WITH the fabulous weather that Northern Ireland is currently experiencing, there has never been a better time to discover the luxurious side of camping with a trip to one of the ‘glamping’ sites across the region.
Forget cramped tents and damp sleeping bags, ‘glamping’ offers a glamorous way to camp and there are some truly unique ways to combine the great outdoors with the comforts of home, with everything from tepees to yurts and camping pods to a fully furnished gypsy caravan on offer.
NITB’s PR Officer (ROI) Clare McCoy said: “Glamping in Northern Ireland is becoming increasingly popular with a number of sites offering visitors the chance to enjoy an al fresco holiday in the countryside without forgoing luxuries such as the comfort of a bed and electricity.
“Many of the sites are located in stunning areas including in the grounds of the National Trust property Castle Ward, the Co. Armagh countryside and Trannish Island on Upper Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh. And with the beautiful sunny weather that Northern Ireland is currently experiencing, it is a great time to enjoy a ‘glamping’ trip in the great outdoors,” she added.
If you want to glam up your camping experience this summer, NITB has highlighted a number of sites to visit;
With exceptional views over the farming countryside down to the Cusher River and across to Slieve Gullion, the Tepee Valley Campsite located outside the small town of Markethill in Co Armagh is the perfect place for an alternative family holiday. Here you will experience peace and quiet with the luxuries of home. There is a choice of accommodation available which includes a traditional Native American Tepee, a choice of two yurts, a log cabin, a geodesic dome and a fully furnished gypsy caravan – The Rosie Lee.
Tucked away in the stunning 820 acre demesne, Castle Ward in Strangford, Co Down has four eco friendly continental camping pods which provide a very attractive, dry and spacious way to camp outdoors. The pods have lockable French doors which are designed to cut down the noise of heavy rain, so you can get a good night’s sleep whatever the weather. Castle Ward is a stunning 18th century house located in a truly beautiful walled demesne with walking trails, exotic garden and picturesque farmyard. Also within the grounds is the Clearsky Adventure Centre where you can hire bikes or canoes to explore the area.
Check out my #Gameofthrones adventure in Castle Ward.. click here
If you’ve ever fancied staying in a Jungle then head to Jungle NI in Magherafelt and stay in a jungle hut without having to worry about poisonous beasties or deadly spiders. Set in the heart of tranquil forest these purpose built huts sleep up to eight people and are double-glazed, secure and lockable, so you are guaranteed to be cosy and warm. If you really want to ‘glamp’ it up then you can also relax and unwind in the outdoor hot tubs.
Enjoy an action-packed ‘glamping’ break at Todds Leap in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone which boasts a purpose-built road course and an electrifying mix of fun-filled, unique adventure activities including JCB Driving, Rodeo Bull, Paintball and Blindfold driving. There is a selection of cozy log cabins offering an authentic countryside sleepover, each with their own unique identities including The Treehouse and The Bunkhouse. Visitors can avail of a communal BBQ area, clubhouse and licensed restaurant.
Carrowmena Activity Centre in Limavady, Co Derry has six new eco-friendly camping cocoons in the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With room for up to six people and picnic tables for an al fresco dining experience this is a great way to enjoy the outdoors in style. Facilities onsite include a BBQ and camp fire and the activity centre offers a variety of land and water activities so you won’t have to stray too far to find an adventure.
Trannish Island Bothy in Co Fermanagh is a large island on Upper Lough Erne and the old stone cottage located here has been revamped with a cosy wood burning stove, toilets, showers and camping platforms to sleep on, offering a bit more luxury than your average camp site. Situated just a paddle away is Ireland’s largest multi-activity centre, Share Discovery Village, where you can hire a range of canoes or kayaks to access the island.
The new Glamping Pods at Drumhoney Holiday Park, Lisnarick in Co Fermanagh sleep up to six people and are fully heated, insulated and double glazed, boasting Freeview TV and deck area. Each pod has a heater, power sockets and a picnic table.
If you can’t decide where to go camping then why not hire a campervan from Bunk Campers in Belfastand create your own adventure. Bunk campers provide campervan rental for families, couples and groups of friends looking for an action packed, enjoyable short break experience. There are a range of campervans available which come with fully functional heating, cooking facilities, iPod connectivity, converted bed space and in some cases even shower and toilet facilities.
To find out more about ‘glamping’, rental hire and unique accommodation in Northern Ireland contact NITB on Callsave 1850 230 230 or go to www.discovernorthernireland.com