Take to your tent around Tywyn for sandy beaches and delightful valleys that swoop into iconic peaks.
Tywyn bears the unusual distinction of being encircled by Snowdonia National Park without being part of it. But this will not deter campers, who can enjoy a couple of campsites within the town and many more options throughout the gorgeous nearby beaches, valleys and mountains. Tywyn also sports the Cadfan Stone, containing the earliest-known example of writing in Welsh, and the terminus of the Talyllyn Railway, the world’s first preserved heritage railway. Surrounding Southern Snowdonia, meanwhile, has some of the national park’s loveliest, least-visited scenery.
South of Tywyn a photogenic sweep of sandy beach hems the shoreline around to the southernmost point of Snowdonia National Park, Aberdyfi. This balmy beach village has Snowdonia’s foothills looming above it and excellent walking, cycling and wild swimming along the coast and the River Dyfi’s wide mouth. Hidden-away Nyth Robin three miles east of Aberdyfi offers glamping in bell tents, a yurt, a horsebox and the like—plus regular caravan pitches.
Running from the edge of Tywyn northeast towards the region’s main peak, dominant Cadair Idris, behind it is Dysynni Valley (Dyffryn Dysynni). The picturesque riverside road from the village of Bryncrug, 2.5 miles from Tywyn, is the most idyllic part of the valley for campers: pitch at small farm sites like Fferm Cedris Farm Campsite. There is a beautiful back route from the valley head up onto Cadair Idris.
Cadair Idris, Southern Snowdonia’s highest peak, rears east of Tywyn in a flurry of grassy moorland, rocky outcrops and lonesome tarns, and should be on any outdoor-lover’s radar for its superb hiking and wild swimming. The B4405 road climbs up the southeast side of the mountain from Tywyn to Minffordd, where one of the key trails to the summit begins—here, pitch at basic but well-positioned farm campsites nearby.
All months can be wet months up in North Wales and Tywyn can often get the worst of both coastal and mountain weather: you’re certainly going to see severe weather changes alternating between coast and mountains hereabouts. Maximum average temperatures for the year hover around the 20°C mark in July. April’s Machynlleth Comedy Festival and September’s Barmouth Walking Festival are some of the area’s annual events worth planning a stay around.