Care-free camping and glamping in the heart of Carmarthen Bay's Dylan Thomas country.
Carmarthen Bay might just be Wales' best-kept secret. While scores of tourists flood the Pembrokeshire Coast out west or scale the mighty peaks of Snowdonia in the north, this lesser-frequented stretch of South Wales promises hidden coves, sandy expanses and wildlife in abundance. The Three Rivers Estuary – one of Carmarthen Bay's two vast river openings – is where the rivers Taf, Tywi, and Gwendraeth converge. Overlooking this jaw-droppingly beautiful coastline lies Laugharne, a tranquil waterside settlement and former home of Dylan Thomas who described it as a 'timeless, mild, beguiling island of a [place]... there is nowhere like it anywhere at all' - a fitting appraisal that could well have applied to Big Barn Camping.
Based on a 36-acre smallholding a short stroll from the centre of Laugharne, Big Barn Camping is, for our money, one of Wales' best-located campsites. Offering family-friendly camping and glamping on a proper working farm, this rural retreat is easily accessible for some of the country's best beaches, famous tourist attractions and the charming seaside villages that make the Welsh coast so special.
Camping here is a peaceful affair, with a spacious paddock reserved for just seven prized pitches. There's no danger of overcrowding (in contrast to some of the other more commercial holiday parks along the coast) and group sizes are controlled. It's largely a tent-centric zone too, with just the odd campervan or retro teardrop caravan permitted meaning all are free to enjoy the unblemished views of the surrounding countryside.
For those looking to leave the tent at home, a trio of cosy pods are also available. These unique designs are a characterful alternative from the identikit versions found on many sites – more like bijou barns that fit seamlessly into the rural setting. Inside, these homely abodes include a dining space that effortlessly converts into a comfy double bed, and an adjacent kitchen shelter comes equipped with everything you could need for cooking up a feast. As for ablutions, eco-friendly composting loos are located in the camping field, while the titular Dutch barn houses showers and washbasins.
With a welcome for well-behaved dogs and campfires encouraged in the firepits, families can enjoy the key components of cracking camping holiday. Whether exploring the woodland on the circular walk, spotting red kites circling overhead, or seeing who can swing highest on the rope swing, kids will simply love it here. It's a proper working farm too with Herdwick sheep, Saddleback pigs, goats and assorted ducks and chickens, meaning little ones can enjoy an authentic slice of rural Welsh life.
Beyond the confines of the farm, an abundance of attractions await. Pendine Sands beach is just 10 minutes drive away while Oakwood Theme Park near Narbeth is around half and hour away if the kids demand rollercoasters. That being said, the lure of Laugharne might not see you stray far. The Dylan Thomas connection makes for a fascinating visit and needless to say the poet's presence looms large over Laugharne (not least with annual literary festival held every spring). Besides the boathouse museum and historic pubs, Laugharne Castle is well worth a visit or you could just plot up with a bag of chips overlooking the estuary and watch for cormorants catching cockles in this most magical of scenes.
The two large tents each have a double bed, single futon sofa beds and are both located in stunning situations with each having private composting toilets. The Pods are furnished with convertible table/double bed and storage. All of the above have fully-equipped kitchen shelters included next to each unit. The Big Barn facilities block includes 3 showers, 3 washbasins, 2 washing-up sinks, and recycling facilities. 3 eco-friendly composting toilets are located within the camping field. Each of the ten camping pitches have a picnic bench along with campfires permitted in the firepits provided.
Tents, trailer tents, teardrop caravans, dogs – yes. Motorhomes – no.
Laugharne is synonymous with Wales’ most famous writer, Dylan Thomas – visit his iconic writing shed at the Dylan Thomas Boathouse Museum (01994 427420). The town’s magnificent medieval castle also served as a place of inspiration for Thomas who composed in its garden summerhouse. Today, you can enjoy its atmospheric ruins and ornate Victorian gardens. Pendine Sands is one of Wales’ best beaches, boasting a vast expanse of soft sand and stunning views of Carmarthen Bay. The nearby Pendine Museum of Speed (01994 453488) commemorates the beach’s role as the setting for various land-speed record attempts, most notably with ‘Babs’ the vehicle used by Parry Thomas in his fatal 1927 attempt. For outdoor thrills, Morfa Bay Adventure (01994 453588) in Pendine organise everything from coasteering and sea kayaking, to abseiling, archery and sumo wrestling!
Food & Drink
There are plenty of historic pubs in Laugharne, and it’s fair to say Dylan Thomas propped up the bar in most of them! Browns Hotel (01994 427688) is the most famous, with everyone from Jimmy Carter to Mick Jagger enjoying a pint at the poet’s favourite watering hole. They also have a restaurant next door, The New Three Mariners Inn (01994 427426), boasting nautical ephemera and tasty bar snacks. To sample the best of the local produce, The Ferryman Deli (01994 427398) is the place to go. This welcoming spot just down on the main thoroughfare serves up a seasonal menu of homemade dishes and stocks the finest Welsh cheese, pies, tarts, artisan Spanish tapas and craft beer. The Owl and the Pussycat (01994 427742) is a delightful tearoom and restaurant serving everything from cakes and light lunches to hearty main meals like traditional cawl and Welsh black beef stew.
April – October.
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Rated ★★★★★ over 25 reviews
The site was lovely and pitches very well spaced. We loved the very clean Eco loos and the owner was very helpful. We would definitely stay again.
We had a lovely mini-break in the Fox Barn pod - really lovely views, clean and comfy, and great hot showers! Michael was really welcoming - it was the perfect get-away & we'll definitely be back!
Really enjoyed my stay! Tents are really far apart so, you don't feel next to people. You get your own picnic table and fire pit (you can purchase wood for a fire) which is lovely. The views were incredible and Michael was super friendly and welcoming! Definitely want to go back next summer!
Welcoming, peaceful and fun!
What a lovely place. Michael is the perfect host (as others have said, you do indeed feel like you've known him for ages) and has thought of everything. We stayed in one of the yurts, which was our very first glamping experience. It was great fun and far more comfortable than our usual camping trips! The covered kitchen was great and had everything we needed. Given the VERY extreme and changeable weather - high winds, torrential rain, sunshine, hot, cold, and all else besides - we were happy to have such luxuries. The shared facilities are great and overall the site is open, well kept and with great views. There is the added bonus of a farmyard full of charming animals. Highly recommended!
This campsite did not disappoint! I would definitely recommend to others and consider returning in future. I don’t have a single bad thing to say about the site, nor the owner. Very friendly guy!
We headed to Big Barn with hopes of a great family holiday after a difficult year! It didn’t disappoint! On arrival owner Michael was keen to meet and great and let us know what was what around the site. He was very welcoming and felt as though you’d known him for more than a matter of days! We opted for the belle tent with the added extra of fresh bedding which we would recommend. The site was large and clean. The kitchenette was a great extra for the one wet night that we had. Tent with the lights is special as was the stars on a clear night with a campfire! The site is large and each individual pitch is huge. The scenery is great and just what I would describe as back to nature. Loos took a bit of getting used to but no issues. The are is lovely close distance to Laugharne. Restaurant, stream, ruins and scenery there are great. The location is well situated to many beaches and Tenby in 20 minutes drive. Great time would recommend
Fantastic site, host and facilities
We have just returned from a 3 night stay at Big Barn Camping with our two young daughters. We stayed in the woodland tent which was amazing! Completely private, gated area with a lovely camp fire, our own composting toilet and kitchen facilities. Absolutely everything was thought out with the kitchen area, including crockery, saucepans, a cool box and a great little gas stove. We barbecued each evening (took our own bbq) but the kitchen was equipped enough to make potatoes, salads etc to go with it. The tent was comfortable and spacious and well decorated. And the beds were super comfy! There were also lots of lovely animals on the farm which our girls enjoyed visiting. Michael was also a fantastic host. Very thoughtful and friendly and will do anything to help. We visited Tenby for the day which was a great day out. Telpyn beach which is only a short drive, and we also visited Llansteffan beach and castle which was well worth a visit. Lovely area and can’t wait to return! Thank you Michael, from the Moran family.
Everything we wanted and more
First time I had ever been glamping and enjoyed every minute from start to finish. Michael, our host felt like an old friend the moment we met him. He gave us the guided tour and explained everything. The surrounding area is beautiful and the view from the pod exceptional. Tenby and Saundersfoot are beautiful, but the hidden gem is two miles away from the pod, Dylan Thomas's boat house and writing shed is a must see, not forgetting the beautiful castle and beach in the area. Already looking to book again.
A friendly and peaceful place
We have just returned from a wonderful stay at Big Barn Camping with our children aged 10 and 7. We loved that there was so much space for the children to roam near the tent but without being in anyone's way. The pitches are very generous and well spaced, which gives a lovely feeling of being away from it all. The barn and facilities were always very clean with lots of hot water and we loved learning about the animals and composting loos. Michael was so friendly and welcoming, we felt at home straight away. A great place for stargazing. We enjoyed visiting Laugharne with it's atmospheric castle and Tenby with it's bustling cafes, shops and beaches. One of the best campsites we've visited.
Perfect campsite for our wild adventure with children
What a wonderful camping experience with our 3 small children. I first fell in love with the big field by our pitch which allowed our very excited children to run free. The sunsets were lovely and stargazing peaceful. The pitches are generously distanced, and we liked that it is a small campsite. We had friends staying in the neighbouring pitch with a little mown path between us making hanging out easy. The owners are so welcoming and kind. Our children loved meeting the animals, the 2 year old is still talking about Rolo and Daisy Pig. There's a rope swing which we really enjoyed too. Showers were hot, the barn kept very clean. The composting toilets were clean and not at all smelly - and a novelty for the children! We enjoyed exploring the nearby area, plenty to do outdoors. Favourite things about our holiday - seeing a shooting star and toasting marshmallows over the fire pit (6yr old), the rope swing and my bed (4yr old), Rolo did a wee (2yr old). I know we'll be back soon.
From five campsites visited in Wales, this was by far the most perfect one for us. The area is very rural, perhaps not spectacular, but offers beautiful sunsets and starry skies without light pollution. The campsite is quiet, the distances between the tents are very generous, the way to the toilets at night is short because there are several compost toilets spread around the site, the owner is very friendly and helpful, the sanitary facilities are very clean and the firewood, available at a very fair price, with the fire bowls is a very welcome change from cooking with gas.
Amazing yurt experience.
Amazing experience. ' Stayed at the Yurt in Big barn camping, amazing time, the yurt was beautiful and in such an amazing location. Provided everything we needed and owner was very accommodating and helpful, definitely will be returning. Thank you.
The site is just beautiful, really quiet and peaceful. The owner Matt, was so welcoming and friendly, couldn’t fault anything! Toilets and showers always clean, We will defo be going back 👍🏻
Such a lovely campsite, everything you could ever need for a brilliant holiday! The hosts are great and can’t do enough to help you have the best time! Probably the cleanest camp site I’ve stayed at too!
The perfect pod stay in the perfect location
Me and my partner recently stayed at this perfect location in one of the Pods on offer. Everything was perfect. The super friendly host who greeted us with lots of useful information, the location of the pod with amazing views and all of the extras that you don't normally get. Added to all of this is the fact that the whole camp site is remarkably eco friendly. Do not hesitate to book this for one second... you won't be disappointed! Wake up to the sound of singing birds and go to sleep with red skies while knowing you are staying on a campsite that is helping improve our fragile planet earth at the forefront of its mind. Thank you so so much
Lovely spacious quiet campsite
We recently stayed at big barn camping for 3 nights with our 2 children (6 and 9). The campsite is really spacious and the pitches are huge and not too close together. We loved the fact that the children could run free without us worrying. They loved the rope swing and Michael (the host) took us to feed the animals one morning. The facilities are great, campfires, a small honesty shop and powerful hot showers! A truly beautiful place with lovely hosts in a great location- thank you.
My children and I had the best week at Big barn camping. The campsite is incredibly clean and tidy, Matt and Michael were brilliant, friendly and nothing was too much trouble. As a single parent holiday-ing with two small children I was a bit nervous but I can honestly say we felt so safe. The views were amazing and we'll definitely be back to stay in Hilltop Barn again! 😁 Thanks for making our first camping experience one to remember!
A beautiful site with a warm welcome
We stayed at Big Barn as a family group in the Taf Valley view field, in Hilltop Barn and Cwtch Barn, with a tent pitched alongside. The pods were a great alternative for the less adventurous amongst us who didn't fancy tent camping! Lovely to have the field and it's kitchen facilities to ourselves and let the kids run free, and truly stunning views. The kitchen was a real bonus when the weather turned on us, providing somewhere dry and sheltered to cook and eat. Matt could not have been more welcoming and helpful, and was so kind helping me to pack the tent up in pouring rain on our departure day. Much appreciated. This was our first experience of composting toilets, and they and all other facilities were spotlessly clean at all times. Great showers with plenty of hot water. This really is a lovely set up, and I have no doubt that Matt & Michael would do everything in their power to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.
Lovely, peaceful, gorgeous, well-appointed little campsite.
A beautifully set up campsite with great spacing between pitches and each pitch having its own picnic table and stone for a (hireable) firepit or barbeque. Composting toilets were a great novelty but show the idea works and is practical - I kept expecting to find a guinea pig in the sawdust! I LOVE that we are respectfully asked to keep the cars in the car park by the field entrance - except for unloading/re-loading - it just keeps that lovely atmosphere of simply tents and tables. BUT, two points for Matt to consider; 1. You may need to think about expanding your car park area, it would be quite easy to get blocked in. 2. PLEASE approach those who ignore the request not to park next to tent or (in the case of our visit the neighbouring) camping pod and ask them to park in the car park. What really adds to the ambience is that lack of visible cars. And for that and the current spacing policy I would be prepared to pay a premium over other campsites. Well done with the new venture though. I wish you both great success and look forward to returning at some point. Will
Brought my son camping for 10days and from the second we arrived Matt & Michael couldn’t have done more for us if they tried. Not just the facilities which were always immaculate and ample but their local knowledge and suggestions of places to go/try. Always checking everything was ok and having a chat. I haven’t been to any other campsite like this. Keep up the good work.
What a charming find...
What a charming find near the Carmarthen Bay estuary. The fields are vast with each flat tent camping pitch enjoying ample room and expansive views across the Carmarthenshire hills. The Dutch-style glamping barns look wonderful – far more characterful than the standard wooden pods most sites have these days. We will definitely give these a try on our next visit. The communal barn has impeccable facilities including showers, firewood store and honesty shop selling all the basics, plus a few treats like biscuits. The farm itself is filled with animals like goats, sheep, ponies, pigs and a whole array of geese, ducks and exotic hens. Matt and Michael were the perfect hosts, with plenty of local recommendations on things to see and do. The whole operation is very well run yet the atmosphere is relaxed and convivial – hard to believe they've only been running the place for a few months. Laugharne is just down the road. The castle overlooking the estuary is a lovely place for a picnic or fish and chips. There's a handful of pubs too including Dylan Thomas' favourite, Browns Hotel (they also do pizzas in the evening).
Peace and tranquility
We stayed at Big Barn camping for 3 nights in Fox Barn pod and had a brilliant time. Matt and Michael were exceptionally welcoming and took an interest in everyone's days and had great ideas for days out if you wanted recommendations. The site itself is kept spotless and immaculate, great facilities, brilliant showers and booking a pod meant everything was included for us and all we needed to worry about was our toothbrush and clothes! Well deffinatley be returning hopefully this year, and the highlight for us was an evening around a campfire. Brilliant memory's 5* from us!
A perfect first time camping
I was more than a little nervous taking my two children camping for the first time but Big Barn camping gave us a brilliant experience. The owners were friendly and helpful and even took the time to give my boys a tour of the farm with a chance to meet all the adorable animals. The site has just a few large pitches and a big field to play on. The picnic bench and fire pit provided for each pitch really enhanced our stay and made life easier. We spotted lots of wildlife and the children spent a long time finding frogs and ladybirds. The dark skies gave us a great view of the night sky and we were excited to see the international space station pass overhead. The owners took the time to show my boys into another field with a rope swing and they played happily for hours. The facilities were great, spotlessly clean and quite charming. We are really keen to return to this magical site
A new site (July 2018) with charming hosts
This site has superb countryside views, big skies, peace and quiet, red kites flying overhead. The 7 pitches, which include picnic tables, are well spaced out and the helpful and friendly owners have thought about the little details when designing the facilities (eg, a little Welsh Dresser displaying useful items to buy, and an honesty box). Fresh eggs are for sale from the farm chickens and we watched the hay being collected and baled during our 8 night stay. Would definitely revisit for a relaxing break.
Lovely campsite....fantastic views, clean facilities.
What a gem of a campsite this is. The views are amazing. The pitches are really spacious and flat and there's just so much space. The toilets showers and washing up facilities are all brand new and spotlessly clean. The hosts were great and we had fresh eggs each morning laid by their own hens and ducks. We will be back. Thanks for a truly fantastic weekend.