Call me crazy but I recently went on a camping holiday in Killarney with my partner and 2 kiddies, ages 6 and 18 months. An adventure to say the least! We packed up the car with a new tent, borrowed air beds and sleeping bags, and crossed our fingers that the next 3 nights wouldn’t be awful. As a gift, my partner had received a night in the Gleneagle Hotel so we used this on our final night, as a lil’ treat for surviving the camping!
We arrived at our campsite on Friday full of optimism and set up our tent, only to realise I’d forgotten to pack one of the sleeping bags, and we had no pillows! Off to go ol’ Primark and the army surplus store, where we also had to buy 2 tiny porcelain dolls, as you do!
The first night we had dinner in a nearby hotel and retreated to our tent. The baby had other ideas and found the bounce of the airbeds too good to resist! We all had a good laugh at him wobbling about until eventually he fell asleep in the corner. It was a cold first night with lots of rain and frankly I couldn’t wait for morning. At least the kids seemed to sleep well!
On Saturday, we were up at 6.30 am and after coffee and breakfast, headed for Dingle, excited to visit Oceanworld Aquarium. It didn’t disappoint, we were all enthralled by the beautiful sea life, especially the sand tiger sharks and Molly the sea turtle.
Night 2 in the tent and we decided to cover it in a tarp to protect us from the elements [weather]. However, during the night the heat proved too much and we had to open the door!
On Sunday, we headed to the small village of Kilflynn near Tralee for the Kilflynn Enchanted Fairy Festival, and my goodness was it enchanting. There was a 2km fairy trail dotted with fairy houses, wishing wells, unicorns and even some fairies going about their business! We did get slightly rained on but not enough to dampen our spirits, we left Kilflynn true believers in fairy magic.
On to night 3, our last night in the tent. We had temperature sorted, tarp on, door open, bug net on( keep out the spiders please!!) So we all climbed in and hunkered down for one last sleep!
Sunday morning we awoke to the best weather we’d had all weekend so after breakfast (and lots of coffee) we packed up the tent and made our way to the Killarney National Park and more specifically the beautiful Torc Waterfalls. It was just a short walk up a lovely trail and simply breathtaking. It’s so great to see nature in all its unspoiled glory. After the waterfall we moved on to Muckross House all found on the Ring of Kerry, to visit Muckross House Gardens & Traditional Farms. This was the part of our trip I was most excited about and it surpassed my expectations. You go on a journey through the ages as you wander the pathways of a world gone by. Along the way you meet locals only too happy to divulge secrets of the time and share culinary delights, we enjoyed sampling the soda bread and griddle bread, all with lashings of freshly churned butter. There were plenty of animals to make friends with including hens, goats, sheep, pigs and even two adorable puppies. Safe to say we will all have fond memories of Muckross gardens and farm.
Lastly, we visited Ross Castle where we fed the ducks, albeit hastily as the baby was in no form for their quacking!
Now for the not so smooth sailing bits of our camping experience, our tent was super cheap and so it didn’t deal well with condensation, which ran down the insides of the tent and made them wet. Cue fast exit in the morning to stop the baby getting soaked from sitting against it!
Also, trying to entertain two small kiddies in a tent between dinner and bedtime was tricky! There’s only so much time you can waste in a restaurant, Eddie Rockets became our home away from home! And a delicious stop for a good fresh tasting burger.
All in all, it was a great weekend full of adventure and lessons learnt but we were glad of the little bit of luxury that waited for us on our last day of our family trip. A good splash in the hotel pool and a night in a comfy bed before we came home didn’t do us any harm! All in perfect balance I always say!
Hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures,and it encourages you to have your own adventure even with small children and not so perfect weather, explore and get out there everyday. Never lose that adventurous spirit and curiosity that we have as children to discover new things, places. It’s in these moments that we create long-lasting memories.
For another fabulous family camping trip check out the wonderful Glamping site Top of the Rock situated in the beautiful town of Drimoleague. It is a little fancier than a tent, as you get a beautiful wooden pod all to yourself and your family. There are great camping facilities for use by all the campers to include a communal indoor activity centre, lovely bathrooms, a bon fire for roasting marshmallows and reading by the fire and a lovely communal kitchen for cooking up your daily meals and meeting some of the other guests. Pets are even welcome. We will post our experience and a bit more on this in an upcoming post. But in the meantime, click here or check out You Tube video linked below to see more about the lovely family run Glamping site located in the “Heart of West Cork”.