Stick with it tenting … how the as soon as modest vacation is again in vogue


The campervan and the tent are having a revival this yr as households realise they provide flexibility and a protected haven which might cut back considerations over sanitising and hygiene, as Martha Brennan reviews

CAMPING appears to have had one thing of a revival in West Cork this yr.

If bookings at native campsites are something to go by, a booking on a web site – particularly coastal ones – are making it to the highest of many staycationers’ wishlists.

Native campsite house owners say they’re principally booked out, from now till September.

Campervan parks from Kinsale to Beara are seeing unprecedented curiosity from folks selecting to vacation at house this yr, particularly first-time campers, and a few are having to show bookings away.

‘We’re solely open two weeks and already booked up till the top of August,’ mentioned David Jennings of Desert Home Tenting Park in Clonakilty. ‘We’re often busy for the summer time, but it surely’s been distinctive this yr. Lots of Irish first-timers purchased campers when lockdown began and are booking in West Cork.’

Barleycove Vacation Park can be full for the summer time, turning down practically 50 bookings a day. Like Desert Home, their bookings are principally from Irish guests, together with some from Northern Eire.

Mickey Dowling of Glengarriff Caravan and Tenting Park has had an analogous expertise. ‘We’re undoubtedly busier than regular when it comes to Irish bookings, and folks coming down from the north,’ Mickey mentioned. ‘There are additionally extra folks coming to West Cork from Dublin. Costs have shot up in all places and persons are on the lookout for someplace new.’

Mickey mentioned that lots of people who would usually go to a hotel, are actually attempting out tenting due to hygiene considerations, costs or simply to attempt one thing new. Those that would possibly often go tenting in France or Germany are additionally now coming to West Cork.

The campsite proprietor additionally famous that whereas he has obtained numerous emails from folks in England, he won’t be taking bookings from overseas this yr due to Covid-19.

Colman O’Sullivan of Eyeries Motorhome Park mentioned he’s additionally had some enquiries from England however is taking bookings principally from the Irish. ‘The cellphone doesn’t cease ringing morning to nighttime,’ Colman mentioned. That is his busiest season but, with extra folks seeking to discover the Ring of Beara than ever earlier than.

‘Covid has pushed the Irish market loopy, folks can’t even get campervans in the mean time,’ Colman mentioned.

‘Many really feel safer in their very own areas, quite than in hotels. It’s a superb possibility for folks proper now.’ Many are additionally turning towards ‘glamping’ this yr, the place folks sleep in designated pods quite than tents. The Prime of the Rock Pod Pairc in Drimoleague is booked by to September and Ardfield Mountain Escape’s ‘posh tenting’ dome is proving equally in style. Mountain Escape solely opened final month, however Conor Hegarty mentioned bookings have soared. ‘Many households are travelling collectively or are utilizing this chance to get again into tenting,’ Conor mentioned. He’s additionally sticking to Irish bookings, with folks coming from Cork metropolis, Limerick, Tipperary and Dublin. ‘We now have to assist some first-timers with tents, however everyone seems to be simply so completely satisfied to be out,’ he mentioned. ‘They go to the seashore or the playground and the native pub is again open. I believe folks didn’t realise how a lot they missed being out, and this can be a protected technique to do it.’


‘We will simply change our route as we want’

Caoimhe and her father Frank on a current journey

Caoimhe Hill’s household are getting extra use out of their campervan this summer time than ever, taking it from their house in Kinsale to securely go to household in Skibbereen as lockdown eased. Packing as much as go on their holidays throughout West Cork final week, Caoimhe mentioned it’s the flexibleness that attracts them to tenting.

‘We will simply change our route as we want, and there’s area for the entire household,’ she mentioned.

‘Once we want extra space we will simply arrange tents wherever we land.’ Caoimhe’s father is a GP, so the household feels higher staying in their very own quarters than in a hotel.

‘My mother and father at all times needed a camper, they travelled the US in a single years in the past and now all of us adore it too. It’s simply simple and you’ve got extra freedom than if you happen to had been booking hotels, particularly with all the pieces happening in the mean time.’

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