Solitude beckons across Mid Wales’ uplands while the area’s shores sport an array of campsites.
Croeso (welcome) to the big gap on the map! Mid Wales is a mecca for campers drawn to its natural wonders, which one might expect to find in a Tolkien tale. Bounded by Snowdonia (Eyri) National Park to the north and the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog) National Park to the south, the vast yellow-green uplands of Mid Wales in between are little-known. For those who choose to tread the trails across the middle, solitude awaits. The region’s coast, Cardigan Bay, is more visited, yet still full of lonesome, sandy coves. Hikers are spoiled—sample the Wales Coast Path along Cardigan Bay, the Cambrian Way through the wild middle, or the Offa’s Dyke Path along the eastern edge. The best camping is found along Cardigan Bay.
Campsites in Mid Wales are as diverse as the landscape, with a range of facilities and setups. While many established players offer set pitches to accommodate tents of different dimensions, most small-scale campsites (particularly those on farms) allow campers to pitch wherever they like. As for facilities, these can range from the bourgeois to the basic, with compost toilets and eco showers common. Many sites also offer some form of communal hub where campers can cook, play games, and socialise.
Rugged hills loom across the midriff of Mid Wales, and although never surpassing 2,475 feet, the Cambrian Mountains are mighty wild places with few beaten paths. Britain’s most remote land south of the Scottish Highlands, the area is most easily accessed from Machynlleth, Aberystwyth, and towns like Builth Wells to the east. There are scarcely any campsites in the middle, so towns on the periphery are best as camping bases.
Curving north from North Pembrokeshire to Southern Gwynedd along the Mid Wales coast, Wales’ biggest bay was where camping in Wales really took off. Along this beguiling seaboard, mainly made up of sandy beaches and coves and with terrific sea life (including Europe’s biggest bottlenose dolphin population), Cardigan Bay hosts a greater density of campgrounds and caravan parks than anywhere else in the country. Expect both big affairs with myriad facilities and farm sites with a few tent spaces.
Also often referred to as the Welsh Marches, this hilly region historically divided Wales from England. It’s a land littered with castles, grand manor houses, and history-rich small towns, all positioned within pretty countryside lined by trails like the Offa’s Dyke Path. Camping is especially good in the woodsy Wye Valley AONB in the south.
Mid Wales merges into the Brecon Beacons National Park to the south—a renowned hillwalking destination with both the Beacons Way and Cambrian Way passing through. Southern Britain’s highest land is here, and the northern part of the upland is easily accessible from towns like Llandeilo, Llandovery, Brecon, and Hay-on-Wye, also handy for exploring southern Mid Wales. The area around Brecon has some cracking campsites.