Bryn Dinas Camping Pods
Anyone born west of Offa's Dyke knows the tale of Beddgelert. The story goes that Welsh prince Llywelyn the Great once had his palace here. Upon returning from a hunting trip without his faithful hound Gelert, the prince was greeted back at home by the blood-stained dog. Anxious Llywelyn went to find his young infant son but, finding the boy's crib empty and smeared with blood, ferociously plunged his sword into the dog's side, believing him to have savaged the royal heir. Gelert's dying yelp was met with the child's cry, whereupon the prince found his son beside the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. After realising his mistake, it was said that the prince never smiled again and the town's name is a byword for any grave error of judgement. Ironic then that unlike poor old luckless Llywelyn, a stay at this Beddgelert glampsite could be just about the wisest camping decision you're likely to make.
Follow the Glaslyn river upstream from Beddgelert and you'll soon reach a charming 18th century farmhouse set between the tranquil twin lakes at Dinas and Gwynant. This is the home of Red Dragon Holidays and, more specifically, the Bryn Dinas Camping Pods. The eight custom-built pods sleep two a piece and are equipped with all the basics you could require for a tent-less trekking holiday. There are also two family rooms both sleeping four each. Think of this as a well-maintained base camp for tackling the mighty peaks of the Snowdonia National Park. Facilities are functional rather than luxurious but more than adequate with three self-contained bathrooms 100m from the pods, an additional toilet, communal kitchenette and common area (with Wi-Fi and internet access), and a life-saving laundry/drying room. Besides, this is Wales' outdoors capital, and you didn't come here to be pampered now did you?
Wholehearted hostess Claire is hospitality manifest. Happy to prepare you a packed lunch (by pre-arrangement) or organise your bike hire, she knows all the best walking routes (the Watkin Path is but a stone's throw from the site) and, more importantly, the best local pubs. In homage to poor old Gelert, Claire also welcomes dogs throughout the site and in the camping pods.
And then there's Beddgelert itself. This much garlanded base town (Wales in Bloom 1993 through to 2000; Britain in Bloom 1993 and 1996; Europe in Bloom Gold Medal Winners 1997) is one of Wales' best located, with unspoilt Anglesey, the golden sands of Cardigan Bay and, of course, epic Snowdonia all within easy reach.
Once experienced, Bryn Dinas Camping Pods will soon be your go-to base for exploring this truly amazing pocket of Wales. You may even like to stay in one of the über-comfy cottages second time round. Whether you opt for cottage over camping pod, they'll be "a welcome in the hillside" awaiting you.
4 self-contained, heated bathrooms within 10m of the pods, each with toilet, sink and shower. Onsite laundry with coin-operated washing machine and tumble dryer. Outdoor seating and BBQ area (bring your own BBQ), small kitchenette with fridge/ freezer, combination microwave and toaster.
DURING WELSH COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS THE ON SITE LAUNDRY, AND KITCHENETTE WILL BE CLOSED, THE OUTDOOR BBQ AND SEATING AREA WILL BE OPEN AND SOCIAL DISTANCING MUST BE ADHERED TO.
Tents, caravans – no. Just the glampers really. Dogs, groups and families are all very welcome.
The Watkin Path which leads right to the top of Snowdon is just 300m from the site. You can also hire mountain bikes from Beddgelert Bikes (01766 890434). The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways (01766 516000) are a wonderfully nostalgic way to take in the stunning Snowdonia scenery. You can hop on at Beddgelert, round the foot of mighty Snowdon, through the beautiful Aberglaslyn Pass and on to Porthmadog. Zipworld Snowdonia (01248 601444) is the northern hemipshere's longest zip wire, suspended 1800ft above the disused Penrhyn slate quarry. The Sygun Copper Mine (01766 890595) offers a fascinating insight into North Wales' industrial heritage. Alfred Bestall, illustrator of Ruper the Bear has a cottage nearby at Mynydd Sygun – take in the landscape that inspired him. Beachwise, Black Rock Sands has acres of golden sands and sand dunes to explore.
Food & Drink
The excellent Caffi Gwynant (01766 890855) is just 300m up the road and serves a range of hearty Welsh breakfasts, substantial sandwiches, and other inventive meals – the perfect sustenance for hitting the slopes. The village also boasts a couple of decent, welcoming pubs including The Tanronnen Inn (01766 890347) and The Saracen's Head (01766 890329). Be sure to treat yourself with some award-winning ice cream at Glaslyn Ices & Glandwr Café (01766 890339).
Pods from £35 per night, family rooms from £60 per night. See website for details.
The Owner Says
Located on the foothills of Snowdon on the A498, 9 miles from the A5 at Capel Curig and 2 miles from the village of Beddgelert
Bus links from Porthmadog, Llanberis and Caernarfon. The Snowdon Sherpa runs past the door with a stop 300m away. The nearest mainline railway stations are either Porthmadog or Bangor.
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