Camping in Ireland is a great way to reconnect with nature off the beaten track. Add some friends into the equation and you can expect to hear outlandish stories while making s’mores over the campfire, get lost on stunning hikes because none of you remembered the map and disagree over the best way to put the tent up (although the sturdiness is questionable, somehow your friendship is stronger for it).
Malones Triple Cask Irish Whiskey embodies Ireland's adventurous side, and in light of this we've put together a list of the best places to go camping or wild camping in the Emerald Isle.
Check it out on Irish Malts.
If you’re planning to go wild camping in Ireland, be aware that it’s only permitted in certain areas, so make sure you do your research before rocking up and pitching your tent. The locations we have highlighted below mostly allow wild camping, although there are some stipulations, so read thoroughly. When you and your friends are wild camping in Ireland it is important to follow the leave no trace (https://www.leavenotraceireland.org/education/education-introduction/) policy so as not spoil Ireland’s beauty in any way. Always stick to the Wild Camping Code – we’ve outlined this below.
Wild Camping code
🌍 Campsites must be at least 400m from a road capable of carrying a vehicle.
🌍 Campsites must be at least 400m from a building.
🌍 Tents must be moved after every second night to allow vegetation to recover.
🌍 Campers must remove all food waste and litter, whether or not it is biodegradable. Buried waste is often exposed by foraging animals or by erosion.
🌍 Soap and toothpaste must be kept at least 30m away from watercourses.
🌍 Dish and utensil washing must be conducted at least 30 metres from water bodies. All waste water should be strained and scattered. In no circumstances should waste water used in washing be poured into lakes, streams or rivers.
🌍 Campers are required to conduct themselves in a quiet manner in an effort to avoid disturbing the local community, wildlife or other visitors.
🌍 Campsites must be kept visually unobtrusive.
🌍 Campsites must be left as found, or better.
Source: Heather Snelgar, Irish Times.
Best Places To Camp In Ireland
We’re here to share some of the best places in Ireland to go camping with friends – so get ready to pack the tent, the sleeping bags, and don’t forget the Irish Whiskey for the ultimate summer camping trip in Ireland.
The Wicklow Mountains, County Wicklow
The Wicklow Mountains National Park is the largest of Ireland’s 6 national parks. The almost 23,000 hectares of mountainous scenery located just south of Dublin is vast and unspoilt, and just asking to be explored. There are no serviced campsites within the National Park itself, but wild camping is permitted outside of the Glendalough Valley. Spend the days hiking the mountain trails, then chill around the fire in the evening, reminiscing about those spectacular views over a dram of Irish Whiskey. Make sure to leave no trace and stick to the Wild Camping Code.
Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way is a 1600 mile coastal route that winds down the west coast of Ireland, starting at Derry in NI and coming to an end in the southern reaches of County Cork. Rugged cliffs demonstrate the power of nature while quaint villages and historic monuments show off the true beauty of the Emerald Isle. Camp near the sea and listen to the mighty roar of the Atlantic Ocean duet with the crackling of the campfire. While there are many places to wild camp along the route, a road trip in a campervan is probably the best way to explore the Wild Atlantic Way with friends. And one of many great things about Ireland - even when it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, you’re never too far from a pub and good craic!
Keem Bay, Achill Island, County Mayo
A stroll down this white sandy beach with its shimmering turquoise waters and you’ll forget you’re in Ireland – it is frequently listed as one of the best beaches in the world. In the summertime, Achill Island’s Keem Bay is the perfect spot for a swim, or you might even brave it in winter if you’ve had enough Irish Whiskey. From the surrounding cliffs, you may spot a curious dolphin or two swimming close to the shoreline. There are serviced camp sites dotted about the Island, but as long as you leave no trace and stick to the Wild Camping Code, wild camping is permitted here.
There’s so much to do in Howth that you’ll barely spend any time in your tent. Restaurants and pubs are plentiful in this seaside town, as well as cliff walks, stunning beaches and boat trips to unoccupied islands. Best of all, Howth is just outside of Dublin, so it would be easy to plan in a trip to the Golden Triangle – otherwise known as Dublin’s whiskey district. Take a distillery tour at Dublin's only independent, family-run distillery, then head back to your camping spot and drink Irish Whiskey out of an enamel mug whilst looking down at the bright lights of the city where it’s made.
Mourne Mountains, County Down
Rivers, waterfalls and valleys are just some of the picturesque sights you’ll come across in the Mourne Mountains in County Down. It’s worth noting that wild camping isn’t technically legal in Northern Ireland, since every bit of land is privately owned, so if you do want to wild camp here, try to seek the landowners permission. Otherwise, there are some idyllic serviced campsites dotted around on the east coast.
After deciding where to go for your mates camping trip in Ireland, all that’s left to do is drop a message in the group chat and get organising. Oh – and don’t forget to sort out who’s bringing the Irish Whiskey, because no camping trip in Ireland is complete without it.
Malones Triple Cask Irish Whiskey is a complex and adventurous blend that brings you close to nature. It's perfect for sipping from enamel mugs around the campfire. Order a bottle for your next camping trip from Celtic Whiskey Shop or Irish Malts if you’re in Ireland, and Amazon, Master of Malt or Malones Irish Whiskey if you’re in the UK.