Last weekend we took ourselves off on a bit of a spur of the moment camping trip. Matt had a nosy on a site called Pitch Up and found a really affordable campsite called Hillfoot near Dungiven – Thanks to improved roads Dungiven is actually only an hour from home but feels a world away.
We absolutely love going to Donegal but the journey is a bit much for a weekend so I’m really excited to have found the perfect compromise! 40 minutes from Hillfoot is the ferry at Magilligan which will have you in Greencastle in 15 minutes. From there we went to Malin Head and some gorgeous Irish beaches.
Anyway – if you’re not local that entire introduction will make zero sense. Fear not, from here on in it’ll be mostly pretty pictures.
Hillfoot campsite is a small family run business, it’s really easy to find using google maps and if you’re old fashioned there are road signs. The site is small and divided into two sections – one for campers vans and the other for tents. There’s really well maintained facilities on site, lots of bins including recycling, a nice play-park and a meeting room you can request to use for parties or what have you.
You’re welcome to bring dogs but they must be kept on a lead at all times as there is farming land all around the campsite. I really loved how small the site was, our last few trips have been to big sites which have long walks to the toilet and lots of noisy neighbours. Hillfoot was super relaxed and felt like you were at home right away. If you’re local I really recommend checking it out as it’s so affordable and safe for young children.
One of my favourite things about going camping is the freedom – we’ve been so many times now we’re really well prepared and know what to expect so we’re able to just relax and let go of the stresses and strains of home life. If you’re new to camping I read a really helpful post by my friend Kate – she has lots of good advice about what kind of food to bring on a family camping trip and how to store it.
Whilst we were near Limavady we decided to check out the Roe Valley Country Park – the weather conspired against us in a big way so we didn’t get to stay very long but we will be back for sure. The on-site cafe was lovely and homely plus there was a small museum with lots of information about local industry and farming which we had fun walking around. Plus we met so many lovely people who were full of chat so it was a great morning.
My favourite part of our little break was an afternoon spent on the beach in Donegal. We opted for a smaller, lesser known beach as we had Cali our wild cocker spaniel in tow. She’s a lovely dog – don’t get me wrong but she’s not shy and will jump up on anyone who comes within 15m so we prefer to let her loose in quiet spots. Five Fingers Strand was the perfect place to let both Lu and Cali run riot and burn off some energy.
If you’re a Star Wars fan you’ll know that a fair bit of the latest film was shot in Donegal – of course there was no way Matt could pass up the opportunity to explore and get a few photos. Sadly the weather was absolutely bleak and so visibility was really poor at Malin Head but we had a lot of fun – the ferry was a real novelty for Lu.
So there you go, I appreciate this probably isn’t of much interest to anyone but I wanted to share our latest little adventure. We love camping and I have tonnes of tips (learnt the hard way) so if you’re a novice feel free to give me a buzz with any questions and i’ll be happy to help.