Anyone who has pitched a tent in the last month or two will know that very often the problem is rarely the camping itself.

Escaping to the wilderness of the Highlands or picturesque Cornish seaside is the perfect getaway… until every staycationer and their dog finds themselves on the M1 at the same time.

But what if you had a year-round private bolt hole? If 2020 has awakened the camper in you, Mannion Island just off the west coast of Ireland could be the answer.

A four-acre plot, currently used to graze sheep, has been listed for sale in Dunmanus Bay — a five-minute boat trip from the mainland of Ireland.

With a natural sheltered cove to the east that allows year-round access, Mannion island is 200 metres from the nearest point of the mainland or 500 metres from a recently built jetty near Durrus village in West Cork.

The island has belonged to members of the same West Cork family for 30 years, who have always used it in connection with agriculture.

Other possible uses could include camping, coastal and marine research, or for breeding animals, with the necessary permissions in place.

While there aren’t dwellings, structures or ruins on the plot, which may have aided planning applications, the island listing suggests electricity could be provided via solar panels or a wind turbine.

The current owners say other islands in the area have been transformed into private retreats in recent years, with one other in the same bay – Carbery Island – being snapped up by a couple from mainland Europe last year.

In the same region, on the south side of the Mizen Head peninsula, sits 123-acre Castle Island in Roaringwater Bay which is for sale for £922,350.

Horse Island, also in Roaringwater Bay, is thought to have been sold for around £5 million during the coronavirus lockdown after the interested parties – unable to visit due to international travel restrictions – were given a video tour.

In addition to a huge main house and six guesthouses, 157-acre Horse Island has a pier, helipad, boathouse, three beaches and tennis court. It’s also self-sufficient, with wind turbines, generators, wells and private roads.

As can be common with unusual property buys, Mannion Island has been on the market for about 12 months.

The owners say there has been interest in that time but, with quarantine restrictions, would-be buyers haven’t yet been able to travel over to view in person.

Mannion Island is for sale priced £230,000 through Vladi Private Islands. For more information email

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