A Decade of Adventure and Hospitality: Celebrating the Wild Atlantic Camp 

This article appeared in the 2023 edition of The Creeslough View

As you drive into Creeslough from Letterkenny, it’s impossible to miss the Wild Atlantic Camp on the right-hand side of the town. The brainchild of local man Lorcan Roarty, The camp opened its doors in October 2013 and has reached its milestone 10-year anniversary with pride and excitement. As the first glamping site to grace the landscapes of Co Donegal, the Wild Atlantic Camp was before its time and has evolved from its humble beginnings into a vibrant haven for adventure seekers, families, and tourists from all around the world.

What began with a modest offering of 6 pods and 13 touring bays has blossomed into an expansive retreat. Today, the camp boasts an impressive array of accommodations, including 20 touring bays, 12 glamping villas, 12 cabins, six pods, and nine newly introduced two-story chalets. This extensive range of facilities enables the Wild Atlantic Camp to welcome over 320 guests at a time. Beyond the accommodations, the camp is as an important local employer, with 22 dedicated members from the community forming the backbone of its operations.

Cathal, Edel and Diane outside the Highland Radio live broadcast

Visitors to the camp can indulge in a culinary journey at the site’s three food offerings: the Coffee Pod, Happy Camper, and the popular Gusto takeaway. Just down the road, a recent addition to the town that has garnered excitement amongst adults and children alike is the Scrumptious Ice Cream shop which has proved a popular attraction to those visiting the camp site.

The Wild Atlantic Camp has grown from its local roots to become a destination cherished by guests from Ireland and across the globe. This international appeal is reflected in the diverse array of visitors hailing from countries such as Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and beyond. The camp has cultivated a sense of community that extends beyond the small village of Creeslough and has connected with visitors with many returning season after season and using Creeslough as a central point to explore the rest of Donegal. 

The Wild Atlantic Camp’s journey has been one of continuous growth and recognition. With the stamp of approval from Failte Ireland and nominations from the Irish Hospitality Awards, the camp’s dedication to excellence has been widely acknowledged. Notably, the camp secured the coveted title of the Best Campsite in Ireland in both 2022 and 2023.

The Wild Atlantic camp Team picking up an award

The story of the Wild Atlantic Camp is one of collaboration and hard work. Each member of the team, from visionary leadership to those who dedicate their skills to daily operations, plays an indispensable role in creating an unforgettable experience for visitors. The site manager is Diane Black who has worked at the camp for six years. Her role involves navigating the challenges and overseeing the day-to-day running of the camp. She says that no two days are the same. “Every day is different with daily challenges big and small. But I have a strong team around me who are reliable and hard working. And there’s certainly never a dull moment especially when Edel is around! The Wild Atlantic Camp is what it is because of our hard-working team, and the leadership of Lorcan.”

Cathal and Lorcan with one of the awards won by the camp site.

The longest-standing member of the Wild Atlantic Camp staff is Carnamaddy man Cathal Mc Connell. Having been part of the camp for over 10 years, Cathal’s involvement has spanned every phase of its development. His unwavering dedication and in-depth knowledge of the site and the surrounding areas have been integral to the camp’s growth. Site manager Diane acknowledges the trojan work put in by Cathal over the years. “Personally I have great appreciation for all that Cathal does. He’s always a pleasure to work alongside and goes above and beyond to accomplish everything. We like to torture him on a daily basis and I know how much he loves a good long list, and some of them can be never-ending! Although, in fairness, Edel’s requests are usually the longest!”

The past decade has seen the camp evolve from a simple idea into a thriving glamping destination. The team’s combined dedication, innovative spirit, and genuine passion for what they are doing means that Creeslough provides an inviting retreat for people from all over the world. We look forward to seeing how it develops over the next 10 years!