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Roadtrip Northern Ireland and Ireland

Roadtrip Northern Ireland and Ireland

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Posted Sat 14 Apr 2018 6:32 PM
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Group: Community Member Last Active: Wed 18 Apr 2018 8:23 PM Visits: 28
This summer, me and my family (husband, daughter (13) and son (9)) are going on a roadtrip by campervan through Northern Ireland and Ireland for 16 days. We planned a nice trip however, we are  wondering whether it is not a bit too much....
On our way, of course we will enjoy the views and make several stops but there are a few things we want to do/see for sure. This is our big plan:

Day 1: arrival at Belfast airport and go to Cushendun Caravan Park
Day 2: sightseeing underway to Ballyness Caravan Park (Cushendun Caves, Glenariff Forest Park, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Dark Hedges)
Day 3: stay another day at Ballyness Caravan Park, sightseeing Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Whiterocks beach, Bushmills Distillery
Day 4: on the way to Killybegs Holiday Park, see the Mussenden Temple
Day 5: go to Teelin Pier for a boattrip (Slieve League) and go to Lough Melvin Holiday Centre
Day 6: after a morning of fishing, go to Belleek Caravan Park
Day 7: go to Clifden ecoBeach Park, maybe do some climbing at Croagh Patrick underway
Day 8: go to Galway city and later that day end up at Nagles Caravan Park (for 2 nights), enjoy the scenery of Cliffs of Moher
Day 9: short walk the Burren and in the afternoon visit Aran Island Inisheer
Day 10: ferry to Tarbert, go to Glenross Caravan Park
Day 11: go through Killarney National Park (Torc Waterfall and Moll's Gap) to Kenmare Camping
Day 12: go to Dursey Island by cable car and at the end of the day, go to Eagle Point Camping
Day 13: go to Limerick for some gift shopping and go to Stonepark Caravan Park
Day 14: go to Lough Ramor Caravan Park for some fishing, swimming
Day 15: go to Fair Acres Campsite (clean up the campervan)
Day 16: return campervan around 2 p.m. fly back to Amsterdam

Most important question: is this a realistic road trip considering we have a campervan with a length 6.47m, a width 2.30m and height 3.15m.
Secondly, we travel the last week of July, first week of August. Should we make reservations at the campsites beforehand? In that case, we must stick to this particular route. Or can we go without making prior arrangements.
Is it even safe to just park your campervan somewhere overnight.

Can anyone give us some advice on our plans?
Cheers,
Christa

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Posted Sun 15 Apr 2018 10:34 AM
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Island of Ireland
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Hallo Christa en welkom op ons forum!

Wow, you are very organised - this is excellent.  It really looks like you are planning to explore a tremendous amount of our wee island, which is also the perfect opportunity to discover some of the beautiful spots we have to offer here on the Emerald Isle.

To start at the end, I would advise you to contact the camping sites you have on your list beforehand to make sure that they are able to accommodate campervans. Most will be able to do so without any problem, but they will be able to advise you on anything that you need to keep in mind when travelling there. As you will be traveling during peak travel season in Ireland, I would strongly advise you to book in advance as this will provide you peace of mind. Camping Ireland is a great site to check the facilities for each camping that you are planning to visit.

Do take time to enjoy the areas well and take in the atmosphere.  If this is your first visit to Ireland, you may find many things along the way that catch your attention and The Wild Atlantic Way has some wonderful gems and you might like to see if there are any places along your route that you would like to see.

I gather you enjoy a spot of fishing, we have some great info on fishing in Ireland as well for you.

I will leave it to our other community members to add any other recommendations on your itinerary and things to do along the way!

Heel veel plezier,
Cornelia

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Posted Mon 16 Apr 2018 10:28 AM
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Ireland
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Hi Christa,
Wow you are really doing a lot of travelling when you are here.  If you ask me honestly I think you are trying to fit in too much and will spend most of your time moving around.  To really enjoy Ireland you need to take your time and get out and about.  I think you should try and stay more than 1 night in some sites and tour around from there.

You will be travelling at a very busy time in Ireland and we have a Bank Holiday weekend 3rd to 6th August so sites will be very busy and some may even insist on 3 night bookings.  We recommend that at all times you stay on only approved sites as these have been inspected and graded.  I think it would be wise to pre-book some of the sites before you arrive particularly those in areas that you really want to visit. 

On our website we have blogs on touring routes around Ireland particularly for people travelling with motorhomes or caravans.  I would recommend you look at these.  Follow this link - http://www.camping-ireland.ie/blog

I hope you have a great trip around Ireland and if you need further information or advice please don't hesitate to contact me.

Regards

Aideen
Camping Ireland

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Posted Mon 16 Apr 2018 11:09 AM
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Northern Ireland
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Dear Christa,

You have done an impressive amount of research already on your forthcoming trip to Northern Ireland and Ireland!  I see that you plan to spend 3-4 days in the Causeway Coast and Glens at the beginning of your journey.  Your itinerary has listed many of the highlights in the area and I think the amount of time allotted to seeing them is very realistic.  Whilst staying at Ballyness Caravan Park on day 2/3 you may find that it would be easier for you to leave the campervan at the site and use the services of the 172/402 Causeway Rambler Bus.  This is a hop-on, hop-off bus service that goes to Dunluce Castle, the Giant's Causeway, Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge and Coleraine.  You can look up the service at: www.translink.co.uk  

If you enjoy walking there is a great trek along the cliff path from the Giant' Causeway to Dunseverick Castle.  The path is good and the views are amazing along this 5 mile stretch of coastline. This is an off road walk and is a great way to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety. 

I would also recommend booking the caravan sites in advance, as the last week in July is a very popular time for holiday makers here.  I shouldn't think you will have any problems travelling your proposed route in your campervan.  The A2 road, which is called the Causeway Coastal Route in this area, is suitable for such vehicles.  There is a scenic drive signposted off the Causeway Coastal Route going from Cushendun to Ballycastle.  It is called the Torr Road (B92) and I think it may not be suitable for your campervan, so best to keep to the A2.

For information about the Causeway Coast and Glens' attractions and activities please visit: www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.gov.uk 

I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday!
Anne

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Posted Mon 16 Apr 2018 4:59 PM
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Northern Ireland
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Dear Christa,
You have certainly been doing a lot of organising for this holiday. It’s a great itinerary and you have a lot included in it. I am sure you would like to pack as much as possible into it but you are not giving yourself much time at each location. I just wonder would you be a bit rushed and not be able to take in all the wonderful sites etc.
Really if you had the time I would suggest a visit to Armagh. Armagh is really central and the furthest Northern Ireland County is only one and a half hours drive away. It is known as the Orchard County and towards the north of the county there are lots of apple orchards covered with rows of Bramley apples. In early May the orchards are in full bloom with white and pink blossom that last for only a short while.
As you approach Armagh, you’ll notice its most distinctive landmarks right away. From opposite hills, two striking cathedrals face each other across a valley, both honouring St Patrick. Saint Patrick’s Church Of Ireland Cathedral and Saint Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.
Also in Armagh, a visit to The Navan Centre & Fort is a must. The Navan Centre & Fort is located just 2 miles outside the ancient Cathedral City of Armagh and provides interpretation of one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites, the legendary ‘Emain Macha’, otherwise called Navan Fort.

Within our Borough are two other great places to visit, Craigavon and Banbridge.
In Banbridge Ferguson’s Irish Linen. It was established in 1854, and they are widely recognised as being the finest of Irish Weavers.

The F E McWilliam Gallery and Studio in Banbridge is dedicated to the memory of sculptor Frederick Edward McWilliam, one of Ireland’s most influential and successful artists. Featuring a permanent display of McWilliam’s work, temporary exhibitions of Irish and international art, a craft shop, café and Banbridge Tourist Information Centre.

In the Craigavon area is Brownlow House, Lurgan’s grandest secular building erected by Charles Brownlow. A special feature there is the World War II exhibition.
Also in the Craigavon area is Ballydougan Pottery. Watch the master craftsmen at work in the Pottery workshops where you too can take a turn on the potter’s wheel and be creative. Meander around the Gift Shop or sit in the courtyard garden and enjoy a freshly made cappuccino from their Restaurant & Coffee Shop.
A visit to Kinnego Marina, the largest marina on Lough Neagh. Situated by the Oxford Island National Nature Reserve it also has a fully serviced caravan park.
Explore the sublime beauty of Oxford Island – a designated National Nature Reserve situated on the peninsula in the southern shores of Lough Neagh.

Finally follow the Saint Patrick’s Trail through a host of Christian sites at Bangor, the Ards Peninsula, Downpatrick, Newry and Armagh to uncover just how strong Northern Ireland’s links are with this patron saint. The 92-mile linear driving route links 15 key sites, all identified as having some connection to his life, legacy or landscape – they are all just waiting to be explored https://visitarmagh.com/trails/drive-st-patricks-trail/

There are so many wonderful and special things /to experience that I have only mentioned a few. All information can be viewed on https://visitarmagh.com/

July and August are really popular times for holidays and you really should make reservations at the campsites beforehand.

If you do get time to visit Armagh Christa, do call into Armagh Visitor Information Centre and the staff will be delighted to help with any enquiries you may have.
Kind regards, Marion

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Posted Wed 18 Apr 2018 3:44 PM
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Northern Ireland
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Dear Christa,
This looks like a wonderful roadtrip! It will indeed be a very busy period, especially along the Causeway Coast.
If you'd like to cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and to avoid disappointment, we would advise you to go early morning to get your tickets for the day, as they are timed.

Kind regards and have a wonderful trip!
Kind regards
Visit Belfast





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Posted Wed 18 Apr 2018 5:52 PM
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Northern Ireland
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Hi Christa

Wow that is a great itinerary.  You are going to have a great time.  We would recommend booking with ourselves, as July and August do get quite busy.  You can give us a ring on +44 28 2073 2393 or email info@ballynesscaravanpark.com 
The Causeway Rambler bus 402a calls at the park on its way to the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and also goes the other way to Dunluce Castle, Portrush and Coleraine.  We would recommend doing it for 2 days (one day each way).  It is a hop on hop off bus so you can get off at Giant's Causeway walk along the cliff path to Dunserverick Castle and back on the bus to Carrick-a-rede bridge (or visa versa)  We do recommend booking tickets for the rope bridge which you can do online with National Trust https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/carrick-a-rede.
Looking forward to seeing you in July
Olive
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Posted Tue 25 Sep 2018 1:06 PM
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Hi Christa,

How was your trip this summer? :) We hope you got to benefit from the amazing weather over the month of July, and got to visit all of the destinations on your itinerary. 

If you're ever interested in sharing your adventures, please feel free to do so on our Tell Your Story section. We're sure our other members would love to read all about your road trip! 

Vriendelijke groeten, 

Melin

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