Campervan tour of North Wales

Here’s our local’s guide to Towns and Special Places of North Wales –

A campervan Tour of North Wales

Conwy Castle
Conwy Quay and Castle

Where do we start. There’s so much on offer here, but here’s our pick of the best. So enjoy our Campervan tour of North Wales!

Llandudno – Campervan tour of North Wales

Llandudno is known as the Queen of Welsh Resorts. Having not one but two shores. The West and a North shore. Dominating both areas is the Great Orme Headland. This mass of ancient Limestone, connects the two shores, the Victorian town having been built in between.

It’s an elegant seaside resort. Swathed against the long expanse of a wide promenade, stretching across the Northern bay. Joining the Great Orme to it’s sibling, the Little Orme.

There’s plenty to do here for the active type. History buff’s or the more relaxed visitor, will be kept occupied. Firstly, walk the longest pier in Wales at 2,220ft and one of the UK’s best. Complete the Summer day with a Punch and Judy, show near the pier entrance.

If you want to see the town from the comfort of a seat, then there are quite a few options!

Take the daredevil speedboat or a more leisurely open top bus tour. A vintage coach or land train are available in Summer. Even a cable car, the longest in the UK, takes you up to the summit of the Great Orme. With breathtaking views across the sea and mountains.

The Great Orme

The Great Orme boasts a tramway, uniquely offering a varied option to get you to the summit.

However, why not use the traditional method? Put those feet into action with a bit of lung capacity, to hike your way up the hills. You can also walk around the Great Orme, a peaceful but hilly route of 5 miles, taking you from the North Shore to the West Shore.

Look out for Dolphins and Seals en-route, keeping eyes peeled for the goats as they happily roam the grassy banks!

Llandudno also has a war museum and an award winning art gallery. For a night out, there’s a fairly good theatre, often hosting top quality shows.

CAMPER PARKING:

West Shore Promenade or Maelgwyn Road Car Park (strictly no overnighting!!)

Toilets:

West Shore Promenade and Llandudno North Shore Prom (next to the paddling pool). On The  Great Orme by the Cable Car at the top and bottom stations. In the Town centre, on a side street behind Barclays Bank.

Llandudno The Great Orme
Conwy Mountain to Llandudno and The Great Orme Headland

Conwy – Campervan Tour of North Wales

Conwy has a fascinating 13th Century Castle and is a World Heritage Site walled town. With a number of amazing historic buildings, it’s also home to Britains smallest house on the quaint quay. A pretty harbour side walkway leads past lobster pots and fishing boats.

Walk the Castle walls, over 3/4 mile long with an incredible 22 towers. A  tour the castle, with its fabulous views reaching across the Conwy Estuary and hills of Snowdonia is lovely.

Spend a moment to relax in one of the many cafes. It the weather’s fine, pop into the Conwy Mussel Company next to the lifeboat house. These are hand-raked from small wooden boats. The mussels are gathered in this natural way, ensuring a bigger more tasty variety for you to enjoy!

With plenty of independant shops to spend your pennies, from craft, arts and antiques to wine, patisseries’ and great butchers. You’ll be guaranteed a feast back at the van!

Walks around Conwy are in abundance, from a short stroll around the headland from the Quay to the more energetic Sychnant Pass and Conwy Mountain. Pick up some leaflets from the tourist office in town.

If you pick your dates right, then be in for a treat at one of the numerous festivals and events held throughout the year. From the Food Fest to the Honey Fair or Pirates Weekend, to name a few.

CAMPER PARKING: 

Dedicated camper parking provided by Conwy County Borough Council in the car park on Llanwrst Road (not overnight).

TOILETS: In the above car park or on the Quay.

Betws-Y-Coed – Campervan Tour of North Wales

Located at the ‘gateway to Snowdonia’ in the glorious scenery of the Conwy Valley. There are water falls, scenic walking, forest tracks and mountain biking routes. This is one pretty Welsh town! Once an historical stage coach stop for the journey to London from Holyhead, it also became  a hub for Victorian artists.

Outdoor enthusiasts will have a wealth of activities to choose from. Surrounded by the wooded hillsides and meandering river through its centre. Why not stroll the craft and outdoor shop? Then take a break or a lazy lunch after enjoying one of the many walking or biking routes on offer.

The local tourist office in the centre has information on local forest walks and mountain bike trails. Many are accessible from the town itself.

CAMPER PARKING: 

A Large car park with Dedicated camper parking places in the main car park at the end of Station Street. It’s operated by Snowdonia National Park and there is an option to pay for overnight parking on the meter. We have stopped several times with several other campers using the same spot.

TOILETS:

At the start of Station Street and in the car park at Pont-Y-Pair Bridge.

Llanwrst – Campervan tour of North Wales

A traditional market town next to the River Conwy. It has a really good Indian restaurant, Asha Balti House! The renowned and extremely photogenic tea rooms of Ty Hwnt I’r Bont is situated on the edge of the river. This ancient residential dwelling and former courthouse, with foliage fronted exterior, glows a glorious gold and red in the Autumn. Be sure to catch it on the front of a National Newspaper!

There is lots of walking in and around Llanwrst. The flat route across the flood plains of the valley floor, leads to Trefriw where the Woollen Mill and several pubs await. It’s also the route to more strenuous walking in the forest at Gwydir, or up to the mountain lakes of Crafnant and Gerionydd.

CAMPER PARKING: 

There’s a good sized car park adjacent to the play area across the road from Ty Hwnt I’r Bont tea rooms. It’s off the B5106 (no overnight).  Also parking in Trefriw in the road opposite the Woollen Mill.

TOILETS: 

In the above car parks.

LLanwrst bridge & house
LLanwrst Ty Hwnt I’r Bont

Porthmadog – Campervan Tour of North Wales

A busy harbour town within Snowdonia National park. Situated in an enviable position on the Glaslyn Estuary.  There’s lots of shops to stroll around but the main attractions are the Ffestiniog Railway and the Welsh Highland Railway. Completed with a stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia ranges.

Portmeirion Village is just a short 3 mile drive away. There’s also some great beaches, such as Black Rock Sands. Stretching along the coast, with lovely views in the distance towards the Welsh coastal town of Harlech.

Portmeirion itself has an admission charge, but is worth the experience of the unique Italian design. Welsh architect, Sir Clough William Ellis designed the village, set amongst quirky gardens and ornate features. Scenic trails lead throughout and its also famed for the old TV series, The Prisoner.  Finally, it really is something different and is also home to the Portmeirion Pottery designs!

CAMPER PARKING: 

Behind the tourist office in Porthmadog and at Portmeirion (not overnight).

TOILETS: 

On the high street near the tourist office in Porthmadog and several in Portmeirion Village.

Lleyn Peninsula Porthmadog
Borth Y Gest near Porthmadog, Lleyn Peninsula

Abersoch- Campervan Tour of North Wales

Abersoch is a lovely and extremely popular upmarket holiday destination. Basically, it’s a thriving, bustling town with some good independent shops and cafes. Along with some fabulous sandy beaches which are located either side of the pretty headland. Clear blue waters and stunning mountain scenery make it a great water sports hub. Not forgetting the colourful beach huts adding to the glamour!

Don’t underestimate the good walking opportunities here, such as the picturesque route to Mynydd Tir-Cwmwd. This maybe a bit of a hike up, but you’ll be rewarded with amazing coastal and mountain views. Aswell as being greeted by the lonely ‘Tin Man’ iron figure. Have a picture by the iconic statue, looking down over the stunning beaches of Llanbedrog below.

Local walking books are available at the tourist office, which will help you on your way.

CAMPER PARKING:

 In the centre of Abersoch behind the main street, pay the attendant.

TOILETS:

 As above in the car park.

Beaumaris, Isle of Anglesey

Beaumaris is situated in a stunning location, on the mouth of the Menai Straits. This charming town has some very interesting historic buildings, along with a fine selection of shops, cafes’ and restaurants. A charming promenade and small pier can make for a relaxing stroll.

It’s most famous and outstanding structure though is the Castle. One of Edward I’s masterpieces, which was never actually completed. Mainly due to this 13th Century Monarch running out of money! Afterwards, Beaumaris Castle stood still and stands today in a majestic state, recognised as a World Heritage Status.

A little further along from the castle sits the Gaol and Courthouse. Dating back to 1614 it’s well worth a look.

CAMPER PARKING: 

A Large parking on the sea front is payable to the attendant at the kiosk on entry (no overnight).

TOILETS:

 In the town centre.

Penmon Priory and Penmon Point, Anglesey

A little further along the coast from Beaumaris (about 7 miles), lies the remains of Penmon Priory, a remarkable, 13th Century monastery.

It’s a narrow road which leads from here. Passing the payment point (pay attendant at the gate), soon arriving at the well known Penmon Point, overlooking Puffin Island and the pretty Lighthouse.

Look out for dolphins, an abundance of Sea Birds and seals. It’s just a lovely spot, environmentally, Puffin Island is an uninhabited site of special scientific interest, therefore,  visits aren’t permitted. Although a boat trip from Beaumaris, will take you as close as is allowed.

A cafe provides refreshments and there are some lovely walks from the car park. Buy a walking book from a local store or tourist office.

CAMPER PARKING: 

There’s a Large unsealed car park with overnight parking permitted. Pay the attendant on the gate near the Priory. If there is no one present, just pay on the way out the next day.

TOILETS:

 No, only for the cafe.

Penmon and Puffin Island Angelsey
Looking out over Puffin Island

Newborough Forest and Beach, Anglesey

Located just off the A4080 near the village of Newborough, is this warren of marked forest trails. Home to vast sand dunes, walks and wildlife and one of the most picturesque beaches, linking up to Llanddwyn Island at the far tip of the sands.

Fabulous on a hot summer’s dayl. This beach becomes very busy due to its vast expanse of sands and stunning location, looking out to Llanddwyn. With its gleaming lighthouse and the Snowdonia mountains.

There’s so much walking here, all are well marked consisting of a mix of bike trails, running and walking. Paths lead through the forest, crossing the sands to Llanddwyn, where low tide provides access to more winding paths. Passing rocky coves. Look out for seals resting upon the rocks, whilst wild ponies graze on the open grassland.

Welsh Valentine

For the romantic types, you’ll be pleased to learn that Llanddwyn actually has its roots in romance. The name means ‘The church of St.Dwynwen’, our very own Welsh Valentine and it’s celebrated on the 25th January each year!

Dwynwen lived in solitude on Llanddwyn in the 5th Century, after falling in love with Maelon, a young man whom she was never to marry, when he was turned to ice.

She then became known as the Patron Saint of Lovers and pilgrims flocked here to the island to visit her holy well.  A chapel was built in the 16th Century with the funds raised from these pilgrimages. The remains of which you can still see today.

CAMPER PARKING: 

There’s a large car park adjacent to the beach. It’s down a long forest road. Pay at the machine (no overnight).

TOILETS:

In the car park.

Viewpoint of Menai Straits and Snowdonia Mountains

One of the most superb stunning views in North Wales is this one!

Pull over into the viewpoint lay by off the main road to admire this amazing outlook.  Located on the Menai Straits side of the road, it’s easier to approach from the Menai Bridge direction.

It’s Located on the Holyhead Road, just after the Britannia Bridge, but before the Menai Bridge.

TOILETS:

NO

South Stack Lighthouse, Holy Island, Isle of Anglesey

This has to be a seabird lovers paradise! Home to a staggering 4000 sea birds during the Summer months, it’s also home to one of Wales’ best lighthouses. South Stack dominates the rocky headland, warning ships of the dangers below, since 1809.

It’s open to visitors during the Summer months. There’s 400 steps and a bridge to cross to Holy Island and the actual lighthouse. If you prefer an easier stroll, there are nature trails at South Stack Reserve, that have well surfaced paths and benches run by the RSPB.

There’s also a visitor centre, guided walks and tearoom. Hopefully you may spot a Puffin or Peregrine, so don’t forget the binoculars.

CAMPER PARKING:

Take the A55 to Holyhead and follow the brown signs to the reserve, about 3 miles from the town. (no overnight)

TOILETS:

Yes

Beddgelert

Beddgelert is such pretty Snowdonia village, with a very special legend. World famous for the story of ‘Gelerts Grave’, set in a very traditional Welsh village, surrounded by mountains. Located on the banks of the lovely Glaslyn river, it’s a magical little place with fantastic walking too.

Walk the river path to Gelerts’ Grave itself, located in the fields under a towering old tree. Follow the path to take you up to the tombstone.

As for the legend, here’s a little snapshot from tomb itself……….

In the 13th century Llewelyn Prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert, one day he went hunting without Gelert, the faithful hound who was unaccountably absent.   On Llewelyn’s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood joyfully sprang to meet his master.  The Prince, alarmed, hastened to find his son and saw the infant’s cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered in blood.  This Frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir when the dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry.  Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed but, nearby, lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. Then the prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again.  He buried Gelert here.

CAMPER PARKING: 

In the centre of Beddgelert next to the Welsh Highland Railway, National Park car park where you can park overnight for a fee.

TOILETS:

 By the stone bridge in the centre of the village.

P1070040
Beddgelert

Dinas Dinlle 

Situated off the main Caernarfon to Nefyn road. This popular beach is marked as a “site of special scientific interest”. Dinas Dinlle is a great location for a day on the beach, in fine weather or there’s a good flat walk along the coast.

It’s a beautiful location overlooking the Lleyn Peninsula and mountains of Nefyn, falling into the sea below. Views stretch over to Llanddwyn Island situated across the water on Anglesey.

Dinas Dinlle is just a good place to park up and enjoy the outlook. But, also there’s important point of Iron Age history here, currently being excavated by archaeologists.

Caernarfon Airport, has its base at the end of the road. Visit the small museum or take a scenic flights followed by a snack at the cafe, where refreshments are available. Watch the small planes come and go or the Air Rescue helicopters, as they go about the amazing rescue work across the region.

CAMPER PARKING: 

Plenty along the sea front (no overnight parking)

TOILETS: 

On the promenade and at the airport.

Caernarfon
Dinas Dinlle from Caernarfon

Porth Dinllaen, Near Morfa Nefyn

This little gem of a place is just adorable! So what exactly is it you may ask? Porth Dinllaen is a pretty little fishing village in one of the most glorious of locations. Neatly along a sandy bay with a breathtaking outlook and charming little pub right on the beach, The Ty Coch Inn. It actually has been listed as one of the Top 10 Beach Bars in the World!!

You’ll need to park in the National Trust car park though, which is about a 20 minute walk away, as there’s no vehicle access for visitors.  Walks Thame you through the golf course, a little further along the road, following the road down to a secluded hamlet.

There’s some good walks, download a route from the National Trust website. A new £9.8 million lifeboat station was opened in 2014 by TV veteran David Dimbleby, naming the resident lifeboat at the same time.

Sit and just watch the world go by as the fisherman bring in their little boats, take a picnic on the shore. Lovely!

CAMPER PARKING:

In the National Trust pay & display car park at Morfa Nefyn. Drive through the village and the car park is on the right (not overnight).

Porth Dinllaen, Morfa Nefyn
Porth Dinllaen, Morfa Nefyn

TOILETS:

On the beach.

Campsites

Llanwrst:

Bodnant Caravan Park – Tel: 01492 640248

Bron Derw Caravan Park – Tel: 01492 640494

Betws-Y-Coed:

Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, Riverside,  – Tel: 01690 710310

Rynys Farm – Tel: 01690 710218

Dolgam – Tel: 01690 720228

Llandudno:

Dinerth Hall Farm, located between Penrhyn Bay and Rhos on Sea  – Tel: 01492 548203

Conwy:

Conwy Touring Park – Tel: 01492 592856

Lots of CL’s and CS’s around the Conwy Valley and several small sites between Conwy and Betws-Y-Coed

Porthmadog:

Tyddyn Llwyn – Tel: 01766 512205

Black Rock Sands – Tel: 01766 513919

The Caravan and Motorhome Club has a site a few miles outside of Portmeirion, lots of CS & CL sites throughout the LLeyn Peninsula region

Beddgelert:

Camping in The Forest Camping and Caravanning Club

Bryn Gloch, Betws Garmon: Tel: 01286 650216

Anglesey:

Penrhos Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, Marianglas, Benllech: Tel: 01248 852617 Caravan and Motorhome Club

Pen-Y-LLyn Caravan Site, near Holyhead : Tel: 01407 740017

Outdoor Alternative, Rhoscolyn Tel: 01407 860469

Unfortunately, Wales has no European style Aire system for motorhomes. However, there is the scheme where you can stay in some private establishments if you contribute to their business! Here’s the link for the website:

Britstops

Top 11 Tour of Great Britain

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