The first camping trip in the campervan this year was to Wales. The route was governed by a visit to some friends that had recently moved out of Belper to Llandrindod Wells and then by us wanting to venture North to take in some sights and places we’ve always wanted to see.
Belper, Derbyshire to Llandrindod Wells, Powys took about three hours on a sunny Sunday morning in early April. Catching up with friends and seeing their new rural empire was an absolute delight and the kids had fun making maximum use of the outdoor space. I forced a Mead homebrew tasting session on our hosts in the evening in front of the roaring log burner.
In the morning after a few rides on the tractor through their estate, our friends took us on a road trip through the Elan Valley. We drove in convoy along mountain roads taking in some breathtaking scenery that I didn’t even realise existed in mid Wales. Having a guided tour over our walkie talkies was great fun.
The route took us through the new Pont Ar Elan (see the bridge above) and on towards the Elan Valley reservoirs.
The Craig Goch Dam was particularly stunning and we walked over to the other side.
After stopping at a couple more dams, nothing quite prepared us for the Caban Coch dam at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre. The amount of water gushing over the top was pretty spectacular and we also climbed a ‘few’ steps to get to the very top.
The next day we took the scenic route from Llandrindod Wells to Aberdyfi (Aberdovey) which took us past the Wynford Vaughan Thomas memorial. From this toposcope looking out over the hills and mountains, Snowdon is visible on a clear day.
We continued towards the coast and arrived at Aberdyfi harbour.
After lunch at the Dovey Inn we walked along the beach to find an area fit for a spot of kite flying.
We left our friends in Aberdovey and headed towards our campsite in Ffestiniog (Coed-Y-Llwyn Caravan Club Site) and chilled for the evening.
We managed to dodge the rain showers and the kids managed to get out on their Penny boards and make a few friends on the site. One of the reasons for picking this site was it’s proximity to a few places we have always wanted to visit – one of them being Portmeirion.
Many people visit Portmeirion because it was used as the setting for the 1960’s TV show The Prisoner and that’s what attracted me in the first place as I remember watching it as a kid (not in the 60’s!). However, it’s a tourist attraction in it’s own right having been built in the style of an Italian village by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975.
Not far away from Portmeirion is Black Rock Sands which is famous for allowing vehicles on the massive 2 mile expanse of beach. Being a windy day in April there were very few people or vehicles around but it was fun being able to drive and park on the beach.
Further around the coast is Abersoch, which is a famous destination for sailing and other watersports. We had a lovely meal in a posh bar and kitchen called Porters Cove.
After a heavy night of rain (all night long) we woke in the campervan to find everyone had left in the early hours! and the campsite was pretty much deserted.
Our last day of the trip took us through a lovely little village called Beddgelert as we ventured towards Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.
Everywhere you drive in the Snowdonia National Park you find amazing scenery while all the while trying to spot the snowy cap of Mount Snowdon.
Perfect scenery, even in misty drizzle and great roads to potter along in the campervan. Stop for a cup of tea and take it all in.
On the route back into England on the A5 is Swallow Falls, entry from the road is via a unmanned £1.50 turnstile. But it’s a perfect way to end the journey through Wales and you get to see where a lot of the water that runs off the mountains ends up!
Thanks for the views Wales, we will be back!