Archive for February, 2019

Top 03 spots for nights of stargazing

February 28th, 2019

 

Image by snowdoniapics on Instagram

 

Believe it or not, an increasing number of wanders and campers elect to shut down technology and turn all concentration to the heavens. Welcome to the captivating world of stargazing! The new pursuit is sweeping the globe by storm and the UK boasts of some of the darkest skies in Europe. You’ll find plenty of designated and unofficial dark sky locations dotting the UK, many of them ranging from Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks to picnic areas and private backyards! Many such locations are set apart from light pollution and provide unhindered views of the boundless night sky above.

 

If you’re looking for a special location to stargaze, take a look at our list below. Once you’ve secured a site, pack in a pair of binoculars, a map of the night sky and pop into your motorhome or campervan hire, and embark on a memorable journey!

 

Galloway Forest Park

 

Image by jamesmorlandphotography on Instagram

 

Home to some of the darkest skies in the UK, Scotland’s skies are perfect for exploring the twinkling heavens. Galloway Forest Park was the first location to win an official Dark Sky designation in 2009. How good is the sky quality you ask? Pretty great! You’ll see a whopping 7,000 stars and planes with the naked eye alone. On an official scale ranging from 0 – 25, Galloway Forest Park rates an astonishing 21-23.6 reading which is nearly as lightless as a photographer’s dark room! For the least light obstruction and best viewing angles head to Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre. The Scottish Dark Skies observatory provides a research-grade telescope for night sky observations.  Campers will find a host of campgrounds providing numerous dark corners.

 

Glentrool Camping and Caravan Site

 

Resting in the fringes of Galloway Forrest Park, Glentrool Camping and Caravan campsite is a tranquil location for those looking for a soothing setting. In operation for over 30 years, the site provides:

•    14 large hardstanding touring pitches  with electric hook-ups

•    On-site store open from 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

•    Laundry facilities

•    Shower and hot water amenities (charge included in pitch fee)

•    Awnings and dogs allowed at no additional cost

 

Northumberland National Park

 

Image by northumberlandnationalpark on Instagram

 

Stretching over 572 miles, Northumberland National Park, and its adjoining forest park is a perhaps the largest region of a protected night sky in Europe. Providing the perfect settings for stargazing and camping, the park even offers stunning views of Andromeda Galaxy and The Milky Way! You’ll see a range of exclusive sites like the numerous meteors, The Northern Lights, The Zodiacal Lights, and more! If you’d like to know more about the stars you’ll see, head over to the Kielder Observatory or the Dark Sky Observatory in Battlestead.

 

Bellingham Camping and Caravanning Club Site

 

Set within Northumberland National Park, Bellingham Club campsite is a relaxing campsite containing 70 pitches with modern amenities. There are many walking and cycling paths set around the campgrounds and historic sites like Hadrian’s Wall and Alnwick Castle is in proximity to the site. Facilities include:

•    Hardstanding pitches with electric hook-up

•    Grass pitch with electric hook-up

•    Flushing toilet and washbasin

•    Motorhome service point

•    Family shower room

•    Battery charging conveniences

•    Dedicated accessible services and more!

 

Snowdonia National Park

 

Image by snowdoniapics on Instagram

 

Think spectacular skies, wild and rugged landscapes and you’ve got the globes 10th best site for night skies – Snowdonia National Park. Numerous dark sky locations dot the park and there are many secluded campsites set by scenic valleys and lakes. The environment and wildlife alone attract a multitude of hikers, walkers and adventures but the region is fast becoming a leading sky gazing site.

 

Cilcennus Farm Caravan Park

Sitting on a working farm in Snowdonia National Park, Cilcennus Farm Caravan Park provides stunning views of the night sky and rests in proximity to the historic town of Llanrwst. On-site facilities include:

 

•    Hot showers

•    Grass pitches and many electric hook-ups

•    Wi-fi

•    Toilet and shower block (including disabled toilet)

•    Kitchen for campers

•    Games room and more!

 

If you’re staying in Snowdonia National Park for a spot of hiking here’s how you can conquer Mount Snowdon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top 7 sites for thrill-seekers touring Wales

February 21st, 2019

 

Wales is loved for its astounding beauty, sheer cliffs, sun-kissed beaches, thick mountain landscapes and abundance of national parks, yet the home of quirky sports like bog snorkeling and coasteering, remains comparatively untapped by daredevils in search of an adrenaline rush. Here are the top 8 activities that capture Wales’s strong appreciation for daring experiences while rewarding your sense of adventure! Add an exciting variation to regular accommodation with a Camperbug campervan or motorhome hire!

 

Hike along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

 

Image by dave-pemcoastphotos.com on Visualhunt / CC BY

 

Stretching over 186 miles of glorious coastline, Pembrokeshire Coast Path is Wales first national trail and contains an exciting blend of Neolithic settlements, cliff sides, glacial valleys and inviting beaches.  Adventures can attempt to tackle the whole stretch in one go or explore a particular section of the path in a day.  Determined adventurers need to set aside a minimum of 15 days to cover the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in its entirety. Maneuvering over the sharp climbs and descents is demanding however the spectacular locations and landscapes (including several small towns, 14 harbors, and 58 beaches) are worth every step.

 

Try your hand at Coasteering

 

Image by alexjtpotts on Instagram

 

Coasteering does not require a special sport appropriate suit like snorkeling and scuba diving. You’ll need a helmet, a wetsuit and a life vest. Coasteering is a local sport and involves a blend of cave exploration, cliff jumping and swimming. It’s best to enlist the help of certified instructors with a native company who will usually begin by swimming across water to a cave exploration or cliff from which you’re encouraged to (gleefully) leap off into the water below. Expect lovely costal backdrops, inviting turquoise water and even an exciting wildlife like a bob of seals or a pod of dolphins.

 

The World’s Fastest Zip line

 

Image by zip_world on Instagram

 

The North of Wales is the proud owner of the world’s fastest zipline and the longest zipline in Europe. Operated by Zip World which isset within Snowdonia National Park, the ride hurls you at speeds of 100mph, 1,600 feet over the Penrhyn Quarry. Drink in the views of the enclosing mountains and savor the closest feeling you’ll get to flight!

 

If you decide to stay in Snowdonia National park we’ve got the best guide to tackling Mount Snowdon!

 

Grab your mountain bikes and set off on a scenic adventure

 

Image by mountainbikewales on Instagram

 

Wales is home to a great number of mountain ranges and provides the best backdrop for mountain bikers of all levels. Families and beginners are encouraged to try the Elan Valley which provides a miscellany of trails including the picturesque valley trails. Moderate to mid-level bikers will enjoy Antur Stiniog in Snowdonia which contains 7 exciting downhill bike trails each of which is graded blue to black according to difficulty. There is a mountain bike uplift service and coffee houses, bike rental service, cafés and, showers. Experienced bike riders will enjoy tackling the challenging trails rated blue (intermediate), red (advanced), and black (skilled). Swoop around tricky curves and maneuver past dangerous rock areas.

 

Try your and at white water rafting

 

Image by thenationalwhitewatercentre on Instargam

 

Wales is home to several prime white water rafting spots ranging from tranquil to downright demanding, and even controlled rapids.  The River Wye set in the Wye Valley is great for calm to relatively difficult rapids. The level of difficulty is normally determined by the levels of rainfall so you’re most likely to embark on rapids of moderate difficulty. Tryweryn River presents a dependable adrenaline rush owing to a dam that continuously contols the water flow .Rapids are grouped as class III or class IV. Cardiff International White Water, set at Cardiff Bay is great for visitors who want to practice rafting and numerous water sports like paddle boarding, kayaking on controlled rapids.

 


Bounce around in Underground Cavern

 

Image by zip_world on Instagram

 

Bounce Below, operated by Zip World is an underground trampoline set within the former slate mine Llechwedd Slate Caverns. Grab a helmet and savour the next 75 minutes jumping and bouncing on six nets hung between 20 – 180 feet, sliding along three slides and clambering up numerous ladders and staircases all while colorful lights and loud music set the tone

 

Surf

 

Image by surfsnowdonia on Instagram

 

As far as surfing destinations go, Wales has got it going on whether you’re a still learning to ride the waves or a seasoned surfer. The most popular surf destinations are Whitesands, Oxwich Bay, Llangennith and Freshwater West. First time surfers will benefit from the large controlled waves at Surf Snowdonia’s artificial wave lagoon. A wave machine creates waves of consistent  size that are great practice for suffers in the beginner zone.

 

If you’re heading to Whitesands Bay, we’ve got just the van for you! Meet Iggy! He’s a luxury 6 berth motorhome ideal for couples or families. He comes equipped with  large lounge area,  separate dining and sitting area, a  fully equipped kitchen,  large sitting area and more! Message Iggy’s owners for more information like optional extras and reservations or take a look at more fabulous Pembrokeshire motorhome hire options.

 

Its Iggy!

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how you can conquer Mount Snowdon

February 14th, 2019

 

Mount Snowdon may well be the third highest peak in the UK; however numerous avid wanderers, hiking enthusiasts and adventurers can’t get enough of the 3,560-foot summit. Mount Snowdon towers over its neighbours and encircled by broad, glacial valleys providing jaw-dropping views in all directions all the way to Anglesey. It’s not hard to see why a climb to the peak makes its way on many bucket lists yet how does one go about conquering the mountain, especially if you’re a beginner? Here’s how!

 

Ditch cramped hotels and restricted itineraries for a liberating holiday with a Camperbug campervan or motorhome hire! Not convinced? Just image a road trip with a stunning van like Nell!

 

Nell!

 

He’s a late Bay classic campervan that seats and sleeps four with ease. He’s got a host of amenities including a twin-burner gas hob, Westfalia style pop-top roof with double bed,stainless steel sink, engine heating for cab plus more! Ask Nell’s owners about reservations, pick up point’s and more or simply scroll through our list of Gwynedd campervan hire for your next journey to Snowdonia National Park!

 

If you’re reasonably fit, summiting Snowdon isn’t going to be hard plus you can make use of the less challenging routes to the top. Overall there are eight recognised paths to the top of Snowdon of which the nine-mile Llanberis Path is said to be the least taxing however don’t envision a relaxed walk to the top. Described as the tourist path, Llanberis Path is a demanding mountain walk. It’s best to pack in plenty of warm clothing and food as the weather conditions tend to be changeable and proceed with caution, especially if you’re making your hike during the wet, foggy winter months. If you’d like to avoid the summer bustle head to Snowdonia National Park mid-week, outside school holidays’ and begin your ascent early in the morning. Pete’s Eats in Llanberis is where both bright-eyed and weary hikers wolf down a full English before and after the hike.

 

Image by jondavidmoore on Instagram

 

Hiking attire

 

Mount Snowdon is renowned for its unpredictable the weather and exacting hiking paths, so it’s best to pack in suitable layers including a waterproof jacket and trouser plus a layer of insulating material.

 

Show me the path!

 

Llanberis Path
Difficulty – Easy
Distance – 9 miles return

 

Starting at Llanberis and proceeding alongside the Snowdon Mountain Railway, the Llanberis Path is the easiest route to the peak of Snowdon and sadly, not the most scenic. This path is excellent for new hikers who, after a gruelling climb, may prefer to descend the summit in the train.

 

Miners Track

 

Difficulty – Easy-Moderate
Distance – 8 miles return

 

Miners Track begins at the car park at Pen Y Pass another route to the summit – Pyg Track. Despite being longer than Pyg Track, Miners Track is an easy climb and gives way to striking views along the way including that of the glittering Llyn Llydaw Lake. The final section of the rise is strenuous; however, those of reasonable fitness can easily navigate the path.

 

Pyg Track
Difficulty – Easy-Moderate
Distance – 7 miles return

 

As mentioned before, Pyg Track and Miners Track initially follow the path, bypassing Llyn Llydaw. On your hike, you’ll follow the route up Crib Goch and conclude your climb on the same uphill stretch to the peak. Many hikers chose to hike up Snowdon along the more rough Pyg Track and descend using the less taxing Miners’ Track.

 

Image by alex.davies on Instagram

 

Snowdon Ranger Track

 

Difficulty – Easy
Distance – 8 miles return

 

Favoured for its ease and stunning vistas, Snowdon Ranger Track gets its name after the Snowdon Ranger, John Morton, who guided Victorian hikers to the peak. Many hikers opt for this path over the more severe Llanberis path.

 

Beddgelert Path / Rhyd Ddu Path

 

Difficulty – Easy-Moderate
Distanced – 7.5 miles return

 

This route is for those who prize quiet and seclusion. The path cuts across the opposite side of the mountain, away from the Pyg and Miners’ Track route. While Rhyd Ddu Path may not offer the same views as the north portion of the mountain, however, you’ll drink in fantastic sights over Moel Hebog plus the Hills of Nantlle. The gradual climb of the path is best for first-time hikers and blending in the Snowdon Ranger Track makes it a great horseshoe hike!

 

The Watkin Path

 

Difficulty – Difficult
Distance – 8 miles return

 

Watkin path is closest to sea level and contains the most elevation of all Snowdon hike routes. For the challenging climbing, your award is tranquillity, striking views plus a thundering waterfall along the way. The road gets its name from Sir Edward Watkin who constructed his summer house at the beginning of the path and cleared a pathway during the 19th- century. Watch out for sheer drops and keep in mind that the highest portion of The Watkin Path follows screes which may test the seasoned hikers.

 

Image by scramblesandstrides on Instagram

 

Crib Goch

 

Difficulty – Extremely Difficult
Distanced – 4 miles one way

 

The Crib Goch path follows a sharp mountain ridge with sheer drops on both sides. Hikers are deterred against attempting to cross the trail during unfavourable weather, owing to high exposure. We dissuade novice hikers and those afraid of heights from using the Crib Goch trail. Despite the strenuous climb, this pathway provides the most gratifying views across the range.

 

The Snowdon Horseshoe

 

Difficulty – Extremely Difficult
Distanced – 4 miles one way

 

The Snowdon Horseshoe is one of the most testing mountain hiking trails in the UK. If the climb up Crib Goch hasn’t left you completely exhausted, descend along the path through Y Lliwedd which is similarly exposed unprotected and tricky. Leave 7 – 10 hours to complete the entire route, and at the end, you’ll feel a sense of real triumph!

 

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at our guide to the best views in Snowdonia National Park.

 

 

 

 

Visiting the top 05 islands in Ireland

February 7th, 2019

 

The word island generally summons images of tropical climates and refreshing breezes dancing through the palm trees. Ireland’s isles may not be the quintessential island, but their rugged charm and varying terrain entice a ranger of wanders. Enjoy a pint by the sea or leave the bustle behind in favour of tourist-free heaven! Here are our top picks. To get the most out of your trip, ditch the traditional hotel stay for a campervan or motorhome hire. Don’t be held back by check-out times, hotel room views or itineraries!

 

Aran Islands

 

Aran Islands. Image by yourwayireland on Instagram

 

Set off the west coast of Ireland, at the mouth of Galway Bay and Doolin, Aran Islands is an archipelago of three rock-strewn islands. The isles are best known for its prehistoric relics like Dun Aonghasa (a World Heritage Site), stunning natural beauty and a 14th-century castle. The locals speak a blend of Irish and English, and there is a camping and glamping site on Inis Mór –the largest of the three islands. If you’d like to relish the tranquil lifestyle, local traditions, stunning vistas and thriving wildlife hop on a ferry that departs from Rossaveal and Doolin.

 

Smashing Smarty!

 

If you’re looking for a great van to hire for your journey to Aran Islands, stunning Smarty might do the trick! He’s a large A-Class motorhome that will comfortably transport five passengers.  Contact his owners for reservations and more information!

 

The Skelligs

 

Fresh catch at The Skelligs. Image by mrpetemadden on Instagram

 

Rising out of the Atlantic, the Skelligs islands are two inhabitable islands set approximately eight miles at sea in southwestern County Kerry. The islands are named Skellig Michael and the Little Skellig. There is an impeccably restored Christian monastery located on Great Skellig, containing terraced gardens and beehive huts. During the appropriate season, you’ll have the opportunity to see puffins, razorbills, Arctic Tern, Black Guillemot, seals, dolphins, and perhaps even a basking shark! You can reach the island via boat which leaves Bunavalla Pier or drive to Port Magee and take a quick boat ride.

 

Blasket Islands

 

Image by atrickodonnellphotography on the thewildatlanticway, Instagram

 

Set at the tip of Dingle Peninsula, the Blasket Islands are of 6 isles, and once houses over 160 locals. The government evacuated the final 22 citizens in 1953 due to severe living conditions. Today the island resembles a ghost town and contains over 1,100 acres of lush mountain landscape which protect a flourishing community of flora and fauna. Take a ferry to Great Blasket, the largest of the six Blasket islands from Dunquin Harbor and delight in a day of whale watching, walks by the beach, hikes and more!

 

Garnish Island

 

Garinish Island. Image by the thewildatlanticway on Instagram

 

Located in the protective harbour of Glengarriff in Southwest Ireland, Garnish Island packs in quite a punch for a relatively small island. Formerly privately owned by John Annan, the island is best known for the strikingly modelled gardens. The owner at the time, John Annan Bryce worked closely with the garden designer and architect Harold Peto to bring his visions of trimmed Edwardian gardens to life! The island was donated to the Irish public in 1953 by Bryce’s son. Ferry services to the island leave from Glengarriff from March to October. The ferry service includes a trip to seal island were an enthusiastic tame seal colony will welcome you!

 

Achill Island

 

Achill Island. Image by ClarkHodissay on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND

 

If you’re heading toward Westport and Mayo, you must include Achill Island to your trip. The isle is the largest off the coast of Ireland and is perhaps the easiest to visit owing to the Michael Davitt Bridge connecting isle and mainland. Human settlements on the island trace as far back as the Neolithic Age and one can bite into the isles incredible history with a visit to the regions abandoned villages, crumbling forts, megalithic tombs and majestic churches. , Presently the population on the island is approximately 2,700 people, and the isle is well-known for fresh offerings of Atlantic seafood while the pubs and bars offer the customary Irish welcome. Achill Island is known for five stunning Blue Flag beaches, towering mountains, stunning vistas, and the spectacular offering of outdoor activities including windsurfing, kitesurfing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking.

 

Stay tuned for more great isles in Ireland or take a read of best locations in Cairngorms National Park to go tent camping!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best locations in Cairngorms National Park to go tent camping

February 1st, 2019

 

Scotland is the only section of the United Kingdom that embraces wild camping away from authorised campsites. With the exclusion of modern conveniences like hot showers and toilets, campers can savour life on the open land and drink in Scotland’s’ breathtaking beauty. Tent camping is a great way to appreciate the majestic outdoors while accessing basic facilities and the Cairngorms presents the views and the setting for a memorable camping trip. You’ll wake up in UK’s most northernmost and largest national park to relaxing birdsong and the soothing trickling trickle of rivers and loches. The wind sweeps across parks vast marshlands, whips through the dense Caledonian pine forests and dances atop the highest peaks of Scotland’s six highest mountains which dot the park. Crumbling and well-preserved castles including Blair Castle and Braemar Castle dot the region and a wealth of wildlife including inquisitive otters, majestic eagles, and wildcats call the park home.

 

The best time to head out for a tent camping expedition is from late spring to the end of October when most campsites are open; however there are a few sites that operate around the year. Several campgrounds offer caravan sites plus rural and wigwam pods. Be equipped to deal with swarms of midges which are tiny insects that drink blood, leaving behind an uncomfortable rash.

 

Rothiemurchus Estate

 

Rothiemurchus. Image by gingercatpictures on Instagram

 

The Rothiemurchus estate has been with the Grants of Rothiemurchus family for over 18 generations and is fondly christened “one of the glories of Wild Scotland” by David Attenborough. The family welcomes visitors all year round to camp within one of the largest, oldest woodlands in Europe. You’ll have to choose between three prime camping spots set on edges of old Caledonian forests. Sheltered campsites rest near a stream, an island enclosed by a split stream and amid native pines. A well-heated building contains amenities like toilets, dishwashers and launderettes. Wildlife flourishes on the island, and you can choose a host of outdoor activities at the Rothiemurchus Centre, set 2 miles away from the camping areas.

 

Atholl Estate

 

Atholl Estates. Image by costontrevor on Instagram.

 

Blair Castle presents a camping park called the Atholl Estates – the first private castle opened to the public – that grants campers heaps of woodland and miles trails plus low admission fees to explore the palace and its gardens. Campers here can select from numerous outdoor activities and country sports including pony trekking, deer stalking, fishing and shooting.
The tent camp amenities include 100 grass pitches, plus larger pitches by the River Tilt with some providing water and electrical connections. A maximum of 2 dogs are welcome, and the site guarantees your campsite is never more than 50 yards away from the shower facility.

 

It's Campbell!

 

Cheery Campbell can take you to Perthsire with ease. He’s a 1979 and is a right hand drive Devon Moonraker T2 conversion and easily sleeps 4 adults and 1 small child. Message his owners for more details.

 

Lazy Duck Camping

 

Lazy Duck Camping. Image by anomalousdeviation on Instagram

 

Lazy Duck camping takes on select groups and lets visitors genuinely get away from the bustling cities. The campsite can only accommodate four pitches for two-three tents and travellers, and for over 100 years, traders once used the campsite clearing. Open from May till late October, the campground’s on-site facilities include hot and cold washing up spaces. Flush toilet and a two-person sauna.

 

For more travel and camping ideas check out the five best castles in Ireland.