We left finding a campsite for late May Bank Holiday 2015 a bit late, and with our groups normal requirements for a site allowing campers, tents, dogs, fires, toilets showers and not being to regimented about pitches – it was a bit of a challenge. To add to the challenge we wanted to find somewhere no more than 3 hours away from any of the group and considering we are scattered around Somerset, Dorset, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire we failed dismally on this requirement.
After 8 hours in the car heading towards Tyddyn Du Campsite in Gwynedd, North-West Wales and with still an hour to go due to horrendous bank holiday traffic my stomach sank and tears welled up as I realised we had forgotten all the sleeping mats. There was nowhere to stop; the last Tesco was about 45min back through horrid traffic and there were certainly no camping sites en route, so we just kept going. I was slightly panicked. We used to be tough and could sleep straight on the ground and thought we could possibly do it again (if we ensured plenty of grown up juice was consumed before bed), but the thought of the kids being uncomfortable and not sleeping and thus keeping us awake was tear inducing. On we went, what else could we do?
The advantage of camping with mates who all have big vehicles and are seasoned campers is that they often have extra stuff and between them all we managed to sort out an assortment of sleep mats, airbeds and extra duvets for us to sleep on. I don’t think they quite realise how grateful I was – sleep is very important to me. Ask my other half – I become evil without sleep. We have now got a proper checklist as next time we forget something like this, we may not be so lucky.
Anyway the 9 hour drive was well worth it. Tyddyn Du Campsite is an awesome site, on the banks of the Mawddach Estuary between Barmouth and Dolgellau, with stunning views of the mountains. If it wasn’t for the cold breeze we could have been anywhere in the world, it certainly did not feel like the UK I know. We pitched at the bottom near the river and it was the most bizarre ground I have ever experience. You could feel it vibrating if someone jumped up and down, it was like it was floating but despite the rain it didn’t flood. The facilities though basic were clean and the showers hot – what more do you need!
We had a brilliant time visiting the beach in Barmouth and having a bit of a mooch around town, visiting Fairbourne’s Miniature Railway http://www.fairbournerailway.com/, chilling, drinking, eating chatting and just doing the stuff campers do when they camp.
We left wishing we could have stayed another few days as there was a load more to explore. Would love to visit Tyddyn Du Campsite again.
Use a check list – you don’t want to be 8 hours away from home and realise you forgot the beds.