine was too strong to resist in the end !
     
  4. jimiol

    jimiol Funster

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    I do understand your rationale. I can't understand why I can go from Rosslare in Ireland to Cherbourg France 18 hour crossing for the same price as Rosslare to Wales 4 Hr crossing.
    And the biggest advantage to owning a campsite in Ireland is that we close for the winter and then we take our van to Spain and Portugal for the winter sun.

    That said if you can get over the ferry price Ireland is a lovely country,
     
  5. jimiol

    jimiol Funster

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    Yolk should be Yoke.
     
  6. scotzsue

    scotzsue Funster

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    We went to Ireland last year, used the NEC offer for ferry and reduced campsite fees, ferry was £99 each way no matter what size of van, dogs were extra, friends took their's we don't have one. Only went for 2 weeks, wished we had booked for longer, we will if we catch the offer again.
     
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  7. My Dog Likes Fishing

    My Dog Likes Fishing Funster Life Member

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    Useful information thanks.
     
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