Exploring Snowdonia National Park
After climbing Snowdon we headed towards the southern part of the national park and set up camp at Nantcol Waterfalls campsite (see link below). It costs £10pppn and is worth it as you can open your tent to the sound of the waterfall or river rushing past. Another big plus is that you can have a fire here, which means cosy evenings by a camp fire and as many BBQs as you want! We managed 2 in one day, yummy.
We chose a pitch right by the waterfall and the start of a climb up along the edge of it that led to a sort of plateau encircled by mountains. It feels almost like you’re in Lord of the Rings as you walk through what feels like an ancient forest which has formed a natural arch before it opens up to grassland and wild flowers.
This is privately owned farmland, but day visitors can come to see the waterfall and do one or all of the 3 walks in the surrounding areas. The walks are all clearly signposted and it is easy to do a round trip from the campsite so that you don’t have to go back on yourself.
We absolutely loved this campsite and spent a lot of our 3 days there relaxing, walking and eating. We did have one rainy day and decided to head 15 miles north to the village of Harlech on the coast. We visited Harlech castle (Adults £6.50) which was built in the 13th century by Edward 1 and forms one of the links in his iron ring of fortresses used to control the Welsh. It has however been occupied by a vast amount of armies and you can learn about the change of control on a visit (see link below).
We hoped it would be a sanctuary from the rain, but sadly it is roofless so we headed to Cemlyn tea shop for a respite from the rain (see link below). This tea shop has an insanely enormous amount of teas to choose from, including some pretty rare ones from China. I however opted for a hot chocolate made with real melted chocolate, the perfect drink for a rainy Welsh day. After our yummy lunch of panini and soup (sadly I had no room left for the delicious looking homemade cakes) the rain eased up we headed to the beach.
Harlech beach is awesome! I do not use that word lightly, it truly did inspire awe. It is wide, long, white, empty, surrounded by mountains…..hopefully the pictures speak for themselves. We even came back the next morning for a run on the beach because it just made you feel free.
There is something about Harlech that just got me, I even began looking in the estate agent windows and was wondering whether I would be more comfortable in a small stone cottage in the centre of the village or on the outskirts overlooking the ocean. For now that’s a pipedream, but Harlech got under my skin.
Follow the links below to find out more about our camping trip around the UK.