Narrow-gauge steam railway station, countryside views, gorgeous riverside setting. What's not to love?!
At the top of Lake Bala (Llyn Tegid) begins a magical journey into a rich historical and cultural past. Whether by train, by car or foot, the way winds alongside the banks of this top-notch lake, the largest freshwater lake in Wales. It continues through fresh, green rolling hills, framed by the three massive peaks of Benllyn, Arenig and Fawr.
Because of its situation, set among the windy hills, the lake is perfect for windsurfing and sailing. There are various slipways and launching places around the lake, but the main hub of activity is on the foreshore in front of the warden’s office, where you can get the permits you need.
The bustling one-street market town of Bala (Y Bala), at the northern end of the lake, is a stronghold of the ancient Welsh language. With more than 80 per cent of the population speaking the region’s mother tongue, it’s useful to have a suitable local greeting or two up one’s sleeve. It’s a deeply traditional Welsh town and this area is a great place to catch a male voice choir. Try the village hall at Llanuwchllyn (at the other end of the lake to Bala) on Monday and Thursday nights or keep your ear to the ground – provided you understand Welsh.
Seldom out of sight of the lake throughout its four-mile journey is a narrow-gauge railway line, operated by three steam locomotives. It begins its journey at Llanuwchllyn, and hugging the shoreline, makes its way to Bala. After the return journey, a visit to the signal box is an interesting diversion, where the stationmaster will demonstrate the original 1896 levers and lamps; an archaic confusion of wooden handles and outdated widgets.
The Rheilffors Lyn Tegid Cyf (Bala Lake Railway) is run almost entirely by volunteers and they’re always on the look out for willing helpers. So, if you’ve ever fancied driving a steam train or just blowing the whistle and waving the flag, become a member and live out your childhood dreams!
To the left of this quaint old railway station is the unpronounceable Bwch-yn-uchaf campsite. It begins with a vast field of mown lawn, which is great for large tents and caravans. From here, there is a small drivable path that leads away from the main field and ablutions, and winds its way through two smaller enclaves of grass, bordered by a tree-lined shallow river, perfect for a spot of fishing or canoeing.
The narrow strip of riverside turf means that each pitch has an unobstructed view of the sparklingly clear river. There are portable loos and various water points in the middle of the three fields, which is handy if you don’t feel like the long-ish, but scenic, walk to the main ablution block.
So, whether it’s sailing on the lake, walking in the mountains or simply a bit of R&R in a valley with a steaming good view, this peaceful spot has all the bases covered.
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Rated ★★★★★ over 50 reviews
I've just spent 5 nights at Bwch Yn Uchaf, mostly in the rain with my 3 children, nephew and adult son! So.... the good points - Gorgeous scenery, lovely site divided into areas - riverside, lower field, upper field (not in use the whole time we were there), hook-up pitches. Areas were pretty flat for pitching, river running by was pretty and sounded lovely. Suitable for older kids to play in but probably a bit fast-flowing for younger kids. Newer facilities block, near entrance was pretty well thought-out, with loos and showers, disabled wet room, washing-up sinks/washing machine/dryer/fridge-freezer room. Shelter, benches and parking round the building very useful given the weather! Van driving round the site, presumably to check everything was ok, was reasurring but not intrusive. Train station right next door was great on a wet morning. Also, the station cafe was a great place for a bite to eat before starting the long journey home at the end of our stay. Staff were helpful when checking in and asking for help/advice. Not-so-good points.... The toilet block (with washing up sinks, no showers), in the lower part of the campsite, are frankly horrible. Not dirty (mostly) but cramped, dated and frankly just not very nice to use. We camped right at the end of the site - too far from the better facilities and the kids (and I) preferred to clean teeth outside our tent rather than use the nearest facilities. Ground is very rocky so be prepared for a few bent pegs or to struggle finding spots they'll go into the ground! Expensive. Obviously prices often depend on the number of people. I had one adult, 4 children for 2 nights, then an extra adult for a further 3 nights and it felt like a lot. I know sites price differently; some are priced more per adult with much less for kids which suits people with more kids. Would've been totally worth it if the second toilet block was updated with freezer and showers added. Overall it's a lovely site which with a bit of money spent on it could easily be a 5* campsite.
Great site - especially good for kids
Great peaceful location, lots of friendly people - my two girls made lots of friends with other kids and had a whale of a time and everyone was really relaxed. Excellent flat areas to pitch a tent and had plenty of low level passes from the RAF during the day for added entertainment!
Nice cheap sight.friendly helpful owners.great toilet showers disabled too and washing machine dryers and washing up and fridge/freezer facilities.plenty of room and great having steam train near on sight to go to Llangower-bala.and good having electric too.quiet river running by with sheep in field cows in barn.birds singing in trees good dog walk too.
Probably better during term time
Just got back from this pretty little site surrounded by epic scenery, great base for exploring a slightly less touristy side of Snowdonia National Park. Very busy and especially popular with families with young kids. We might have been unlucky but there didn’t seem to be a moment when a child wasn’t screaming, including all night. The pitches next to the stream looked perfect but it was exceptionally windy whilst we were there so we opted for a more sheltered spot. The whole site felt generally quite crowded, really not our type of site at all. Facilities were modern, plenty of hot water but were a bit grubby. Campfires allowed, fire pits and wood available at reception which is always a bonus. No large supermarkets within an hours drive, coop 10minutes away by car. I’d recommend stocking up on groceries on the way. Also the ground is rocky in some places and the weather can be quite changeable so bring strong pegs and use all of your guy ropes!
Relaxing and lovely
A lovely little site where you can listen to the trickling river as you drift off to sleep. Excellent access also to the beautiful train around the lake and into Bala. Staff were very helpful when I was looking for somewhere to go on route home. Lovely little stand to stop the grass becoming ruined with BBQs. Just lovely. Had just a perfect weekend. Thank you
Location next to little River ,big campsite so not over crowded, toilet block could do with a renovation just to make more clean and to have more space as was very hard to wash hands and shower block too far away from bottom pitches in non electric 20 minutes walk, suggest bigger sign for turn off for campsite as slightly difficult to find
Lovely clean site in great location
The site is beautifully situated in a wide valley. There are a few pitches along the riverside (which has a second toilet block) but the majority are on 2 large fields above this, with the electric hook-up spots closer to the main entrance and (clean) main shower/toilet block. We came with our camper van but the majority were camping. The site has a ‘no music after 10pm’ policy which worked for us, but it is open enough that it was not noisy. It was all well-maintained and plenty to do in the area (watersports, walks, seaside). We didn’t try the local restaurant & there is no pub nearby, so BYO. We would definitely come again.
A lovely quiet campsite between a river and a narrow gauge steam railway. All of the facilities on site are clean and what you would expect with two toilet blocks. As I deliberately went just before school holidays it was nice to find it quiet and there is plenty of space in case you don't want to be near a neighbour. I also took on the walk to Bala which starts at the campsite and got the train back later which is a good way to spend a day. The Eagle pub down the road is also recommended for its food and real ale.
After a warm welcome from the lady in reception we found a great pitch for the tent by the river. Excellent views, good walking and a nice chilled out campsite.
What a lovely place Really friendly helpful staff I stayed down by the river camping So peaceful and relaxing Will be going again very soon The facilities where spot on, clean and well maintained
It was my first ever time camping and i’m very happy i chose this location. The views are amazing and very nice to wake up to. It was a very clean site. The toilets and showers were also very clean. Will certainly be visiting again !! 😁⛺️
Stunning views, spacious and comfortable on a Bank Holiday weekend.
A large group of us camped here over the May Bank Holiday and we found the owners to be very friendly and accommodating, without restricting us to a confined or rigid pitching arrangement. Along with a few others, I was fortunate to grab a stunning pitch alongside the river. Toilets are only a short walk away, wherever you camp. But the only shower and washing up block is close to the site entrance. Speaking of the showers, they were awesome! Fast to warm up and the warning signs of 'hot water' in the washing up room are not to be ignored. Boxes are available for recyclable waste. Facilities, overall, were in very good condition. Having a train station next door was a bonus and you can walk up to the Aran ridge from here, if you would so choose. It was quite a busy weekend but the site never felt full or overcrowded. Elsewhere in Snowdonia, I can imagine things would've been less comfortable! But for one nocturnal and vocal sheep, I slept well each night. I'd definitely stay here again. Stunning views of mountains (Arenig or Moelwyn?) from your tent.
A lovely, clean campsite with plenty of space over a bank holiday weekend. Steam Train from entrance takes you into Bala. Will certainly be returning!
Super campsite tucked away between a stream and the railway. Lovely flat pitches with good facilities. We stayed with 2 kids under 4 who were super excited about being next to the trains and loved looking at the lambs that were in the fields on the other side of the stream. There are plenty of walks in the area that weren't too tiring for little ones plus the train which we all enjoyed riding. Whilst we didn't try the local pub we can recommend Bala at the other end of the lake for both the artisan ice cream shop "Aran Hufen la" and the fish and chip shop, both were excellent.
We had a really relaxing and peaceful break. We were able to pick our own spot and enjoyed a camp fire. Stunning location!
The facilities were all good with hot showers and check in was straightforward
Beutiful location, lovely welcome, clean facilities
We were there end of August to beginning of September 2018. We pitched our tent right by the river so had uninterrupted views and early morning sightings of kingfishers, gray wagtails, dippers and herons while still sitting in the tent. The facilities were clean and there was lots of hot water. Great washing machine that is connected to soap and fabric conditioner. Friendly pub within walking distance that also offers a few vegan options.
Beautiful and very family friendly.
We loved our long weekend here. Surrounded by stunning scenery and enjoying the sound of the stream. The facilities were very clean and it has everything you need. Although it doesn’t have a shop, there is a little local shop selling some basics a very short walk away. We have made some happy memories of campfires, fresh mountain air, playing in the stream, cricket, swings and football.
Great little site
Very happy with my stay at Bwch Yn Uchaf with my lad, an unspoilt yet well equipped tidy area right on a stream which is such a bonus to paddle in for kids and listen to at night, owners are very friendly and went out of their way for us to make our stay enjoyable. The little steam train that runs directly from the site entrance is a great way to see Llyn Tegid from a different side and relax on your way to Bala. Very good prices in my opinion for a lovely place to set up camp, we will return, thank you
Short stay but well looked after
Our stay at Bwch Yn Uchaf wound up being shorter than planned due to a flat tyre on our journey up to Wales, but both Gareth and Bethan were helpful and understanding - we chose this particular campsite over others due to the late check in time (10pm) they allowed, as we planned to drive from London after work on the day of arrival, but what was most reassuring was Gareth’s willingness to still allow us to check in late that evening if we wished to carry on our journey. Great customer service in something so small and ultimately relieves a stressful situation. The campsite was very spacious, plenty of space for families to play sports between camp sites etc and not at all crowded despite being the Bank Holiday weekend. Facilities were clean and well kept.
Great campsite set next to idyllic stream
Arrived late for the bank holiday weekend booking but owners kindly let us shift everything back by a day with zero fuss. Site setting is great, nestled in between mini steam train and beautiful little stream. Despite the campsite being full (there are overspill fields at the top of the site) it still felt like a small, personable site, and the facilities were spot on - and cleaned every morning. Kids loved it as they had space to play football, fished and paddled in the stream, and chilled out on the swings. I'd fully recommend it to friends and family, as it had all the little details that make a great camping weekend - fires, BBQs, local pub, space, views, great hot showers and relaxed owners!
Lovely quiet campsite
The lady on reception was lovely and very welcoming. The site itself was very well maintained and the toilet/shower block somehow kept very clean despite the classic welsh weather keeping everything damp and muddy for the weekend. Definitely a campsite for getting away from the daily grind :)
Bank holiday getaway
Although the Welsh weather was not the kindest to us we had a great stay at Bwch Yn Uchaf. The site is really quite big and offers pitches for every taste. We didn't get EHU however I am really happy as they are probably the in the least picturesque part of the camp. The river running alongside the camp is beautiful and had it been warmer we would have had a great time paddling with the kids. The upper field had football nets which kept the older children happy and the lower field (where we camped) had swings which kept the younger children entertained. The main toilet block is a great facility with family room, showers, WC and washing up area including fridge and freezer. The toilet block on the lower field is rather basic but very convenient for those with younger children. The dog run is extremely useful so our furry friend could have some time off lead and if you are in a smaller tent there are some great pitches right next to the river. There are not many local amenities so you need to go well prepared or be prepared to get in the car and drive to Bala. We would definitely return and hope for better weather to explore the local area in more depth.
This was our second stay at Bwch yn Uchaf, obviously we liked it so much the first time we came back. Gareth and Bethan are so very friendly and are updating the site. It is perfect for the kids to explore (we had 8 in our party this time ages ranging from 1 to 12) lovely big field, clean facilities and tiny fish to catch in the stream that runs along the site. It is ideally placed for exploring Bala and the surrounding area, the steam train ride into Bala is lovely also. We climed Arenig Mawr about 7 miles outside of Bala and had wonderful day exploring. We’ll definitely be back for more camping fun in the future.
Amazing. Million star rating.
Amazing campsite. The staff were friendly and welcoming, the pitches were spot on, the toilets and showers were spotless and the views were beautiful. The kids loved playing in the river and had plenty of space to run around also they loved the little steam train that runs from just outside the site to Bala. The best thing of all was being able the sit around the campfire at at and look up and see the Milky Way..........a full million stars rating.
Beautiful weekend of camping!
Thank you very much for a wonderful stay. Our hosts were so helpful as we had guests arriving on the Saturday and we were also able to hire/buy BBQ/fire pit and wood for use. Toilet and washing facilities were great and there was also a fridge/freezer. Plenty of room in between pitches despite being fully booked meant it felt very private. Surrounding views were absolutely stunning and Lake Bala was just a short trip away. We'll definitely be back soon!
Lovely big campsite with nice views and stream
We stayed with our 4 ye old and 1 yr old and they had a great time playing in stream and on swings. We also had a ride on the steam train which is right next to the campsite. About a 10/15 min drive to Bala which has an amazing ice cream shop (definitely worth a visit) and a nice beer tasting / wine tasting shop called Stori. Site is big so even when there were lots of people on Saturday night, it still didn’t feel even remotely full and everyone had lots of space. Bit of a walk for washing up / shower if you camp at far end but good that there is a second toilet block.
Fantastic location, laid back friendly site
Just got home from after a couple of nights at this site. Friendly helpful staff, relaxed atmosphere and fires ( on a fire pit ).Great location at the southerly end of Lake Bala so very handy for water based activities with great walks possible from the site. The village pub also does very nice food.
This campsite is great - stunning views, relaxed owners, campfires and a little stream to keep the kids entertained. It’s a wonderful place and we would love to come back if we’re ever in Snowdonia again. Highly recommended.
Loved everything about the site & will return
Loved everything about the site and will definitely be returning
Great campsite near Llyn Tegid
Situated south of Llyn Tegid, directly next to the railway station at Llanuwchllyn, this campsite has a number of relatively small fields and sections for camping alongside the stream. There was plenty of room for children to run about as well as having quieter spots for camping, nearer the back of the site. The kitchen/shower complex is about 5 mins walk from the furthest pitch and a toilet block halfway down the site. Great welcome from the owner who has fire pits and logs/kindling for sale, always handy! Gorgeous location, lle gwych i aros, diolch!
Quiet campsite near Llyn Tegid
The campsite is split into several sections which means it didn't feel too cramped, with plenty of space for dogs and children to run about. Quieter smaller pitches available towards the far end of the stream. Shower block about 5 mins walk from the furthest pitch but an additional toilet block in between field entrances which was very handy! The welcome was great, we got a fire pit and kindling/wood onsite and the pub/shop is about 15 mins walk. About 10 mins drive to Bala, which is a lovely place to wander and find food after swimming/paddling around the lake. The railway goes from the campsite up to bala with views of the lake. Definitely recommend. Lleoliad gwych!
Beautiful location, kids loved playing in the stream.
Campsite is in a beautiful location. Lovely campsite, clean, lovely showers/toilets. Staff were friendly and so helpful, emailing us regularly and letting us know about the disruptions in the area ( a Triathlon was on, which we were attending) Play areas for the children. Lovely steam that the children played in to cool down, such a warm weekend!! Will definitely visit again!!! Wish we had stayed longer. Thank you for a lovely stay.
Beautifully maintained and peaceful
Lovely site, facilities were very clean, lots of space in the showers with lots of hot water. Very relaxed about choosing your own pitch which was lovely. Views were stunning. Owners were very helpful, short walk to local pub, lovely food and fantastic staff. Would highly recommend.
Tranquil brief one night stay - wish it had been longer
I loved this campsite and visited it at the end of the May half-term holiday when it was surprisingly quiet, which made it even more special. It is in a gorgeous location next to a river and the layout of the site is such that you could never feel like you were on top of each other. I didn't realise how far down the river the site went as it initially seemed to be only a few pitches. Only there for one night as I was swimming in Lake Bala the following day but camping in my 1 man tent on my own away from the kids, right next to the river, with sheep in the field across from me, was BLISS. Would like to recommend this campsite but don't want it to become to popular :-) I can see how it could get quite busy in the summer and the experience may be very different but off-peak season it was fabulous. Facilities are basic but perfectly adequate - could easily see my lot staying here comfortably for a week or so!!
Peaceful, lovely views, great walks, good pub
A beautiful spot, the campsite is spacious, with gorgeous scenery. From the campsite we did the Aran Fawddwy ridge walk (approx 17 km), which has lovely views of the hills deep into Snowdonia, and we only saw one other person during several hours of walking. Finished up the walk with some pints and supper at the village pub - perfect! Everyone very friendly. Thank you!
Peace and quiet lovely views
The camp sire is situated in a lovely area with great views all around. The town is a short drive away if you need supplies and the facilities on site were in great condition and kept really clean I had a very relaxing time and will be visiting again
We love staying at this campsite. The family are so welcoming and friendly. The location is perfect. We love that you can have a campfire. The facilities are now much improved and a welcome addition. Thanks for another wonderful stay (even though we had terrific thunder storms).
3 days of chilled camping - amazing
We spent 3 days here with fantastic weather. The site is amazing. Unallocated pitches near the river were brill. Great shower block and the owners were really cool. Will definitely be back!
A lovely campsite
Stayed here for a night over the last Bank Holiday weekend. The site is located in beautiful surroundings with a river running along the bottom of the site (which I camped right next to), is well kept and good value. There is also a pub in the village (only a few minutes walk) serving food & drink. I will definitely return again.
Love this campsite. Returned this year for the second time and always take on of the waterside pitches down at the far end of the site on the lower bit. It's just a small river, you can't boat on it or anything, but there aren't any bugs around and our kids love dipping their toes in! We hire a firepit and both this time and last time visited the local pub (really cute and also has a little shop inside). Proper welsh speaking locals and hills all around. Kids loved riding on the steam railway. It's very old and very very slow, so be prepared for a slow journey but it is pretty cool and nice that its all volunteer run. Quite cool when we were there, so no swimming in Bala Lake but can imagine that lake would be awesome in the height of summer
Motor home camping
Campsite lovely and the welcome I had off the owners wife very warm. Do not pay for a fishing licence to start off with as the only thing you will catch is a cold as the water is bearly a foot deep but if you don't manage to catch a cold then the water in the utilities will certainly kick the pneumonia into life. We were asked at 9.10pm to turn the music off which we promptly did, then turned in for the night. Unfortunately the site owner decided to show his true colours and very rudely told us we weren't welcome for a second night and accused us of turning the music back on...very very disrespectful and considering we were thinking of having our club camping with over 100 members potentially using the site im glad this became evident to us before we recommended to our members. Rude, obnoxious and will not be using again that's for sure, shame really
Very spacious, friendly with good facilities and great views
I have just come back from staying a week at this site with my boys (9 & 7) and husband. What a wonderful week we had, using this as a base for exploring Snowdonia National Park. However, the boys equally enjoyed paddling in the river (even launching their kayak), and playing football and cricket with other kids. The owners are really friendly and make you feel very welcome. The village pub is definitely worth a visit, with good food at reasonable prices, and the steam train up to Bala is worth a go. Would definitely recommend this site to families who genuinely love camping,
Lovely riverside pitches
Really loved this site. My girlfriend and I stayed here in late April. Explored the site a little bit before we picked a place to pitch the tent (recommended) as there are lots of different little areas. We took the track down to the very far end and pitched by the river, which we loved. No bugs about at that time of year, a few other campers around and the sound of the river in the background. Loads of lambs in the field opposite too which was lovely! The local pub is excellent (and cheap too, though we didn't look at the foo menu) and the steam train is literally right next door to the campsite. It's worth a ride just for the fun of it. Would definitely return to this site!
Pretty & Relaxed
We visited for one night during the half term week, not a weekend, and it wasn't at all busy (though let's be honest the weather wasn't the best). We have a camper van, and started out with a hookup up near the toilet block, but after a stroll down along the stream to the lower fields we saw how lovely and peaceful it was further along and decided to move; there are portaloos in the lower fields so you don't to go for a great long trek in if you're caught short in the night. The site manager was very friendly and welcoming. He said he'd only been there a month, his kids were loving it, and he is planning to install hookups in the further fields in the next couple of years. You can have fires.
It's right next to the railway, where you can get a train to Bala, although we didn't bother this time round. I would definitely return though. There's plenty to do in the area.
A quiet little campsite tucked away at the bottom of the Lake next to the steam train. The washing facilities are a bit of a walk if you are at the bottom end of the site but there are three portaloos down there which get a bit noisy at night with people using them as the doors tend to slam shut. There is a little pub in the village but if you are after anything more it requires a 10-15 minute drive into Bala town centre. You can have a fire as long as it is off the grass. The owners have a supply of old car tyre rims you can hire for £4 for the length of your stay plus wood, kindling and fire lighters for a small charge for each. Not a bad little place for a short getaway.
We had fab time kayaking on lake, nice quiet corners and short drive into town for shop or pizza, ace fu
Lovely, natural, friendly
This campsite is very natural, with a crystal-clear stream at the bottom field, which is grassy, level and on which it is easy to pitch a tent.
We arrived in the dark and left early so made no use of the facilities other than the clean, nearby portaloos, so I cannot comment more than that on the amenities.
We received a very friendly response over the phone when I called late at 8.30pm to make sure there was a free spot and told that there was no problem paying the next day (Note that the cost has increased to £16 tent + 2 people.)
The site has a relaxed feel, with camp fires greeting our arrival and friendly fellow campers kicking back by the river.
Recommended for people who love relaxed camping without all the frills.
This site near beautiful Bala lake ticks all of our boxes; campfires allowed, dogs welcome, modern clean facilities and picturesque Snowdonia location. Crystal clear river Twrch running through added to the back-to-nature feel.
Site manager Gareth was friendly and helpful, busting a gut to hammer in a huge windbreak for us that he supplied himself. Many of the site’s reviews told of the fabled Fiesta-Firepit, and we were not disappointed when we were treated to a delivery of car wheel from the back of said Fiesta along with plenty of firewood to make our campfire.
The site is located by Llanuwchllyn station, on the line which will take you around the lake to nearby Bala town via narrow gauge steam trains.
I imagine in the summer the campsite (like the train) will be heaving, but it’s spacious and relaxed, so I can’t imagine it ever being too overbearing. We'll definitely be returning.
I am reasonably new to camping, but make no mistake this is a great campsite. Staying here for 2 nights in summer 2010. We pitched on the small lower field near to the stream which was fantastic.We hired a fire pit, which was basically a car wheel, and had a great fire going all night.I will be visiting this site again soon....
THIS YEAR will be our 5th year at this campsite very quiet and peacefull with lovely views over looking snowdonia well placed campsite for the bala railway only afew miles into bala by car for all your needs for a great camping holiday the eagle pub a short walk from campsite well worth a vist for some great homemade cooking