Well, when I say camping let’s just put that into context and get those pictures of cold and wet tents (we are in Ireland after all!) out of our minds and replace them with something a little more… well, comfortable?! You see, the parents of the Messer House would usually be looking at the 5-star hotels rather than campsites, but for some reason I had this notion that the kids were missing out on something (whatever that something is!) if I didn’t bring them camping. Or at least “glamping”. Surely that is close enough to the “real deal”.

So last Friday the day finally arrived for us to pack the car and head out for our adventure. I had booked a two night stay at the River Valley Holiday Park in Redcross, Co. Wicklow. The car was full to the brim with all our bedclothes and the extra layers of fleeces and tracksuit bottoms.. Because you never know! On our way down, we stopped at Greystones for some dinner at The Beach House which was delicious. At least we all had our bellies full when we arrived and didn’t have to go looking for dinner supplies. I also wasn’t quite sure how well equipped the Maxilodge I had booked for us was.

On our arrival, the first thing the Little Messer’s noticed was the playground. They barely looked at the lodge as they were keen to go and test the playground equipment! The lodge itself is (obviously) quite basic, but it was surprisingly warm. I didn’t need all the layers for bed either as it was indeed quite toasty in there with the four of us snoring… The next morning started with nothing less than three trips to the loo by 7am. How did I forget that I would actually have to get up and go with them?! Or that there’s no TV to entertain them until I feel like waking up… In fairness though, they did read their books and did some colouring until it was time to get up and go find some breakfast.

Just what I needed!

We found a lovely little cafè in Brittas Bay called Bay Cafè only about a 10 minute drive from the campsite. The breakfast was delicious! Once the hanger had subsided, we made our way to the beach for a walk. The Little Messers love going to the beach, even if it’s just for throwing stones or collecting seashells.

Hours and hours of fun throwing stones

The shoes, pockets and, subsequently, the car were full of sand after this giant sand slide…

Millions of flattened seashells and perfectly smooth round stones

In the afternoon we did the “Flanagan’s Walk” which is about a 1.5km walk on site at the holiday park with donkeys, alpacas and sheep to greet on the way. Missy Messer made friends with the donkeys as she was hee-hawing most of the way around…

Crepes for lunch, yum!

Views from the top of the hill

Shortly after this pic we got caught in the rain

By the time we got back from the walk, it was only 2pm. It’s a loooong day when you start before 7am. It was way too early to go for dinner, because then what do you eat later in the evening?!

Avoca Weaving Mill

So we hopped in the car and decided to visit the oldest weaving mill in Ireland, Avoca (in Avoca!) which was only a 15-minute drive from the campsite. I also learned that the company Avoca is the oldest running business in Ireland, it was founded in 1723.

We were lucky with the weather as we only got a couple of short showers on Saturday, otherwise it was lovely and sunny! On our way back Sunday morning we stopped in Delgany at The Pigeon House Cafè for some brunch and just as we sat down, it started lashing rain. There we were sitting in the lovely restaurant with our best sunday camping gear on, the kids looking quite happy with their weekend away and the adults  waiting for the coffee thinking it was quite a successful camping adventure after all!

Waiting for dinner at Mickey Finn’s Pub on Saturday evening