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Image / Living / Travel

5 best alternative Irish mini-break experiences to book right now

by Eoin Higgins
21st Jan 2021

With sights set firmly on native soil, those looking for something other than the typical hotel experience this year are focusing in on all the fun alternatives. Here are five of our favourites.


Glendalough Glamping, Co Wicklow

Glendalough Glamping


In ancient Glendalough, Co Wicklow, there are cosy pods to rent, serviced by a Glamping Lodge, where a large fully equipped kitchen and dining area offers visitors an ideal place to cook and dine whilst enjoying the stunning views that abound.

A family run enterprise, this glamping site is part of a 21-acre farm on which a herd of rare breed Shropshire sheep are grazed. Meanwhile, wild deer are regularly seen grazing in the open glades in the morning and evening time.

The eco-friendly credentials are assured at Glendalough with all pods made from sustainable timber sources.

Glendalough is situated just 50 minutes from Dublin and within walking distance of Laragh,  providing rural seclusion whilst also being within easy reach of public transport, local shops, pubs and restaurants.


Teapot Lane, Co Leitrim

Retro lines at Teapot Lane


Stay in a cosy heated authentic Mongolian yurt, beautifully decorated, with king-size beds, fresh linen and scattered cushions and throws. The perfect place to unwind. Or, take the retro route and stay in Teapot Lane’s delightfully cute, vintage caravan, above. An original 1960s classic “Carlite Cassetta”, it is beautifully restored, and a perfectly romantic getaway.

Also romantic, down its own winding path, is Teapot Lane’s Treehouse, nestled in the woods. The Treehouse comes with its own facilities and wood burning stove to keep you cosy whatever the weather.


Woodland Huts, Co Cavan

Virginia Park Lodge, Woodland Huts


On the grounds of Richard Corrigan’s idyllic Virginia Park Lodge, Co Cavan, you’ll find the most fantastically bijou huts that give new meaning to the word “cosy”. With modern fittings and a surprising amount of space, you’ll wonder why you ever needed so much space at home.

A really nice touch is the wood-fired heating stove, pictured above, in each hut.

Meanwhile, fold down beds are hugely comfortable and the entire experience is immense fun.


Tepee Valley, Co Armagh

Tepee Valley Campsite


Looking for something a little grander? Try the Geodesic Domes at Tepee Valley Campsite in gorgeous Co Armagh.

Kenny and Linda Gilmore are the creative sparks behind the campsite. Married for 27 years and Markethill locals, their idea for the alternative campsite was born as a result of their own struggles finding unique experiences to share with their two children.

And they have certainly succeded here. Tepee Valley is award-winning and excels in providing unique experiences for families, couples and adult retreats. An excellent option for those searching for glamping holidays and back-to-basics weekends.


Aran Islands Camping & Glamping, Co Galway

Aran Islands Glamping


Aran Islands Camping and Glamping is situated on Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands in the mouth of Galway Bay, on the Wild Atlantic Way.

The islands are renowned for their stunning beauty and slower pace of life.

For anyone looking for a place to get away from it all, it’s hard to think of somewhere better: with wild, untamed scenery, rocky cliffs, jaw-dropping landscapes, sweeping views, and local traditions and heritage that go back thousands of years, the attraction is justified.

The Aran Islands Camping and Glamping site offers newly-constructed pods as well as traditional camping facilities.

We recommend trying their specially designed glamping pods, each able to accommodate up to four people.


Read more: Drive-ins and heritage sites: 6 family activities to do as phase two begins

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Read more: Here are our favourite dog-friendly hotels in Ireland for every budget