Camping and Glamping with Good Food Ireland
In Ireland, summer isn’t summer unless you’ve spent a night in a tent under the stars. From an early age, most kids here have grown up with the idea of camping. First timers usually start with a sleepover under canvas in the back garden, where mum and dad are close at hand in case the young ones get spooked in the middle of the night! As the years progress, camping weekends become regular summer events, either with friends as part of a supervised trip with a local group, or with the family as an opportunity to escape for the weekend. Huge excitement in the great outdoors, as simple food is cooked on a camping stove and the glow of the embers in the fire keeps everyone company till darkness falls. For Irish teenagers old enough to holiday alone, the biggest adventure of all time comes from pitching a tent with your best buds, be it in a wood or by the beach. All sorts of carry on can ensue, from ghost stories round the fire to a strum on a guitar. Those who have grown to love camping from childhood are only too happy to indulge that love as adults at every opportunity. Camping is part of growing up in a country which showcases nature at its best.
CAMPING ON AN APPLE FARM
Camping can be a magical way to get back in touch with nature. Especially for people who live in the city or built up suburban towns. In Tipperary, you can add to the experience of outdoor holidaying by camping on a real working farm. The Apple Farm in Co. Tipperary is a beautiful spot with acres of orchards which grow a variety of apples harvested from August to the end of October, as well as plums and cherries in the summer months and pears in for a few short weeks around November and early December.
In summer, you’ll spot outdoor grown strawberries picked through July and August and outdoor and indoor grown raspberries till early October. Con Traas is the second generation to be growing apples and other fruit on this farm and has developed a range of fresh juices, cider and cider vinegars, plus jams and jellies, all from farm produce and made on site. The Apple Farm Shop here sells all the fruit in season as well as the juices, cider, jams, jellies and vinegars and other local produce.
Camping is available in a modern park on this family run site at the farm. The Apple Farm Camping and Caravan Park caters for tents, motor homes and caravans. Wherever you happen to be on this park, there will always be an electricity connection and water supply from the farm’s own spring water well close by. Caravans and campers have hard stands for parking. This park is compact but spacious and will have no more than sixty people per night in the height of the season. Charges are very simple, just a ‘per person’ fee plus a connection charge for 16 amp electricity point if you need it.
Kids will love this park, which comes with a chance to learn about the fruit growing, visit the orchards and see juice production, plus a full size tennis court and kids playground. In the big barn there’s a superb Campers Kitchen with freezer and fridge for customer use, and picnic tables for eating inside. You’ll also find a games room to occupy the evenings, although don’t be surprised if an impromptu music session springs up in the barn, with campers who can play instruments or who have fine singing voices providing the entertainment.
There’s always the possiblity of a party here which is half the fun of camping! The Apple Farm park also has the important practicalities like laundry facilities, disabled facilities and a public telephone. Campers are welcomed with a bottle of the farm’s own juice so you can get a taste of the place you are visiting. Cool.
CAMPING IN STYLE
For those who have never tried camping, to those who have tried it and want some luxury thrown into the mix (because let’s face it, ordinary camping in tents in the great outdoors usually means roughing it) ‘glamping’ is the way forward! Glamping is a word created to sum up Glamourous Camping. At Ballyvolane House, Justin and Jenny Greene know how to do glamping in serious style.
You’d expect nothing less at this ancient Italianate villa family home turned top class Country House, situated in its own majestic grounds. Glamping at Ballyvolane extends the luxuries of the interior of the house to the outside world, introducing the five-star experience to sleeping in a tent. You’ll be as snug as a bug in a rug in one of the generous sized real canvas bell tents, located in a quiet dell in the gardens of the house. Fairy lights on the tents, nightlights and candle lanterns will light your way as darkness descends.
Four metre bell tents accommodate 2 people comfortably whilst five metre tents take two adults and two children. Beds are full sized raised timber beds with comfy natural matteresses stuffed with recycled jeans and organic lambswool. Bedding includes real cotton sheets, pillows, duvets and blankets. Thick soft towels also provided. These tents even have bedside tables, chairs and coir carpeting. You’ll be welcomed with a ‘glamping box’ with matches, maps, water, local apple juice, cookies, torch and head lamps. Everything you need to enjoy a night outdoors in the best possible style! Glamping at Ballyvolane House also includes the charming Pig Arc and ‘Father Ted’ Caravan, both fully kitted out for comfort. These sleep two in a comfy double bed and provide a proper romantic getaway.
Glamping at Ballyvolane House is a fully-catered experience which allows glampers to fully enjoy the local food ethos of the house. Produce from the walled garden and farm, plus other farms in the locality, is used for meals at breakfast and dinner. Afternoon tea is also served. All meals and drinks are provided in the main house. If you are staying more than one night, your hosts will happily recommend a local restaurant if you fancy eating out.
Wash House facilities at Ballyvolane are totally in keeping with the quality this house consistently provides. Facilities are fully heated with gorgeous loos and showers, plus ample clothes hooks, good lighting and hair dryers. Yes. Hair dryers. Because you want to look your best when you’re glamping. We did say it was glamorous.