Shell Island

UK Wales North Wales Gwynedd Harlech

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Beaches nearby
Remote, island-style camping with a big bang of beach for your buck.

Shell Island is truly a camping phenomenon. The whole place has been preserved in a wild and relatively undeveloped state and lucky campers can choose to pitch wherever they want over a whole 330 of its 460 acres. It’s not, strictly speaking, an island at all. However, its remoteness helps to retain an islandy sort of feel despite the huge sand dunes that now link it to the mainland. The beauty of Shell Island is that it’s a remote, self-contained camping community, cut off from the rest of the world save for a two-mile causeway. Admittedly, the arrivals area can be a bit of a shock at peak times. You may find a seething mass of humanity spilling out from the reception, pub, shops and café, but once you’re through the barrier, the site opens up before you against a backdrop of clear blue seas, and it’s down to you to find your own special slice of peninsula paradise. Nowhere else in Wales gives you such freedom to camp wherever you like. But, the simple, golden rule promoted by the Shell Island team is not to pitch within 20 metres of another tent. 

Read the full Cool Camping review here.


Adults £6–7 a night, children £2.50. Weekly rates are available. Minimum 3 nights on Whitsun and August Bank Holiday. Tents and motorhomes only, no caravans. Dogs are allowed in some fields.

Opening Times


Family Friendly

It’s a huge site, so expect the kids to run off and get lost somewhere. Issuing them with a walkie-talkie might be helpful.



Shell Island, Llanbedr, Merioneth, Gwynedd LL45 2PJ

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Getting There

From Barmouth, take the A496 north towards Harlech. At Llanbedr village, turn left at the bridge and follow the road to the causeway.

Llanbedr railway station on the Cambrian Coast line is on the mainland side of the causeway. It’s a couple of miles to walk from there, but feels longer if you are hauling heavy gear.

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