Tan Aeldroch Farm (Camp Snowdonia)

UK Wales North Wales Conwy

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Good walks nearby
Choose your own pitch at this Snowdonia riverside camping idyll

Say what you like about sheep – that they’re not very bright and are too into their looks – but they do a great job keeping the grass tidy. The campsite at Tan Aeldroch, a few miles along the River Lledr from Betws-y-Coed in Snowdonia, doubles as a sheepgrazing field so the grass is always wellkempt and rings to the bleats and baas of woolly grasscutters.

There is, though, as you might guess, a downside. Suffice to say it’s small and brown and dotted around the site. Still, if you want to enjoy Nature you have to take the rough with the smooth. Tan Aeldroch is as close to wild camping as you can get within a stone’s throw of an A road. It’s a large riverside meadow accessed across a bridge, a bit marshy in places and surrounded by hand-built stone walls.

The site is a bit Ray Mears-y. It only has a couple of flush loos and a standpipe for facilities. But the upside is you can build your own fire in one of the fire pits arranged around the site. Anyway, given that you’re in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park there’s no point lounging around with the sheep.

Swing round through Betws-y-Coed and Capel Curig and head up the Pass of Llanberis to Snowdon itself. There’s the famous cog railway that’ll haul you up the mountainside if you can’t face the climb. At a cost of £8.5 million pounds, the Hafod Eryri Visitor Centre is now worth the trip up in itself. Made largely of local slate and paneled in Welsh oak, it has a fantastic panorama window, which means you can enjoy the views without getting a faceful of nasty weather. It’s apt, really, that Hafod Eryri means ‘summer shelter’ in Welsh. Much of the time you need it.

If uphill isn’t your style, there’s the more sedate option of walking a section of the Sarn Helen, believed to be an old Roman road running from Aberconwy down to Carmarthen (Caerfyrddin). It’s now part of a mountain-biking trail that leads all the way to the Gower Peninsula. You probably won’t want to walk all that, so pick it up at Pont-y-Pant and follow it across the hills and into Betws-y-Coed.

If even that seems too much, there’s always a visit to Dolwyddelan Castle, a few miles along the road to the west. This hilltop keep guarded the Conwy valley and the mountain pass in the 13th century, when Edward I was showing an unhealthy interest in Wales. It’s still an imposing site today, but instead of bearded Welsh warriors the site is guarded now by the ubiquitous sheep, tending to the grass and generally lounging around. How much good they’d be at repelling invaders is anyone’s guess, but at least they keep the grass neat.

Details

Facilities

A new toilet block houses 4 x toilets (2 each for men and 3 for woman), plus assorted washbasins.

Nearby

There's no shortage of adrenaline-filled fun to keep the outdoorists occupied. Surf Snowdonia (01492 353123) is a revolutionary man-made inland surfing lagoon. All ages and abilities are welcome. SUP safaris, kayaking and a kiddies soft play area are also on offer. Also nearby, Zip World (01248 601 444) boasts the northern hemisphere’s longest zip wire. For something a little more subterranean, sister attraction Bounce Below (01248 601444) in Blaenau Ffestiniog lets you play, slide, roll, jump and bounce from net to net in a cavern the size of a cathedral. The Anpur Stinog (01766 238 007) and Penmachno downhill MTB trails offer some of the best mountain biking in all Snowdonia. There's also plenty of wild swimming opportunities in the vicinity (including several safe pools for kids), not to mention some fantastic walks along the Lledr river to Dolwyddelan and Betws-y-Coed.

Food & Drink

In Dolwyddelan, a mile or so west of the site, you'll find Y Gwydyr Arms (01690 750303) offering a warm welcome and decent pub grub. Elen's Castle (01690 750207), also in Dolwyddelan, is a charming traditional 18th century coaching inn with an impressive restaurant. There's also a Spar supermarket nearby stocking all the essentials. 

Opening Times

April–October.

Pitches

No availability showing at Tan Aeldroch Farm (Camp Snowdonia).

Location

Tan Aeldroch Farm (Camp Snowdonia), Pont-y-Pant, Dolwyddelan, Conwy LL25 0LZ

Show Map

Getting There

Take the A470 from Betwsy- Coed towards Blaenau Ffestiniog. The site is about a mile and a half along the road, signposted on the left. Take the turning and follow the road down the hill and across the bridge. The site is on the left, but you’ll need to go and say hello at the farmhouse on the right. Catch a branch-line train to Pont-y-Pant and it’s a mile’s walk back along the road to the site. There are buses running along the A470 between Betws-y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog but there’s no official stop near the campsite. Speak nicely to the driver, though, and you might get let off.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 5 reviews

★★★★★

Gorgeous site

We arrived on the Thursday night before the bank holiday rush and spent 3 nights here. There was only one other tent at the time, it was so peaceful. The site soon filled up over the weekend and there was a lovely family atmosphere on the site. Lovely location, my only problem was a group of students ignoring the quiet rules and playing the radio and swearing gone midnight but this is not the site's fault. We will definitely be back!
May 27, 2019 by Emma
★★★★★

The whole setting

I used to be a regular here in the 90s up until it closed. I did not know it had reopened. Then I found out it had so made my return after 21 years. I found the toilet situation one hundred times better as there was only a she'd with a 1 bad toilet years ago. It could do with showers just 2, I'd camp longer I'd there was. However all that said an done. It's a magical beautiful place it chills you to the core from the babbling river to the calm part of the river, to the wildlife to the surrounding walks, this place is stunning with reasonable prices and campfires permitted it's a win win. I would highly recommend if you need some deep relaxation and peace, much quieter to the right hand side at the back if your not a massive fan of children laughing playing on the river, but that's a preference I suppose. Go see for yourself. I'm you g back in a couple of weeks it's right up my street. Magical xxxzzx blessings!
Aug 6, 2018 by Ali
★★★★★

excellent

I have been coming to this campsite for about 10 years now. Loved it everytime. Owners have always been lovely and happy to help. Here's to another 10 years!

Sep 20, 2015 by wilkotron
★★★★★

Tan Aeldroch Farm

great little site. friendly owner who is very helpful. quiet exept a few people who like music on loud; but the site owner sorted it out well and back to peace and quiet. Kids loved playing in the river, and dog friendly too. we will be going back soon.
Apr 18, 2011 by nvbond@aol.com
★★★★★

Tan Aeldroch Farm

I haven’t been here for about 6 years as the last couple of times I’ve tried it has been closed. I have been many times throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s and it has always been magical. That’s if you like getting back to basics with open fires, crystal clear rivers, stunning surroundings hidden away between lush tree covered mountains. It’s just beautiful. On the downside there are no showers (or weren’t the last time I went). This has never been a problem as we only ever stop for a couple of nights then move on to a bigger site with more showers and people, which is never quite the same. Tan Aeldroch is true camping and I hope it never changes. The nearest shops are in Betws-y-coed a couple or so miles away, so make sure you bring your own supplies. Or you can go to the chippy at Betws and sit on the rocks by the river and watch the rapids.
Aug 8, 2010 by Louise Procter

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