Views from behind the wheel – Exploring Ireland in a Bunk Camper
Somewhere off the beaten track on the Emerald Isle, Leanne discovers views from behind the wheel of a Bunk Camper..
At 25 years old, I had already traveled the world. What I didn’t expect on my return was to fall in love with the green pastures of Ireland that were right on my doorstep my whole life.
I picked up my campervan for hire in Belfast with a mission to explore my back garden. New to the campervan experience I thankfully was given a demonstration on how to use my home from home for the next 10 days. I could travel as far and wide as I liked, and that’s exactly what I intended to do.
Living the legend at the Giant’s Causeway
My campervan wove its way up along the ancient coast road to the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage site. With something to discover around every corner, the views of the ocean along the way were breathtaking. I parked up at the newly opened visitor centre and took a walk along the coast to see the magnificent hexagonal formations. According to the legend, after an argument with a Scottish giant, Finn McCool ripped up the causeway that once connected the two countries.
Riding Donegal’s unspoilt waves
Stepping up a gear, I cruised into the Republic of Ireland. One of the least populated places in Ireland, Donegal, to my surprise is packed full of unspoilt beaches. Taking my first ever surf lesson, I dove straight into the choppy waters of the Atlantic ocean and after many very amusing and unsuccessful attempts to stand on my board, I headed back to my van for a hot shower and warm tea. With the famous Mount Errigle in the distance, I watched the pinkish glow of the quartzite in the setting sun from the comfort and warmth of my camper and began to question why I left this glorious country in the first place.
Turning the pages of Sligo’s literary heritage
My love of grand old houses and magnificent scenery was fed along the Yeats trail where I tasted the fine flavour of Ireland’s culture and great stories. Ireland’s rich literary heritage is alive in this area making it the perfect opportunity to brush up on my poetry and get lost in the music flowing out from Sligo’s intimate pubs. Remoteness wasn’t a problem whilst travelling by campervan. Equipped with hot water, onboard heating, cooking facilities, a shower and toilet, it meant I could reach even the most far flung and intimate parts of Ireland and still be truly self-sufficient no matter where I went.
Visiting Ireland’s most iconic gems in County Kerry
Unable to miss one of Ireland’s top 5 destinations on my journey, I pointed my compass south to discover the famous Ring of Kerry and Cliffs of Moher. Meandering along the cliffs, I watched all the sightseers stop at the same crowded places and instead passed by in my camper to find a space on the cliffs without any tourists. Unable to tear myself away from the view, that night I took full advantage of my home on wheels and parked my Bunk Camper in a scenic campsite away from the humdrum of the city.
Discovering my roots
With a desire to re-connect with Ireland, I decided to trace my family genealogy. My grandfather’s family came from a small village in Cork near Clonakilty. Although their isolated thatched bungalow is now long gone, I couldn’t but help feel a sense of place, exploring the country roads that my family once called home. Stopping to stretch my legs, I took a walk across some of Ireland’s best countryside and inhaled in one last breath of the fresh air before heading back to Belfast to return my trusty camper.
With my limited budget, my biggest concern for my trip around Ireland was expenditure. Hiring a Bunk campervan meant I was able to combine my travel and accommodation costs and cook my own food. Thankfully, with less time worrying about money, I had more time to get out on the road and explore the great Irish countryside!