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Family camping fun down on the farm

Family camping fun down on the farm

A family camping getaway to a working farm can be a most relaxing and novel experience and the kids just love it.

Two big dates are looming large. The school summer holidays and the long awaited reopening of campsites.

Campsites countrywide finally get to reopen on June 2nd and the word is that they are choc-a-block with bookings.

However, the good news is that there’s still availability and contrary to some rumours there is no real evidence of any price gouging or dramatic price increases at campsites.

One notable exception to that is the Aire at Bantry Marina which has lost the run of itself by hiking overnight parking fees for motorhomes from €15 to €25. That coming off the back of a price jump from €10 to €15 last year, just won’t wash.

On the good news front there are new campsites opening throughout the country, the most recent being the Wicklow Way Campsite at Oldbridge near Roundwood (4km) and Glendalough (6km). New Aire style motorhome park-ups popping up in new locations too, including Aire Cuan Eilí near Belmullet and promises of a similar facility in the pipeline for the popular Dungarvan destination.

While the full house signs may be up for the bank holiday weekends and the high season there is still space and value to be found midweek and off peak. The expectations too are for this season to extend right on into late October, providing there are no further setbacks.

Very often when camping one of the issues is how to entertain young children and to wean them off the telly and the electronic devices. One great way to do so is to try camping down on a farm.

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Three great spots to give it a go are family friendly campsites on a working farm and a pet farm in Kilkenny and Tipperary. Here at Vanhalla we are also big fans of The Apple Farm campsite in Cahir in Tipperary, which we have previously reviewed and September is a great opportunity to visit there with the apple harvest in full tilt, not to mention Con’s Cider!!

Nore Valley Park in Bennettsbridge was one of our first ever excursions in our new campervan back in May 2017. The fresh countryside air, our comfy beds and black-out curtains did the trick as we slept it in on the first morning and missed out on the 9am feeding time for the lambs.

This is a quiet family run park in a tranquil rural setting and the smiles on our granddaughter Kayla’s face, who was just 4 at the time, says it all and sums it up so much better than I can.

Kayla at Nore Valley
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Nore Valley chasing chickens
Nore Valley chickens
Nore Valley donkey
Nore Valley Ducks
Nore Valley funny donkeys
Nore Valley goat
Nore Valley lambs
Nore Valley recycle

Children are encouraged to enjoy farm experience and help feed the animals. The farm and campsite is clearly a labour of love passed on through generations, with home baking of bread, scones and tarts also available. Apart from the camping facilities from tents to motorhomes, there are also mobile homes and glamping lodges available for hire.

It’s not surprising that this park has won numerous family friendly and eco-friendly awards and it offers special low season mid-week rates of a third night at half price, 7 nights for the cost of 6 and remains open until October 31st, so a chance there for some camping after the August surge.

Nore Valley 2

The tariffs at Nore Valley Park are €35 for a unit with two adults and two children; it’s €10 for a hiker/cyclist. There is a €5 cost for electrical hook up but no charges for showers. Pets are also welcome and of course there’s a playground.

You can contact them at camping@norevalleypark.com or www.norevalleypark.com

Another family friendly camping place is Parsons Green in Clogheen in Tipperary is something similar. A family run park with a pet farm, garden and riverside walks. Kids love it here in the heart of the Knockmealdowns.

There are picnic areas, pony & trap and boat rides as well as indoor and outdoor play areas, farm museum and coffee shop. It’s an ideal base for cycling trips, canoeing and hill walking. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful.

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It’s really a rural idyll, which also takes tents, is pet friendly and doesn’t have extra levies for showers or for electrical hook-up. The other beauty of it is that Parsons Green opens all year round.

It charges €37 for a unit with two adults and two children.

Parsons Green can be reached at parsonsgreeninfo@gmail.com or www.parsonsgreen.ie

For our hat-trick of the best family camping we highly recommend The Apple Farm in Cahir. We especially love it there in September.

The Apple Farm has a rather unique pricing system of €9 for adults and €6 for children with no unit charges and the only additional charge is €2.50 for electricity. There are unlimited free showers and do take note that dogs are not allowed.

This campsite is set up slap bang in the middle of a family run commercial orchard and they have a great farm shop.

This season (2021) they are operating on a 5-day basis, arriving on Wednesdays and departures the following Monday. All stays must be pre-booked. They close at the end of September and can be contacted at con@theapplefarm.com or www.theapplefarm.com

See Also a previous review which we did from The Apple Farm: The Apple Farm campsite is well worth the trip to Tipp

Nore Valley Hay
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About The Author

John Whelan

John Whelan is a vastly experienced midlands based journalist and editor who has contributed extensively to the country's leading national and regional titles, as well as broadcast outlets. He runs the media services company, Communicate Ireland www.communicateireland.ie. John is a keen camping and campervan enthusiast with an interest in music, culture, heritage and outdoor pursuits. He has written for the Sunday Times, Sunday Independent and the Woman's Way on these topics. He is also an author, and his latest book, The Last Beekeeper, reflects his love of nature, the landscape and our shared responsibility to protect the environment. The Last Beekeeper is available to preview and purchase at www.thelastbeekeeper.ie. Safe travels...

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