You can come to the Lone Wolf campsite and stay on one of its two small ‘normal’ fields if you like. However, if you do you’d definitely be missing out, because it’s the woods that are special here. Crossing a singletrack railway (it’s for freight use only and the line can go weeks without seeing a train), you enter a much wilder world. You can pitch your tent wherever you like among the ancient wood of Welsh oaks and yellow archangels, by what was once a blue pennant stone quarry, but the most popular spots are those along the banks of the rushing River Dulais.
However, about one in five of the people who camp here don’t even bring a tent, preferring to string up a basha or tarp across the trees and sleep beneath it, thus getting as close to nature as it is possible to be, short of simply lying down in a bush and having birds make a nest in your hair. Building open fires and engaging in activities that have a back-to-nature feel to them are actively encouraged.
Ian, the very friendly owner of the site, is a self-confessed ‘recycling enthusiast’, so many of the materials that have gone into the buildings that house the facilities first saw life elsewhere, which lends an esoteric pick ‘n’ mix feel to the place. Meanwhile, the loos, showers and kitchen are all just a short walk out of woods, making it a perfect place to hone your wild camping skills, while having a few home comforts close to hand.
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Fantastic "wild" camping in stunning natural woodland
I shall begin by pointing out the obvious but somewhat overlooked fact that individual people will be looking for very different things when choosing a campsite. That said however, there are some things which are of course universally appreciated by all: Friendly and accommodating service, beautiful natural scenery and good value for money. I am pleased to report that Lone Wolf excels in all of these.
The camp’s owner was extremely accommodating about our late arrival on Friday evening (due to work constraints), and even at 9:30pm we were met with a warm welcome and given all the information and assistance we needed. Even in the dark we were able to find the farm without difficulty using the comprehensive directions we had been given by the camp’s owner Ian.
At Lone Wolf you have the choice of camping in a paddock close to the ablution facilities, or across the railway line, down in the beautiful natural woodland near the river Dulais. In my opinion this is the much nicer option – the woods are stunningly picturesque and more-or-less pristine, with only a few small signs of previous campers at various points. There is plenty of space to spread out - our camp was completely isolated from the other campers which helped to give the whole experience a “wild camp” feel. There are no specific pitches - you’re free to set up where you like. However, for the less-experienced there are a number of well-worn spaces where previous campers have pitched, which makes choosing a site easy. I would recommend taking some sort of cutting equipment (like a machete) for pruning back undergrowth if necessary. Campfires are allowed and there is plenty of cheap wood on sale at the farm.
The ablution facilities were basic by some camp standards, but perfectly adequate and in a good, clean condition. The term “portaloo” tends to give the impression of atrocious festival toilets, but these were spotlessly clean and in full working order. Small children could have difficulty using the manual flush however. There was plenty of fresh water available and the showers were hot.
As a previous reviewer mentioned, there are a set of large gates on either side of the railway line which need to be negotiated when walking between the woods and the ablution facilities (a distance of approximately 300-500 yards, depending on where you camp). Again, these could prove to be problematic for small children, but as an adult they only add a few extra minutes to your walk in order to open and close them.
In my opinion, Lone Wolf is one of the best campsites I’ve ever stayed at - a fantastic choice for “getting away from it all” without being squeezed into a field full of other campers (in which case, why leave the city at all!?). That said, it’s probably not the most suitable choice if you have young kids or party members who are not comfortable with “roughing it” a bit, in return for enjoying the abundant beauty and tranquillity of being completely out in nature.
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