Wild Camping is one of the best ways to discover the beauty of Ireland by really getting off the beaten track. Here are our favourite spots around the country to pitch your tent!
You deserve better than an hour long queue for a hostile portaloo at a packed out camp site. Wild camping is the best alternative and is a great way to disconnect from day to day life and to escape the chaos of a campsite. Some wild camping spots are well-kept secrets and we’re not here to spoil those sanctuaries. These spots are a little better known but no less scenic and beautiful for it. So revel in the isolation and remember to leave no trace.
1. Beara Peninsula, Cork
The Beara Way is one of Ireland’s most underappreciated beauties, often neglected in favour of the Ring of Kerry next door. There are countless beautiful spots to pitch up along the 206km walking route but the coastline offers the most scenic and secluded spots. You can even nip over to Bere Island via ferry and spend the night there.
2. Sperrin Mountains
The Sperrin Mountain range in Northern Ireland is beautiful and untouched. They are best experienced as part the Ulster Way hike. The walk is scenic and pretty quiet all year round. At the base of the largest mountain, Sawel, you’ll find Glenrandel river – a great spot to pitch your tent at the end of the day’s hike.
3. Ben Crom Reservoir
If you’re trying to tackle the Mourne Mountains then the shelter at Ben Crom Reservoir is a great spot to rest up either before or after. The stone shelter has stood for decades and is a popular spot to set up camp and the views of the reservoir and the rugged mountains are the perfect backdrop.
4. Black Valley, Kerry
The Black Valley connects the Gap of Dunloe and Moll’s Gap and offers plenty of spots to pitch your tent while exploring the surrounding countryside. The landscape is spotted with bogs, glens, and countless mirrored lakes. This is one of the most remote parts of Ireland and was the last part of the mainland to be connected by electricity and telephone line. With that in mind, we don’t advise wild camping in the winter as conditions can get pretty hairy quickly and you’ll be a long way from civilisation.
5. Powerscourt, Wicklow
Don’t stay on the grounds of the Powerscourt Estate itself but if you keep going you’ll find Lough Tay. On the banks between the mountains Luggala and Djouce, you’ll discover plenty of peace and quiet to call home for the night. The glassy water and mountainous twins offer fantastic views, while being miles away from anyone.
6. Lough Avoher, Mayo
If you’re travelling along the Bangor Trail then this little hut offers the perfect respite. The shelter provides water (that may need treating) and shelter for up to five. When the sky is clear you’ll be able to gaze upon the stars once night falls and enjoy views of Glennamong Ridge come sunrise. The only downside is that open fires are forbidden but this is a great speck of civilisation in one of the wildest parts of Ireland.
7. Altnabrocky, Mayo
#Altnabrockyshelter on the#Westernway. Our home for the night. We have crossed over from the #Bangortrail to the #westernway to complete our tramp home. The mountain in the background is #nephinbeg. Maybe we will head up that on our way home tomorrow. #wilderness #wonderful_places #wildernessquest #canoeandtrail #canoe #canoeview @ilovecanoeing #canoecamping #bpmag #natureaddicts #intothewild #wearestillwild #getoutdoors #outsidemag #wildernessculture #loveireland #irishtrails
This shelter is located along the Western Way and offers a stunning panorama of Lough Cong, Nephin Beg, and Slieve Carr. If you keep climbing you’ll find Scardun Lakes. You can often find trout there if you’re looking for dinner. As well as the simplistic hut there is room to pitch your own tent and there’s a stream nearby offering clean water.
8. The Wicklow Way, Wicklow
We know the Wicklow Way is chocka in the summer months, but if you wait until spring or autumn, you’ll find it as secluded as ever, especially the further away from Dublin you get. There are plenty of spots to wild camp along the route, but if it’s a particular blustery day, keep an eye out for the three Adorandack shelters along the way at Mucklagh (Aughavannagh), Mullacor (Glenmalure) and Brusher’s Gap (Paddock hill).
9. Derrynane Beach, Kerry
The Iveragh peninsula is well known for its beauty. Derrynane beach near Caherdaniel is no exception. If you are looking for a beach to set up camp, look no further. Pitch your tent among the sand dunes, and set out your deck chairs to watch the sunset over the water. Plus there is public toilets and a village to get some grub if you are wanting to wild camp but not go totally ‘wild’.
10. Glenregan, Offaly
How glorious a greeting the sun gives to the mountains – John Muir – – – #glenbarrow #glenbarrowwaterfall #slieveblooms #slievebloomway #mountains #river #sun #reflection #nature #naturephotography #nature_seekers #laois #instaireland #eire #inspireland_ #discoverireland #outdoors #hiking #hikingphotography #canon1dxmarkii
Another camping spot along a long distance walking trail is the Glenregan Valley on the Slieve Bloom Way, just before you head up into the mountains. The flat grassy spot is on the bank of the Camcor River is the perfect place to spend a night.
Like this? You should check these out:
- Remote Pubs in Ireland: 10 of the Best
- Waterproof Jackets: 6 of the Best
- Biking Skills: Top Tips for Adventure Racers