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Visitor Reviews - Shell Island Camp Site

  Campsite and Caravan Park Search > UK > Wales > Gwynedd > Site Reviews

Shell Island Camp Site
Shell Island
Gwynedd   (Browse area)
LL45 2PJ   See Map
Tel: 01341 241453
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Pitches: 800
Open: March To November

Rating: Average Review Score: 8/10 from 275 Reviews
                8/10 from 275 Reviews

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 Tent Pitches   No Caravans   Motorhome Pitches   No Glamping Units 
 No Statics for Hire   No Statics on Sale   No Seasonal Pitches   No Caravan Storage 
 Electric Hookups   Hardstanding Pitches   Show Full Facilities
Who's it for
 Adults Only   Club Members Only   Rallies Welcome   Naturist Site 
 Dogs Welcome   No Dogs Allowed   Groups Welcome   Motorbikers Welcome 
 Toilet Facilities   Hot Showers   Washing Up Area   Bathroom 
 Baby Changing Facilities   Laundry On Site   Drinking Water   Disabled Friendly 
 Chemical Disposal   Battery Charging   Gas Refills   Recycling Facilities 
 Kitchen Facilities   Freezer Available   Motorhome Point   Fully Serviced Pitches 
 Shop On Site   Bar On Site   Restaurant On Site   Wifi Access 
 Kids Playground   TV Room   Games Room   Evening Entertainment 
 Fishing On Site   Wild Swimming   Indoor Pool   Outdoor Pool 
 Horse Riding   Cycle Hire   Golf   Tennis 
 Beach On Site   Watersports On Site   Boat Launch / Mooring 
Other Features
 Sea Views   Working Farm   Campfires Allowed   Open All Year 
 Seaside Location   Dog Walk   Public Transport 

Reviews:  275 in total, now showing 1 to 10                 Previous 10          Next 10
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Date of Visit: March 2018 Unit:  Campervan Rating:
Reviewer: Louisecat123 1 review from this member

Fabulous campsite, amazing beach, friendly helpful staff. Love it here, come every year. So many places to set up camp with sea, mountain, sanding view. Restaurant open daily and the Tavern. 3 shops and ample toilets and shower. Very dog friendly also

Date of Visit: June 2017 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Dustie 3 reviews from this member

Shell Island # GREAT Welsh institution, A GEM, GREAT for free range kids #Freedom camping.

Only campers spoil it !

By leaving/dropping litter & burning the grass with fires on the ground.

& camping too close to others when the site is humongous!

Warning: once again I came across broken glass in the sand dunes and lots of litter/beer cans # children bare feet

Big Jelly fish on the beach

Kids use snow sledges down the dunes (big fun)

Great for Kites (when windy)

Other areas further down are for bird and wildlife conservation and even a nudist beach!


I would like to see hooks for hanging toiletry bag/coats at the back of the toilet doors and the hand washing area in the new toilet block. A shelf would be handy for putting items on instead of the floor (and a mirror?)

Kids washing off sand in the sinks (so a rinse off sand sink tap/area outside instead of just the water tap).

?? maybe one more toilet block further down past the skips.

MORE RECYCLING BINS next to skips!

Date of Visit: June 2017 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Wetwellies 5 reviews from this member

It was okay, but more suited to large groups than our smaller family unit.

Site is very large. That you can pitch anywhere is both a blessing and a curse, it was very windy and we drove around for ages looking for somewhere to pitch. Having more sheltered places shaded on the map would really help. It was so windy, luckily we had Delta pegs, I would certainly advise you to take them. Also we had a baby with us and it's hard to find shade or shelter on the site. None on beach either. If you have small children take bikes scooters prams or something, site too big to carry them from place to place.

Staff exceptionally helpful and friendly, although the non toilet facilities like cafe are rather rough and ready. Toilets were immaculate until the sunny weekend arrived and the place was packed, then I felt that the staff struggled to keep up with replenishing toilet roll. No mirrors in the loos around the site, or warm water! But both available if you trekked to the main block. Long trek to loos with small children.

Loads of large groups of people, even in term time although they were all pleasant I was a bit wary due to signs warning not to drink drive. Could imagine it being rowdy in high season. Lots upon lots of dogs here but I did not once see a poo, and some fields were labelled as dog free on the map.

Location was great, my three year old son liked the slate mines about ten minutes away at Harlech, torches and hard hats given but no real darkness or small spaces, farm park at same location was excellent fun. Harlech castle also had a clue finding trail for little ones and gave a lovely flag and comic strip as a prize. Barmouth was a nice place to visit but the railway across the harbour at another town was overpriced, disappointing views, and we have been on many. Portmerien was a lovely place to visit and worth paying for, I was sceptical but it is beautiful with plenty of shade and places to rest and eat.

The takeaway on shell island was very basic, freezer burgers and chips sort of thing but not overpriced. Supermarket on site very well stocked with everything you could ever need. Beach very clean and great for rock pooling and toilet near entrance to sandy beach.

Overall I would say go if you like it lively.

Date of Visit: June 2017 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: JAHunt 1 review from this member

Location is great it's getting there that's a bit of a mission. The tight, narrow roads for miles leading in are difficult and I would think hair raising for big vehicles. The site is vast, so vast in fact that there aren't nearly enough facilities further out which means that the shower facilities located at the main building are inadequate to say the least. The site was probably only at 50% capacity and already there was a queue for the men's showers.

We camped further out in the dune area, which was more rough and ready, that's what we wanted, however. The rules didn't seem to apply or be enforced out there as there was evidence of ground fires and unfortunately for us the 'noise' after 10pm and early in the morning was not applied and enforced which made the experience sound like a street party and not the outdoors.

The 3 families camped together close by although far enough away that we shouldn't have heard them were having a good time so you couldn't blame them but someone just needed to remind them of the curfew on noise and the impact on fellow campers.

Date of Visit: May 2017 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Lamornamoon 1 review from this member

Just back from another wonderful weekend on Shell Island. What can I say about this place? It is just beautiful, the location - on a peninsula in Cardigan bay, jutting out into the sea and cut off from the mainland once or twice a day - is magical. The views are stunning, the size of the site is breath-taking and the diversity of camping areas - sea-front slopes, sand dunes, sheltered fields, open fields ringed by mountains, the harbour-side - is incredible. Add this to the on-site shop, laundrette, bar and café and to me, it's the perfect campsite. So many happy memories here, especially seeing everyone's fires dotted about as the sun goes down. Vive la Shell!

Date of Visit: May 2017 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Ncdlloyd 3 reviews from this member

We were here over the bank holiday weekend at the end of May. We found a great spot with amazing views over the site, the beach and the causeway. Choosing your own pitch certainly has its advantages, but having never been before it was pot luck we got somewhere so nice. We based it largely due to the short walk to the new toilet block.

That's the downside of the site. The block we used was new, but the others looked pretty ropey. Also only one shower block for such a huge site is poor. There was also quite a problem with litter, the people running the island must know this is an issue and it could be better managed.

We were disturbed one night by singing/music until gone midnight, obviously no monitoring by the site management of the 10pm curfew on that.

The views and freedom of pitching are probably hard to beat, but facilities wise and site management there's much better to be had. Unfortunately I doubt we'll be back.

Date of Visit: August 2016 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Rickngayle 5 reviews from this member

We had this site recommended to us by family and we thought to try it out.

Arrived with no problems as the causeway was not flooded (the Shell Island website is a great help with tide times) and check in went smoothly. The Island must be geared up for weather as computers telling you wind speed etc are available to view in reception.

We got our tent placed not far from the complex on the brow of a hill with a great view of the sea and a great view of Snowdon to wake up to.

Shower block and toilets spot on, site was not far from being full, unfortunately the staff, more than one in the cafe and one in the pub, must have had enough of the season as their customer service left a great deal to be desired.

As we neared the end of the week the storms were coming so many people, including us, chose to leave early and I was amazed that we got a credit for the time remaining.

All in all it was a great week with plenty to explore, Barmouth, Harlech, Blue Lake, Portmerrion, the list is endless.

Will we be back next year? Yes of course we will!

Date of Visit: August 2016 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: CRaw_1983 2 reviews from this member

Stayed at shell island for three nights during the summer holidays with another so there were four adults and three children in total. Never stayed here before and quite frankly I was blown away by the beauty of the place. Although the site was at capacity there was plenty of space and we managed to find a place near the sand dunes away from other campers which was ideal for us.

Our nearest toilet block was small and not the best but we had a portaloo so not a problem for us. The main toilet and shower block was plenty big enough and always clean and tidy.

The on site shop stocks all the essentials and not too over priced although you're better going off site if you need lots.

Beach is amazing! And very clean

We loved it-didn't want to come and hopefully we'll be taking the kids back next year!

Date of Visit: June 2016 Unit:  Motorhome Rating:
Reviewer: Kylen78 2 reviews from this member

We visited Shell island in June when Wales had a little heatwave of its own! We have visited many times as a day guest but have never stayed. Our duration was for 4 nights in a twin axle motorhome. When we first arrived we were a little worried about the steep incline in and out due to the length of the motorhome however we shouldn't have been as we managed not to scrape any Tarmac with an inch to go! The site was very busy but there were plenty of places to choose to set up camp. We really like Shell Island for this very reason. You are not bound by pitch or plot markers and within reason can set up as you please. We were right on the sea front with a path down to the beach which was perfect for my son to head off and explore whilst being able to keep a safe eye on him. We had a campfire at night which was lovely as we could sit and watch the sunset. Even though there were quite a few other campers around us there was very little noise or disturbance just the odd strum of a guitar!

The only bad points I could find -

We needed to refill the water tanks, the water pressure is very poor and wouldn't inflate one of those shrinking hoses we ended up having to fill a small water carrier and try that way.

The water tastes really really strongly of chlorine, whilst I appreciate it has to be done as they have water tanks I think on site we flushed out the tanks before our next trip and even after a 3rd refill I could still taste a strong hint of chlorine in my morning coffee.

The bar could do with a re furb it's quite dark and 'old mans' type effect could be really nice if it had a new coat of paint.

The shop prices are quite expensive, £1. 69 I believe for a load of bread. Same make of bread off site 69p

Also no sale of alcohol in the shop you can buy take out bottle from the bar but it only sells you non branded (cheap brand) sprits. They do have premium brands to drink in though??

Good points -

Staff are lovely and friendly cannot fault them.

Great play area and out door sitting area for adults/kids to have a drink/relax

Good little camping and holiday shop on site

Great views/atmosphere

Your not tied down to one spot.

Great crabbing!

Did not want to leave!

We didn't use the washing or shower facilities so I cannot comment on these but there seemed to be lots of them and plenty of staff in and out I can only assume cleaning.

Overall this is a great little gem, well worth a visit and stay, apart from the above points I cannot fault the place.

We will be visiting again in the next month I just hope the weather is as nice!

Date of Visit: June 2016 Unit:  Campervan Rating:
Reviewer: Moosterish 4 reviews from this member

If you are visiting Shell island in a campervan make sure that you take all provisions that you need before hand, as the on site shops mark up are extraordinarily high, a grill bag for the Barbecue that costs £3 in Barmouth is £8. 50 on the campsite? £5. 50 extra mark up, seriously? This is on every grill bag bought in the shop. I understand that on site shops are more expensive than supermarkets but that is just a plain rip off!

Once you are on the island, if you want to go anywhere the you will have to drive, which is not ideal if you go on holiday and just use the van as a base. The train station in LLanbedr is a good 20 mins drive away, so walking or push biking would take a while just to get off the island. There are no ferry boat rides into Barmouth or Harlech which is where I think they are missing an opportunity. They could really do with a few more activities for the adults on the island. On the map given at reception it shows a little picture of person land Yaching on the one beach. We did not see anyone doing or offering that as an activity.

The toilet blocks where clean enough and plenty of the 20ft festival container type toilets scattered around the island if you decide to go for a walk. I can not comment on the shower blocks as they was a large queue to use them on a Saturday morning, so I didn't get to use them.

When driving off the island be careful of children and people crabbing on the causeway.

Pro's: The site is kept very clean and has amazing views of the beach & mountains on either side.

Con's: The on site supermarket and camping shop have very high mark ups. No Ferry rides, or any other transport to help you visit Wales other places such as Harlech Castle etc.

Would I stop there again? Yes if I have no intentions of leaving the Island, and have everything I need before hand.

I do not really know how to score the site location, as it depends on what you want from a campsite. For me I want to use the van as a base and not have to drive it again. If you don't mind driving on & off the island then I would give it 10 stars, due to lack of other transport it only gets 5 from my point if view.

This site is nicely price for admission, however the shops put paid to the admission price by being so expensive.

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