One of our favourite haunt is Pure Camping on Loop Head Peninsula in Clare. The camp is run by a friend of mine and I love it’s laid back atmosphere. The campsite is small and car free so it’s one of the few places we can let our city kids roam unchecked and develop some much-needed independence. The camp is very child friendly with dogs, cats and chickens wandering around and a donkey that the kids can help feed twice a day.
Pure Camping is an eco campsite and embraces a ‘Leave No Trace’ philosophy. It has solar showers and Navy showers which are served by either rain water or well water, depending on rainfall and the hot water for the main toilet block is heated by solar panels or a wood stove, depending on the weather.
Another huge benefit with this campsite is the provision of furnished bell tents, with our without a stove. Personally i don’t want to buy / store / transport a whole load of camping gear. So it’s great just to arrive with our clothes etc into a fully furnished tent.
There is also a great covered kitchen / canteen area with a gas cooker, pizza oven made from cobb, sinks with running hot and cold water and lots of crockery and cutlery. Large cooler boxes are provided for those renting tents or chalets and there’s a fridge and freezer blocks in reception. This saves us buying / storing and bringing all that cooking equipment too!
My favourite part of the day is the evening, when we gather around the communal campfire. The campsite seems to attract like-minded people and have really interesting conversations and belly-laughs with the other campfires. The photo above is from the campsite on our first night there this year and the stars that followed were stunning.
The nearest town is Kilkee and our favourite part of it is the Pollock holes just up near the Diamond Rocks Cafe. This fabulous outcrop of rocks is completely invisible when the tide is in so check the local tide timetable and plan your trip accordingly. The kids loved searching for fish and crabs in the pools left behind by the tide, but don’t worry we didn’t keep any! The cafe serves some lovely food and uses ‘proper’ crockery and cutlery which cut down on our waste footprint. If they could do away with the plastic wrapped individual servings of condiments it’d be even better.
We were blessed with the weather on our trip to Clare this time so we managed a trip to Kilkee’s sandy beach followed by a locally-baked chocolate treat in the Pantry Cafe on the main street, who were happy to give us coffee in our reusable cups!
The food in Nolans traditional fish and chip shop on the main street is also very good. I liked the fact that most of the packaging was cardboard but was disappointed that they didn’t appear to separate out their waste and also used plastic cutlery and some polystyrene packaging .
One of my top shops to visit on the peninsula is Kilbaha Gallery and Cafe where i purchase some locally made palm-free oil soap. They have a whole host of locally made crafts and art and the staff are so friendly and nice and also happy to fill our reusable cups with their delicious coffee.
We stocked up on some supplies in Supervalu Kilrush, which is the biggest town before you take the turn-off for Querrin, where the campsite is located. We could have visited Aldi or Tesco in the town but we chose Supervalu because they’re an Irish company and in our experience they’re happier to let you use your own containers, which is exactly what happened. Well done Supervalu Kilrush.
We drove to Clare in our Electric car, which being a 2012 model, meant a lot of recharging stops along the way. I found this frustrating and we did end up spending quite a lot of money on snacks and it was virtually impossible to buy healthy un-packaged snacks at this garages in this country. On the upside owning an electric car is quite social, people are always stopping to ask us about it and we get to chat to other electric car owners at the charge points.
PS – Fancy a sustainable holiday in Co Down. If so then check out this sustainable self-catering cottage for two.