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Ferry good value action-packed Celtic Adventures

Woman hiking next to water and ruined building

If you’re looking for an epic road trip or want to hike, cycle, scramble, surf or paddle board into your next adventure then Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland will be right up your street. We’ve put together our tips for how to have a great value action-packed trip.

When taking the ferry your ticket price is mainly based on the cost of your vehicle, with a small amount added for additional passengers, and includes all the luggage and sports equipment that you can fit in (or on) the car.

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry ©Fáilte Ireland

Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2024, the Wild Atlantic Way is known for its imposing cliffs, rugged scenery, peninsulas and islands, wildlife and national parks. This breathtaking road trip along the West Coast of Ireland is 1,600 miles long and features multiple stages over several weeks, so if you don’t have time to do the full distance then choose a section that you want to explore.

By taking the ferry and bringing your own car you’ll save on car hire and can also bring your camping gear to save on accommodation costs too. 

Many of the main attractions along the route are best seen on foot and therefore are without cost if you are prepared to walk. There are also plenty of cycle routes and some spectacular beaches to go paddle boarding or kayaking.  If you have space in your car to bring your gear with you! You’ll be rewarded with outstanding views and the satisfaction of having earned your dinner.

A return crossing for a car and 2 passengers across the Irish Sea for 1 week in May starts from £326. Routes available include Cairnryan to Belfast or Larne with Stena Line or P&O Ferries, Liverpool to Belfast with Stena Line, Holyhead to Dublin with Irish Ferries and Stena Line, Pembroke or Fishguard to Rosslare with Irish Ferries or Stena Line.

Short-break adventures in the Isle of Man

©Visit Isle of Man

Off the beaten track, the Isle of Man is the hidden gem of the Irish Sea and was the first entire nation to be designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2016. Its unspoilt hills, glens, plantations, and coast offer an action-packed break for those looking for adventure.

Bring your hiking boots and your mountain bike to make the most of your trip. Hike up Snaefell, the Isle of Man’s highest peak, or complete a section of the challenging 100-mile coastal footpath Raad Ny Foillan (the Way of the Gull). The forests and countryside have a huge variety of bike trails, including gravel paths, purpose built single track and quiet country lanes suitable for all abilities.

Try gorge walking with Adventurous Experiences through one of the island’s stunning glens. You will scramble, climb and swim your way along the river, to deep pools and past flowing waterfalls.

The Sound, on the Southern most tip of the island is a hotspot for wildlife, with seals, basking sharks and dolphins often being spotted in the area. Stay on until night fall and you’ll be rewarded with a fabulous view of the night sky. The car park at The Sound is one of 26 registered Dark Sky Discovery Sites on the Isle of Man.

Knockaloe Beg Farm offers a range of accommodation options from B&B, to self-catering cottages, glamping wigwams and a hostel-style Bunkhouse and Bothy.

A summer 5-day short break to the Isle of Man with Isle of Man Steam Packet Company costs from £135.50 each way for a car and 2 passengers.

Isle of Tiree, Scotland – The Hawaii of the North

Isle of Tiree, Inner Hebrides ©VisitScotland

Tiree, the western most island of the Inner Hebrides, is often called the Hawaii of the North due to its great surf and white sandy beaches. However, just a 3-hour 20 min ferry journey from Oban, Scotland, it doesn’t come with the price tag of a jaunt to Hawaii.

Tiree is 12 miles long and 3 miles wide and surprisingly, is one of the sunniest places in the UK. It may be small but boasts some big sporting events including the Tiree Wave Classic in October, the longest standing windsurfing event in the British calendar and the Tiree Ultramarathon, a 35-mile race around the circumference of the island.

For those who want to try some Hawaiian water sports a little closer to home Wild Diamond offers kayaks and stand-up paddle boards for hire and lessons in windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing.

Pro-triathlete and Tiree resident Will Wright runs Tiree Fitness, which offers beach yoga, bike hire and fitness training for all ages, as well as a relaxing massage. Well-deserved after all that exercise!

Tiree Campsite offers budget accommodation options. You can pitch your tent or your van, or you can stay in an on-site Pod or Bothy, which are available to hire from £40 per person per night.

Sail to Tiree from Oban with Caledonian MacBrayne. A adult return ferry ticket costs £24.90. A car or campervan costs £135.90 return. Journey time takes between 3 hours 20 mins and 3 hours 50 mins.

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