Bryn Dinas Camping Pods
Red Dragon Holidays, Bryn Dinas, Nantgwynant, nr Beddgelert, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 4NH
Anyone born west of Offa's Dyke knows the tale of Beddgelert. The story goes that Welsh prince Llelwyn the Great once had his palace here. Upon returning from a hunting trip without his faithful hound Gelert, the prince was greeted back at home by the blood-stained dog. Anxious Llelwyn went to find his young infant son but, finding the boy's crib empty and smeared with blood, ferociously plunged his sword into the dog's side, believing him to have savaged the royal heir. Gelert's dying yelp was met with the child's cry, whereupon the prince found his son beside the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. After realising his mistake, it was said that the prince never smiled again and the town's name is a byword for any grave error of judgement. Ironic then that unlike poor old luckless Llelwyn, a stay at this Beddgelert glampsite could be just about the wisest camping decision you're likely to make.
Follow the Glaslyn river upstream from Beddgelert and you'll soon reach a charming 18th century farmhouse set between the tranquil twin lakes at Dinas and Gwynant. This is the home of Red Dragon Holidays and, more specifically, the Bryn Dinas Camping Pods. The five custom-built pods sleep two a piece and are equipped with all the basics you could require for a tent-less trekking holiday. Think of this as a well-maintained base camp for tackling the mighty peaks of the Snowdonia National Park. Facilities are functional rather than luxurious but more than adequate with two self-contained bathrooms 100m from the pods, communal kitchenette and common area (with Wi-Fi and internet access), and a life-saving laundry/drying room. Besides, this is Wales' outdoors capital, and you didn't come here to be pampered now did you?
Wholehearted hostess Claire is hospitality manifest. Happy to prepare you a packed lunch (by pre-arrangement) or organise your bike hire, she knows all the best walking routes (the Watkin Path is but a stone's throw from the site) and, more importantly, the best local pubs. In homage to poor old Gelert, Claire also welcomes dogs throughout the site and in the camping pods.
And then there's Beddgelert itself. This much garlanded base town (Wales in Bloom 1993 through to 2000; Britain in Bloom 1993 and 1996; Europe in Bloom Gold Medal Winners 1997) is one of Wales' best located, with unspoilt Anglesey, the golden sands of Cardigan Bay and, of course, epic Snowdonia all within easy reach.
Once experienced, Bryn Dinas Camping Pods will soon be your go-to base for exploring this truly amazing pocket of Wales. You may even like to stay in one of the über-comfy cottages second time round. Whether you opt for cottage over camping pod, they'll be "a welcome in the hillside" awaiting you.
The Owner Says
Just come back from a two night stay in one of the pods. Had a warm welcome from the owners on arrival. Our pod had everything we needed and warm at night. The shower block was great and showers hot. Community room was excellent with a fridge for food and beers and plenty of walking magazines and maps to look through. Setting is lovely, at base of a mountain. Don't be put off by road, barely heard traffic after a while. Excellent base for exploring area and hopefully be back soon!