Old school charm at Sexton’s in the heart of West Cork



Old school charm with a modern twist, Sexton's in west cork have been welcoming campers to Timoleague for over 50 years.

When Mag and Con Sexton decided to take the plunge 54 years ago in Timoleague and turn their farmstead into a campsite, God only knows what the locals thought.

The couple may have had high hopes for their venture, but they could hardly ever have imagined in their wildest dreams that fifty years on their love affair and their love affair with camping would have them regarded as one of the best campsites in the country. That bright idea that Mag had to open a campsite all those years ago has happily worked out really well.

What’s more, they couldn’t have expected that in 2021 they’d be solidly booked out throughout the summer season, with a waiting list of staycationers clamouring to holiday at their West Cork idyll.

Con is in his 80’s now. He’s the charmer with the pipe who still takes time to stroll around the campsite and chat with the visitors who flock back to this farmland year after year. Mag, affectionately known to regulars as Nana, too, has reason to be proud as punch as she surveys the happy scenes of families who soak up the atmosphere and country air is this sylvian setting straight off the pages of a children’s storybook with its white dashed walls and rustic red doors. Nana even finds time to run her charity shop and sell €1 lucky-dip bags for good causes to children who most definitely get more than they bargain for when they part with their pound. 

That’s the essence and ethos of Sexton’s still going strong over five decades on, you always get more and come away feeling better. It’s old school charm, old school values but with a modern twist and a legacy carried on by the next generation in busy-as-a-bee daughter, Elaine, and her trusty assistant Sally. Yes, they carry on Sexton’s fabled tradition at this family-friendly site but also there’s those crépe evenings that keep selling out, the eagerly awaited ice-cream van and Zumba with Yvonne which is so much fun.

Everything seems to be fun at Sexton’s which belies the thoroughness, the clockwork efficiency and dedicated customer service which is always ticking over in the background.

All the time looking for a catchy heading I was going to go for: Sexton’s on the Beach the perfect camping cocktail this summer, but that would have been only slightly misleading. The campsite itself is not directly on the beach. However, there are plenty of beaches and seaside options in the vicinity.

In fact, Sexton’s is not only an oasis of country cool and tranquility but it’s also a great jumping off point in the heart of West Cork if you want to head into Clonakilty just in the road and Roscarberry, Courtmacsherry and Kinsale are also within easy reach.  This affords an array of other attractions, amenities, and activities they have to offer including amazing walks, sea angling, boat hire, and whale watching tours. Personally, I’d be keeping an eye on the surf conditions in Inchydoney.

Sexton’s has its own safe playground and football pitch, it’s a homely spot and ideal for families but it does rightly insist on a 10pm curfew for kids in the summer, to give everyone a chance to get a good night’s sleep.

A countryside setting with well laid out pitches, ample hedgerows and space make for a perfect rural camping retreat. We just love that there’s no additional charge or tokens for the showers, which is a bit of a bugbear of ours over here at Vanhalla. There’s an onsite disabled access wet room, laundry, and free Wi-Fi. Neither is there an extra tariff for EHU.

I couldn’t make it down to Sexton’s during the peak summer season, but Vanhalla dispatched its A-Team of Grazyna, Kayla and Martyna all who came back not just glowing, but with glowing reports of Sexton’s and are still singing its praises.

The pitch rates at Sexton’s are, hiker/cyclist per person €12 to €14; a unit with two adults €28 to €34 and a unit with two adults and two children €34 to €38.

The real good news is that Sexton’s has just announced it’s extending its season and will remain open until October 31st which takes in the bank holiday, mid-term, and Halloween. Tempting.


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