Oak Grove Retreats
Doldowlod Caravan Park, Old Station Site, Llanwrthwl, Rhayader, Powys LD16NN
Wales' camping credentials need little introduction – the lush Brecon Beacons; the epic expanse of Snowdonia; the seemingly boundless Pembrokeshire coastline. While perhaps lesser known, the Cambrian Mountains easily equal the aforementioned for wow factor. This vast expanse of the Elenydd (to give it it's proper Welsh name) is often referred to as the 'Green Desert of Wales', such is its remoteness and paucity of roads – in short, the very essence of 'getting away from it all'. Set amidst this stunningly sparse landscape lies another of Cymru's little hidden gems – Oak Grove Retreats.
In one of the region's more accessible pockets (just off the A470 at Doldowlod Caravan Park to be precise), Oak Grove Retreats has long been a popular spot for tents campers and caravanners looking for a chilled-out break where peace and quiet reigns (party animals should look elsewhere). It's not hard to see why.
Hugged by the verdant Cambrians, Oak Grove sits just 200 yards across a meadow from the River Wye. Take the gentle riverside walk (with lots of picnic spots and rest benches along the way) to make the most of this glorious waterside scene – be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the odd mischievous otter. Affable hosts Heather & Oak offer pre-booked campfire evenings in the old Victorian railway cutting with homemade Welsh cakes made on the fire and live music around a roaring fire – perfect for families, groups of friends, and couples.
For those looking for a completely hassle-free stay, look no further than the pair of beautifully converted 2 berth Cambrian Railway Box Carriages. Both feature wood or coal burning stoves, easy chairs, king size or double beds, kitchenettes and plenty of other features, including flat-screen TV. There are also a trio cosy static caravans, complete with all mod cons. All have stunning views towards the River Wye and the Cambrian Mountains.
A retreat in the truest sense of the word, one of Oak Grove's many draws is the Ayurvedic therapy treatments. Allow trained practitioner and yoga teacher Heather to restore your health and vitality with some hands-on-healing – all tailored to your specific needs and lifestyle. For a really special evening, you can book a camp fire with music and songs (from Oak on Frame drum & Heather on guitar) they will even make you bread and cocoa on the fire. If you love walking the hills or valleys but don't like to go it alone then Heather will rustle up a picnic and Oak will take you on a route to suit.
With batteries suitably re-charged, you'll be raring to make the most of the area's best outdoor pursuits. Mountain biking is serious business in this part of the world and you can test your skills on one of the UK's top 10 mountain biking routes the "Rhyader Round" – less than a mile from the site. The Wye Valley also boasts a wealth of cracking angling spots, all easily accessible from Doldowlod.
Your wonderful hosts are the very definition of charming hospitality. The titular Oak will regale you with tales from his rock n' roll past (Stones at Hyde Park in '69, amongst many others since you asked), while gastronomic-goddess Heather rustles up homemade goodies for your day out (freshly-baked scones, anyone?). All in all, this tranquil Mid-Wales haven is the ideal setting for that all important r'n'r.
The Owner Says
We are located 200 yards across a meadow from the beautiful River Wye, surrounded by the wild Cambrian Mountains, near Rhayader & the spectacular Elan Valley. We have 3 cosy caravans and 2 Glamping Railway Carriages for hire.
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If you've stayed at Oak Grove Retreats campsite, please take a minute to tell us about your experience. Every month, one lucky reviewer will be picked at random to win a £100 voucher, courtesy of our recommended retailer Blacks. Each review counts as one entry, so get writing!
Too good for words. Except for maybe truly awesome.
We are recently back from our delightful stay in the railway box carriage.
We would strongly recommend oak grove retreats.
The owners are very welcoming and love what they do.
The grounds are kept to a very high standard. The communal toilets and showers are VERY clean (no cob webs)!
The railway box carriage was perfect! Very comfortable king-size bed. Every thing you need is there. We had BBQS every evening, surrounded by beautiful views in every direction.
There is plenty to see and do around the area.
Our dog also had a very nice stay and enjoyed the walks.
We will definitely be going back:-)
Beautiful place full of beautiful people...
Oak and Heather have really thought of everything to make you feel welcome. From the ice block exchange to the freshly cut firewood the little touches take this campsite from excellent to outstanding.
The village Rhayader is full of welcoming locals, we got a free history lesson from a local man in a pub and my bike repaired perfectly by Clive in the bike rental shop.
Would recommend taking a bike ride through the Elan Valley. The scenery there is breath taking. It competes with the likes of New Zealand easily.
So, if you want a friendly atmosphere with gorgeous surroundings look no further ....
5* customer service 5* Barbara
Just returned from a night in the beautiful Barbara! What a gorgeous little caravan this was! Everything immaculate, bed super comfy, bed linen smelt fresh and beautiful and comfortable all so perfect!! As for Oak and Heather, well what can I say...the best management couple I've ever had the pleasure of meeting! Informative, welcoming, and wonderful! When our motorbike failed to start, oak very quickly got his jump leads (after attempting to push it for us) and got us going! Above and beyond the call of duty!! Simply super! Thanks oak and Heather - we will be seeing you again! Next time, we'll try the railway carriage! :-)
Have just returned from two nights on the Nearly Wild park up in my Berlingo Campervan. The entire site is beautiful. Well maintained, very peaceful, facilities immaculately clean. A very friendly, welcoming site. Wardens Oak and Heather made the visit extra special just by being themselves. The scenery is stunning. The River Wye is just across the meadow, and has a lovely riverside walk with some conveniently placed benches on which to sit and gaze. There are great walks to be had from the site without needing to take the car first. The camp fire in the firepit rounded off a wonderful day rambling in the lanes and hills. Hope to return again soon. Oak and Heather, thanks again - right people, right place, right time.
Great Stay in the Tipi !!
We (Myself, My wife and 6 year old daughter) have just returned from a brilliant stay at Oak Grove Retreat where we stayed in the brilliant Tipi.
From the start the short break was great, Our host Oak (campsite manager) amet us at reception and went through the in's and out's of the Tipi and different activities within the area that we could do including some really nice walks in the local area, aswell as some that were a bit further a field.
The Tipi itself was absolutely fantastic and very comfortable with pretty much everything you could need catered for, whether it's cooking on the gas hobs provided inside the Tipi or cooking on the open fire outside, all you really need is your food and some firewood that Oak will get for you.
Night times were the highlight for me on this trip, being able to have a fire outside in the private grove whilst cooking on it was fantastic and very unforgettable.
All 3 of us were completely comfortable spending 3 nights in the Tp with a variety of weather including rain, so don't let that put you off staying in one,
I'd say if your wanting to do camping with a cool difference it's something you should definitely do.
Lastly id like to say thanks to Oak (the campsite manager) for being a great host and we will definitely return some time.
We loved it
We stayed in the tipi and it was perfect for us. Camp fires in the evening meant we spoke to our children without Facebook
I loved the quiet and our hosts were fantastic. This is a world away from other campsites we have stayed at where you feel like you are just a number. Magical
You have to stay here!
We booked this beautiful site at the last minute as fancied a weekend away and we were completely blown away by it! Me, my partner and the pooch stayed on the 'nearly wild' pitch down an abandoned rail track with its own fire pit for camp fires, amazing views of the countryside and just a short walk from the river Wye. Oak and Heather the site managers were the most interesting, welcoming couple and nothing was too much for them - we can't thank them enough for their hospitality. The toilets and showers were basic but immaculately clean every day and with the Élan Valley just ten minutes away and beautiful walks all around the site we can't wait to go back.
If peace, tranquility, the sound of owls hooting at night and evenings around a camp fire are what you're after then we can't recommend Doldowlod enough.
Brilliant place to stay!
I had a wonderful time in a lovely location - and a great welcome! And will return!
Magical disused railway park up.
My partner and I came to stay at Doldowlod, little did we realise what a magical step out of our hectic lives we were about to experience. We were warmly welcomed by the characterful Oak and gentle Heather who were very kind and hospitable. Arriving in our old van we were given a choice of places to park up. We chose a place out of the way in an area which has been purposefully designated for wild camping along a disused railway. Through a passage of silver birches drifts of fern, foxgloves, ladies mantle amongst many other species of plant we set up our home. The sounds of the birds filled our morning and we were surrounded by mountains and a small walkaway from the river Wye, home to grey wagtail and otter.
From the park are various walks, leading to the Elan Village and Rhayader amongst others. At night we lit fires after sitting awhile by the river, and watched the star filled sky.
Hot showers, extremely clean toilets and the quirky addition of converted railway carriages made this a comfy and interesting picturesque site.
What food for the soul, we really didn't want to leave and most definitely will be going back for much much longer next time. Thank you Oak and Heather for helping to make our stay so special.
My fiancé and myself booked into this fab two berth caravan because our camping weekend fade due to the weather. Barbara is absolutely fab, spotless campsite and owners are a delight to meet, we will definitely be going back, I cannot recommend it highly enough, thank u, Tracey and Neil.
Time Out in the Tipi
We wanted a romantic few days and a break from our stressful city lives and our 3 night stay in the Tipi was everything we wished for. When we arrived we were given a guided tour of the park by Oak who explained everything and made us feel really welcome. We loved that there were surprise tea and cakes to help us settle in and the Tipi is so cosy and colourful.
My partner loved snuggling up on the Morroccan rugs, sheepskins and big squashy cushions. I loved the private woodland grove and the outside fireplace. Oak showed me how to make our first fire and after that I became a pretty proficient fire-starter myself! Every night they lit up the glade and the woodland path to the shower-block for us with little candle lanterns, we also saw fire flies: magical!
The toilets and shower room are a funky converted shipping container, brill idea that really works, also very clean and warm.
Heather is an amazing cook. We had a choice of menus from around the world and we chose the indian, it was fabulous. We also took one of her lush picnic baskets out on a day trip to the Elan Valley (which is wild and wicked – we had a great time).
The whole experience was memorable and we can't wait to visit again next year.