I last used this camp site 16 years ago, when I could find little good to say about it. Now it is vastly improved.
The field for tents was previously mostly shaded by tall Leylandii trees that blocked out any sunshine. The trees have long since been felled, leaving it nice and open. There is a warning notice, however, that the field can flood in wet weather, so I pitched up by the entrance gate, a precaution that happily proved unnecessary. The site is far enough away from main roads for there to be no traffic noise, and as mine was the only tent there midweek in the middle of May, it was extremely peaceful.
An excellent new toilet block has replaced the dated and inadequate one that was there before. Washing-up sinks are under the canopy at the front, unisex showers down the middle and doors to the ladies and gents on either side. Perhaps it could get a bit crowded at peak times, though. To the left of the block is a fenced bin area.
Sixteen years ago the camping fees seemed to me a bit high for the time, but now they are quite reasonable by today's rates. Also it is now free to look around the remains of the old Cistercian abbey, unlike my last time.
Did I mention that the site owner and his wife are friendly?
Dolgellau is only 2 miles away, for an important tourist spot it is a strange place as it seems deserted in the evenings, though I did find a couple of pubs serving food and a chippy.
Only booked day before we came so thought we were lucky to get a pitch. We booked 7 nights and our last one is tomorrow. I'm sitting outside our van in lovely warm sunshine just listening to the birds. This is mainly a seasonal site as there were 15 seasonal vans and two touring pitches plus a field for tents though I suppose caravans could go in there too. There is also a static site. We were two away from the toilets, showers and washing up area and absolutely spotless. They must have a fairy come in the night to do them as we never saw them being cleaned. We paid £15. 00 a night. We had rain the second day and as I am disabled it was not the weather for us to go out. Only got two stations on the TV BBC1 and 2. Others told us you need a satellite dish if you want TV. This disappeared altogether after three days though the farmer told me on the phone TV was good.
Barmouth is a lovely seaside town and if you have kids then there is a great sandy beach there and some amusements. Went to Rosie's Cafe where I had a lasagne which was really nice. Going to The Mermaid fish n chip shop tonight as we have been told they are good. Harleck was a dump. Couldn't get up to the castle as road to it was closed or like a zillions steps which I can't do. Drove around too many places to mention but wherever you go the scenery is stunning. Went across country to Snowdon which is a most beautiful drive and you can stop in a lay by to go and paddle in the streams. We got a good day for this and could see the top of Snowdon. We didn't go up by train as we wanted to go by steam which was £35 each - diesel was £27 each so as we only have our pension, the price was too steep for us. Car park across the road was £7. We said we hadn't got a train ticket but you had to pay even before you found out you could get one, so we just drove off again.
Cheapest diesel we found was actually in Dolgellau. Turn left outside the camp, take second turning left into Dolgellau then first left. The garage is along this road. Price was £1. 36. 9 litre whereas others in the area were £1. 38. 9 and above. For those of you who have a Blue Badge, parking, apart from Llanberis for Snowdon, was free.
All in all we have had a lovely time here though the weather hasn't always been, though not bad for Wales.
This camp site is in a perfect location for lots of outdoor activities eg: walks, cycle rides or mountain walks and beaches. (we did so much when we stayed there).
The site is in a lovely peaceful location, with beautiful views and a river running to one side on the farm(which there is a walk up along side it through the farm's fields).
It has a lovely shower block, 4 showers including a shower for the disabled (showers are lovely and hot with enough power). A nice amount of toilets and wash basins with mirror's. (my only thing was there was no soap to wash your hands with or any bins). There are two washing up sinks.
The owners of the farm are very helpful and very kind. The cost was very reasonable (For myself and my other half, a big tent(6 man)and electric hook up it cost £15 per night. (there are only a few electric hooks up so they say its best to book them before turning up).
we would definitely go back and take the kids too next time! we had such a lovely peaceful week away. (child friendliness I did not mark as I did not take them, but I would be more than happy taking the kids there and them feeling safe. The camping fields have fencing around them and its not to far to walk to the loo in the night).
I didn't mark it 10 out of 10 as everything always has room for improvements, but its got to be one of my favourite places so far to stay.
We picked this site for it's close location to the Coed-y-Brenin Mountain Bike Centre, six miles up the A470.
I phoned twice beforehand to check availability, and there was no need to pre-book for a tent. The site is right by a beautiful trout stream and the ruins of Cymer Abbey, which was an extra treat to see.
Although the tent field for this site has an alarming warning about flooding in severe weather (it is on the flood plain of the nearby river) we were able to pitch on a higher spot which was closer to the truly excellent wash-room block, and had no problems at all - even after heavy rain. The wash-room block itself features lots of free showers with plenty of hot water, and there are also a row of sinks for washing up. All very clean and tidy and relatively new.
There are no laundry or drying facilities here, but there is a laundrette in Dolgellau nearby. There are also no facilities to freeze your cold-box packs, which would have been handy. It's a drive to the nearest shop for supplies, and a long way to find somewhere that stocks camping gas.
The children from the caravan site use the tent field for playing. Need I say more?
Overall a very good basic site for tent campers and cyclists for the Coed-y-Brenin centre.
A near perfect site for us in that it is simple and quiet and in a perfect position to visit the surrounding area (close to roads leading in all directions. The camping field has the best view of the ruined abbey and no-where is far from the toilet block. A clean river flows next to the site.
Charges were per person, not per tent, so very good if you are a family and your older kids want their own tent. The toilet block is excellent with (it seems) constant hot water. The block is new and well cleaned. A few hooks in the washroom would improve things further as would a stool or shelf in the showers for clothes.
The field has no hookups and most campers are in small tents. The field is low lying and was quite damp and soft. There is a flooding disclaimer in the event of severe weather. (It rained every day for the week we were there but the field was fine). The grass was long when we visited.
The town of Dolgellau is a 20 minute walk over a smallish hill by metalled path and road. The nearest place for a drink is the golf club (10 minutes up the same path) while the George Hotel in Penmaenpool is a 45 minute walk along the old railway cycle track. Dolgellau has all the facilities needed (pubs, supermarkets, doctor)and is a very pleasant town.
The nearby Precipice Walk is an easy 5km walk (mainly level) with stunning views - it's signposted from the site; drive up to the dedicated car park or it will be a very long walk.
This is the second time that we have visited this site and we were not disappointed.
It was Bank Holiday weekend and we had anticipated that it would be very busy as the camping field is not massive but how wrong we were!
There were less than 10 tents and plenty of space for everyone allowing open views to ruins of the abbey that also forms part of the site.
The previous toilet and shower blocks have been knocked down since our last visit and replaced by what looks to be a very nice new block. Although not open yet so there were temporary facilities in porta cabins which provided free hot showers and were kept spotlessly keen.
The area is fantastic for walking and cycling and the site has almost direct access onto the Mawdach trail which is a superb foot path / cycle trail which runs from Dolgellau to Barmouth. It is also on the doorstep of the Coed y Brenin forest and its masses of mountain bike trails.
Dolgellau has a nice supermarket stocking everything that you could need and also has plenty of pubs, takeaways and restaurants. There is footpath that runs from just outside the site into Dolgellau and although it involves steep up and down hills is worth the effort.
A wonderful place to stay and I am sure we will be back!
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