The best campsite in the UK – it’s in Snowdon

Tent with a view
A great view to open your tent to in the morning

A few years ago we decided to camp in Snowdon. Up until then we’d always found a B&B nearby.

After a little hunting around, we booked the Snowdon Base Camp, also referred to as the Snowdon Inn or the Cwellyn Arms because the camp site owner also owns the pub of that name (as well as a few properties in the tiny village of Rhyd-Ddu).

It is a magical camp site.

Men contemplating
Lake Cwellyn, Snowdon Base Camp, Wales

I listed the site on TripAdvisor in May 2014 and since then my review has had over 80 helpful votes.

You can walk up Snowdon directly from the site – it’s in the middle between the Snowdon Ranger and the Rhyd Ddu paths. I prefer the latter.

Waking up each morning to see Snowdon, Lake Cwellyn and the valley is a must-have for every camper. There’s also the Snowdon steam train on this side of the mountain which is the icing on the cake.

When we climbed Snowdon in the snow, we caught two buses from this camp site to start the walk at the start of the Pyg track.

The warden is very friendly and willing to stop his rounds to have a chat. The camp site has two fields – one by the lake, and one by a stream with the main toilet block. The views are stunning from both fields. There are several iron camp fires which apparently (and disgracefully) keep getting nicked. There are also some picnic benches and tables on wheels scattered around the site, which are available on a first come first served basis. The field closer to the lake has a raised walkway leading to the lake. I suspect this field gets a little more flooded than the other. I’ve only camped near the stream, which is fine except in Summer when a zillion midges attack any humans nearby. The main toilet block is super-clean with outside washing up facilities. There are extra washing up and clothes drying facilities by the large bunk house too. I’ve been there a few times now – sometimes with just my family, with 3 other families, stayed in the large bunkhouse with my Scout troop, stayed in the small farmhouse cottage with just a handful of family and friends, and always enjoyed the place.

Bunkhouse

I’ve stayed in the bunkhouse with the Scouts – another leader and I took 14 of the older ones together with a handful of parents to cook and help.

Only Jeremy can photo bomb the bunkhouse, Snowdon base camp
Main bunk house area at the Snowdon base camp. Great for a large group.

Kitchen are of the bunkhouse
The kitchen area of the bunkhouse. Large enough to feed several hungry Scouts.
Downstairs dormitory area of the bunkhouse

The kitchen area is a long galley with a large oven, gas hob and so on, with 2 or 3 sinks, plus another 3 outside. There are a couple of shower rooms and 4 toilets – but the communal toilets are so nice that you’ll probably want to use those instead. The main sleeping room of the bunk house. In the large bunkhouse there are 4 sleeping areas – two accessible via large ladders and one in the dining area. There are mattresses and pillows for every bed.

The farmhouse cottage

Planning tomorrow's walk
The farmhouse at the Snowdon Basecamp – an ideal location for a Winter summit of Snowdon

Six of us stayed in the farmhouse cottage, which is at the entrance to the camp site.The downstairs has a porch area, with a living room to the left and the kitchen and a dining room to the right. The living room has a log fire area and some sofas.

The kitchen is quite large with a central table for six people. There’s an aga cooker and all manner of utensils, together with full height fridge and freezer units.

The dining room has glass walls on two sides and a windows looking towards Snowdon. We hardly used this room when we stayed – preferring to eat in the kitchen.

Upstairs are two bedrooms with a Jack and Jill bathroom linking them together.

A tip – try and grab a bed close to the front of the house. There’s nothing quite like waking up looking at Snowdon first thing in the morning.

The farmhouse is lovely, but you’ll need to watch out for two things – firstly the staircase has a low ceiling, which isn’t a problem for shorties like me, and secondly there’s only one bathroom between six people. As the father of three girls, I know this can be limiting!

I can’t wait to return.

For more information about Snowdon Base Camp and the Cwellyn Arms pub, please visit the official website.

This article is an independent review and we do not receive any commission or incentives.

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