Network of camping and glamping sites planned at 50 key locations

Network of camping and glamping sites planned at 50 key locations

The sites would provide facilities for camping, glamping and motorhomes.

A tourism initiative could see a network of camping and glamping sites, as well as pitches for campervans and motorhomes dotted along the country's rivers, lakes, and canals.

Waterways Ireland is exploring the possibility of developing up to 50 sites at key locations across both Northern Ireland and the Republic that will provide facilities for glamping and motorhomes.

The sites would be across the navigation systems operated by Waterways Ireland, including the Lower Bann, the Erne System, the Shannon-Erne Waterway, the Royal and Grand Canals, the Barrow and the Shannon.

Wild Atlantic glamping at Bere Island.
Wild Atlantic glamping at Bere Island.

The cross-border body responsible for the management and development of over 1,000 kilometres of inland navigable waterways in the Republic and Northern Ireland has announced a feasibility study into the potential for developing a network of such sites.

Waterways Ireland said the appropriateness and scale of the potential for the development of glamping and motorhome sites near inland waterways had not been comprehensively assessed to date even though the market demand for such facilities is reported to be high.

“The provision of glamping and motorhome infrastructure along the inland waterways offers the potential to attract increased and diverse users to the waterways environment to experience both on-water and off-water recreational activities including walking and cycling along our greenway and blueway routes,” it said.

“For the visitor, waterside locations are compelling and unique since they offer immersive dark sky vistas, breath-taking scenery and tranquility amidst the beauty of rare flora and fauna.” 

Feasibility study

The organisation has issued a tender for the feasibility study, which could cost up to €150,000. This will inform Waterways Ireland’s future decisions on investing in infrastructure to facilitate such types of tourists and their accommodation needs.

Motorhome holidays have become increasingly popular in Ireland. Picture: David Creedon / Anzenberger
Motorhome holidays have become increasingly popular in Ireland. Picture: David Creedon / Anzenberger

The winning bidder is expected to review existing glamping and motorhome infrastructure near the inland waterways, as well as assess the risk for Waterways Ireland if its property is developed for such facilities as well as provide a cost-benefit analysis of the proposal.

Waterways Ireland said it would also examine the need for investing in infrastructure for the charging of electric vehicles.

The organisation said it is intended that the findings of the study will ultimately enable it to develop partnerships with various agencies including local authorities for the delivery of such facilities at prioritised locations.

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