Camping capers: luxury or old school, try sleeping outside this bank holiday

Are We There Yet? For even a brief trip, the outdoors is a bonding experience

Playing at Camp Glamp in Co Wicklow.

Playing at Camp Glamp in Co Wicklow.


This August bank holiday weekend, we’re stuffing the car with enough supplies to survive two weeks to go camping in Co Carlow for one night with another family of four.

For some of our party it will be the briefest of outdoors adventure. My friend Lisa – in excellent timing, her twin nine- year-old daughters were born on the same day as my twin girls in Holles Street – insists she can only handle one night in a tent.

This gives the fathers an opportunity to do some daddy-daughter bonding with their four girls for a second night under the stars while us mothers head off back to Dublin.

(We’ll miss them all terribly but I think, on balance, we’ll survive.)

The last time I went on a camping trip I had just come down with a post-Eighth referendum flu that knocked me both sideways and backwards. Luckily, it was a glamping trip so it meant I could lie dramatically back on comforting sheepskin rugs, while our host atCamp Glamp in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow, the inimitable Clara McAuliffe, cooked a BBQ banquet using ingredients from award-winning local suppliers including Donegan’s Seafood.

Clara runs a little piece of canopied heaven close to one of Ireland’s most famous waterfalls and majestic Djouce Mountain. Camp Glamp has all of the joys of camping but none of the worries about dodgy toilets and unsatisfactory airbeds . There’s all the home comforts you can think of with a few very glamorous splashes of luxury: outside our very posh tent – which had a kitchen, a fridge and Irish-made Easca memory foam mattresses on actual beds – there was a gorgeous deck boasting a wood burning hot tub.

For kids there’s a rainy-day tent with arts and crafts and, depending on what day your arrive, all sorts of activities including forest walks, a fairy garden and bedtime stories around the campfire.

I recommend Camp Glamp for even the most campingphobic (hi, Lisa).

This weekend, though, we are going old-school camping, returning to a lovely little place we discovered called Raven’s Rest in Hacketstown, Co Carlow. No hot tubs there but we’ve our own fire pit, bags of marshmallows, two basic if dependable tents and fields as far as the eye can see. And a car full of too much stuff, just in case.

Have a great bank holiday weekend whatever you get up to.

Some more things to do with children this


holiday weekend ...

Live on the Pier at Dromquinna Manor

Another place that knows all about posh camping is Dromquinna Manor in Co Kerry but you don’t need to do glamping to go there. A few years ago we brought the kids and their grandmothers to this idyllic setting to watch Jack L do his brilliant thing and if you are in the area this is a lovely way to spend a lazy bank holiday Monday. Jack L returns this year to what is a truly stunning outdoor concert venue where you can enjoy great food, jaw-dropping scenery and music while the children (who get in free) dance, run around and enjoy a go on the bouncy castle.

Live on the Pier with Jack L, Dromquinna Manor, Kenmare, Co Kerry, Monday August 6th. Gates open 1pm, music from 2pm-6pm, Tickets €15 per adult, Under 16s free. Pay at gate. dromquinnamanor.comThe Ladybird Loop, Tayto Park

If you’ve ever gone to Tayto Park and balked at the sight of the giant wooden rollercoaster that appears to be made out of giant ice lolly sticks, this new addition to the park might be more up your alley. It’s a little rollercoaster for small children with rotating carriages which sounds delightful and not at all scary. The only problem is that they only allow children on it. Bah.

The Ladybird Loop, Tayto Park, Ashbourne, Co Meath, the ladybird loop opens this weekend, tickets start from €17.50 for a day at the park €35 with wristbands

Ireland: A Survivor’s Guide

If you fancy a laugh this weekend, this comedy gig offers a rollercoaster ride through Irish culture and customs. People rave about this sketch show which is high on audience interaction and physical comedy. Guaranteed Irish slapstick humour at its finest for anyone aged five and up, while the teenagers and adults will enjoy the biting satire – laughs for everyone in other words.

Ireland: A Survivor’s Guide, International Bar, Wicklow Street 087 1385165 , Friday and Saturday, August 3rd and 4th. 1pm Adults €12.50 and €6.50 children For other dates visit irelandasurvivorsguide.comFun Size Jazz!

Mini jazz enthusiasts and any budding musicians should head to The Ark in Dublin this Monday where they can try out instruments and enjoy short performances specifically created for younger audiences in partnership with the Improvised Music Company. Acts include Playing the Blues with Ben, Space Voyagers and The Smashing Red Kite’s Blues.

Fun Size Jazz!, The Ark, Eustace Street, Dublin, Shows at 2pm and 4pm, Tickets €6 per person. Suitable for ages 4 and up.

The Little Prince

The Little Prince, first published in 1943, was the creation of French aristocrat, writer, poet, and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Morgan Creative have used multiple art forms to bring a contemporary reimagining of this magical story to life. It’s been translated and adapted by Oisín Robbins .

The Little Prince, Mill Theatre Dundrum, Saturday 4th August, 2pm Tickets €10/€12

SprÓg Childrens Festival

This year’s Spraoi International Street International Street Arts Festival in Waterford city has an exciting programme of street performances including theatre, parade and music. And specially for kids, Garter Lane Arts Centre presents SprÓg Childrens Festival, during Spraoi Weekend, with workshops all week and over the Spraoi festival weekend.

SprÓg Childrens Festival is part of the Spraoi Arts Festival which runs from Friday 3rd to 5th of August. Many events are free, so pre-booking is essential. For more visit

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