7 Day RV Ireland Roadtrip with kids
Ireland has been on my bucket list for years. I knew I wanted to go and I knew I wanted to take my kids. I wanted to explore Ireland entirely and I knew it was going to be a long road trip. Spanning over 10 days I wanted to cover as much ground as possible.
I researched and found that taking an RV around Ireland wasn’t very popular. Let me tell you…I am going to make it popular because having an RV was a game changer. Having the space to spread out while we drove for hours each day made it a breeze. The kids were easier to entertain with a table and chairs and bunk beds to take naps in or they could go to bed if we needed to drive at night.
What to book?
We decided to fly roundtrip out of Dublin. Cheaper then flying in and out of somewhere else. Easier to return the RV at the same location and it allowed us to do the whole loop.
We decided to go with Bunk Camper. We got the biggest one Grande, sleeps 6. I chose unlimited miles, toilet cleaner, bedding and towels (I only ordered 4 but I would suggest ordering for every single person), and the drop and go (meaning that we didn’t have to clean before we returned it)
- They also gave us THE MAP! Had all the RV park locations. IMPORTANT ITEM!
Fly to Ireland. We flew into Dublin.
Right when we flew in (we got there early in the morning) we took a taxi and headed straight to Bunk Camper location to pick up the RV. They ran us through everything (took a little longer then I thought so plan on that) and then we were ready to go! We first drove to a market to pick up some things to begin our journey.
- breakfast items
- anything we forgot
- fun Irish candy and treats
We decided to start driving since we were going to spend time in Dublin on the way home.
First stop was Kilkenny:
We walked down the streets of Kilkenny and enjoyed the colorful houses and the beauty! Since it was morning we stopped and at brunch at a local place. ( we followed reviews on google for this one) We ate a classic “English breakfast” ( none of us liked the pudding cake things but we all tried them) and the kids enjoyed hot chocolate and our trip began!
After breakfast we walked down the street to the Kilkenny Castle.
We went inside and took a tour. This was my 7 year old daughters favorite castle. Because crowds were light we were able to buy tickets right when we got there. (check this prior to going, it may change depending on what time of year you go) Every castle was so different and we wanted a variety.
My daughters favorite room was this nursery.
Right after this castle we decided to keep driving. We wanted to go down to Waterford. We headed that way and then went on a Ferry with the RV. It was a funny experience that my kids still laugh about. We took the passage east to Arthurstown, Kilhile, Coleman, Cuncannon, Fethard on Sea and we headed to the Hook lighthouse in Churchtown.
I made it a point to hit places that were kid friendly. I didn’t want to just see castles. So going into the oldest working lighthouse in the world was so much fun for the kids! They have ships to play in, playground, a shop, ice cream, and a tour. We decided to go on the lighthouse tour and it was definitely worth it. We all learned a ton and the views were amazing.
We stopped in a playground in Waterford next to Duncannon beach and then walked down to the beach.
We then started the drive to Cork where we would stay the night. On the way to Cork we called RV parks around and asked if any availability. (It was off season so the map that the RV place gave us let us know which ones were open on off season, so we called around just to double check if they had room. Every single RV park we stayed in was almost empty because it was off season) If you are going during busy season you can book your campsites prior to going on your trip
We parked the RV in Cork and decided to go into town for dinner. We found Market Lane through google and looks on ratings. It was a yummy steak and chicken place and we had their creme brûlée and ice cream for dessert.
We stayed in the RV park and woke up and took showers in the RV park. They have plug ins where you can plug in your RV so you can put your heater or air conditioner on, bathrooms to brush your teeth and get ready and shower. As a family of 6 we never had to use our shower in our RV to get ready because the RV parks had showers to use. Some of them you have to pay with tokens.
That next morning we went into the town of Cork and had breakfast at Scoozi and walked around Cork. We visited Sant Fin Barre’s Cathedral and went clothes shopping. Then we went to the English Market. This is where they have all kinds of food items to buy. From desserts, to vegetables, olives, breads, and everything in between.
After the market and breakfast we headed to Blarney Castle. We spent 4 hours exploring this castle. The grounds are absolutely amazing! We kissed the Blarney Stone, explored every room in the castle, and spent time on the grounds after running around and exploring. This was a highlight of the trip for me personally.
Then after the castle we headed to Kinsale. Kinsale is a fishing town. It was so beautiful. We enjoyed fish and chips right on the water and loved walking through the streets of town exploring. I wanted to see a variety of places and this fishing town wasn’t like the rest of Ireland. We ate lunch at Dino’s fish and chips.
After that we took a beautiful drive to Killarney where we stayed the night at an RV park. We called around again to see which was open.
First stop in town was Murphys Ice Cream. We all fell in love with this ice cream place and stopped a few more times at different locations.
We started the day by heading to Muckross House in Killarney. We wanted to give our children the expierence of an Estate and how homes were run and this place was amazing. We bought tickets at the door and did the whole tour and we loved it.
On the way out we stopped at Murphys for ice cream again and then headed in Inch Beach. It was a little cold and windy but during warmer months this is a hot spot. We were on our way to Dingle Peninsula. This was probably one of my favorite drives of the whole trip. Absolutely beautiful. There was ocean views, mountains, hills, and green pastures. We stopped and rolled down the hills and ran around and enjoyed the beauty.
In dingle we went to Rahinnane Castle. This was a old castle with only pieces left of it. This was both of my sons favorite castle. They spent hours climbing, exploring and playing hide and seek together.
After that my husband and I were not tired so we decided to drive in the night time after it was dark. We took the Conor pass. It was absolutely beautiful and we wish we could have seen all of the drive in the day time. But we were not tired. My husband and I spent that whole drive talking about the memories our kids were making and how good it felt as parents to see our children together, having fun, and creating memories.
We drove to Tralee and spent the night at an RV park there.
We woke up in Tralee ate breakfast and drove to Listowel, Tarbert Island, onto a ferry in Killimer, through Lehinch, onto the Cliffs of Moher.
We spent a few hours exploring the Cliffs of Moher. It was the coldest and windiest day out of all the days. Which was a total bummer. We could have spent way more time exploring there if the weather wasn’t so cold for us Arizonans.
After that we drove to the Kilfenora. Saw a few castles (that were closed) on our way to Galway.
We made it to Galway and found an RV park, parked it and then headed to town for dinner and dessert. We stopped at a candy shop and my kids each picked out a few things for their road trip snacks. And we went to Murphys ice cream.
We woke up and had breakfast in Galway and then headed to northern Ireland. First stop was Londonderry. My kids called this the creepiest castle. We explored it and my kids dared each other to jump in the freezing cold water.
Then we continue to drive around to hit the Dark Hedges. We stopped along the way and enjoyed the view. Northern Ireland does have a different currency and government than Ireland. A lot of people in Ireland throughout our trip told us to stay in Ireland and not go up to Northern Ireland. It could have been that we were at the beginning stages of Covid 19 and they wanted to keep us separate but we did not have any problems and we are so glad we could explore both.
There was some areas to explore right by the Dark hedges parking area. They had little villages and houses in the woods and my children loved exploring it all.
We had plans of staying in Northern Ireland and to spend time in Belfast. And to explore Northern Ireland but out plans had to change. President Trump announced that flights coming in and out of different countries were not going to be allowed in 3 days. We decided that night to get in our RV and drive straight to Dublin and get a hotel and try to get an earlier flight.
Head to Dublin. We ate at a few nice restaurants, shopped in St Stephen Green shopping centre, and stayed at the Westbury hotel. We walked around Grafton Street. There wasn’t much open because of the pandemic so we were limited in Dublin.
We ate at the Fire Steakhouse, Kokoro Ramen, Ferno 500 and at the Westbury Hotel.
Our trip had 10 days so we decided to stay in Dublin until our flight took off. We were planning on taking Northern Ireland slow and spending day 7 and day 8 in Northern Ireland.
Then day 9 we would drive to Dublin and return the RV and get a hotel for the night to get situated before a long flight home.
Here is the entire loop that we did and the direction we drove