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Small, country campsite in a scenic, riverside location

If you need to get lost, for some reason, then Tyllwyd is hard to beat for remoteness. Squeezed in between the burbling waters of the River Ystwyth and an unclassified road, high in the hills at the top of Cwm Ystwyth, the site is about 20 miles inland from Aberystwyth. On the map it looks like the back of beyond, but happily, though Tyllwyd is isolated, it doesn’t feel so.

The journey to find Tyllwyd is, from anywhere, a long and winding road, and the nearest supermarket is at Aberystwyth – 20 miles away. So while the site doesn’t really feel as though it is in the middle of nowhere it is probably one of the most isolated campsites in Britain.

Midweek, and out of season, you could set your deckchair up in the middle of the road next to the site and not have to move it all day, but come a summer Sunday it can seem as though every motorcycle and classic car in the world is parading up and down this lonely strip of tarmac. This isn’t actually the nuisance it might seem, happening as it does on just a single day. So, six days a week, those lucky folk camping at Tyllwyd have this lovely road at their exclusive disposal, the joyful sparkling stream of the River Ystwyth to splash about in outside the tent, an all-round view of the big green empty hills of Mid-Wales, and all laid out in a soothing, lush, green valley. In a nutshell: location, location, location.

Site facilities are good, too, though you have to cross the road to find them at the farmhouse, which once upon a time was an inn catering for travellers on an important route across Wales. The present occupiers, the Raw family, are as welcoming as their valley, though it should be noted that their midges offer a less friendly welcome at times.

The drive to Rhayader from the site, through the wastes of Wales, may be famously stunning, the scenery in the other direction, downstream, is more rewarding, being more complex and intimate. There are mountain-biking routes in the forest immediately to the north of Cwmystwyth, and about six miles from Tyllwyd is Devil’s Bridge, where you can climb aboard the train to Aberystwyth.

Tyllwyd is in the back of beyond, for sure, but it also feels very much in the centre of Wales.

Reviews

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★★★★★

Not so cool if your children have learning disabilities

I and two disabled children were told to leave this campsite at 8pm. The children were playing happily by the stream, talking in the rather loud monotone voices which is part of their autistic spectrum. The people in the tent next door objected to the sound of their voices, so I got them to be quieter. THe woman then complained angrily that one of them had made a face. I explained he twists and twitches his face at times, but the complaints continued in front of the children so I offered to move the tent to the other end of the site. We started to do this but the children became increasingly distressed and confused at all their stuff taken out of the tent and the people obviously cross with them. By the time I got back from moving the tent the woman had complained to the owner who told us to leave immediately although we were agreeing to move far away from them. By this time the children were crying and began to swear in their distress and confusion. I was not given any chance to resettle them and calm them down elsewhere on the site but had to go home. Was it my fault? They kept asking. I feel we made efforts to accommodate the other family's desire not to hear excited kids with disabilities. Don't go here if you don't have neurotypical children as the owner clearly feels he needs to protect 'normal' families from ones like us.
Aug 15, 2017 by Del
★★☆☆☆

tyllwyd

Stayed here with hubby and 2 kids for one night before moving elsewhere. The location is stunning, you're in the heart of a Welsh valley and the shallow river provides hours of fun for the kids. Being remote and without a mobile phone signal was no problem. But we won't return here purely because of the facilities; it has one shower, one toilet & sink for women and one toilet for men. Luckily it was quiet when we were there. I didn't like having to cross the road to reach the toilets. I know it's just the same as a walk across a meadow, distance wise, but i didn't like the kids crossing the road alone. No it wasn't a busy road but still a number of camper vans, farm traffic and cars passed within our first hr there. Plus my 8yr old couldn't lock/unlock the toilet door herself so that, plus the road, meant the kids couldn't just nip to the loo independently. Another point to bear in mind, the fire pits are limited. It wasn't one per pitch unlike other sites we've stayed on. So if you don't manage to pitch beside one of their fire pits and don't have your own portable one, you're out of luck for a campfire - which we feel is essential for a camping hol.

Aug 13, 2015 by Rebecca
★★★★★

Stunning location

Beautiful remote campsite. We stayed here for the night recently and we loved it.  We plan to go back. Picturesque river running alongside the campsite. Mountain views. Kids loved the slide and swings. Toilet facilities clean but basic. Great little campsite highly recommended. 

Jun 20, 2015 by Looby Lou 9
★★★★★

Tyllwyd

Absolutely loved it here!!! Got a bit worried on the drive from Devil’s Bridge partly because of the pouring rain but more so because it felt like we were driving to the middle of nowhere, especially when we hit the old slate quarry on the way in! The village itself is great though. Fantastic views and a lovely little campsite. We were there midweek so it was quiet - there were about 5 other tents I think so we weren’t disturbed by anyone. The toilets and shower were clean and the washing up room had lots of information of things to do around and about. There were 2 plug sockets in the washing up room as well which is handy for charging your phone!!! The owners were lovely and were on hand if you needed any ideas of things to do. We were only here 2 nights so we didn’t have much time to explore the area. We headed over to Devil’s Bridge and the kite sanctuary at Bwlch Nant Yr Arian, which are both well worth a visit. We would definitely like to return here to explore the area further. We did not come prepared at all for the midges and couldn’t enjoy dinner by the stream as a result. When we come back we will definitely bring the insect repellent with us!!!!!
Aug 29, 2011 by Gemstar
★★★★★

Tyllwyd

We spent two weeks at Tyllwyd in July/August 2011. We were lured there by the promise of peace and quiet, after a noisy and dis-satisfying bank holiday weekend elsewhere, earlier in the year. Tyllwyd provided exactly what we were looking for. Plenty of space, uninterrupted view of the mountains, places to walk or cycle to and a river to mess about in.

It's a small site - there were possibly 15 units there when it got "busy" - sometimes more like half a dozen. Facilities are fine, but small and a bit of a trek if you are down at the far end of the site. Only other downside is the midges, which are abundant in the evening. Take some serious insect repellent and use it.

Nearest food shops are in Rhayader and Aberystwyth, so you need to be organised. No mobile phone coverage on site or for several miles around. Lovely!

Mid Wales is less of a tourist destination than other parts, but we honestly couldn't work out why. The landscape is stunning. Roads are sometimes hair-raisingly steep and narrow, but the views are worth the effort. Take your bikes and your walking boots and enjoy being in the middle of a beautiful country.

Aug 24, 2011 by Smithagain
★★★★★

Tyllwyd

This is a wonderful campsite it has wonderful views and is idyllic. The river Ystwyth that runs through the campsite is a perfect for dipping your toes in, it is very rocky but is great for children to explore, there are some tiny fish but they are hard to spot. If you follow the river downstream there is a deeper part, which our daughter and dog took a refreshing dip! The location is remote, there are shops in Rhayader and Aberystwyth, so best to have supplies before you arrive. In Devils Bridge which is about 6 miles away there is a small shop and a Hotel that serves good food. We could not get a mobile phone signal for about 10 miles around (apparently you can get an Orange signal in Devils Bridge). The pitches are not really marked and you can pitch where you like and even at half term there was plenty of space. The facilities were nice and clean, we did have to queue for the shower a couple of times but it wasn’t a big problem. The description said the downside was the midges, but we didn’t have a problem at all. Would definitely stay here again.
Jun 18, 2011 by Moosie
★★★★☆

Tyllwyd

This campsite is exactly as described in the Cool Camping book, very remote and very idyllic. We arrived Sunday evening on a bank holiday weekend and there were only about 6 other campers on site. We pitched right next to the river that runs through the campsite with the sheep grazing happily on the other side and were quickly lulled to sleep by the sound of running water! Although the campsite is remote there is so much to do nearby, lots of walking and cycling trails in the Hafod Estate, the RSPB reserve, Ynyshir, and the amazing Red Kites that are fed daily at two locations nearby, which is quite a spectacle. All the wash facilities are perfectly adequate although perhaps there would be queues at a busier time. It would be even better if the site could stock a few basic camping essentials, eggs, bread etc it is a long drive to the nearest shop. We avoided going back to Aberystwyth and instead headed to Rhayader where there were 2 butchers and plenty of supplies for a barbecue. Campfires are also permitted which is a bonus. After 3 days of glorious sunshine, we took down our tent in the pouring rain, bringing us back to the realities of camping in the UK but even that could not spoil the amazing landscape surrounding us.
May 25, 2011 by Kate Bratt

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