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Graig Wen

UK Wales North Wales Gwynedd

Graig Wen Campsite, Arthog, Nr Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL39 1YP

The ultimate camping and glamping base for exploring Snowdonia.

Graig Wen is one of the smartest operations in the book; not only a campsite (which won a Green Tourism award a few years back), but also a great place for glamping and with a super-luxurious and beautifully located B&B and four self-catering cottages too.

On the glamping side, they start with two cosy yurts – a small one sleeping two, and a larger one with room for five – and a bell tent sleeping four, while a couple of other 'pop-up yurts' move around the site according to the season. Even more romantic is the ‘Caban’ – an innovative, hexagonal timber structure which has 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside, a Scandinavian feel and comfortably accommodates two. Like the yurts it has a wood-burning stove (a basket of logs is provided), crockery and cutlery, and futons covered with warm blankets. Isolated and sheltered among dense woodland, both the yurts and the caban offer total privacy from the main campsite.

The great thing about Graig Wen is that there's so much to do nearby, with or without your car. Intrepid walkers could tackle Cader Idris, the spectacular mountain right at the back of Graig Wen. Bikes are available to hire and using the estuary cycle path you can cycle all the way to Barmouth without even seeing a road – and virtually the entire route to Dolgellau in the other direction is road-free, too. There's also a stack of more challenging mountain-bike trails at nearby Coed-y-Brenin, around 5 miles north of Dolgellau. And you should know that Graig Wen is an ambassador for the Snowdonia Dark Skies Reserve and has various special events pertaining to this in the latter part of the year.

Is there anywhere that has such a wide choice of high-quality holiday accommodation as Graig Wen, and is also such a great base for exploring Snowdonia? We doubt it.

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The Owner Says

Our self catering holiday accommodation in Snowdonia National Park, near Barmouth and Dolgellau, North Wales is in an exceptional location. Overlooking the Mawddach Estuary, one of the most beautiful in Wales, the views are breathtaking. Step straight onto the scenic Mawddach cycle Trail from our camping field. The mountains are all around, with sandy beaches, castles, steam trains, zip lines and bike trails close by. Whether you prefer a cottage, cosy yurt or sleeping under the stars, Graig Wen offers you a range of quality accommodation.

Our small, tranquil campsite has direct access to the beautiful Mawddach Estuary. There’s a sheltered area with electric hook ups for 10 vans or smaller tents near the showers and our holiday cottages. If you really want to get away from it all, go wild and pitch your tent down near the estuary to star gaze around a camp fire. Dogs on leads welcome.

For family glamping adventures and romantic retreats you can also hideaway in one of our four pet-friendly yurts, a Welsh eco Caban or simple bell tent. You’ll be blown away by the views, scenery and seclusion…but have a bit of comfort too!

In recent years we are proud to have featured in The Guardian’s 10 Best Glamp sites, The Times' Coolest Places to Camp, The Independent’s 10 Best Luxury Coast Camp sites, as well as Country Living Magazine and many more. Here are just a few highlights...

“A place of rainbows and woodpeckers, crystalline air and swarms of house martins, giant skies and lung-punching dawns. It feels free and easy and relaxing and wild and exciting. But if the “wild” bit puts you off, you can upgrade from the campsite to a yurt, or even opt for the B&B or one of the cottages” The Guardian

“Graig Wen has some of the most enviable views in Snowdonia. Overlooking the Mawddach Estuary, the sunsets from this award-winning site are unparalleled.” Wales Online

“Stylish accommodation on offer at Graig Wen includes The Slate Shed B&B, which has stunning views of Snowdonia’s Mawddach Estuary and the majestic mountains, plus yurts, tents and holiday cottages – Sarah and John have embraced many new skills to ensure the business has been a success.” Country Living Magazine

“Graig Wen has breathtaking views of the Mawddach Estuary. Enjoy a big Welsh home-cooked breakfast in the B&B as the tide ebbs and flows, or take in the sunset with a glass of Snowdonia Ale on the terrace. There are also fully furnished yurts set in 45 acres of unspoilt woods and meadows.” The Observer

“Coast loves Graig Wen for its estuary views, friendly personal service and great range of places to stay including yurts and holiday cottages” Coast Magazine

“Graig Wen, a close-to-nature collection of slate-roofed cottages, secluded yurts and camping, plus a smart, five-bed B&B. We’re staying in the new eco-cabin, a sustainable-built, dismountable structure with a blanket-warmed double futon, a camping stove and a wood-burning fire to ward off bedtime chills.” The Green Traveller

“I loved our weekend at Graig Wen and would definitely recommend it as a beautiful, relaxing and homely place to stay. Children over 10 years old are welcome at the B&B but the self-catering and camping accommodation is open to all ages.” Mums Do Travel Blog

Our favourite spot

Tents, campervans, caravans, glampers, dogs, cyclists/mountain bikers, walkers – in fact it’s hard to think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy Graig Wen.

The local area

A few minutes from the foot of Cadair Idris (892 metres) - clambering up the mountain from Graig Wen is a great local option and the family friendly Pony Path makes it manageable for all - the campsite will even give a certificate to children under 10 who make it to the summit. Alternatively walk straight off the camp site along the stunning (and flat) waterside Mawddach Trail to the sticky seaside treats of Barmouth. Go crabbing or visit Knickerbockers ice-cream parlour. In addition to the cycle track along the estuary to the Fairbounre beach, there’s another family cycling path, plus a more challenging mountain-bike run, at nearby Coed-y-Brenin (01341 440747), around 5 miles north of Dolgellau. Head north to the Llechwedd Slate Caverns where Zip World (01248 601444) has become hugely popular in recent years. Over 8km of wires are strung throughout the mountains providing a truly unique areal experience. Slightly more theme park-like, King Arthur’s Labyrinth, on the A487 between Dolgellau and Machynlleth (01654 761584) is an attraction themed around ancient myths and legends. There’s also a selection of arts and crafts, includes tables, glass works, quilts and jewellery. Every third Sunday of the month Dolgellau holds a Farmer's Market and there are often little local events throughout the summer such as sheep dog trials, steam rallies and village duck races which are fun and welcoming.

Best local places to eat and drink

The owners sell eggs, ice cream, marshmallows and breakfast hampers in high season (local bacon, sausages, bread, juice) for £30. Stock up on local produce and tasty treats at the Country Market on Thursday mornings, or the Farmer’s Market on the third Sunday of every month, both in Dolgellau. Down at Fairbourne, the unassuming Indiana Cuisine (01341250891) is a pleasant surprise. South Indian specialities are created with colour and flourish from fresh ingredients and traditional home recipes. Plenty of non-spicy options available. Good pub grub at The George III Hotel (01341 422525) 5 minutes drive or an hour's delightful walk along the estuary cycle trail. Locally produced lamb, beef and fish can be enjoyed outside in view of the estuary.

Why stay with us?

Test your animal-spotting skills – owls, nightjars, glow-worms, badgers and kingfishers are all in residence here. There are a couple of ropeswings, plenty of trees to climb, occasional wildlife walks and bikes to hire. In the car-free lower field you must park a few hundred meters away. Drop off service available 2 - 4pm and on morning of check out. Wheelbarrows provided to move your kit. 2 unisex showers. Electric hook-ups (£3.50 per night). Campfires allowed on lower fields and communal camp fire for touring site (bag of logs £5). Hire cruiser bikes on site (£20) or at Dolgellau Cycles (0044 1341 423332) call for prices.

Reviews

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★★★★★

Back to nature

This campsite really helps to get away from it all but also provides useful amenities such as the honesty shop to make your stay comfortable. We had one of the pitches you could park your car next to which was convenient for us. I loved the fire pit on our pitch!! Every campsite should have these and the marshmallows in the shop helped. There are only 2 showers on site right at the top, I'd imagine it's a bit of a trek from the lower pitches but that's part of the charm. We didn't have to queue which was good. We wanted to hire a bike to bike from dollegeleu to barmouth but unfortunately the bike shop in dollegeleu had sold out. I would advise taking your own if possible. Would like to do more walking next time we come!

by Katie
★★★★★

Honeymoon destination

We stayed at Graig Wen for the first part of our honeymoon. We were in the caban - a wooden cabin with a wood burning stove and cooking facilities inside. It was lovely, despite the rotten weather we had. Cosy and warm, comfortable futon, lovely light from the glass window in the centre of the ceiling, and good facilities to cook from. The view was limited due to fog but on the first day when we arrived in sunshine, just a walk down the hill gave stunning views (when the fog lifted!) of the wonderful Mawddach Valley. The showers were very good - free, and with lots of those useful little things like plenty of hooks to put clothes and towel on, space to change without everything getting wet, and a mirror and shelf for lenses or make up. Loos were spotless and washing up either outside or inside - could have done with a bit of light on the indoor sinks but not a problem. Lovely small site, very friendly, great shop with local maps and produce and a separate honesty shop. The area is stunning - we cycled the Mawddach Trail to Barmouth, enjoyed Dolgellau and a trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology, white water rafting at Bala. Weather wasn't good enough for Snowdon but another time.

by Liz RH
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