Wednesday saw us say goodbye to Wavecrest campsite and head over to campsite number 4 on the list which was supposed to be Garrettstown, Kinsale however we changed tack and decided to head for Dunmore East Holiday Park instead. Ever since we got the 2017 Ireland Camping Guide booklet from Galey Bay campsite (our first stop) we have been in two minds whether to go to Garrettstown campsite or not, and this indecisiveness has shown that we are not fully committed to the site. Since we haven’t pre-booked and paid for the site (thank god) we are free to go somewhere else, and this is what we decided to do.
The better half thought two long journeys of 6 hours or so close together would be a bit stupid so we decided to head over close to Rosslare and spend a few days in that area. The journey from Wavecrest campsite, County Kerry to Dunmore East Holiday Park, County Waterford took around 6 hours and it was a journey less than 200 miles. The journey did involve finishing off the Ring of Kerry as well as other slower roads, but the extra time behind the wheel was well worth it for the views. If you’re interested in reading about the journey (which I thought deserved its own post) you can read about it here.
When we reached Dunmore East getting to the campsite was a bit of a faff, but we eventually found it and got a pitch. After the views of Galey Bay campsite, Nagles campsite and Wavecrest campsite I have to admit Dunmore East was a huge comedown but then we had been spoiled up until now. All in all the campsite at Dunmore East wasn’t too bad, and the campsite had a nice vibe about it. Because of the time it took to get to Dunmore East campsite we didn’t have much time to go and explore so we spent the rest of the day in the van, in the dry, chilling out.
The following day was cloudy, but dry so it gave the perfect opportunity to head off in to the village and see what Dunmore East had to offer. Going to Dunmore East was an off the cuff decision and I didn’t get a chance to research the place, therefore I had no clue about how big the village was, what there was to do, what the “must see” places were or anything. With no ideas what to expect we donned the hiking boots and went off to explore.
"And this is what confronted us on our walk"
Dunmore East is very small however there is loads to do and see, which surprised me somewhat, and we managed to spend around three hours – which for us is pretty good. Starting at the harbor, we worked our way back towards the campsite stopping off at every cove on the way, having a stroll through the park to admire the flowers and also stop at Bay Café for a quick drink and to wind up the sparrows. If you want to read a detailed account of our trip around Dunmore East (which I thought deserved its own post) you can do so here. If you want to see some photos of Dunmore East you can do so in my “gallery of Dunmore East”. I have to say this little village surprised me and we definitely struck it lucky choosing this site. The decision could have been a disaster, fortunately it wasn’t.
"A short slide show of Dunmore East - It really is a great village"
With the second night over at Dunmore East it was time for the short journey (about an hour) over to the final campsite of our tour and the final overnight stop at Carne Beach Holiday Park. The drive from Dunmore East to Carne Beach was pretty uneventful in all respects. The scenery, whilst pleasant, wasn’t spectacular but then given the sights we had seen during our Irish adventure this didn’t matter too much. In some ways it was nice just to get behind the wheel and drive without rubber necking at the scenery and trying to take it all in.
Arriving at Carne Beach Holiday Park I instantly knew it was not my kind of campsite. The site is huge and is a static caravan site with a field out the back for tourers. We only needed it for one night, as the stop over point for the ferry back to Blighty so I wasn’t overly concerned about the site.
"The last night at Carne Beach Holiday Park"
We had managed to pack a lot in during our Irish adventure and since it had effectively come to an end we decided to stay in the van for the last afternoon and not venture out. As the afternoon turned to evening the locals started arriving for the weekend and the field rapidly filled up. All of a sudden there were loads (and I mean loads) of kids running around, screaming and yelling, riding bikes and kicking balls etc. Our peaceful day changed in an instant. The kids were running riot until gone 11.00 pm and the parents (of which there didn’t seem to be many for the number of kids running around) were up until gone 2.00am. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep, which given I needed to be off the site by 7.00am at the latest to catch the ferry and then endure a 7 (which actually took 9!) hour drive across Blighty, wasn’t ideal. It’s a shame our trip in Ireland had to end on this note, but I guess that’s the problem with family sites – we don’t have this issue in the UK as we always choose to stay at adult only sites (and adult only sites with curfews) to avoid any similar issues.
When we normally leave a campsite early doors we make a conscious effort to pack up as quietly as we can, however this time we didn’t bother. We didn’t purposefully make excessive noise or anything like that (I am not that petty) it’s just that I didn’t go out of my way to be super quiet.
The drive from the campsite to the ferry port took hardly any time at all, which is good as missing the ferry would have been a total pain, what with two sailings a day, and we arrived in plenty of time. I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive regarding find the port, checking in, boarding etc. but it all went very smoothly and is very easy.
The ferry back to Blighty was the Isle of Inishmore, which is larger than the Dublin Swift we sailed on to Ireland. The Holyhead – Dublin crossing took an hour and fifteen minutes whereas the Rosslare – Pembroke crossing took four long hours. Even though the journey back to England (Wales) took longer it was a more comfortable crossing because the boat wasn’t so packed. The Dublin Swift felt claustrophobic and there weren’t many seats available. There were loads of club class seats, but I am not going to pay an extra 36 Euro just to sit in a red leather chair for an hour and fifteen minutes!
Approaching Pembroke our Irish adventure had well and truly come to an end, however our holiday was not quite over as we still had to drive from Wales over to East Anglia, a journey (according to the sat nav) of 448 miles comprising getting through Wales and on to the M4 right across the country to the M25, around the London orbital to the M11 and then picking up the A14 back home.
There journey home was pretty standard and uneventful. The thing that instantly became apparent back on British roads was the driving attitude and behavior of British drivers, and how impatient, rude and aggressive they are. Having had two weeks driving around Ireland with other road users that are courteous, polite and everything the British drivers aren’t as soon as I got out of the port it became clear I was back in my home country.
"After 2 weeks of little traffic - It's back on the M25 orbital and a jam!"
About the author
A total motor home newbie with a six year camping background in a folding camper. A keen blogger sharing my experience of researching, choosing, buying and owning a motor home. and every thing that goes with it.
The Motor home