Ireland by Campervan

Map of Ireland showing our route
Map of Our Travels

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Layla, the Campervan

Our campervan, named Layla, was a two-tone brown 1980’s Ford Transit van, running on a 2.5 Diesel engine. A 5-speed manual, right-hand-drive, and a sticker in the front window reminding the driver to “Drive on the Left.” What could go wrong? Rob drove, while Barbara waved at all the cars, people, and sheep who got out of the way.

Ireland by Campervan at campsite
Layla the Campervan at first campsite

Rob’s expectation of this “retro campervan” was an older model caravan with modern amenities. Something that looks like the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine on the outside, and with a push of a button, it turns into a James Bond style one-room apartment on the inside. In fact, true to its name, it is retro-looking both inside and out. After a somewhat shocking beginning, the charm grew on us each day.

  • Layla’s strengths include: Looking cool, surprisingly comfortable bed, and gets you where you want to go
  • Layla’s weaknesses include: Loud and bumpy ride, unwillingness to go uphill, and no electric kettle


With some time between our flight landing and picking up the campervan, we popped into Dublin for a quick tour. The Brazen Head, established in 1198, is the oldest pub in Dublin, and they served up an excellent lunch. After a walk around the Temple Bar area, we just had time for a quick look at Grafton Street and Trinity College.

Grassy field and Sign for Camping
Wonderful camping site with rolling hills and a bathhouse

Bushmills Distillery

Bushmills holds the title of having the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery, producing whiskey since 1608. We met up with more friends for a whiskey tasting, for a fun time distinguishing hints of toffee, berries, and nuttiness. The village of Bushmills includes a picturesque mill and a sweet Main Street with welcoming pubs, shops, and cafes.

Giant’s Causeway

It was a short drive from Bushmills to the Giant’s Causeway, and the parking attendants helped us to find easy parking. We hiked around Giant’s Causeway, unique rock formations that are said to have been caused by a volcano over 60 million years ago. Or, according to legend, an Irish giant built the causeway to get over the ocean to Scotland for a fight with a Scottish giant. Seeing the “organ pipes” and hexagonal-shaped rocks, all in a stunning coastal setting, is truly amazing.

Not far down the road, we had lunch at the Carrick-A-Rede Bar and Restaurant, with The Best Seafood Chowder, and plenty of room to park campervans.

Seafood Chowder and Brown Bread
The Best Seafood Chowder

Fair Head Cliffs

A drive down narrow country roads brought us to a farm car park at Fair Head, Ballycastle. From there, we followed a grassy path through remote and wild countryside to the top of the Fair Head cliffs. This was a filming location for Game of Thrones, as the cliffs of Dragonstone, but even if you haven’t seen GoT, the walk itself is amazing. The path goes around ponds, over stiles, and beside grazing sheep, with views in every direction.

Ireland is a stunningly beautiful country, and as we learned, it has 32 shades of green, for its 32 counties.

Whitehead Seafront with colorful houses
Seafront in Whitehead


After this 5-star tour, we walked about to see more of Belfast. We started with a pint at Bittles, a super friendly pub with a fabulous Guinness pour. At The Garrick, we met up with more friends and had an excellent Sunday roast dinner, including Yorkshire Pudding. After some souvenir shopping, we all sat on the patio at The Jailhouse, listening to live music, talking, and laughing. We had wonderful meals all weekend, and pints of Guinness are always so perfect in the home country.

Would we travel in a Campervan again? Absolutely. But maybe we’ll try one that’s not quite so “retro” next time. Overall, our trip to see a bit of Ireland by Campervan was made so special by the adventure of the transportation, sleeping, and most of all, seeing great friends and meeting new ones.

Rob and Barbara at Giant's Causeway


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8 responses to “Ireland by Campervan”

  1. Sonya Avatar

    Incredible pictures! remind me to tell you about the time Steve and I rented a camper van in New Zealand- after 2 accidents within the first 2 hours we threw in the towel! I don’t remember how we got around after that… but we managed to make it to a justice of the peace in Christchurch and tie the knot!!! I guess you don’t have to ask me about the time Steve and I rented a camper van in NZ now! I loved this post, need that lady funnel.

    1. Barbara Skinner Avatar

      I love your stories Sonya! I didn’t know you got married in New Zealand – how fabulous! The lady funnel is a game changer for sure.😂

  2. fithippie5 Avatar

    How fun!! I love seeing y’all travel and being able to read about it. And the photos are always amazing! Thanks for sharing and for turning on comments 😀

    1. Barbara Skinner Avatar

      Thanks fithippie5! We love reading your blog too, great travels!! 😊

  3. Vance Avatar

    Wonderful post, thanks for sharing! I regret that we haven’t made it to Dublin, and time may be running out as we prepare to return to the States. We did make Belfast but I’d love to go to Dublin sometime.

    1. Barbara Skinner Avatar

      Hi Vance, thanks! Good luck with the move back, looking forward to seeing your update on that. 😊

  4. Mary Walker Avatar
    Mary Walker

    Love the pictures. Looks like fun!

    1. Barbara Skinner Avatar

      Thanks Mary! It was a blast. 🙃

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