As a test run before we drove off into the European sunset, we explored the beautiful South West of Ireland. We drove around the Ring of Kerry, starting in Killarney, and then moved Glenbeg and Glenross. Before we hit Kerry, we spent one night in Killaloe, Co. Clare to break up the drive a bit.
Overall, it was a great trip, which gave the van a good run home from Kerry to Dublin (about 4hours). It also allowed us to really enjoy all the hard work we put into the build over the past year.
Our full itinerary and accessibility commentary is below, along with the details of the campsites we stayed in. As a quick overview, our highlights and lowlights are:
Highlights and Lowlights
- The van works! We had very few snags to add to the list. Our bed is REALLY comfy, we had a decent amount of storage and The Driver said it was great to drive.
- The scenery – Kerry is stunning. Everywhere we looked we saw a beautiful view of cliffs, beaches, sea or mountains
- Activities – there is lots do to around the Ring of Kerry from hiking, walking, water sports, visiting historical monuments, nightlife and quaint little villages to explore.
- Accessibility massively varied across sites. The main issue I encountered was signage (or lack thereof!). Simple things like finding the right bathroom were hard at times and I found some really bad steps!
- The cost – why is Ireland so bloody expensive? It cost us on average €71 per day including all food, fuel, camp fees, meals out and miscellaneous purchases like coffee. We estimate that our European travels will cost us €65 or less a day. This includes visiting 3 and 4 star campsites with bars, restaurants and pools onsite. We did not get the same standard of site in Ireland, they were more expensive with less facilities.
- I know I’m Irish, and I should be used to it by now but the weather was definitely a limiting factor. We spent at least one day confined to the van due to the cold, torrential rain and wind.
Our Full Kerry Itinerary
Day 1 – Dublin to Killaloe Co. Clare
Campsite – The Pipers Inn, Killaloe, Co. Clare
Cost – €25 per night including electricity
Accessibility score – 2/5
See here for further detail on my accessibility scoring system.
This was a beautiful first spot, right beside Lough Derg and the Clare Way. The Pipers Inn was just outside Killaloe itself, with a bar and restaurant onsite, very clean facilities and well maintained site. It was a basic site with only grass pitches, a small number of toilets and showers and a campers sink. They did have electricity and rubbish disposal. I didn’t see a chemical toilet or grey water disposal.
Accessibility wise, it was OK. As it was a very small site, this wasn’t a huge deal as we could see the sanitary block from our van. This was the only building on the campsite, which made it easy to find. The evening lighting was very good and I didn’t need my own torch to get to the loo. The Bar and Restaurant were further up the private road. We didn’t visit these during our stay.
Things to do and visit – we made a stop in Killaloe village to visit The Wooden Spoon Café for some yummy coffee and tasty treats (I’d highly recommend the vegan breakfast muffin). We also walked part of the Clare Way and the Ballycuggaran Crag Wood Loop Walk which started at the shores of Lough Derg.
Day 2 and 3 – Killaloe to Killarney, Co. Kerry
Campsite – Fossa Caravan and Camping Park, Killarney
Cost – €30 per night including electricity
Accessibility score – 1 / 5
As a second stop, Fossa’s was a nice spot. It was just outside Killarney and had OK facilities. We booked into a camper pitch but they also had mobile homes to rent. The had the usual basic facilities of showers, toilets, chemical toilet, fresh water, grey water disposal and campers kitchen as well as a playground and coffee shop onsite.
Signage was poor. We initially took the wrong turn into the site as the road sign was misleading. Signs for the toilets were small and on an open door, meaning I had to almost walk in to the toilets to see it properly (Luckily I came to the ladies first!). The walkway from our pitch to the bathrooms and campers kitchen was fully tarmacked and easy to distinguish. Evening lighting was OK but I still needed my headtorch when it got dark. There was also a really bad step just at the entrance to the bathrooms. It was really narrow and very hard to distinguish from the ground around it.
Things to do / visit – we climbed Torc Hill which was a beautiful walk with a great view. The route we took was partially unpaved / rocky and partially built with sleeper logs which made it a lot easier! We also visited Bean In Killarney for more delicious coffee and a yummy bun. This place was neon yellow on the outside so it was REALLY easy to find.
Day 4 – 7 Killarney to Glenbeg, Co. Kerry
Campsite – Glenbeg Caravan and Camping Park, Killarney
Cost – €29 per night including electricity and 4 shower tokens (€1.50 each)
Accessibility score – 2 / 5
Perhaps the most scenic site we stayed on during our trip. It was right on the beach, so we could hear the waves crashing all day and night. We also braved a swim here which lasted about 10 seconds as it was FREEZING. Two of the three days here were work days for us, which was handy as we had torrential rain for 1.5 of those days. There were bins, showers, toilets, campers kitchen. grey water disposal, chemical toilet and fresh water onsite.
Accessibility wise, it was again OK. There was not much clear signage for grey water disposal, bins or site numbers. Reception and bathrooms had slightly better signage and were in the same block which was handy. The paths between sites were fine and tarmacked, which was a good contrast to the grass.
Things to do / visit – we didn’t do much here as we were working for most of it. Caherdaniel Village was a 30min walk away along winding and narrow country roads which wasn’t the safest. We headed to The Blind Piper here for a drink one evening. The onsite restaurant O’Carrolls Cove was lovely with beautiful views. We had the most delicious Atlantic Bay Prawns here which I highly recommend.
Day 8 – Glenbeg to Glenross, Co. Kerry
Campsite – Glenross Caravan and Camping Park, Killarney
Cost – €38 per night including electricity
Accessibility score – 3/5
Last stop on our trip before heading home to Dublin and by far, the most accessible and the most expensive. Showers and bathrooms were of a really high standard, well maintained and clean. There was a grey water dump site, chemical toilet and fresh water refill. The campers kitchen was also nice and big with good facilities. It was also a 5 minute walk to the local town which had a good selection of bars and restaurants.
The signage here was excellent, with really clear, large font signs used throughout the site for bathrooms, campers kitchen and reception. The pitches were well laid out, with good distinction between the main roadways and the pitches. There were very few steps here, which makes it wheelchair friendly as well.
Things to do / visit – we did a lovely loop walk which started at the site, went down onto the beach and into the town. We ate in The Towers Hotel which had a lovely local atmosphere and easy to read menus!
So that’s it! Our week in Kerry. For more pictures and videos, have a look at my Instagram @lifeintheblurrylane
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