Misty mountains, rugged coastal walks, and a warm Welsh welcome await campers in this Celtic country.
From wave-ravaged sea cliffs to idyllic country villages, Wales (Cymru in Welsh) packs a lot into its small size. Adventures are easily found, whether you want to explore cliff-top medieval castles, hike through wild mountain valleys, or go coasteering along rocky headlands, and it’s easy to discover the best Welsh campsites, from the coast of Swansea and Pembrokeshire National Park to the mountains of the Snowdonia and the Isle of Anglesey. Welsh weather changes as quickly as the landscapes, but mild temperatures mean it’s still a year-round destination for outdoor explorers, and campers have plenty of options all across Wales, from Llandudno, Powys, and Colwyn Bay in the north to the Gower, Swansea Bay and Glamorgan Heritage Coast in the south.
Pitch up a tent by the beach in summer, enjoy a glamping getaway in a luxury yurt or tipi on an organic farm, or cosy up at a family-run caravan park to experience the famous Welsh hospitality. Most operate with a crowd-pleasing pitch-where-you-like policy, but even at those campsites with set pitches, there’s sure to be a spacious spot suited to your tent and group size. Facilities vary from the rustic (think eco-loos and solar showers) to the refined (proper flush toilets and heated showers), and campfires are welcomed at most places. Just cross the Severn and bid a hearty "shwmae" to the land of song. We’re confident you’ll come back a happy camper from any of the campsites we recommend.
The craggy peaks and glassy lakes of the Snowdonia National Park tempt hikers to Wales’ northern hills, where camping options range from touring caravan parks in Gwynedd and Bala, to glamping pods hidden away in the forest. Not for nothing has this part of Wales acquired a reputation as the country’s outdoor adventure capital, centred around Betws-y-Coed, the “gateway to Snowdonia.” The perfect springboard for exploring North Wales, the town is a short drive from the Conwy coast too. Rock climbing, gorge walking, abseiling, and coasteering can all be enjoyed, and of course, there’s the not-so-small matter of Wales’ highest mountain—scale the 3,560-foot peak on foot via the Llanberis Path or take the leisurely Snowdon Mountain Railway.
To the west, golden beaches and sea-view camping sites dot the shores of the Llyn Peninsula, while water sports and kite-surfing are the activities of choice along the wind-whipped coast of Anglesey. Set between sea and mountains, the peninsula is a mecca for campers with the seaside resort of Criccieth; the sailing town of Abersoch; Caernarfon’s waterfront; and, just a short boat trip away, hallowed Bardsey Island, home to grey seals and seabirds. Plus, hikers have options in North Wales beyond Snowdon—the Offa’s Dyke Path in Denbighshire and the North Wales Coastal Path are both must-dos.
Life is all about the seaside in West Wales, with miles of sandy beaches and rugged coastline to explore—even on foot thanks to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path (which linked up with the 870-mile Wales Coast Path in 2012). The rocky shores and Blue Flag beaches of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park are a natural playground for coastal campers, while Oakwood Theme Park and Folly Farm Adventure Park are among Wales’ most popular family attractions. Cruise through Haverfordwest to pitch your tent by the beachfront in Tenby or St Davids, enjoy short walks and hikes along the sea cliffs, or dare to try coasteering in the place that coined the phrase.
The verdant landscapes of Mid Wales stretch from the English border to the Cambrian coast, where summer visitors can vacation in Cardigan Bay; go caravanning through the bohemian student seaside town of Aberystwyth by campervan; or visit the harbour towns of Aberaeron and New Quay. Inland, the star attraction is the Brecon Beacons National Park and its imposing peaks (Pen-y-Fan, Corn Du, Cribyn, and Fan-y-Big). There are ample options for campers—choose from lively holiday parks, lakeside cabins, or tranquil country camping sites. You can even spend a night in a traditional gypsy caravan. Explore the park’s hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails; take a scenic canal boat cruise along the Wye River; then stroll around the market town of Hay-on-Wye.
Windswept beaches and dramatic sea cliffs run along the Gower Peninsula, which is the starting point of the Wales Coast Path and a hotspot for surfers. Swansea is South Wales’ quintessential beach resort and a favourite for family camping holidays, while Carmarthenshire offers inland pleasures and the Welsh capital, Cardiff, has urban camping for those missing city life. To the east, the Wye Valley is the spot for relaxing getaways, where glampers can sleepover in bell tents and tipis, or you can park up your campervan or motorhome at riverside camping sites.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Wales’ beaches are among the best in the world. With nearly 900 miles of coastline, there’s no shortage of Blue Flag beaches to explore—over 40. So whether you seek surfing and watersports or a quiet cove ripe for rock pooling, there’s sure to be a stretch of sand to satisfy your needs. Best of all, many Wales campsites boast a beach within reach.
Everyone knows the best campsites are the ones with a pub just down the road. Finding your perfect plot and pitching up the tent can be thirsty work, so next on the to-do list should be setting off to sample the local libations. Thankfully, Wales boasts some fantastic countryside pubs and beach bars. From atmospheric old coaching inns to swanky gastro-pubs, there’s a pint with your name on it at these wonderful watering holes.