Gyfyng Smallholding

UK Wales North Wales Gwynedd Porthmadog

  • 10+ metres between camping pitches
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • Individual toilets per camping pitch
  • Laundry
  • Campfires allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Good walks nearby
Magical, off-grid, riverside campsite on a private smallholding in Snowdonia

There's more than one story behind this magical, pop-up, off-grid riverside campsite in Snowdonia — and the space and seclusion to unravel its mysteries and revel in the surroundings. Looking for a different way of life, long-time documentary-maker Max has set up two 'almost wild' camping pitches on his 31-acre smallholding in the glorious valley of Cwm Pennant, beloved of walkers and mountain-bikers. Here, in your own slice of riverside heaven, in the shelter of ancient, moss-covered walls, you get a place to engage in your own back-to-nature adventure — and, who knows, create a different kind of holiday story.

The set-up for each pitch is simple — a spacious bell tent on-site, grass space for another tent or two if you like, a hammock and a fire pit, and a Robinson Crusoe-style cookhouse that's far better equipped than you might at first expect. There's no glam in this camping — unless you count the tea-light chandelier in the largest bell tent — but it's cosy, rustic, and entirely in keeping with the surroundings. You share a couple of nearby compost loos, and an electric shower up by the farmhouse, which is suitable given that the total capacity on the smallholding is just ten campers. Water comes from the crystal-clear river, which you're asked to treat with respect — which means you can swim in it (it's refreshing or, as some might say, freezing cold), but only without wearing sunscreen.

And what else will you do in this quiet, calm, remote corner of Snowdonia? River-scrambling, sheltered woodland picnics, or a clamber up the hill for a sunset sundowner, just for starters. There are pigs and chickens to meet, while Max has plans to create veg gardens and wildflower meadows and run artisan craft workshops in the future. In good weather, and with the right gear, you can hike straight into the mountains from the site, or at least walk as far as the head of the valley — considered one of the most beautiful in Wales — for stunning views of Ynys Môn (Anglesea) and Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon). Further afield and action-adventure Snowdonia is close to hand, from zip wires and bike trails to wild swims and mountain ascents.

But probably, for much of the time, you'll do as Max intended, which is to soak up the gentle vibes from the babbling river and shady woodland and enjoy the solitude. This peaceful, unspoiled retreat brought him here from London in the first place and charmed him into staying, and there's no guarantee it won't work the same magic on you.



The grassy, riverside site consists of two separate pitches, with up to a maximum of five people at each pitch — using the pre-pitched bell tents and adding a tent of your own too if you like. Olimpio's pitch has a seven-metre bell tent (that could sleep five people), while Paulo's pitch has a five-metre bell tent (sleeps two to four)  — and there's a blow-up bell tent for two people available at this pitch too. There are single, roll-out, padded mattresses in the bell tents (you need to bring your own pillows, duvets, and sleeping bags), pallets to put them on if you prefer, plus some simple furniture, rugs, sheepskins, and lanterns.

There are two compost toilets at the top of the camping field and a basic hot shower available at the stables next to the farmhouse. You can't bring cars onto the site, but there's a handcart to help with transportation from the parking area.

Each pitch also has a sheltered cookhouse lit by solar fairy lights, with gas rings, kettle, sink, pub table, and benches, and all pots, pans, cutlery, and utensils supplied. Other than the electric shower, the site is entirely off-grid — there isn't even running water at the cookhouse, as drinking/cooking water is supplied in large bottles and then replenished on request.

You get a moveable, raised fire pit for campfires and barbecues, and there's wood and ice, and fresh farm eggs, available to buy.

Suitable For

Couples, families, small groups – yes. Campervans,  caravans, dogs, loud music, parties, single-sex groups – no. 


Basically, bring hiking gear or a mountain bike to get the best out of the immediate surroundings, like the Cwm Pennant trail up to the Nantlle ridge or Moel Hebog. You do need to know what you're doing though, so the best place to start for information is the Snowdonia National Park website (01766 770274), which also has lots of other hiking and biking trails to download. There are dozens of other ways to challenge yourself in this neck of the woods too, like the world's fastest zip wire at Penryhn Quarry – that's down a one-and-a-half-kilometre zip line at speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour. Suddenly that hammock back at the riverside pitch seems like a nice idea. It's an hour's drive away, around the northwestern edge of the national park, if you're tempted.

It doesn't all have to be about hardcore adventure though, with the wonderful beaches of the Llyn Peninsula, Harlech, and Barmouth all within an hour's drive of the site. By the way, expect even the shortest of journeys to take longer than you expect in this part of the world. Criccieth (03000 252239) is the closest seaside town, eight miles and 25 minutes south, a Victorian charmer with two beaches and a castle on the headland, and some nice little cafes and coffee shops, like Tir a Mor (01766 523084).

If you had to choose one beach destination, then make it Harlech  — a 40-minute drive away — which has great sands, some amazing walks, and the spectacular, crag-bound fortress that is Harlech Castle (03000 252239).On the way there or back, you could call in at Portmeirion, the Italianate folly-village that was the setting of the cult TV show  'The Prisoner' — and it's hard to find a bigger contrast than between your off-grid rustic base and the surreal, sub-tropical stylings of Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis.

Food & Drink

The nearest pub is a good ten-minute drive from Gyfyng, the Goat Inn (01766 530237), out on the A487 at Garndolbenmaen, but it's well worth the trip for some traditional pub cheer and a good menu. The other way down the A487, more like a 20-minute drive, the attractive, crag-ringed village of Tremadog has more good pubs, such as the Union Inn (01766 512748) or the Welsh gin and real-ale specialist the Golden Fleece (01766 512421). For a fancier night out, Y Sgwar (01766 515451) in Tremadog is a contemporary Welsh bistro – clean lines, slate floor, stone fireplace – with an inventive, locally-sourced menu, from seabass and hake to Welsh Black Pen Llyn steak.

The closest big supermarket for supplies is just beyond Tremadog, a 20 minutes drive away at Porthmadog — you should treat yourself while you're at it with excellent fish and chips from Porthmadog's Allports (01766 512589).



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The Owner Says

Gyfyng Smallholding is thirty-one acres of river bank, woodland, open sheep grazing fields and a small upland saddle with views out to the sea and up the mesmerising Cwm Pennant skirted by Moel Hebog and the Nantlle Ridge. We are just starting out this year and just launching with two beautiful pitches. Each one takes a maximum of 5 people  but there's a 10% discount if there's just two of you!.  Each pitch is built against the mossy, old stone walls that border the crystal clear waters of Arfon Dwyfor.  Each pitch has a bell tent, space for your own tent(s) a sheltered cookhouse with gas ring, tables and benches, a fire pit. The cookhouse are fully equipped with gas rings, pots pans, a kettle, cups, cutlery, plates & bowls, colanders, bottle openers etc.  There's even tea and coffee on the house! Just bring your own pillows, duvets / sleeping bags.  Everything else is here!

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Two camping pitches available, for a maximum of five people at each pitch.

Paulo's Pitch - Bell tent

Pre-pitched tent Sleeps 5
We have a beautiful bell tent from India at Paulo's Pitch which sleeps 2-4. The beautifully patterned double-lining on this magical tent keeps it nice and dark on bright sunny mornings so you'll be able to have a lie-in. We can add in a "blow-up" bell-tent to this pitch if you need a bit more space ... maybe for the kids?

Olimpio's Pitch - Sleeps 5

Pre-pitched tent Sleeps 5
Olimpio's pitch has a 7-meter bell tent - big enough for the whole group.

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Contact Gyfyng Smallholding, Cyfyng, Cwm Pennant, Garndolbenmaen, Gwynedd LL51 9AX

Show Map

Getting There

From London, Birmingham, and the south, skirt around Porthmadog on to the A487, heading for Caernarfon. After passing through the village of Penmorfa, carry on the A487 for three or four miles and, after passing over the River (Arfon) Dwyfor, take a turning on the right signposted Cwm Pennant. From Manchester, Liverpool, and North Wales, leave Caernarfon on the A487 towards Porthmadog. Take a left after Garndolbenmaen (about six miles from Porthmadog), signposted to Cwm Pennant.

After a couple of miles winding along the little road, you’ll go over a bridge. On the cliff face in front of you it says: 'No Parking'. Here the road bends left, then right — immediately take the steep track down to the left, signposted 'Honey'. Before you cross the bridge, turn right into the driveway — Gyfyng is the house right by the river. Setting the Sat Nav for LL51 9AX will probably take you past the smallholding, which you will see down to your left, next to the river, if you go too far.

You can't reach the site by public transport, and you will need a car or other transport to reach anything else, including shops, pubs, and supplies.


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Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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