Kinvara and Ballyvaughan, County Clare

The first time I brought Avenda to Ireland was in 1993. We had a 2CV and a 2 person pop up tent called Woomie. We were having a week’s trip before she met my family in Dublin for the first time.

Our first night was spent in Sneem, Co Kerry. There were no apps or mobile phones back then and although we followed the directions we kept ending up in at the church.  

We got out and found some rustic showers and loos and it dawned on us we were going to spend the first night of our Irish trip in a graveyard. As if meeting your future inlaws for the first time wasn’t scary enough.

Putting on a  brave face I suggested we get the tent up and maybe retire to the pub. We slept very soundly.

One of the next places we stopped was called Ballyvaughan. We got there about 6 pm with the wind howling and rain coming at you sideways. We had no idea where a campsite would be but in the distance a welcoming light shone.  

‘A pub,’ I said confidently. ‘They’ll know where we can camp’.

We rushed into Monks Pub trying to make sure that the wind didn’t blow the doors off the 2CV and found an oasis of calm. Traditional Irish music wafted around with the smoke near the large inglenook fireplace, people laughing and singing, drinking Guinness and eating oysters. 

‘No, there’s no campsite around here’, said the barman, ‘but if you just go out the road  to the first house on the left you can put your tent in Mary’s garden. There’s an outside toilet you can use’.

We thanked him and sure enough we found Mary’s garden. The tent was put up in 5 minutes and we rushed back to the pub where great craic was had. We thanked the barman and left a few bob for Mary as we’d never even saw her.

Monk's Pub
Well deserved

So it was great to get back to Ballyvaughan. Monks is still there and is now a gastro pub. We still went and had a snifter following a hike on the forrest loop which is part of The Burren Way.

We stayed two nights for free on the old pier which has such amazing views.



O’Loughlins whisky bar

If you have the time then do go to Ballyvaughan and if you like whisky then drop into O’Loughlins for lovely snifter.

Portumna to Ballyvaughan
Portumna to Ballyvaughan

Stay rebellious