Camping in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is positively brimming with beautiful countryside worth exploring. Taking a road trip through the valleys and hills is a must but if you really want to get in touch with nature I highly recommend a camping holiday in Northern Ireland! It’s cheap, great fun and you’ll wake up with gorgeous views every day! So here’s our guide to camping in Northern Ireland.

Where to start

If you’re thinking of visiting Northern Ireland you first need to decide how you’re getting there. You can of course get cheap flights from various airports in England and Scotland or you can catch a ferry to Belfast from Liverpool. Once at Belfast you may want to take a break and stay a night or too.

Of course camping doesn’t have to mean public transport and pop-up tents. You can easily hire a car in Northern Ireland or even hire a camper van. Most camp sites have electrical hook-ups and chemical toilet waste disposal so you can go “glamping” if you prefer!

Camping in Belfast

The best place to start is at Jordanstown Loughshore Caravan Park. It’s just 5 miles out of Belfast city centre and has fantastic views of the coast. It’s modern facilities make it a nice easy start to your road trip. It’s even got a play area for the kids, free wifi and free hot showers! Check out their website for more details.

County Antrim

One of the best places to go camping in Northern Ireland is without doubt Carnfunnock Country Park. It was originally the estate of Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon and retains some of its wonderful estate features. The camping areas here are well maintained but the real reason for staying here is to wander the grounds and enjoy the attractions they have created here.

There’s over 450 acres of woodland, gardens and ponds. Some wonderful walking trails that are great for all levels of trekkers. There’s some amazing panoramic views of the Coast and North Channel as well. There’s a family fun zone for the kids, a miniature railway, a 18 hole mini golf course and lots of other fun things to do. For more information visit their website at carnfunnock.com.

Giant’s Causeway

No trip to Northern Ireland would be complete without a visit to the Giant’s Causeway. This natural phenomenon has to be seen to be believed. The rugged and beautiful countryside here offers some great chances to camp as well. The self-proclaimed “5 star camping” site of Ballyness Caravan Park is probably the best in the area. Open from 16th March to 31st October 2012, they have ample space for  camper-vans, caravans and tents. They also have wonderful views of the countryside and some of the cleanest facilities of any campsite I’ve seen. If you’re looking to take a break from camping they even have a cottage you can rent for a day or two. For more information on their prices and services go to ballynesscaravanpark.com

Other camp sites worth checking out

If you’re looking for some exciting activities then the Share Discovery Village in County Fermanagh is worth going to. They have a great range of outdoor activities including sailing, horse riding, rock climbing, zorbing, mountain biking, dry slope skiing and much more. In fact there’s so much going on here you’ll need a few days to recover! Their camping facilities are great too with lots of space for caravans, camper-vans and tents. For a full list of their activities, events and accommodation check out sharevillage.org

For more great camping ideas I recommend checking out the Outdoor NI blog and their list of top camp sites. Also check out the Discover Northern Ireland website for lots of great travel ideas.