Decisions, decisions. Everywhere you turn there are choices to be made, people pressing you for an answer, offering you options: three dozen digital TV channels; a thousand mobile phone tariffs; the bargain bucket or the supersize with fizzy and fries? Press the red button now. Please hold while we try to connect you. Your call is important to us. Rynys Farm is a no-nonsense campsite run by Carol Williams, a no-nonsense woman, who gives you two choices. Do you want to pitch in the upper field (spectacular but windy) or the lower field (spacious and secluded)? Simple, done, enjoy your stay.
The site is on a working farm nestled in a cleft of soft, green hill above the town of Betws-y-Coed to the west of the mighty Snowdon. The views are the kind you get in fabric softener ads: gentle, soft and comforting. But then there’s the odd tractor and a bleating sheep just to remind you that this isn’t really an advertiser’s stage set but real, live countryside. Nearby Betws-y-Coed is great if you like craft shops, outdoor wear and ice-cream and was probably a real gem before the invention of the internal combustion engine. Now it suffers from having the A5 and its eighteen-wheelers rumbling through the middle of town. Still, it’s a good base from which to explore the surrounding area and great for a cuppa if it rains. Try the Bistro up by the Spar, though the Conwy Falls Café is equally good.
As attractions go, the birthplace of the first man to translate the Bible into Welsh might not rank all that highly on your list. But old Bishop William Morgan’s house at Ty Mawr Wybrnant, restored to its 16th-century glory, is a bit of a treasure trove of rural Welsh life. And even if you don’t fancy going in, there’s an adventure to be had just getting there. It’s set in the southern part of the Gwydyr Forest Park and has a single-track road leading to it from Penmachno. If you pass by the Bishop’s House and carry on, through a gate, the road sprouts a thin Brazilian of grass, which grows ever more unkempt, until you’re driving on little more than two ruts on either side of shin-high grass that tickles the underside of your car. Then the bracken closes in and the tarmac breaks up and you’re into the real wild stuff. It’s not for the fainthearted, but if you keep at it the road does eventually bring you back out by Conwy Falls. And if it’s a bit too hairy to do by car, it makes a great semi-offroad bike trail.
For a more sedate time, Rynys Farm is plenty big enough to spread out and relax in. Both fields catch the morning rays, bask in the warmth (with occasional showers), during the day and, as evening sets in, are raked by the sun setting slowly somewhere by Snowdon. It’s all pretty simple, really, and the last decision of the day is only whether you’ll want to stay here again tomorrow.
FacilitiesAn old stone building above the lower field has the toilets and showers (2 of each) and a kitchen and washing room. By the upper field there’s a male and female toilet. It’s all kept clean and tidy, but the hot showers are 10p for 2 minutes or £3 an hour if you’ve had a hard day. Shepherd’s Hut available all year and sleeps 2 people, includes a fridge, stove and all cooking utensils. Beautiful view in a secluded part of the site. A relatively new installation is their plush Yurt - sleeping 2 adults, and 2 chidren - it has mattresses, a log burner, 2 ring gas stove and an oven.
Food & Drink
The locals’ local is the White Horse (01690 710271) in Capel Garmon. It’s right opposite the village graveyard, which has fine views of Snowdon from between the gravestones.
Opening TimesThe site is open for tents all year, but caravans and campervans are only allowed between Easter and October.
No availability showing at Rynys Farm.
There are reasonably frequent trains to Betws-y-Coed and the Llangollen bus service stops near the Conwy Falls Cafe, from which it’s a steep walk up to the site.
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