A couple of weekends ago I headed across the country to Snowdonia in Wales to spend a weekend camping, hiking and kayaking with a group of Outdoor Bloggers who’d responded to mine and Jenni’s desire to create a network of like minded writers here in the UK. We camped at the Llyn Gwynant campsite in the heart of the National Park, which proved to be a superb base for our weekend away.
I don’t think I’ve ever dedicated a blog post to a campsite before; sure I’ve mentioned them, but this one seemed pretty special to me. The setting was simply beautiful, and it was a really well equipped site too. I wanted to feature it here as a recommendation to any of you looking for a short or long camping break.
Our group used the Pen Helen West area of the site, one of a number of fields set aside for groups to camp together. We were close to the lake, and at the foot of a beautifully large hill that provided shelter from the wind. There was plenty of space for our 12/14 tents (of all different sizes) and more, with space to spare for a campfire using one of the provided fire pits. I had a wander around the site and all the areas looked pretty good to me; some closer to the lake and river than others, but all with superb surroundings and plenty of space to park close to your set-up.
We were based right by the campsite’s boat hire area, which had a whole host of canoes and kayaks to mess about on the river and take out on the lake. I hired a single kayak for an hour for just £6 and had a great time paddling along the river. The lake was really choppy thanks to the strong winds, and a couple of friends did get away from the relative shelter of the hills, but I was feeling way too unfit to battle the wind and the waves to go too far out this time. I would go back to the campsite just for this – it was brilliant to get out on the water and I would love to kayak right across the lake on a calmer day.
While going camping for me is all about being outside in amongst some amazing countryside, I do like a campsite with some good facilities as it makes the experience much more comfortable. Llyn Gwynant has a large ablutions block with toilets and showers and (free) hot running water, although bear in mind there is only one block serving the whole site so it is a bit of a walk from some of the camping areas and I imagine on a busy summer weekend you will have to queue for a shower. There’s also a small camp shop in the site office, coin laundry facilities, and a large washing up area. A bonus for me was that the site had a pizza oven where a couple made pizzas to order; four minutes in the fire and they were done. There was also a breakfast cart serving coffee and bacon rolls, I didn’t partake but another useful service if you’re travelling light or just fancy something easy in the morning.
As usual with “proper” campsites there were some rules to adhere to, such as no stereos or amplified music, which did make sure the peace of being in the Welsh countryside was not interrupted. There’s a quiet camp cut off time of 11pm, which is perfectly fine and makes the site family and adventurer friendly, and the gate is closed at that time so you can’t drive through the site and disturb sleeping campers. You can only burn wood purchased on site and using the provided fire pits, a rule I got very used to over in the USA and it is something that lots of sites do now.
We were here for two nights in October and the site was still reasonably busy, it’s a well known site that gets excellent reviews. It’s a great base to explore Snowdonia and the rest of North Wales, makes a perfect location for a hike up Snowdon, and could equally be one of those sites you just mooch about and make the most of the time to relax. I will definitely be back to Llyn Gwynant, it’s one of those finds you just have to return to.
See more of the campsite and our weekend away in my vlog:
Thanks very much to the guys at Mud and Routes for choosing the site and sponsoring the camping so we could spend the weekend at Llyn Gwynant for free. Great choice! And if you want to know more about Outdoor Bloggers, head over to OutdoorBloggers.co.uk.
Find out more about Llyn Gwynant campsite on their website.