Camping in Donard, Co Wicklow

The following weekend we headed, this time to the East side of Ireland, Donard in Co Wicklow to be precise. I had originally called a different campsite but they were all booked up and they kindly gave us Nuala’s number and thankfully they had space.

Note: at this time of year I would definitely call and pre-book, my experience so far has been campsites are pretty full each weekend.

This time we were trying out our new tent, for the previous two trips we had been using our campervan awning, just to see if we liked camping before investing in a tent (see a picture of it here in my previous post). Whilst it was ok as a temporary solution, it was very big and bulky, with not the best space layout. After all it was designed to go with our now long gone campervan.

After a lot of research and looking at the new inflatable tents, we finally decided on the Urban Escape 4 man tent, the reviews were great, and as an added bonus it just happened to be on sale. See the link to the tent here http://www.halfords.ie/camping-leisure/camping/tents/urban-escape-4-man-tunnel-tent

It had a few of the requirements we wanted in a tent, a sewn in ground sheet, enough room to stand up in, separate rooms, one to sleep in and one to store stuff away, or for more people to sleep in. It folded up very compactly and is suitable for heavy rain. All boxes ticked.

For our first outing in the tent it was just brilliant, easy to put up, really comfortable to be in, it was like glamping more than camping, and the little Missy sidekick loved all the space.

The campsite itself was pretty good, having all the facilities, such as kitchen, toilets & showers, as well as a small living room and laundry room.

Our cost for this campsite was €23.00 and this included an electric hook-up, not all campsites allow hook-ups with tents so this was an added bonus. Again they also accept dogs with the same ground rules as the previous site.

To book call Nuala at 045 404727. Details online can be found here http://www.camping-ireland.ie/parks/wicklow/moat-farm-caravan-camping-park

Happy Pear Stop Over

One of the reasons I chose the East side of Ireland to visit, was because, I had on my to do list – ‘visit the Happy Pear’s new restaurant in Clondalkin’. Being a vegan I always try to visit and support as many vegan places to eat as possible, earlier in the year we made a day trip from Galway to visit their restaurant in Greystones just for lunch.

That was a crazy, what will we do? Sunday morning conversation that ended with us piling the dogs into the car and three hours plus later we were walking on the beach in Greystones.

I again had the Budda bowl there, and Alan had the vegan burger whilst sitting in the sun with little Missy. Yummy, and definitely worth the visit!!!

Wicklow Gap & Glendalough Monastic City & Mines

After the tent and camp stuff was all set up we decided on a drive through the Wicklow Gap to Glendalough, to visit the Monastic City.

It took us roughly 40 minutes to get to Glendalough from the campsite, going through Hollywood and landing at the car park at the Glendalough visitors centre. http://www.glendalough.ie

From the visitors centre there are loads of walks outlined for different levels of fitness, plus the Monastic City is just a short walking distance away.

On this occasion, as it was quite late, we decided just to visit the Monastic City and then drive back, stopping at the ruins of the Glendalough Mines and the viewing point in the Wicklow Gap. Definitely a short weekend away was not enough time to see this area or plan one of our walks.

Monastic City at Glendalough pic by Alan

Russborough House & Parklands Blessington Co Wicklow

After a peaceful sleep and very slow morning, we packed up and left the campsite for twelve noon, deciding to visit Russborough House on the way back to Blessington. The house itself is lovely, as are the grounds, and quite busy with young families visiting the children’s playground and Maze. http://www.russborough.ie

We just stayed for coffee and I must say we did not have a great experience in the coffee shop there.

Obviously being vegan, I just take for granted that there are many places I can’t eat, and, as this is a self-imposed choice, then that’s fine.

Usually we just ask about ingredients and most places are really helpful. On this occasion I spotted they had vegetable soup, so Alan asked if there was cream in it? To be greeted with a curt “I don’t know, I would need to ring up head office to find out”, a few seconds later followed by, “do you really want me to do that?” We said no, it’s ok and left.

It’s a pity, as all it takes is for one person to leave a bad impression on a wonderful place and what would have been a lovely visit, which we cut short.

On our drive back to Galway, our next camping trip was being hatched. Roll on the weekend.

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