UK Wales North Wales Gwynedd Aberdovey Smugglers Cove Boatyard

  • Sleeps 5 (max 5 adults, 4 children)
Waterside pitch for up to 5 people.

The Owner Says

One of three south-facing pitches on a raised slate plateau beside the Dyfi estuary, separated from each other by shrubs and each with a fire place, .

They are accessed through a traditional working boatyard and a short 100m coastal path (wheelbarrow provided!). Toilets, showers and washing up facilities are located within the boatyard. Firewood can be purchased either from the main office or by the carpenter's boat.

Your tent looks out onto a constantly changing vista: at low tide, sand and the river channel, marching geese and  waders. We are 2 miles from nesting ospreys who fish in our water. At high tide, there's an expanse of water suitable for sailing, canoeing and swimming. We have a slipway and boat storage facilities.
Please note: We have recently laid fresh turf and we are currently restricting the number of tents per pitch to one per booking. We request that you pitch on an area not used by the previous campers to allow regrowth.

About Smugglers Cove Boatyard

Suitable For

Tents, families, groups, dogs – yes. Campervans, caravans and motorhomes – no.


Aberdyfi is 3 miles away. It's a charming, colourful little fishing village with a few good eateries and a big sandy beach. The drive takes less than 5 minutes but if the tide is a long way out you can walk, for around an hour, along the sands. It's a 10 minute drive to Machynlleth, a larger market town with independent shops along the high street, and a little further on the same road is the Centre for Alternative Technology (01654 705950), an interesting place to visit if you've been taken in by the eco-conscious camping. Smugglers Cove looks across the water to RSPB Ynys-hir (01654 700222), the location for much of the BBC's Springwatch series and the Dyfi Osprey Project (01654 781414), nearby, is particularly interesting. It is one of only two breeding locations for Ospreys in the UK with a walkway and hide for observing. Of course, by far the two biggest things here are heading into vast Snowdonia National Park (01766 770274) to walk, hike, bike and explore or to go boating on the estury directly from the boatyard. If you need a little tution try Dyfi Yacht Club (01654 767607) in Aberdyfi where there is sailing, kayaking, kitesurfing and more.

Food & Drink

Forage the trees around the camping pitches or get out your fishing rod and try to reel in your own dinner to cook on the campfire or if you're after something a little more speedy then the local towns of Aberdyfi & Machynlleth have a range of good eateries specialising in Welsh cuisine, fish and seafood etc. with a great deli in each.  There is even a Michelin starred restaurant on the other side of the river!
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Site Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 28 reviews


Beautiful & peaceful escape

I came here with my twins who are 9. After a little confusion on arrival as no one was here to let me know where to go etc, we worked out what to do! Getting everything from the car to the site in the wheelbarrow was great fun, the kids loved it & we did have fun doing this! The pitch was spacious & sheltered with absolutely stunning views. The twins just loved playing on the beach & because you can see for miles, I felt safe to let them roam. It was very relaxing & we enjoyed sitting around the fire pit in the evenings with our hot chocolate! The local town was lovely, everyone was polite & very helpful. We did struggle to get something to eat one night as everything was booked up so if you do want to eat out, make sure you book early to avoid disappointment! We stayed Monday-Friday & there was plenty for us to do between 20-90 mins drive away. The showers were lovely & hot, nothing glamorous but big enough, clean & warm! Although the kids were a little bemused by the compost loos! All in all a lovely stay, we will be booking again, thank you !
Aug 2, 2021 by Rachel

Stunning location, amazing memories

Stayed in july and loved staying in the Hannah with my 3 kid's aged 9, 14 and 16. Especially liked the quirky ness of the hannah including a record player and bedroom ceiling hatch. The views and serenity of the cove is incredible. The facilities were excellent and having a fire pit and barbecue area gave an even greater sense of space. Exploring the estruary daily at various times topped off an amazing holiday. Smugglers cove is also located just 3miles driving(padel boarding!)from the Aberdyfi beach and village. Aberdyfi has excellent parking, food and beaches (incl dog friendly). The beaches were clean and good to swim. Further variety of shops, beaches and a large co-op can also be found at Towyn which is around 6 miles from smugglers cove. It was my first time exploring this area but will not be my last as I am already looking at future dates of returning to smugglers cove either with the kids or friends as we are already missing the boat and breathtaking views of this unique paradise.

Perfect stay, no matter the weather

Stayed on The Boy John and it was lovely - lots of character and charm, incredible views of the estuary and ideal if you get a chance to sit out on the deck. Even with the rolling fog obscuring the hilltops, it's a stunning spot to relax after a long day of hiking and watch the tide roll in. Definitely recommended and would happily visit again.

Possibly the best camping experience ever!

It helped that the sun mostly shine, bit absolutely perfect quiet secluded spot. We loved sitting out in the evenings watching the geese, herons, egrets, oyster cathers and even an osprey with a fish in its talons. The kids loved swimming when the tide was slack, the perfect antidote to the last crazy year.

Perfect quirky stay

Me and my Partner have just returned from The Boy John and will definitely be returning! The location allowed for relatively easy travel to all activities we wanted to do whilst there. Facilities were spot on, with a separate shower room specifically for the boat. The log burner was perfect for evenings and when combined with a few glasses of red made for the perfect end to the day after climbing Snowdon. The only complaint would have been no wine glasses, but we bought some and left them behind for future visitors, so that won’t be an issue! Absolutely perfect place- can’t recommend it enough! We will be back (can’t come soon enough)
May 15, 2021 by George
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Smugglers Cove Boatyard is located at Frongoch, Aberdyfi, Gwynedd, LL35 0RG

Show Map

Getting There

Take the A493 from Machynlleth for about 6 miles, after a sharp right then left hand turn the entrance to Smuggler's Cove is on the left. There is parking as you enter, then walk under the railway to the estuaryside where you will find the boatyard and camping. The nearest train station is Penhelig in Aberdyfi (3 miles) or Machynlleth (6 miles).