Bed, breakfast and belaying go hand-in-hand at Hadfer Campsite which stands in the shadow of two legends. First is Bwlch y Moch, the huge rock opposite the campsite which is considered one of the finest trad climbing destinations in Wales and the second is Eric Jones. He’s the man who started a campsite here some 40 years ago and who, until quite recently, served tea at the self-named café on the site. Oh and, by the way, he was also the first Brit to complete a solo ascent of the north face of the Eiger and the first person to base jump from that same mountain. He has skydived at the North Pole, flown hot air balloons over Everest and is considered by many as Wales’ best mountaineer.
Eric may have handed over the reins to new owners, Gareth and Jo, but the campsite still attracts climbers and the little roadside café still bears his name and his photos on the walls. It’s the perfect place to fuel up ahead of the day’s adventures, whether that’s attempting a multi-pitch route on Bwlch y Moch, setting out on a walk in Snowdonia National Park or making a beeline for the beaches of the Llyn Peninsula. What’s more, the breakfast is included in the price of your pitch – and you can’t say that for many campsites.
It’s not just climbers who will love this location. Although we described Hadfer as being in the shadow of the rock, it technically stands outside it. The rock face is just over the road, on the site’s northern side. It shelters the campsite’s two south-facing grassy meadows which are bathed in sunshine when the Welsh weather allows. One meadow is reserved for tents and campervans with the other now neatly set up with five cocoon-like Lotus Belle Tents. Each is neatly set up and kitted out for two with beds, log burners and more besides. But campers are catered for too. There’s a barn with space for drying gear as well as undercover cooking and eating, with a picnic table assigned for each pitch. And as dusk descends, Hadfer's communal campfire brings together campers, glampers and climbers alike to relax in its warming glow with a cold beer and a good natter.
If you’re not watching the climbing or wildlife from site (barn owls, buzzards, bats and kingfishers among it), you can stroll 10 minutes to Tremadog for a drink or dinner in one of two local pubs. It’s not too much further to Porthmadog, a bustling harbour town where you can hop aboard either a boat to sea or a steam train for Snowdonia’s hills. The Glaslyn Osprey Centre is just up the road and it’s only three miles to Portmeirion and some of the area’s best beaches. In fact, everything that makes North Wales such a tempting destination is within reach of Hadfer. But, tucked up on a peaceful pitch between the mountains and the sea, in the sunny shadow of legends, you’d never even know it.
1 shower and 2 toilets for glampers and 1 shower (50p) and 2 toilets for campers. Campers have access to a barn which provides an undercover drying and eating area with 6 picnic benches. There are no electric hook-ups for the four campervan pitches but campers can use the USB charging points in the barn/cafe. All camping and glamping stays include a free breakfast in Eric's Café (see Food & Drink) and glamping tent stays can have this delivered to the tent if requested. Hadfer can also provide a voucher instead so campers can have food later in the day/pack lunch in lieu of a breakfast if required. All glamping tents are equipped with a kingsize bed or twin beds with bedding, bedside tables, table and chairs and towel/clothes rail. They have a solar power supply with USB outlet, WiFi, a log burner and welcome logs provided. Communal campfire for all guests to gather round (local, natural dried/seasoned and responsibly sourced logs provided).
Glampers, campers, tents, campervans, dogs (on leads), groups (by arrangement) – yes. Stag and hen parties – no. Under 18s are permitted but must not be left alone/unsupervised. the site probably isn't that suitable for very young children and caters mainly to adults. Campervans are permitted but caravans are not.
The site’s barn is the perfect area for socialising with the communal campfire the perfect setting to swap stories from the slopes. It’s just 200 metres to an oak woodland that’s been designated as a Site of Scientific Special Interest (SSSI) where you can see bats and woodland birds. The campsite is on the edge of Snowdonia National Park and opposite Bwlch Y Moch, considered one of the best places in Wales for trad climbing. A noticeboard on site displays names of local climbing and adventure sports instructors. The national park offers almost endless opportunities for climbing and walking with Pen-y-Pas, a starting point for walks to the top of Snowdon, just 10 miles and a drive of around 30 minutes away. Hadfer is just over a mile from the harbour town of Porthmadog where there are shops, eateries and railway stations for 3 heritage railways: the linked Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways and the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway – which has a museum in the town too. Chartered boat trips for sea fishing or wildlife watching are available from Porthmadog as well. Other sites within easy reach are the Italianate village of Portmeirion (less than 3 miles away) and the Glaswyn Wildlife Osprey Centre. The closest recommended beaches are 3 miles away at Black Rock Sands, Borth Y Gest and Criccieth. The latter is a Victorian seaside resort with shops and restaurants and the medieval Criccieth Castle. There’s also trout and salmon fishing on the Afon/Glaslyn Estuary and coarse fishing at Esiteddfa Fisheries (01766 522148). Further afield the pretty village of Beddgelert, Sygun Copper Mine, Zip World at the Llechwedd Slate Caverns and the town of Pwllheli on the Llyn Peninsula are within a 30-minute drive.
Food & Drink
The on-site Eric Jones Café uses local produce for breakfast, lunches and snacks. Breakfast (or vouchers if preferred) is included for campers and glampers and packed lunches are also available. It’s a 10-minute walk or 2-minute drive to Tremadog where there are 2 pubs The Union Inn (01766 512748), for traditional, hearty pub grub, and The Golden Fleece (01766 512421) which serves modern-style pub food. There’s also a fine-dining restaurant Y Sgwar (01766 515451). There’s a wide range of eateries as well as shops for supplies in Porthmadog, a mile down the road. For a locally-brewed pint, try The Australia (01766 515957) which is the brewery tap for Porthamdog’s own brewery, The Purple Moose.
The Owner Says
Croeso – Welcome... We are a small family run campsite on the edge of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. We offer glamping tents and pods along with camping and campervan pitches. We are just 10 minutes from the beach and, with local attractions on the doorstep, such as Portmeirion and Beddgelert, our campsite is also conveniently located for Snowdon and the Llyn Peninsula – Caernarfon and Angelsey are just a short drive away too.
Arguably one of the best climbing locations in Wales is just opposite the campsite, along with WiFi and a cafe for breakfast, lunch, tea or snacks/packlunches to set you up for the day!
Disabled persons have access to accessible parking, wetroom and toilet facilities on the site, along with card/contactless payment facilities available too.
Let us know if you have any special requests and we can work with you to make for an enjoyable and hopefully memorable stay!
Thanks for looking – Jo & Gareth
5 glamping pitches, 4 campervan pitches and 6 tent pitches.
Lotus Bell Tent
From Bangor/A55, take the A487 to Caernarfon then follow signs for Porthmadog. Before Porthmadog, take turning for Tremadog. If approaching from Betws Y Coed/A470, take the A487 to follow signs for Porthmadog via Penrhyndeudraeth. After Penrhyndeudraeth, take the turning for Tremadog. On reaching Tremadog, follow the A498, signposted for Beddgelert. After about 1 mile the campsite is on right, behind Eric Jones Café.
The nearest mainline train Station is at Porthmadog; a 5-minute drive or 15-minute walk away. The campsite is on the main bus route linking with Porthmadog and Tremadog. From there, buses run to the Llyn Peninsula, Caernarfon, Beddgelert, Llanberis (Snowdon) and more.
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