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A lap round Ireland. June 22


Well-Known Member
Jan 14, 2019
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I promised to do a bit of a write up from the trip round the emerald Isle @Andy and I took back in June 22. Life caught up and never got round to it. As there seems to be some interest I thought I'd get round to getting the basics down and then expanding on the trip.

I spent 9months or so researching the trip, legalities, youtube videos, guidebooks (have a few if anyone wants them for a small fee)etc. Planning routes using various apps to then break them down into sectional Google maps.

The pink bear in some of the images is my daughters favorite and she asked me to take it to keep me safe. It turned into a nice little hide a seek game when I called home.

I always had 2 or more spots planned for a wild night, whilst it's tolerated its not strictly legal. As it happened I think we used less than 25% of the spots due to progress made or occupied/unsuitable spots. When I say unsuitable they looked fantastic on a map and Google earth but the exposed locations weren't idea with the RTT, especially after night one...its bloody windy on the coast.

So the plan was simple. I was over in Dublin with work for a few days. I took the ferry from holyhead, only just mind as a UJ failed on the way there which meant I ran RWD for the last 60miles and had to remove the prop at the side of a main road. @Andy kindly brought new ones over with him and we fitted them at camp one.

We would then conduct a big lap mostly wildcamping finishing back at Rosslare 12days or so later.


Andy was getting the ferry over into Rosslare a couple of days later and I planned to drive down to meet him.

The drive down from Dublin through the centre of Wicklow mountains was stunning.

I was a little eager leaving Dublin so arrived near our meeting point a couple of hours early so I went to explore the first nights camp spot options after I stopped here for lunch



Or the grass carpark of this ruined church.


The church won, which turned out to be the wrong decision. The weather during the night was horrific wind and rain with no shelter, so much so the Bundutec leaked through the canvas. One of those nights were you wake up and pray there isn't too much damage. Can't thank Andy enough for helping get the UJs fitted and making the trip more enjoyable.

The next morning we drove round to Hook Lighthouse for some light tourist stuff, a big breakfast and a porcelain perch (Photo for @fbnss). We obviously weren't the only ones who had a rough night looking at a collection of battered tents and tided looking van lifers.



Day two continued as most of the trip would by following the smaller roads fairly tightly to the coast, ducking in and out of little bays. We made our way clockwise round Ireland first stop was to head towards the Copper Coast.
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We found a few interesting spots on route


I guess what really struck me was the colour of the sea when the sun finely decided to show itself. It did play hide and seek for most of the trip.

We found this little castle only a short walk from the carpark. It gave nice views of the local area as you could climb to the top. Health and safety pretty much non existent.


Back in the trucks and we headed further round the coast to find our campsport for the second night. We pulled into a small beach carpark, tarmac, surface but very quiet. We chatted to some locals but no one really bothered us.


Finally got my first Guinness whilst on the road and the views weren't bad either. Andy tried and, as a reoccurring theme for the whole trip, unsuccessfully cast a line in to which ever body of water we happened to pull up at.



Given the weather was a million times better, I tried to dry my mattress out. Pulling it out of the tent and sitting it on my bonnet. After drying one side i tried to turn it over, only for the a light gust of wind to pick it up and dump it on my CB mast... one snapped mast... luckily Andy had a spare hand held which came in handy for the rest of the trip as all the cb shops (and there aren't many) were closed when we were passing through.

The Wild Atlantic Way, the world's longest caost drive, is marked by the WAW signs but doesn't always take you to the best places or by the best roads. There was definitely something to be said about taking the little, less travelled roads.


I think by now we were about here some where.


We decided not to use either of the camp spots previously selected, and instead trusted that we would find a suitable place using one of the free apps. And oh boy did we find a cracker. Hidden down an overgrown short track was a small strip of grass land on the side of a little estuary. Just a bit wider than the trucks and with room for a maximum of 3 vehicles, sheltered, but only one way in and out. It turned out to be my second favourite spot of the whole trip. I'll leave the photos to do it justice.




More to follow....
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Most of the key spots along the WAW are marked by these rust colour signs which have the place name attached (this on is the skyroad, apparently Irelands most dangerous road)

As we headed near to the ring of kerry our route took us weaving up and over many of the mountain pass roads to get a different view on life. Probably best avoided in a caravan. Some spectacular views were had.



We took a tiny road up to a mine for a potential camp spot for a night, turned out not to be a great spot to stay but an interesting playground for some....


And the views coming back down were also fantastic.


It was round this time that we time we made use of some of the small ferries to transfer across the various estuaries and rivers. We took 3 or 4 local ferries to aid our route. All ran on time and not very expensive. You can save a little bit of money by buying tickets from shops in advance.

Grabbing 20 winks when you can!!

We were a fair few days into our trip now and I'd booked us on to a formal camp site to make use of the laundry services, to rustle up a big hearty dinner to soak up all the Guinness and to grab a shower.


One could say we ate rather well, after all isn't the point of overland travel to drive somewhere to eat.
Dutch oven mozzarella and pepperoni white loaf.

What we did find, when looking for somewhere to stay for the night and the apps werent filled with spots, was to head towards the forest areas and look along fire roads and windfarms. We found a couple of reasonable ones and weren't disturbed at all. Practice leave no trace and leave the site in a better condition than you found it (something which later stood us in good stead)


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do they have the midges thing in Ireland like scotland?
Not when we were there, not sure about other times of year
@Andy do you not recall the time where we hadn't got anywhere to stay and we pulled I to the edge of a wood only to get out and be greeted by a load of midges. Promptly got back in and drove off. But to be fair there weren't many it's too windy.
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We started to make our way up the west coast, stopping in at the Cliffs of Moher (don't bother). Now Andy had been suffer a rattling for a fair while now and after replacing top bushings on a front shock it was still there, he'd put it down to a skid plate over his aux tank. He'd obviously ruled out lots of other things including having had the wheels off, but this rattle was driving him nuts. So whilst we were at the Cliffs he stayed in the carpark for a while to try and solve the issue.... no luck.



We carried on up the coast and actually a little inland where we stopped for a night in what I/we thought was a fisherman's car park only to find out it was someone's parking area. The guy was a bit miffed but when he arrived I was picking up litter that had been left behind and he seemed quite impressed. After Andy sweet talked him for a while he was happy for us to stay. We left him a beer to say thanks.


The following day was a long drive with not many camp spots. We arrived to a place where you can drive across the sea bed when the tide was out to a small island, but they have now enforced strict no camping rules. It was cool though driving across.

We eventually found a couple of small coves where we found we cound drive briefly on the beach to set up camp. This was my favourite spot and a memory I will take to my grave.




It's always been a bucket list item for me to camp in the beach with a bbq and fire. There was something so peaceful and humbling about the location. Waking up late and being greeted with the rainbow was just icing on a very nice cake. My favourite camp spot of the whole trip

As we started to enter Donegal, I'd previously found an old quarry by carefully studying some of the Donegal overland videos from YouTube. So we stopped for a play. With the weather rolling in on us it made for some nice photos. Andy took it a little far, got slightly stuck and ripped off his mud flap.



Another play spot was next on the route and hopefully close to our next camp spot. There was an open area which was obviously used as a 4x4 playground so we stopped for a play and a venture into the woods near by. We both got stuck and both ended up winching out. Another first ticked off for me.



Having a stream close by meant we could wash the trucks sort of off before heading on further north, obviously stopping to explore some of the forest tracks that weren't locked on the way. We found a small stoney beach in which to set up camp. The food was great, the red wine flowed and the fire flickered as the sun set.


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Gorgeous trip and photos. Well worth waiting for. Keep em coming.
After another night on the beach we headed up to the most northerly part of ireland and the end of the WAW. Malins head. I expected more. We met ayoung french guy up there who need a lift (he'd hitch hike from France and was working his way round Ireland.) So we dropped him at the biggest local town and headed on.


One of the first places I'd found d when researching this trip was a road signed "unsuitable for motor vehicles" music to my ears. Turned out to be an interesting track through the moors. We cam across an stollen and abandoned car. Being good travellers we reported it to the fuzz. Now to paint a seen this was a tight rough track with very deep drainage ditches to one side and a cliff to the other. I am on my phone to the guarda looking round the vehicle when they asked for the location Andy had a GPS in his truck so we could give an exact location. He handed my the device and started to walk round the vehicle. As iam reading the location out there's a short loud whelp as Andy falls backwards and disappeared into the drainage ditch, it was hilarious and made even funny trying to keep my cool whilst still in the phone. A tricky little drive round and out and we heady for the ferry to Northern Ireland.


Northern island was then a jaunt to the Giants Causeway. Unquestionably the busiest place we'd been. There's even a bus that can take the bone lazy Americans (Seemed only to be Americans getting off it) to the Causeway and back.

It was an interesting place but much to busy for my liking.



We stopped the night at a pub campsite, which was barely open, had a few beers with some locals and hit the hay ready for a long last few days driving south.

Prior to getting on thr ferry we drove along a beach to find a place for a rest, lunch, shower and sort the trucks out before driving to the ferry and then home.


A great first trip for me, learnt lots, lots of firsts and had a ball. Close on 3000miles when I got home and finally joined the dots. Would I go back, definitely, it could never be the same but there was more to explore.


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Happy to fire over the Google map routes. Infact I will see if I can drop the links in here for those that want them.
yes Chris, you’re right, there was that one area that was infested with midges, had forgotten about that one, probably because we didn’t stop there!
Would be great to get the route, originally from Eglinton in the north coast so keen to go back and do some of these routes
+1 for the route Please.
Am thinking of a west coast Ireland and into N. Ireland trip this summer.
So did you conclude
1. More fun following small coast roads you found rather than the Wild Atlantic Way? And,
2. Better off finding camping sites as you went rather than relying on apps?
cheers for the write up.
If I may suggest, don't put routes up here but share it via a private flow. Maybe over email / DM.
@Bmonck I'll try to workout how to share the routes via PM but struggling via mobile.

1) wasn't necessary more fun (nothing to compare to as we couldn't do both routes) it was just the route we took was lesser taken, more rural. Some of those roads are tiny unpaved and blind with high hedges, one "road" was completely flooded, like driving on a river bed.

2) the apps gave an idea of where to stop based on inital route planning and lots of places we stayed we found via the apps. Depending on the weather, your sleepig set up and obviously access some places just aren't suitable.
haha, i think (1) there is pretty much Ireland's highway system outside the main 2 or 3 roads.

@Howmanygoes if you can export to GPX files, that might be the way to go; it can then be 'imported' into many different apps etc even Google earth
Absolutely loving this thread!! Can't wait to get over there!!