Seeing the 40 Shades of Green in Ireland in a Gypsy Caravan

Johnny Cash was precise when he used the proverbial phrase ‘The Forty Shades of Green’ as the title of a song he affectionately dedicated to Ireland. Known worldwide as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is a verdant dreamland. The geography is shockingly beautiful, embracing all elements, from sea to soil. Enriching the small island nation are lush forests, rolling green hills, rustic farmlands, and transcendent mountains that protectively stand guard over the fertile terrain. The shorelines feature a diversity of sandy beaches and moody, rugged cliffs. When a fine sea mist creeps in, a very real sense of Celtic folklore embodies the land.


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Favourably, unlike the bigger towns, the countryside of Ireland has experienced minimal change over the years. Charismatic villages dot the landscape, but to truly access the heart of Ireland, a caravan is the ideal way to travel and rest. A caravan allows direct passage to the copious parks, beaches, and lakes that make Ireland a beloved holiday destination.

The west of Ireland has inspired many a poet and artist with its poignant seascapes, including Sligo born brothers Jack and William Butler Yeats. The region of Galway known as Connemara, translated loosely from the Irish language as of the sea, is one of Ireland’s top caravan destinations because of it unspoilt coasts, especially its romantic inlets. Naturally atmospheric, Connemara has been used as the setting of numerous productions including the epic film ‘Tristan and Isolde.’ Stay at a caravan park near the town of Clifden for robust beaches and spirited pubs.


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Further north in County Mayo is Achill Island, a surfer’s haven because of its secluded beaches and promising swells. Many of the captivating beaches in Achill are only accessible by foot or sail. Trek The Greenway, Ireland’s longest off road cycling and walking trail. Stunning coastlines house a majority of campsites on the island, perfect for waking up to fresh sea air and catching early morning waves.

The Burren is a rocky but tranquil stretch of limestone pavement interlaced with a remarkable variety of exotic flora. Situated in County Clare, the town of Doolin is a trendy caravan hub, mostly because of its proximity to the Burren and to ferries that cruise to the Aran Islands, a trio of rural farmlands and ancient landmarks in Galway Bay.


The picturesque lakes of Ireland’s midlands are ideal for boating, fishing, and spending leisurely afternoons by the water. The River Shannon, Ireland’s largest river, twists through the opulent earth, carving excellent spots for picnics and swimming. Abundant caravan parks look onto its leafy banks. Grill a fish over a barbeque under the stars, or simply enjoy the company of friends within the shelter of lakeside woods.

Dingle is a historic fishing hamlet in the southwest of Ireland. The village’s most famous inhabitant is Fungi, a bottlenose dolphin frequently spotted greeting boats in the harbour. There is a bronze statue of him in the centre of the village. Embark on a dolphin tour to meet Fungi, or journey to the medieval Gallus Oratory, Ireland’s oldest church. Dingle is part of a Gaeltacht, an area where the native language is predominately spoken, so signs for campsites are likely to be in Irish.

Every caravan holiday in Ireland should include a trip to Blarney Castle in County Cork to kiss the Blarney Stone. It is rumoured that that those who kiss the stone are blessed with the gift of eloquence. Stroll through the magical castle gardens enlivened with such landmarks as the Wishing Steps, Fairy Glade, and Witches Kitchen.

Along the coast of Northern Ireland is an impressive geological mystery known as the Giant’s Causeway – a natural formation of towering columns that interlock to resemble hexagonal steps. It featured in the Irish legend of Finn MacCool long before it was named a World Heritage Site. A handful of caravan parks are nestled across County Antrim within short distance to the Giant’s Causeway, convenient for exploring the scenic Causeway Coastal Route’s other exciting attractions. The thrilling Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a safe but challenging suspension bridge made of Douglas fir that swings high above rocks and sand. The end reward is resplendent views of the majestic sea and dynamic coastline.

Ireland is wild and enchanting. In a caravan, visitors do not merely observe the verdurous panoramas; they become a part of the scenery, the lifeblood of an organic land where people and nature survive harmoniously. From windswept beaches and soaring cliffs to mesmerizing wetlands and lakeshores, Ireland exposes its forty shades of green with indestructible pride.

Date posted: 19th August, 2013

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