Our thoughts after touring Ireland in 2019…
The people you meet touring Ireland make it a great destination. Walking into a tiny pub in a remote village, ordering a Guinness and engaging with the fellow up the bar or perhaps the publican. Everyone has a cousin or perhaps a neighbour’s son, who is laying bricks in Melbourne. Then there’s the local knowledge, if you want some advice on where to go or what to see, the pubs the place.
The scenery along the Wild Atlantic Way is everything, perhaps even more than you imagine. Wild beaches, green this and that, castle ruins, tiny villages some excellent walks. Don’t forget Dublin, Cork and Belfast.
Keep in mind you don’t tour Ireland for the weather, so be prepared. We thought Northern Ireland and Belfast a real eye opener.
We thought the roads in Ireland were awful. The tollway or freeways were fine, however they really only link Dublin to Cork. The Wild Atlantic Way is in reality the Wild Irish Road, often narrow, the road surface delaminating and the sudden areas of subsidence, that will without warning turn the contents of the cupboards upside down.
Whilst the Irish strategy of having no public rubbish bins and numerous signs stating ‘Take your rubbish home with you’, may work for the local authorities perspective. It problematic from a motorhome point of view. We spend a lot of time stuffing rubbish into service station bins.
Motorhome service facilities are few and far between. You learn to make do as you get the feel for Ireland. It would appear most Irish motorhomers are regular campsite users and perhaps less likely to wildcamp. Generally speaking diesel, alcohol and entertainment in Ireland is expensive. Certainly when compared to Spain and Portugal, which we also toured in 2019.
We wildcamped throughout Ireland. Thanks to the usual apps and the Facebook site ‘Motorhome Locations Ireland’. During our 5 week stay, we only paid to stay once. In Milltown Malbay for €10. We paid the required tariffs in car-parks or P+R but overnight it was negligible. There are few ‘no overnight parking’ signs.
The fact the Irish drive on the left hand side of the road makes for an easy transition from the roads in the UK or Australia.
Tourism or over tourism is probably Ireland great threat at the moment. Tourist coaches dominate the narrow roads of the south-west particularly the peninsulas such as the Ring of Kerry.
The lack of service facilities and rubbish bins can lead to less experienced motorhomers being irresponsible and giving us all a bad name. Whilst we had good weather during our tour in June/July, friends who toured Ireland in July/August had lots of wet weather and cold days.
Anyway we had a fabulous 5 weeks in Ireland…