“Glamping” – a luxury we have only become accustomed to in Ireland in recent years. Camping you wouldn’t find me doing these days but glamping – hell yes! Gone are the days of trying to stuff into and poke around a two man tent that starts to leak as soon as there is a hint of rain. Not ideal for the Irish summer! Having longed to try the glamping at the renowned Dromquinna Manor for so long, we finally bit the bullet and booked a night away recently and boy, was it worth the wait.
Stuffy, pokey tents these are not – they are pure luxury when it comes to camping! Custom double-skin roofs, veranda decking area, a little basket of toiletries, hot water bottles, the most comfortable and luxurious bed and they even have a canvas wardrobe for your clothes! Possibly a most vital inclusion? (well I’ll let you be the judge of that) – a power point for mobile phone chargers. The on site facilities are excellently maintained and spotless with plenty of mirrors and hairdryers in “Her Stables” – so aptly named – and when the rain pelted, (all evening and all night – thank you Irish summer!) the tent proved its worth and thankfully, we remained bone dry.
The setting is simply stunning and tranquil overlooking the lake and glorious Kerry mountains – the perfect place to switch off and relax. There is a gorgeous on site restaurant and bar called “The Boathouse” serving up delicious food and drinks and a large gin menu if you so fancy!
Last but not least, a hamper of croissants and tea/coffee (and juice for the kids) is delivered to your tent the next morning. What better way to start the day than with a good strong coffee on the deck overlooking the lake in peace!
All in all, we had an excellent experience and I will definitely return again! 10 out of 10 and the perfect getaway for couples, friends or families!
Wishing I was on that swing with a large gin right now….
A different kinda Saturday
Last weekend, we decided to do something a little different. Different like cycling 23.5 kms!! But this was not just any cycle – you may have heard about the recent opening of the gorgeous Waterford Greenway. A whole 45km of beautiful scenery stretching from Dungarvan as far as Waterford City along old railway tracks.
What’s on Offer
You can cycle or walk the Waterford Greenway and there is plenty of bike hire on offer at various points – check our their website where you can get the full breakdown on routes and pick-up points – they also have a free app which is super handy. It really is such a great day out with gorgeous scenery, from coastline to viaducts, through the Ballyvoyle Tunnel (kids will love this) and views of the Comeragh Mountains.
We picked up our bikes from Waterford Greenway Bike Hire in Dungarvan – they cost €20 per person for an adult for the whole day, helmets included – and set off on our merry way. Honestly, we couldn’t have picked a better day to head out on the bikes, it was just perfect! The route is also perfect for a family day out as it is so safe – there is the odd crossing through some minor roads and one major roadway as would be standard if you are doing the majority of the route but overall, very safe with cute play and picnic areas dotted along the way. The majority of the route is quite flat also which helps, with the odd slight incline.
When we reached Kilmacthomas, we dropped our bikes at the visitor centre and settled down for a well deserved coffee. The depot in Kilmacthomas is a converted former Famine Workhouse and it has undergone such an amazing transformation. You will find good coffee, drinks, snacks and lunches in the gorgeous café, Coach House Coffee. A lot of families and friends tended to park up here, go for a walk or a cycle and have lunch here too with plenty of seating outside on offer with space for the kids to play!
The only one flaw I had with the day was a two hour wait for a shuttle bus in Kilmacthomas to get back to Dungarvan!! Whilst we were initially advised there would be a wait of up to 1 hour, this did materialise into two, but it is just getting up and running and they assured us they would get more shuttle buses on the Greenway going forward which I have no doubt they will given the amazing work and organization that has gone into it so far.
Of course, if you are super fit, you can do the whole route to Waterford City and get the shuttle bus from there, or cycle back to Dungarvan. The final point to note: Have a good soak in a bath of Epsom salts after the long cycle and beware of sore butts the day after!!