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Popcorn Camping Bethesda Popcorn Camping

UK Wales North Wales Gwynedd Bangor

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
A pop-up campsite on a rugby pitch in Bethesda, between Snowdonia National Park and the island of Anglesey.

It’s pitch invasion time at Bethesda Rugby Club this summer. But what’s this? The invaders are armed with tents and club officials are cheering them on! This is a scene that’s playing out at rugby clubs and school playing fields around the UK this summer, as they are taken over by Popcorn Camping. This growing start-up uses existing well-maintained fields and clubhouse facilities for pop-up campsites at a time when they would otherwise be empty. It’s a neat idea that will turn Bethesda’s scenically-situated rugby pitches into 75 camping pitches for six weeks of summer.

As you might expect for a pop-up campsite on a rugby pitch it’s a back-to-basics affair, but the big benefit of Popcorn Camping Bethesda is its enviable location on the northern edge of Snowdonia National Park. It’s also just five miles from the North Welsh coast and the island of Anglesey, and less than two from daredevil adventure park Zip World, where you can whizz on a zip wire across a former slate quarry. For history lovers, some of Wales’ most impressive castles are within 20 miles of the site: Caernarfon, Conwy, and Beaumaris among them. Mountains, castles, slate mining, beaches, and rugby — it doesn’t get much more Welsh than this.

With so much to do in the area, this site is more of a base than a place to hang out but, nonetheless, it has a very lovely setting. The club is, handily, a short walk from the centre of town, but its vista is all green (apart from the clubhouse and goalposts) with trees surrounding most of the site, the River Ogwen running by, and mountains visible in the background. Pitches are a spacious 10-by-10 metres and facilities are warm and dry in the clubhouse. There are flushing loos, hot showers, and washing-up sinks too. Campfires are allowed but, in order to protect the hallowed turf of Bethesda rugby pitch, you’ll need to head off-pitch to one of the communal campfire areas. All the better for sharing tales of walks up Snowdonia’s peaks or along the newly opened Ogwen Trail that leads from Bethesda to Porth Penrhyn on the coast.

Details

Facilities

The campsite is within the grounds of Bethesda Rugby Club and facilities are in the clubhouse, which has recently been refurbished. There are four private hot showers and four family-sized showers (each large enough for a rugby team!) and plenty of fluhing toilets available. There are washing-up facilities at open-air sinks in the camping area. Barbecues are allowed but must be off the ground and campfires are allowed but only in designated, communal campfire spaces, not on the pitches. Fire pits are available to hire on-site and logs are for sale.

Suitable For

Campers, couples, families, small groups, dogs (on leads) – yes. Campervans, caravans, motorhomes, all-adult groups – no.

Nearby

You can walk or cycle from the campsite to the coast, five miles away, on the Porth Penrhyn on The Ogwen Trail which follows the route of a disused railway and passes close by. Bethesda is on the northern edge of Snowdonia National Park so there's plenty more outdoor activity on offer there. If walking, climbing and cycling doesn't produce enough adrenaline for you, try Zip World Penrhyn Quarry (01248 601 444), less than two miles from site where you can ride the fastest zip line in the world. It's only about seven miles to the bridges over the Menia Strait which means you can be on Anglesey island within a 15-minute drive. The impressive Caernarfon Castle (03000 252239) is just 12 miles from site.

Food & Drink

There are plenty of places to eat, drink, and pick up supplies in the centre of Bethesda, a walk of less than half a mile from the site. The closest pub serving food is Y Llangollen (01248 605175).

Open

July and August only.

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Location

Contact Popcorn Camping Bethesda, Station Rd, Bethesda, Bangor LL57 3NE

Show Map

Getting There

The A5 runs through the centre of Bethesda. Look out for the Londis shop (on the right if you are heading south from Bangor or on the left if you are heading north) and take Station Road towards the Rugby Club. It is well signposted. The nearest train station is in Bangor (six miles away). There are regular bus services between Bangor and Bethesda and the closet stop (Bethesda Rhes Penrhyn) is a short walk from site.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 23 reviews

★☆☆☆☆

It is £20 PER PERSON, PER NIGHT not per pitch. Be prepared to pay cash on arrival

The site is clean, firewood is good and people are friendly. I had experienced trouble booking online - where the pricing is £20 per night for a pitch (like most campsites). However on arrival, when I presented £40 for 2 nights I was told by the receptionist, Cara, that it is in-fact £20 per person. In the moment I handed over the extra cash, amounting to £80 for 2 nights… the same as a hotel. I double checked the website and it does categorically state a different price. I did feel let down by the doubled price, and it’s probably not something we would have paid if we knew. Although it’s a nice campsite with toilets and showers, it’s not hard to find a campsite with the same facilities for a typical campsite price. It’s also essentially a school field and there were school matches going on in the same field for most of the day on Saturday. The campsite is in a really good location and the walks are fab, it’s also really good if you’re doing the zip line - super close by. Furthermore it’s a nice little town with some large supermarkets to get any essentials you may have forgotten.
Sep 7, 2021 by Izzy
★★★★★

Fantastic location, friendly staff - would happily return!

We are a family of 4 with two young children and really enjoyed our week-long stay. The staff were friendly, always on hand to offer help (and even a refreshing drink!) and the boys loved having a full-sized football pitch to play on. We especially loved the reasonably-priced fire pits and the mountain views. The facilities were pretty decent too, with toilet paper and soap provided. The rugby club provided tasty food in the evenings - sadly we missed their legendary roast - and Bethesda makes a handy base for exploring the North Wales Coast, Anglesey and Snowdonia. Our only criticism is that some campers could have been more considerate when it came to making noise after 11pm - loud conversations and music playing past that hour were a bit of a frustration, but fortunately we had brought earplugs! We are hoping to return when the boys are a bit bigger to do some more challenging walks.
Aug 24, 2021 by Izzy

Response from Popcorn Camping Bethesda

Izzy

I am so glad you enjoyed your stay so much I am glad it was a fantastic base.

We do try hard to control noise after 10 and am sad to hear that in this case we were not successful.

We would love to have you and your family back soon

Popcorn
★★★★★

Perfect pop up pitch for walking up Snowdon

Lady minute booking as suddenly decided to get a practice walk up Snowdon before doing the 3 Peaks Challenge. The site was perfect there was no problem about leaving site in the hours as there often is, they’ve made really good use of the site, the facilities were fine for our needs, the pitching well organised and the organisers really lovely and very helpful.
★★★★★

Recommended

Family friendly with plenty of space for all in two separate level fields adjacent to Rugby pitches. Informal but well run with someone always on hand. Great to be able to use the excellent sports club facilities, plenty of loos and showers with proper hot water! Some sockets available for charging as well. Excellent location for all things Snowdonia and North West coast. I don’t think you’d call Bethesda ‘pretty’, it’s a good honest working town but with decent take-aways, a close-by Londis (and Tesco Express a bit further) and nearby excellent Indian and pub restaurants.
★★★★★

Great campsite

Great campsite, flat pitches and loads of room. Facilities at the rugby club were good including the restaurant which was great to have some where go on a wet evening. Easy to walk to the shops/pubs/takeaways from the campsite. Also transport links were great with a bus stop for the Sherpa bus to climb snowdon only a 5min walk away (useful when our car broke down so we could still continue our holiday). Friendly staff and on the Saturday afternoon a lady came selling local produce including delicious cakes, what a bonus. Would recommend.
Aug 23, 2021 by Megan Pardoe Verified Review
★★★★★

Hidden Gem

Great find, lovely stay, drop dead gorgeous views and extremely friendly , 10/10 would definitely stay again, Thank you all for such an amazing experience and breath taking views, really genuine down to earth staff. Defiantly recommend for those who love to stay outdoors and appreciate what nature has to offer. From our arrival to our final day everyone was welcoming, polite and happy to help lots of hidden paths, walkways, lakes, hills and mountains to explore and great food and alcohol in the on-site restaurant, bar and kitchen staff are extremely polite as well 5***** LOVED IT, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
Aug 22, 2021 by Leon
★★★★★

amazing !

it was amazing , everyone there was kind and supportive . while driving into the camp site you would be greeted by either 1 of the 3 lovely people that work there . Along with chances to buy a campfire for reasonable prices!! The food was a solid 10/10 , wasn't loud at night also would wake up to "how did you sleep" <3 i really enjoyed staying there . it was great. Thank you <3
Aug 21, 2021 by xox
★★★★★

Basic clean camping

Friendly welcome on arrival , staff very helpful throughout our stay. Campsite with clean basic amenities. If you are looking for posh individual showers then this is not for you, as in most Rugby clubs showers are communal.. Well organised we would definitely recommend and return
★★★★★

CAMPING WITH CUSTOMER CARE!

I booked this camping, last minute, for husband and child[ teen] who wanted an experience of wild camping without missing on personal hygiene[ toilets and showers!]… They came from North East Wales, so wanted a bit if a rough time, an excuse to climb up Snowdon, at some point, a site away from party ravers[ what the site promised]… They were not disappointed! One [ not nice]issue that came up was promptly dealt with, thanks to a top manager![Cara] It rained most of the time ,but there was that reassurance that there were , on site , a dry building, with nice toilets and hot showers , and …..hot water for washing -up! Also, there was that top room, where the 2 men found time to relax , and have a drink, safely and in a cosy way! They came from Wales , Welsh from Ewloe, and were happily surprised about the true welsh spirit lived on , on the premises! I joined them one day… We found, near Caernarfon,[south west] a museum opened to the public, that has displays of aircrafts!!!! Not to be missed on a rainy day! Quite a journey to go there, though it is not that far![ 20 miles, 40 mns] —-Caernarfon Airport Dinas Dinlle Caernarfon Airport, Dinas Dinlle LL54 5TP—- It s worth The museum IS old, could one day be part of a museum for old museums! But it s worth![ one hour ] We came so early , we did not have to book, normally you have to…. Near by is also an iron-age mount, ice creams places, toilets, so unless the weather is really bad, you have somewhere to spend a day! On our way back, from the museum to camping,half way towards Bangor, we follow-out of curiosity , a antique sign, pointing to the left,…… it took us 5 miles inland[!] , into a weird industrial mini estate, we were wary , even parking there,…but what they display -there -is quite unique, so ….my son found a very old badminton raquette, and people can find something really unique for themselves! So yes, going back to pop corn camping in Bethsesda, it s a …….YES!
★★★★★

Very chilled

Just back from a lovely 4 night stay at Bethesda. Staff very friendly and cheerful. Campsite very chilled and family friendly. Bethesda Rugby Club is obviously the heart of the local community as it was used for lots of events while we were there. Facilities basic - but the showers and the dish washing water were very hot. Spoke to quite a few local residents who were also very welcoming and pleased to see people enjoying Bethesda. A great base for exploring North Wales. Would definitely go again.
Aug 17, 2021 by Netty
★★★★★

Great location and friendly staff

This site was well positioned for all of our activities around North Wales. The clubhouse was open for food and drinks which was a lovely surprise and the food was amazing. The shower facilities were warm and pitches were well sized. The best part was Cara and Rob though, who were so friendly and helpful! Thank you.
Aug 16, 2021 by Charlotte S
★★☆☆☆

Not Very helpful

Besides the very basic facilities and decent surroundings, we did not find the staff very supportive. We waited in the restaurant for 45 minutes but the attendant for food never came to our table in spite of asking them multiple time. Although the drinks were served. We found it particular annoying because we arrived on the day of heavy rain and wind. After we reached the site we had to wait for 3-4 hours in our car as the wind was so strong that we were not able to setup our tent. Just to mention that I reached out to the ground staff asking if they can hold the tent pole for few minutes so that I can stand up my tent as my wife was unable to do it due to injury- the request was politely refused- I do not blame them, nor do I say that it was their duty to help. They were completely correct in refusing to help- but To help is Human! This is also a site where rugby and football matches are organized, when the team arrive the organizers declare that the changing rooms are not to be used by campers for few hours- so if you are returning after a hike where you faced bad weather and feel an urge to change your clothes, you will have no choice but to wait before you could use the facilities. My advise to the campers planning to book here- read the terms and conditions carefully!

Response from Popcorn Camping Bethesda

Sourabh,

 Thanks for the review,

I apologise if you found the staff not to be helpful whilst putting up the tent in the wind. From my experience the staff are only too willing to assist when possible.
I can understand your frustration after having to wait 4 hours due to the wind but this should not be a reflection on the site and would also potentially be the reason the staff were too busy to assist.

I do however acknowledge there are some areas we can work on for future years

Popcorn

★★★★☆

Great location, friendly staff and locals. Great feel

Staff were really friendly and helpful from the start. Really chilled out and relaxed feel which was great for the holiday. Bit of a walk to the pitch but wheelbarrows we’re provided which the kids loved. Changing rooms and dish washing was basic as you would expect from a rugby club. The local recreational activities continued which was really good to see and made the whole place have a great energy. Loved the Welsh drum practice. Something we’d have probably never seen if hadn’t been there. Location is perfect for exploring North Wales which is just stunning. Would I go back. Most definitely
★★★★★

Perfect stay

Great location, welcoming team and really helpful. The ground is lovely for camping - woods and fire pitch available. Showers access and always hot water available😊 first stay and 100% will be back!
★★★★☆

Great find!

Excellent location, very friendly and helpful staff, good quality pitching terrain.... 👌 Very laid back vibe with good facilities and a super location for getting around North Wales. Lovely wee walk along the river into the village. Chap selling local produce from wicker baskets was a real treat and should be promoted more! Loos and showers could have been cleaned more regularly but a minor gripe. Overall a really nice chilled out few days
★★★★★

What a nice experience!

It was my first time camping by myself and I stayed here for three nights. All the staff members were really nice and helpful. One of the evenings, the restaurant upstairs was open which was a nice way to spend an evening if you want something close for drinks without having to drive back after ;) overall it was a really nice camping experience! thank you very much!
★★★★★

First time camping, great experience!

Great stay in Bethesda, a perfect location to explore the whole of North Wales. Waking up to a mountain view set the bar high for our first camping experience. Since the site was on a Rugby pitch meant that on-site facilities were super functional - no need to bring your own toilet roll! Very fun and friendly hosts, and the option of added extras (archery was put on in the next field for families, and you could hire a log firepit) meant that you could make each night feel different. Car parked a short walk from the tent was super easy to get used to, and you could borrow a wheelbarrow if you needed to take your stuff to the tent. Overall a cute stay, perfect for couples or families!
★★★★★

Good location - very basic but in a nice friendly way

This campsite was ideal for our first camp, had everything we needed, staff were very friendly and helpful. Site was on a small high street with everything you need, Londis with 2 minute walk, Chinese Indian and a couple of other takeaways and a Tesco within a 5 min drive. few pubs within walking distance which are dog friendly to. ideal for Lyn Ogwen, Tryfan and Devils Kitchen just 10 minutes away, Bangor Anglesey and LLanberis are all a short drive. We enjoyed our stay and would deffo stay again as it was an ideal base camp with 2 rugby pitches and a full size footy pitch with goals to entertain the kids.
Jul 31, 2021 by Thomas Verified Review
★★★★★

Great camping experience

Really well situated site with a beautiful view towards the mountains. Not too crowded, great shower and toilet facilities
Jul 29, 2021 by Tom Somers Verified Review
★★★★☆

An enjoyable visit to Snowdonia

The views of the mountains from the camp-site are superb and we enjoyed wonderfully sunny weather. The pitches were level and on well-kept grass. The rugby club is a real hub of the local community, and the toilet and shower facilities were fine. There are several take-aways in Bethesda and the site is a good base for walking in Snowdonia.
★★★★★

Really lovely little campsite

Beautiful backdrop, decent amenities and a really handy location to get to both Anglesey and Snowdonia. The weather was stunning and, despite the ground solidifying to the point we were really struggling to get our tent pegged in, the staff had a mallet for us to borrow, along with firepits and wood for sale (and boards to protect the earth). The site ended up with a bit of a chilled festival field vibe, with tents setting up where they landed and everyone generally having a lovely time. We drove to Anglesey for the day and down towards Caernarfon the next without hassle and got early morning swims at both before things started to get busier. Stopped in at a local pub on the high street (the Douglas Arms) for a cold pint, to break from our warm beers, which was just gorgeous. All in all a really lovely weekend, made all the better with such an accommodating and well located site.
Jul 26, 2021 by Sophie Gould Verified Review
★★★★★

Great stay at Bethesda Popcorn camping!

Campsie is in great spot up access Snowdonia and the surrounding areas. We had a trip to Angelsea too which was only a 15 min drive. Our hosts were amazing, really helpful and checked in with us occasionally which was a really nice touch! The site has lovely views onto the mountains and there was plenty of space between tents. As the info states it is a bit 'back to basics' but if you're happy with that your good to go! Facilities were clean, mens shower room converted into individual showers for women with wooden dividers and urinals covered up with plastic which feels a bit DIY! There was access to washing up taps (only cold water but didn't need warm with the weather when we were there!). There was some construction work going on which you could hear in a morning (or both mornings we were there anyway). Not hugely loud at all but not completely peaceful either, didn't effect our enjoyment but worth a mention. Overall a good stay!
Jul 22, 2021 by Joanna Verified Review
★★★★★

Beautiful spot

Really nice weekend here with helpful and friendly staff and clean facilities. The view from our tent was really lovely. Great pitch in the centre which is kept free from tents so you can have a kick about. The one gripe is the fires. Everyone seems to want to make a fire to stare at (not to cook on or to keep warm). When the breeze settles for a few minutes you feel like you are in the smog of Victorian London. Luckily there was some wind most of the time. Perhaps that's just me being a grouch though.

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