Archive for January, 2019

The five best castles in Ireland

January 25th, 2019


Ireland contains a wealth of crumbling medieval castles (an estimated 1,000 defensive forts to be precise) scattered across the length and breadth of the island. These forts were owned by the most powerful families however many were deserted and left to disintegrate with time. Thankfully, a large number of these castles are now fully restored to much of their former glory. Here’s a look at five majestic castles in the country. Check out Camperbugs fabulous daily and annual campervan insurancepolices before your head out on your next campervan or motorhome hire!


Bunratty Castle: Co. Clare, Ireland


Bunratty castle. Image by Marlis B on / CC BY-ND


This castle is perhaps the most loved and best-known castle in Ireland. The fort was erected in the 1400s however previous settlements existed on the same site. Restored in 1954, the Bunratty Castle sits in County Clare. Step inside the castle and be blown away by the fantastic antiques tracing back to the 15th and 16th centuries which give visitors a look into the life and times of the influential MacNamara family who constructed the castle. For added fun, book tickets for medieval banquets held daily on the premises.


Dunluce Castle: Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Dunluce Castle. Image by johan wieland on / CC BY-ND


Set upon a cliff overlooking the ocean below, the medieval Dunluce Castle is abandoned and featured in the famed HBO series Game of Thrones. The dramatic scenery includes sheer drop-offs on every side, and the castle is only reachable via a bridge from the mainland. The fort was constructed by MacQuillan at the beginning of the 1550s however the castle was taken over by the MacDonnells. The castles positioning on top of the cliff proved a wise choice concerning defence however it was also unstable, and a portion of the kitchen fell into the ocean below during a very stormy night during the 1630s.


Camperbug recommends:

The campsite
Bush Caravan Park – Think select family owned campsite containing 48 standing pitches, rural settings and proximity to the Giant’s Causeway, Old Bushmills Distillery,  the Dark Hedges, Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Barry’s Amusements, Fantasy Island and more!

Bush Caravan Park vibes. Image by mybusyme on Instagram.


The Camper
Introducing jolly ole John! He’s a smashing VW Type 2 camper van that will easily sleep and seat 2-3 passengers.  John’s fitted with a 47 litre electric fridge, twin-burner gas hob and grill, fresh water container,  built-in petrol heater plus a fire extinguisher & fire blanket. His owners include a comprehensive inventory and provide optional extras to make your journey as joy! Ask them about pick-up points, reservations and more!


John the jolly camper


Blarney Castle: Co. Cork, Ireland


Blarney Castle. Photo on


Located near Cork, Blarney Castle is a medieval fortress enclosed by a large garden, right by the River Martin. Dating back to the early 1200s, the stone fortress we see today was erected by the McCarthy family during the 15th century. The most prominent attraction is the Blarney Stone which is said to gift one the gift of the gab when kissed. Kissing the stone however is not an easy feat!


Ashford Castle: Co. Mayo, Ireland


Ashford Castle. Image by Larry Koester on Flickr.


First built in the 1200s, Ashford Castle, and the enclosing castle walls were extended over the centuries as it functioned as a setting for violent battles. Following a truce, the castle eventually became a hunting lodge before being purchased in 1852 by a member of the Guinness family. The family expanded the castle, adding new wings before selling the property in the 1930s. Today the castle is a luxury hotel and features 83 stunning rooms.


The Rock of Cashel: Co. Tipperary, Ireland


The Rock of Cashel. Image by falco500 on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND


The Rock of Cashel has numerous myths linked to it. One legend states that during the 5th-century Aenghus, King of Munster was persuaded to convert to Christianity by St. Patrick. It was governed by the High Kings of Ulster, who later donated the site to the Catholic Church. Many of the buildings within the castle date as far back as the 12th and 13th centuries. Take a walk through the castle and marvel at the striking medieval architecture which makes this fortress one of the most visited in Ireland.


If you liked this blog take a look at our selection of little explored Roman ruins.





Take in the best views at Snowdonia National Park

January 8th, 2019


Image by eilir30 on Instagram

As the largest national park in Wales, Snowdonia National Park contains a plethora of stunning views, coastlines, wetland, beaches and some of the highest peaks in Wales. If you’ve been tempted to visit, we’ll provide all the reasons why your next motorhome or campervan holiday should pass among the jagged summits, wild landscapes, and stunning vistas of Snowdonia National Park

The history, the locals and noteworthy attraction


Swallow Falls. Image by itmpa on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA


65% of the local community takes pride in speaking the native Welsh language, one of the oldest spoken languages in Europe. The music, poetry and culture of the region are ancient, dating back as the Bronze Age. The park extends over a whopping 1351.85 km over northwest Wales, and 20 per cent is lawfully protected owing to its abundant wildlife. A further 918 km of land is preserved for conservation.


The towering peaks of Snowdonia are some of the oldest rocks on the planet, and mountain ranges cover a staggering 52% of the land. The park contains over 90 peaks exceeding a 2,000-foot elevation, 1,700 miles of public and brindle paths and features Mt Snowdon (3,560 ft.) – the highest mountain in England and Wales! Other noteworthy attractions include the peak of Cader Idris (2,929 ft.), Swallow Falls, the highest continuous waterfall in Wales and the undulating Fairy Glen gorge. The park is also home to Morfa Dyffryn, the best nude beach in the UK!


The Castles


Dolwyddelan Castle.Image by drongodrone on Instagram


Snowdonia contains a variety of magnificent castles of all sizes, shapes and grandeur. Some remain crumbling ruins, while others retain their former glory. You may even find a palace converted to a B&B! Take a look at the following list of castles and why they’re worth a visit:


Harlech Castle – Constructed at a low cost of £8,190, Harlech Castle was erected by the English king, Edward I as a means of protection during his invasion of Wales between 1282 and 1289.


Conwy Castle – This medieval fortification rests just outside the park.


Castell y Bere – Construction on this Welsh Castle began in 1221, probably by Prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth. Back when cattle were as valued as currency, this castle guarded the prince’s cattle range and secured Gwynedd. The English seized the palace in 1283 and abandoned it during an uprising in 1294.


Dolwyddelan Castle – Constructed by Llywelyn Fawr (Llywelyn the Great), the castle ruins sit prettily against the wild backdrop, offering some of the most beautiful views around!


The towns and villages worth your while


Aberdyfi/ Aberdovey and the Dyfi river. Image by pedrik on Visual Hunt / CC BY


Snowdonia contains a 26,000 strong population which lies congregated by the coast between the town of Barmouth and the seaside resort of Harlech. The region is primarily uninhabited with a smattering of populated centres. If you intend to leave your van and embark on a camping expedition, you’ll need to know where to secure supplies and stock up on groceries.


Aberdovey – This bustling harbour resort rests where the Dyfi River meets Cardigan Bay. Offering a plethora of watersports, Aberdovey even owns a championship golf course. There are many camping and caravanning spots.


Bala – The historic market town of Bala is proudly Welsh and offers a promising, wild landscape varying from towering mountains and dense forests to deep valleys and thundering waterfalls.


Beddgelert – Said to be one of Snowdonia’s most charming villages, the village of Beddgelert is home to a wealth of history, legend and culture. Despite its wild settings, the community contains numerous campsites, traditional pubs, arts and crafts stores and several fabulous eateries!


If you’re exploring Snowdonia, then you must travel in Enlli! This 1974 VW Transporter T2 comes fitted with modern interior with hob, sink and fridge, and comfortably sleeps and sits four passengers. There’s plenty of storage space, and an onboard heater will keep everyone warm during the chilly months! Ask Enlli’s owners about optional extras like chairs, beddings and towels! Get more Gwynedd Campervan hire options with Camperbug!


Isn't Enlli lovely?


A mountain path or two!


Up the Rhyd Ddu Trail. Image by mazzywalshie on Instagram.


If you’re up for a hard mountain walk, you can take one of nine mapped paths up the peaks of Snowdown and Cader Idris. Here are the best trails:


Llanberis Path – By far the most popular tourist path, Llanberis Path is the lengthiest and most steady providing jaw-dropping views of Llanberis, Cwm Brwynog and Anglesey.


Rhyd Ddu Trail -  Considered the most tranquil pathway, the Rhyd Ddu trail promises the most arresting mountain vistas. It’s perhaps one of the more natural paths and not frequently used.


Miners Track – If you’re keen to avoid a hike up to the summit of Snowdon yet would like a comfortable walk on the mount Miners Track offers a safe trail for the less experienced.


PYG Track - Reputed as the most challenging path to the Snowdon summit, we dissuade inexperienced walkers from attempting to master this trail. No one is certain how the trail earned its name.


Other notable trails include Mawddach Trail which is loved by cyclists and walkers alike for its ease.


How to get there


Aside from the M4 in South Wales, there are no motorways in Wales however there are many excellent quality roads that pass through Snowdonia National Park. If you’re keen on hitting the coasts, use the A496 or the A493.






Our top five picks for Celtic culture and history!

January 2nd, 2019


The Celtic tribes originated from central Europe and shared a common language, religious beliefs, traditions and culture. Celtic culture is said to trace far back as 1200 B.C, and the first documented Celtic tribes were referred to as “Galli” or barbarians by the Roman Empire of the 6th or 7th century. The Celtics proved to be nothing like their dubiously netted reputation, and their legacy is most prominent in Ireland and Great Britain where one can savour the culture and hear the Celtic tongue. Here’s a look at the ten best locations that dive into the modern and ancient Celtic culture, and let’s not forget our fabulous campervan hire options to get you started on an exciting adventure!


1. Groam House Museum, Ross-shire


Groam House Museum. Image by pictish_trader on Instagram


Set in the village of Rosemarkie, Groam House Museum displays a celebratory collection of Celtic and Pictish artworks. The four-star interpretive centre is an award-winning museum centred on showing the beautiful sculptural art, Pictish symbols, stones and ornamental designs located around Rosemarkie. The museum also holds a delightful collection of works by George Bain who is the pioneer of traditional Celtic art revitalisation. The George Bain collection is recognised for its National Significance. Kids will enjoy the interactive computer programs and videos while adults will enjoy browsing through the selectively-stocked gift shop.


2. The High Crosses, Iona Abbey, Iona


Iona Abbey. Image by anumdada on Instagram


Colmcille first set foot in Iona in 563 and set up a monastery which rapidly grew in size and prominence, quickly becoming the nucleus of religious establishments across Argyll and beyond. St Martin’s Cross remains in its original place, displaying intricate carvings while the remainder of the crosses now rests well protected inside a museum dedicated to Colmcille. Construction on St Martins Cross began commenced between 750 and 800. The crosses are said to mark Colmcille’s grave and the foundations of the original church, and they may have even been markers for pilgrims. The High Crosses on Iona are some of the best-preserved examples of interlacing and biblical scenes paying homage to early Celtic Christianity.


3. Culloden Battlefield Visitors Centre, Inverness



On the 16 April 1746, the concluding Jacobite Rising came to a head at The Battle of Culloden which would go on to change Celtic Scottish culture. Jacobite supporters sought to restore the Stuart Monarchy and gathered to battle the government troops of the Duke of Cumberland. The last battle on British soil lasted barely over an hour, and within that harrowing hour, 1,500 Jacobite fighters lay dead. The Culloden Battlefield Visitors Centre sits on this bloody battlefield and uses richly researched information like personal accounts, artefacts and authentic weapons to bring the conflict to life.


Get an Inverness-shire motorhome hire with Camperbug!


4. The Stone of Destiny, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh



The Stone of Destiny is an ancient representation of the Scottish Monarchy and has seen the coronation of countless over hundreds of years. According to legend, the stone was used by Jacob as a pillow as he dreamt of Jacobs Ladder. The stone is believed to travel from Ireland to Scotland. In 1296, English king Edward I transported the stone from Scone and had it constructed into his throne, ensuring the stone remains at all coronation ceremonies for the monarchs of England and Great Britain. The stone was delivered to Scotland in 1996 on the condition that it would only leave again for a coronation at Westminster’s Abbey.




If you’re planning on a beginning your journey in Edinburgh, take a look at merry Marigold! She’s a T2 VW that’ll make a great addition to your holiday or wedding. She sleeps two and comfortably seats three. She comes fitted with a cool box, twin-burner gas hob and oven, engine heating for the cab and hydraulic elevating roof with vinyl sides & roof light. Ask her owners for extra’s like DVD player, tent awning, director chairs, bedding and towels, and more!


5. Maiden Castle, Dorset


Maiden Castle, Dorchester. Image by Andy Walker on Flickr


Constructed primarily during the 1st century BC, Maiden Castle, Dorset s one of the most extensive, and complicated Iron Age hillforts in Europe and the only one of its kind in Britain. Roughly the size of 50 football pitches, the ramparts once housed hundreds of Celtic residents who engaged in metalworking, roadhouses, and textile production. The fortification may have also been the battleground for sparring Celts and II Legion Augusta with evidence of a 4th-century Roman temple exposed during excavations.


If you’ve got more time to explore, take a look at the UK’s five best UNESCO World Heritage sites.