If holliers overseas isn’t on the cards for you this summer, don’t knock the possibilities of a stay-cation. It’s easy to forget that every year visitors travel thousands of miles and spend thousands of dollars just to see and experience what is on our doorstep.
It’s easy to forget what a magical place we live in, especially with the temperamental weather. So rain or shine, here’s my advice for your next weekend or week away; avoid a hotel.
Think outside the box-room. You must have heard of glamping by now – the glamorous answer to sleeping in nature. You could channel your inner Barbara Windsor from Carry on Camping in a retro camper van, or go all-out fairytale and rent your very own castle to swan around in.
So here are three ways to stay in Ireland and feel a million miles away from home, hostels and hotel buffets. And naturally, to help you get in the holiday mood I’ve found some gorgeous dresses and accessories suitable for each location. As if you needed an excuse to go shopping, right?
Carry on camping in Clare
“What a wonderful, alternative way to spend the weekend in the Burren!” said one recent guest to this vintage caravan complete with bell tents in County Clare. The Cheltenham caravan sleeps three, while two large bell tents will sleep another four comfortably. A stay smack in the middle of the Burren guarantees some jaw-dropping scenery and the antidote to the busy lives of city-dwellers. “Never slept better” said one former guest.
You can book the Burren Farm camping on Airbnb, and while you’re there visit a local perfumery and – brace yourself – Father Ted’s House. If that doesn’t tick all the boxes for the perfect Irish holiday, I don’t know what does.
To tie in with the retro vibe, wear this Myleene Klass Daisy Print Dress with these stylish yet comfortable Shoe Box Flat Shoes. For perfect ’60s style make-up, add some winged eyeliner using this Rimmel Eyeliner.
Stay in your very own castle in Tipperary
If you have a little boy or a grown-up one that’s (still) obsessed with castles, prepare to tick off their birthday present for the next three years. Ballytarsna-Hackett Castle is a restored 15th century fortified tower house that comes with a four-poster bed, free-standing tub and even a dungeon! The views from the top are as spectacular as you’d imagine. What do you wear to swan around a castle? We suggest a Crochet Maxi Dress with Oversized Sunglasses, and these Sandals. And let’s not forget princess style Jewel Earrings.
Glamping in Wicklow
If you tend to travel in a clan, with brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews in tow – or perhaps you’re planning a hen – then let us make the case for glamping.
First off, glamping does not mean sleeping on the ground, nor does it have much resemblance to camping at all. Glamping is almost like a simple cosy hotel room with a canvas roof. You’ll still have beds, but you’ll probably also have a wood-burning stove, fairy lights, candles and the most incredible views right outside your door. Glamping is possible in the most incredible pockets of nature, where a hotel would never get planning permission.
Which brings us to The Old Forge Glamping in the Wicklow Hills. The campsite has two yurts and three bell tents, fitting around 16 people in total. They also have a ktichen and each tent has a BBQ, so it can work out as a really fun and cost-effective family holiday if you’re bringing everyone and their dog away for the week.