If you're looking for an adventurous and scenic vacation, camping in Snowdonia National Park might be just what you need. With stunning peaks, beautiful lakes, and plenty of outdoor activities, Snowdonia is one of the best places to visit in Wales. There are many campsites available in the park, ranging from basic sites for those who want to get back to nature, to more luxurious options with full facilities.
When planning your camping trip to Snowdonia, it's important to book your spot well in advance, especially during peak season. Some areas of the park can get very busy, so it's essential to plan ahead to avoid disappointment. If you're going to be using public transport, you should also consider whether the buses stop near the campsite and how you'll transport your belongings as some can be a bit of a walk from the bus stops.
What and Where Is Snowdonia?
Snowdonia National Park, also known as Eryri in Welsh, is a stunning and diverse landscape covering 823 square miles in North Wales and is about a 4-hour and 30-minute drive from London. Snowdonia is home to rugged mountain ranges, cascading waterfalls, pristine lakes, verdant valleys, and much more.
Snowondia is also home to Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. There are several trails to the summit, ranging from easy to challenging, so you can choose the one that best suits your skill level. You can also access the mountain by booking the Snowdon Mountain Railway.
Aside from Mount Snowdon, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in Snowdonia, such as fishing, kayaking, wild swimming, and cycling. The park also has several charming towns and villages to explore, each with its own unique character and history.
When planning your trip to Snowdonia, it's essential to keep in mind the park's rules and regulations. For example, wild camping is only allowed in certain areas and requires a permit. It's also essential to respect the natural environment and leave no trace of your visit. If you do want to wild camp in Snowdonia, read my guide to wild camping in the park here.
Choosing the Right Campsite
When it comes to camping in Snowdonia, choosing the right campsite can make all the difference. Here are a few things to consider when selecting your campsite:
The location of your campsite is key. Do you want to be near the mountains or the coast? Do you want to be close to hiking trails or water activities? Consider what activities you want to do during your trip and choose a campsite that is conveniently located.
Different campsites offer different amenities. Some may have showers, toilets, and laundry facilities, while others may offer more basic amenities. Make a list of what amenities are important to you and check the campsite meets your needs before booking. Depending on budget you might have to compromise and go for a more basic campsite.
The size of the campsite can also be important. If you have a large tent or a camper/caravan you may need a larger campsite. Some campsites may also have restrictions on the size of tents or campers/caravans are allowed, so be sure to check before booking.
Cost is also a factor to consider when choosing a campsite. Some campsites may be more expensive than others, but may offer more amenities or a better location. Consider your budget and choose a campsite that fits within it.
Booking your stay
This is really important. You should make sure to book ahead of time, especially during the summer and UK school holidays. If you don't want a book, check which campsites let you walk up on the day rather than having to prebook. A lot of campsites don't allow walk-ins. If you do go down the walk-in route, make sure to have a few options available in case your first choice is fully booked.
Top Rated Snowdonia Campsites
Pitch and Hike
Pitch and Hike is a campsite located near Betws Y Coed that offers a back-to-basic, wild camping style of camping experience. I really recommend staying here if you'd like to wild camp in the national park, as wild camping isn't permitted without permission. So this is one of the best ways of getting a wild camping experience without damaging the environment or annoying the locals.
The site is vehicle-free, so it's great for those traveling by public transport. The site doesn't offer shower facilities so you'll need to bring your own shower tent and solar-powered shower. Toilets and sinks are available. There's also no electricity so you'll need to be prepared with portable power banks or a portable power station to recharge your phone. They have fire pits that can be hired, as well as hammocks for rent if you want a more rugged camping experience.
Gwern Gof Isaf Farm
Gwern Gof Isaf Farm is a popular campsite located on a National Trust farm in the heart of Snowdonia. It offers a range of camping options, including pitches for tents, caravans, and motorhomes. You can also opt to stay in one of the bunkhouses or a camping barn. The campsite is in a beautiful location, with amazing views and offers easy access to some of the best hiking and climbing routes in Snowdonia.
Llyn Gwynant Campsite
Llyn Gwynant Campsite is a stunning campsite located on the shores of Llyn Gwynant, one of Snowdonia's most picturesque lakes. Llyn Gwynant offers a range of camping options, including pitches for tents, caravans, and motorhomes. You could also choose to book one of their glamping pods or camping barn. The campsite offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
Riverside Camping is a small, family-run campsite located in the heart of Snowdonia National Park. It offers a range of pitches for tents, caravans, and motorhomes, as well as glamping pods and a camping barn. The campsite is on the banks of the River Llugwy, which gives stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It's the perfect base for exploring Snowdonia's many hiking and cycling routes, or for simply relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Glamping Campsites in Snowdonia
If you're looking for a camping experience with a touch of luxury, glamping is the way to go. Snowdonia has a range of glamping options available, from cozy pods to luxurious yurts. Here are two of the best glamping campsites in Snowdonia.
Campsite Pen y Buarth Pod
Campsite Pen y Buarth Pod is a family-run glamping site located in the heart of Snowdonia. This campsite offers a cozy glamping pod that can accommodate up to two people. The pod comes equipped with a double bed, heating, lighting, and power outlets. Outside, you'll find a picnic table and a fire pit, perfect for enjoying a meal under the stars. You'll have access to a shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Campsite Pen y Buarth Pod is also pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along for the adventure.
Tan Y Bryn Glamping
Tan Y Bryn Glamping is a luxury glamping site located in the picturesque village of Betws-y-Coed. They offer a range of glamping options, including yurts, pods, and cabins. Each accommodation is beautifully furnished and comes equipped with a comfortable bed, heating, lighting, and power outlets.
There's a shared kitchen and bathroom facilities available plus you'll get access to a private hot tub for you to enjoy relaxing in. Which is perfect after a day of hiking.
Both Campsite Pen y Buarth Pod and Tan Y Bryn Glamping offer a unique glamping experience in Snowdonia. Whichever site you choose, you're sure to have a comfortable and memorable stay in the heart of this stunning national park.
When planning a camping trip in Snowdonia, it's important to make sure you have all the necessary gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential items you should consider bringing with you:
Tent and Sleeping Gear
A good quality tent such as this 2 person tent and sleeping bag are essential for a comfortable night's sleep. Make sure your tent is appropriate for the weather conditions you may encounter and that your sleeping bag is rated for the temperatures you expect to experience. Don't forget to bring a sleeping pad or air mattress for added comfort.
Cooking over a campfire is a classic camping experience, but it's important to have a backup plan in case of fire restrictions or inclement weather. I'd also recommend bringing a portable stove, fuel, a camping kettle and cookware so you can cook your own meals to save money.
Clothing and Footwear
The weather in Snowdonia can be unpredictable, so it's important to pack clothing for a variety of conditions. Bring layers that can be easily added or removed as needed, as well as rain gear and sturdy footwear for hiking.
Lighting and Navigation
A good quality headlamp or flashlight is essential for navigating your campsite and hiking trails after dark. Consider bringing a map and compass or GPS device to help you navigate the area and avoid getting lost.
First Aid Kit
Accidents can happen, so it's important to have a well-stocked first aid kit on hand. Make sure your kit includes items like bandages, antiseptic, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications.
By packing these essential items, you'll be well-prepared for your camping trip in Snowdonia and can focus on enjoying the stunning scenery and outdoor activities the area has to offer.
Camping Guidelines and Etiquette
When camping in Snowdonia, it's essential to follow proper camping etiquette to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
Leave No Trace
The Leave No Trace principle is crucial when camping in Snowdonia. It means leaving the campsite exactly as you found it, with no trace of your presence. Here are the seven key principles of Leave No Trace:
- Plan ahead and prepare: Research suitable spots to pitch up before you head out, so that you can be reasonably certain your chosen site won't already be busy. Arrive late and leave early.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Stick to established campsites or areas with durable surfaces to minimize your impact on the environment.
- Dispose of waste properly: Pack out all trash and waste, including food scraps, and dispose of it in the appropriate bins.
- Leave what you find: Don't disturb the natural environment by picking flowers, cutting down trees, or removing rocks.
- Minimize campfire impact: Use established fire rings if available, or bring a portable stove. Don't cut down trees or other vegetation for firewood.
- Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance and don't feed them. Store food securely to prevent attracting animals to your campsite.
- Be considerate of other visitors: Keep noise levels down, respect others' privacy, and follow any posted rules and regulations.
Be Considerate of Others
When camping in Snowdonia, it's important to be considerate of other campers. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Keep noise levels down, especially at night.
- Respect others' privacy and personal space.
- Don't walk through other people's campsites.
- Follow any posted rules and regulations.
- If you have a dog, keep it on a leash and clean up after it.
Respect the Environment
Snowdonia is a beautiful and fragile environment, and it's important to treat it with respect. Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Stick to established trails and campsites.
- Don't disturb the natural environment by picking flowers, cutting down trees, or removing rocks.
- Use biodegradable soap and shampoo, and avoid using any chemicals or detergents in streams or lakes.
- Pack out all trash and waste, including food scraps, and dispose of it in the appropriate bins.
- Use established fire rings if available, or bring a portable stove. Don't cut down trees or other vegetation for firewood.
By following these guidelines, you can help preserve the natural beauty of Snowdonia and ensure a pleasant camping experience for everyone.
Camping in Snowdonia can be an unforgettable experience, but it's important to keep safety in mind. Here are some tips to help you stay safe during your camping trip:
- Research the area: Before embarking on your trip, research the area and familiarize yourself with the terrain, weather conditions, and any potential hazards. This will help you plan your trip accordingly and avoid any unexpected surprises.
- Check the weather: Snowdonia's weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to check the forecast before you go. Bring appropriate clothing and gear for the conditions, including rain gear, warm layers, and sturdy footwear.
- Bring the right equipment: Make sure you have all the necessary camping gear, including a tent, sleeping bag, cooking supplies, and a first aid kit. Bring a map and compass, or a GPS device, and make sure you know how to use them.
- Leave no trace: Respect the environment and follow the Leave No Trace principles. Pack out all your trash and waste, and avoid damaging the natural surroundings.
- Be aware of wildlife: Snowdonia is home to a variety of wildlife, including sheep, goats, and birds of prey. Be respectful of their habitats and keep a safe distance. Do not feed or approach wild animals.
- Stay alert: Keep your wits about you and stay aware of your surroundings. Be cautious around cliffs, steep slopes, and bodies of water.
I'd also recommend downloading apps that can help you plan your camping trip and to stay safe while traveling.