As we start planning holidays close to home this summer, there are plenty of great Irish campsites to visit that will offer all the amenities you're looking for.
Whether it's kid-friendly or kid-free, all the modern facilities or a rustic return to nature, a place to lounge about or a basecamp to adventure from, there's an Irish campsite for you. Campsites are a perfect 2020 holiday because you have your own space and sleeping areas, and can bring and cook your own food. No issues with social distancing here.
While campsites are still waiting for the official go-head from government, it looks like they'll be open from mid-July, though it could be earlier for smaller, more secluded spots.
All you need to do is pack up the car and get going.
Clifden Eco Beach, Galway
Located just a short walk from the busy town of Clifden, this campsite, above, is focused on what camping is all about – a return to nature. They extract their own drinking water, have patchy WiFi and none of the playgrounds and games rooms typical of other campsites.
It's the perfect launching pad to discover all that Connemara has to offer, is pet friendly and right on the beach. You can rent bikes or kayaks here too to go exploring.
Tents from €13 and caravans from €15 per night.
Lough Key Forest Park, Roscommon
Just outside of Boyle, Co Roscommon is Lough Key Forest Park. A great spot for kids, its got tons of amenities, from kayaking trips on the lake to ziplining through the trees. There's an activity centre and an outdoor kids' play area, as well as plenty of walking and hiking trails.
The campsite itself is small and very family friendly, located just a short walk from the shore and incredibly peaceful, wrapped around the mature trees.
Tents from €12 and caravans from €25 per night.
Eagle Point Camping, Cork
Steeped on the edge of a peninsula just outside the town of Bantry, nearly every site here has an ocean view. It's also got its own private beach if you fancy a secluded dip, and an adult-only campsite if you want some peace and quiet.
All of West Cork is accessible from here, including the nearby Garnish Island and seal sanctuary, via a ferry from Glengarriff, which are well worth a visit.
The Apple Farm, Tipperary
A relatively small campsite that only hosts about 60 people per night, Apple Farm in Tipperary is as quaint as its name suggests. The spacious campsite sheltered by the farm's orchards of apples, pears, plums, sweet cherries, strawberries and raspberries and they have an excellent farm shop that includes their own produce.
It's also one of the cheapest and much of the extras are included in the initial price, including access to the tennis courts and hot showers.
€7.50 per adult and €5 per child per night.
Nagles Campsite, Clare
Right in the heart of Doolin, a great little trad music village with a ferry that services the Aran Islands, Nagles campsite has a beautiful view of the Cliffs of Moher. A great spot for families, it's a secure lot with a state-of-the-art playground, campers kitchens and excellent bathroom and shower facilities.
It has mobile homes and timber glamping pods too but it's unclear whether they will open for this summer.
Tents from €20 and caravans from €25 per night.
Cronin’s Yard, Kerry
Nestled right into the base of Ireland's highest peak, Carrauntoohil, this campsite is a hiker's paradise. Ditch the tent and camper, bring just your walking gear and check into one of their curved timber pods instead.
Get yourself a good night's sleep in one of the snug cabins before setting off to hike the 'Reeks the next day, but don't forget to pick up one of Cronin Yard's packed lunches before you head off. If you're feeling lazy, there's also the Cronin's Yard Loop, which takes about two and a half hours and boasts some spectacular views without the achy legs.
Morriscastle Strand, Wexford
You can hear the seas rolling into Morriscastle Strand from this campsite. Located just beyond the beach amongst the sheltered dunes, this is a great spot to relax if you want to spend a week or so just hanging out.
The facilities are excellent, the waters are very safe, there's plenty to do and families frequently return year on year. They have pitches for caravans and motorhomes, but relatively few tent pitches and these tend to book up quickly.
Pitches from €25 per night.
Nore Valley Park, Kilkenny
On a working family farm, children staying at Nore Valley Park are encouraged to help out and feed the animals that roam the fields around this campsite. With plenty to keep young minds occupied and with a great atmosphere, it's no wonder this campsite has picked up so many awards.
Tents from €10 and caravans from €15 per night.
Keel Sandybanks, Achill Island, Mayo
Probably one of the most scenic beaches in Ireland, Keel beach runs along the western shores of Achill Island, where the cliffs (the highest in Ireland) can be seen to the south. A short drive beyond here is Keem beach, a secluded little spot with beautiful clear waters that is absolutely worth a visit.
The campsite is located on the grassy knolls by the beach, just beside Achill village, and it welcomes both tents and caravans with full facilities, including a games room, laundry, campers kitchen and WiFi available.
Tents from €10 and caravan from €18 per night.
Read more: Going camping? This is the ultimate camping packing list
Read more: Picnic basket accessories under €40 to amp up your next park visit
Read more: A Sligo cottage is transformed into a cool and cosy surfers' haven