I’m a bit embarrassed about how little I’ve seen of my home country. I travel all over the world and haven’t seen some of the unbelievable sights on my own doorstep. Ireland is always in the top few places people who travel mention when I ask where their favourite place is and it’s pretty tiny, so it’s not like I’ve got any excuse. So to complete our loop back to Dublin from Enniskillen, Ornagh and I opened Google maps and dropped a pin somewhere in between and along the coast and decided on a Carlingford adventure.
We had a bit of an activity theme going on on our Irish road trip (just take a look at Ornagh’s Instagram feed to see why), so to make sure Carlingford fit the bill, I put it into the activities section of inviteireland.com and found the Carlingford Adventure Centre and Skypark. Perfect.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]InviteIreland.com just make suggestions then send you directly to the websites of whatever it is you want to book (hotels, restaurants, activities etc) meaning you can just stick your dates in and find out what accommodation is available and what’s on in a certain place without having a million tabs open on your desktop. You’ll usually get everything cheaper too, by booking directly instead of through a third party. You can also download a printable travel planning with phone numbers etc., handy when you have no WiFi on the road. Smart.
I found the Viewpoint Motel Style B&B on Invite Ireland, it was available, reasonably priced and looked a bit different so we booked in for a night. More on this in a minute.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]What would a road trip be without an epic car, right? My exact words requesting the car were, “something automatic and jeepy-y in black or white”. I I test drove the Volkswagen Touareg for our little staycation. Packing with no luggage restrictions? Dreamy and dangerous in equal measures. Two big suitcases, two backpacks, two skateboards, two picnic blankets, two yoga mats, two pairs of muddy hiking boots and more coat and jacket options than would fit in our bags.
The car is so roomy it still wasn’t full with all that in the (automatic opening and closing) boot. Fave other features were the heated steering wheel and seats, navigation that also displays the next turn on the dash, rear-view camera and easy to use bluetooth sound system – we were able to hook up Spotify in seconds. We got pretty lucky with the weather, so the front and side double sun-visors came in proper handy![dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]Pleasantly surprised would be an understatement when we rocked up to the B&B. We were met by the owner Paul who magically made some chipper chips appear when we mentioned our equal love for healthy and junk food. He likes MacDonalds, but his daughter, who runs the Wildwood Cafe at Viewpoint is a health nut. Perfect for our split personalities! He also had the electric blanket fired up winning massive brownie points with Ornagh. All the rooms have their own front access, like a motel but less horror film-y. The next morning I felt like I was in Ibiza looking out over Carlingford harbour shortly after sunrise and enjoying coffee in the sun. [dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]Looking at the pics, it could be any boutique hotel on the Med, it’s very easy to forget how stunning our little island of Ireland is, but every now and then the sun shows its face to remind you. Over muesli, fruit, bacon and eggs, Paul was one step ahead showing us the Wildwood lunch menu and we made it our mission to make sure we came back for a bite before getting on the road again. I asked him where was good for a walk and it was lucky we were kitted out and ready to go, because about 30 seconds later he had us in the car en route to the start of the waterfront walk (but not before a quick detour to the Last Leprechauns of Ireland garden – worth a visit for the hilarious signs alone!). [dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]We only had a short window to fit in some activities on our little Carlingford adventure, so after finding the Carlingford Adventure Centre on Invite Ireland, I gave them a quick call to see if there was anything happening and they were able to fit us in for a Skypark session in the afternoon. So off we went thinking we’d just do a casual bit of zip lining, but realised within minutes of instructor Michael getting us kitted out that we were actually going to be getting stuck in and learning how to use all the safety gear to guide ourselves through the course. Starting at difficult and working our way up to extremely bloody hard, we were tight roping and tarzan swinging 30ft in the air. Well, Ornagh made it all the way up….I decided when I started getting a bit shaky that I’d probably be more useful on the ground filming (vlog to follow). A lot of fun, it definitely got us ready for lunch![dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]Back at the B&B, we ordered fresh juices and falafel salads then grabbed really decent coffee and “healthy junk” (you know, goji/coconut/dark chocolate type thingies) to go for the road home. I’d probably have gone back there for dinner if I could, everything was absolutely delish, all home cooked with fresh ingredients and made from scratch. You don’t have to be staying at Viewpoint, so I defo recommend dropping in if you’re in Carlingford.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]Carlingford might be famous for hen and stag parties, but trust me there’s so much more happening. Visit midweek to have the place to yourself and grab a hearty meal and a pint in PJ O’Hares by the fire after your Carlingford adventure.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]This post was part sponsored by Invite Ireland. All views and opinions are obviously my own and always will be.
Thanks to Volkswagen Ireland for use of the Touareg, I’d really quite like to keep it though.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]