Doolin, Clare

Nagles    May 2013

This is a lovely site, very spacious, with an open feel, so no risk of feeling cramped even when full. It's been recently revamped with new tarmac site roads and concrete hardstandings with waste water disposal.

The shower facilities have also been expanded and are large and very smart indeed. As is usual in Ireland showers cost extra, here they are 1 euro 50 for a token, but this gives about 10 minutes hot water and you can turn it off and on again within that time. The cubicles are nice and roomy.

There is a large camp kitchen with washing-up sinks, hobs, fridge, TV and tables and benches. Another plus is that there is free wifi throughout the site.

The friendly manager makes sure the site is kept immaculate. Most pitches have sea views, and at the back of the site there is a view of fields - all very peaceful and relaxing.

Like a previous reviewer, we saw dolphins in the harbour, and they accompanied us on our boat trip to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher. We also visited The Burren where the wild flowers were lovely. We even discovered Father Ted's house!

The only drawback is that there's not much food shopping locally - plenty of pubs, a couple of gift shops and a deli, and a fair hike to a Spar. There are two small supermarkets in Lisdoonvara (8 km), the town famous for its matchmaking festival in September.

All in all a lovely, relaxing site in glorious surroundings (mind you, we were lucky enough to have very good weather!) 

Salthill, Galway

Salthill Caravan Park    May 2013

This is a spacious, open site on the edge of the sea. The pitches are all tarmac hardstandings surrounded by well-mowed grass. A fellow camper who goes regularly told us that pitching used to be haphazard and rather cramped but is much improved now.

As you enter the site there are a number of static caravans, but the area for tourers is nearer the sea and in fact a number of pitches are right beside the sea - we had one of these and the views were lovely.

There is a central block with toilets, campers kitchen and washing-up sinks (50 cents coin in slot. ) The showers are in a separate block next to reception. The facilities are clean but definitely in need of refurbishment. Showers cost 1 euro, but this gave plenty of hot water.

As others have said, the adjacent seaside walk into Salthill is very pleasant. There's a good supermarket, Joyce's, about 1 mile from the site. Galway is an interesting old city but parking is quite expensive.

The best thing about this site is definitely its location, but it's somewhat overpriced, especially as there is no wifi.

Strandhill, Sligo

Strandhill caravan and camping park    May 2013

As previous reviewers have said this site is in a lovely spot by a surfing beach, with fabulous sunsets. There are 78 hardstanding pitches for tourers, all with waste water disposal, some with a sea view but they tend to be quite exposed. Other pitches are sheltered by grassy banks, as are the tents areas.

The shower block is good, if a little dated. The washbasins have soap and hand dryers. Showers are token-operated but give a good long hot shower for 1 euro 50, and there's a coin-operated hairdryer. There are washing-up sinks and a washing machine.

Reception staff are friendly and you can choose your own pitch. There is direct access to the beach from the site, but as others have said it's not suitable for swimming, in fact there's even a warning against paddling! However there is a safe family-friendly sandy beach about 2 km away.

The village has a Spar shop (with ATM), a pharmacist, and a choice of pubs and cafes. We particularly liked Shells, a cafe-cum-gift shop, with home-made food and cakes (they sell their own bread and cakes in the shop. ) The bakery mentioned in a previous review has now closed.

In the reception block there is a TV room with library, a games room and a campers kitchen. There's a 20 euro deposit for a fob to operate the entrance barrier. Wifi throughout the site is free.

Places of interest nearby include Sligo, Drumfield with an old church, a high cross and the grave of W. B. Yeats, and the hill of Knocknarea, which dominates the surrounding area. There's a neolithic cairn on the summit and, lower down, the megalithic cemetary of Carrowmore with more than 30 dolmens.

Annalong, Down

Annalong Holiday Park    May 2013

We were immediately struck by how neat and well-maintained the site was.

The park consists mainly of statics, but the touring area is nearest the sea and has roomy grass pitches with individual EHU, water and waste water disposal.

The toilet block is brand new and very smart and comfortable. Access is via an electronic fob, which also controls the entrance gate and coastal path gate. Instead of the usual row of toilets/washbasins/showers there are individual spacious bathrooms with loo, washbasin and shower (this is token-operated, as is usual in Ireland, tokens costing 75p and giving a good, long, hot shower. ) There is one cubicle with just a loo and washbasin. Everything was immaculately clean.

In the same building there is a smart laundry room with 2 sinks, 2 new washing machines, a dryer and an ironing board. The machines are among the cheapest we've encountered anywhere in Europe, at £1. 50 per wash, and £1 per dryer.

Wifi is available throughout, a bit expensive at £10 for 24 hours.

There are good takeaways nearby, a cafe, and the store which is now a Nisa. The harbour area is a great place to watch the fishing boats come in. The seaside resort of Newcastle with a lovely sandy beach and all the usual attractions is about 15 minutes drive. We can recommend both Niki's and Maude's for excellent snacks, cakes and ice creams.

The scenery is wonderful - the Mountains of Mourne provide a backdrop to the site and there are many routes to explore them, both by car and on foot.

A couple of minor drawbacks - it's quite a long walk from the tourers' pitches to the shower block; and children's facilities are fairly limited. There's an enclosed playground with modern play equipment behind the shower block, but nowhere for kids to kick a ball around, which means they tend to do it around the caravans. A small games room for older kids to congregate in would be useful too