GET YOUR BEAR GRYLLS ON
These sunny days make us demented with joy. Yet we don’t quite go all the way with them. Yes we strip off and lie on a traffic island but we must stop doing this. There are other ways to enjoy the warm weather. Like camping. Yes camping! It is far superior to that traffic island outside your work.
With the recession maiming our wallets, how do you enjoy a small break with your family for a tiny price? Here’s how…you go camping. But where? Where is good?
Well check out this little piece of heaven just 40 minutes drive south of our big smoke, Dublin. This stretch of our coastline is stunning. Just slightly south of the Wicklow lighthouse lies two beaches called Silver Strand. There are two competing caravan and camping parks here. One is large, has a fantastic playground for the kids, and has brilliant beach access. The other is smaller with more difficult beach access, but dare I say it, slightly prettier.
The walk to the beach…it looks like a golf course!
However, the great thing about the larger caravan park is the facilities. It is very large, with many onsite caravans and a large area for you to pitch a tent. Kids find other kids almost immediately and friendship are stuck up over playgrounds and green fields. It is like something from the Waltons on their annual vacay. For the teenagers, there is a shed with tables, and vending machines full of soda pop and chocolate bars…the primary fuel for teens. They can gather and go wild…in the right way.
The beach has high cliffs which protect tanners from high winds, making it a warm little sun trap. But also, because the beach is small and has natural walls, you can see kids wherever they are on the beach, and they can’t run away to Wexford. Well not easily, anyway. If they know how to hitch-hike you can officially be worried. In fact there is so little to worry about here that you could even attempt to consume that nice little sneaky beer you have hidden at the bottom of your icebox. And as you relax, you can watch seals play in the waters. Well you can relax in the hope that they won’t eat your children. Arm them with spades and they should be fine.
An awesome cave ready to be explored. As long as Bin Laden wasn’t in there, I was okay with it.
But it is the wonderful caves that are the best thing about this place. There is one particularly TOTALLY AWESOME cave…it connects two different beaches. You can’t get from one beach to the other at high tide, you have to swim around the rocky cliffs…except if you know where the secret cave is! The cave is full of little pools of seawater, which is a great adventure for kids. And if you are an adult, you have to stick to your Weight Watchers programme to fit through one part of it. It does get narrow. Which can be a bit claustrophobic for those of us who like their pies. But the kids think the craic is ninety! And it is a proper cave – long, skinny, and dark, dripping, and mysterious.
The above is a pic of the skinny part of the cave where you must roll yourself up like you have an economy class ticket on JAL. A local from the area told me that over the centuries many pirates were reputed to have hidden their treasures in the caves. I vowed to go back with a very intense torch.
Another great attraction was the bird nests in the caves. These are black guillemots, the babies were in the nest squawking for their parents to return with some nasty regurgitated food which looked a lot like my cooking after a few bottles of vino.
The one thing I did notice is that because the weather was just so perfect on the bank holiday weekend, the birds starting chirping at 3:00am. All I could think of was “Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie”…I was gonna eat them if they didn’t shut up and soon. And of course, I started thinking about a lamb roast. Because then the birds woke the sheep who started bleating at around the same time. But other than the natural happiness of varied animals, sleeping in a tent is really really nice, especially when you can hear the waves below. It’s like putting on a nature CD in your own home. But it is for real, and you are getting fresh air, quite the shock in this day and age.
Check out the positioning of this mobile home. If you can’t take the heat of camping Bear Grylls styles, with a tent made from two sticks and some spit, then you can buy a mobile home on site. This one is massively appealing.
The circle is the tent!!! Prime real estate or what?
The price to pitch a four-man tent for one night is just €26. But if you are fearful of sleeping on an airbed in a sleeping bag, then day access is €8 per car. And it is defo worth it. Especially if you are looking for a cave to rest your dragon in.
Do you have a favourite spot in Ireland for a sunshine escape? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org
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