Wales has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the UK. The rolling hills, epic mountainscapes, and dramatic coastlines are something to be experienced. This varied and rugged landscape is the perfect setting for wild camping.
From the lofty heights of Snowdon to the golden beaches of the Pembrokeshire Coast, you can have a vasty different wild camping experience each time you visit Wales. If you want to explore this stunning country, I have picked out 5 top places to go wild camping in Wales – enjoy!
1. Snowdonia National Park
Notable Site – Mount Snowdon
Main Cities/Towns – Llanberis, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Beddgelert
For me, Snowdonia is one of the most beautiful locations in the UK. The national park spans a large area in the north-west of Wales and includes some famous sites. For example, it contains the mighty Mount Snowdon, the old slate mines of Blaenau, and some huge lakes like Llyn Cwellyn.
Wild camping here can be challenging and you may be exposed to the elements. Also, expect changeable weather due to the highs and lows of the mountains and valleys. Nonetheless, Snowdonia offers breathtaking scenery, and some of the best undisturbed natural landscapes in Wales.
If you feel up to it, you can try to summit Mount Snowdon – I will warn you it is tough, however, and you must be well-prepared as the weather surrounding the mountain can make hiking incredibly difficult!
Pro-Tip – If you wish to ascend Mount Snowdon, be sure to research the six different official paths beforehand to see which you feel is the most manageable.
2. Pembrokeshire Coast
Notable Site – Calden Island
Main Cities/Towns – Tenby, Milford Haven, Fishguard
Aside from Snowdon, the Pembrokeshire Coast has to be one of the best-known locations in Wales. This small coastal region sits at the far west of Wales between St George’s Channel, and the Bristol Channel. It is renowned for its amazing beaches and is a great wild camping location.
For wild camping, there is a range of secluded beaches like Whitesands Bay and Porthlisky Beach that make ideal locations to pitch. Also, if you want to make use of proper facilities, the whole region has plenty of campsites.
Compared to The Beacons and Snowdon, Pembrokeshire can offer a much more relaxed wild camping experience. Also, the weather and conditions should be less changeable.
3. The Brecon Beacons National Park
Notable Site – Corn Du
Main Cities/Towns – Brecon, Abergavenny, Crickhowell
The Beacons are another expansive mountain range in Wales. This area is found in the south of Wales and contains six major peaks. The tallest of which is Pen y Fan.
When wild camping in The Beacons, you can enjoy some amazing scenery and dramatic landscapes. Also, this is a great location for hiking and cycling and has miles of tendered walking and cycle routes.
Alternatively, if you want to try something different you can easily find other activities like kayaking, caving, and climbing. Basically, The Brecon Beacons are a playground for the adventurous type and a brilliant wild camping spot.
4. Llyn peninsula
Notable Site – Porth Iago
Main Cities/Towns – Pwllheli, Criccieth, Porthmadog
The Llyn Peninsula is a lesser-known area of Wales but it makes for a fantastic wild camping location. This peninsula sticks out on the western side of Snowdonia National Park into the Irish Sea.
If you want a more laid-back wild camping experience, this is a great region to explore. Dotted along the coast, you can find some beautiful bays and golden beaches. Locations like Porth Iago and Porth Ysgo are peaceful, and superb spots to just relax.
Throughout the Llyn peninsula, you can also find many coastal walking paths, and towns to re-stock your supplies like Criccieth and Porthmadog.
5. Berwyn Mountains
Notable Site – Llyn Lluncaws
Main Cities/Towns – N/A
Whilst Snowdon is the most famous mountain range in Wales, there is also the Berwyn Mountains. This mountain range is located in the northeast of wales. It is a remote location and there are not really any major towns close by. This means you can enjoy a wild camping experience where you are essentially in the middle of nowhere!
This mountain range has some fantastic scenery, but it is also a great spot for wildlife spotting. You can see some rare birds such as the peregrine falcon, and golden plover, for example. One of the best views has to be from the summit of Moel Sych looking towards Llyn Lluncaws – it easily compares to the landscapes of Snowdon.
Pro-Tip – Before venturing into the Berwyn Mountains, be sure to stock up as the nearest towns are not within easy reach.
Considerations for Wild Camping in Wales
Finally, I want to give some advice about wild camping in Wales. Generally, you must have the landowners permission to camp. However, wild camping is usually tolerated, providing you are respectful and follow some basic guidelines:
- Leave no rubbish or any trace that you’ve camped
- Avoid wild camping in large groups
- Minimise noise and light pollution
- Choose your camping area carefully to avoid natural destruction
These are general guidelines that you should always follow when wild camping regardless. However, when in Wales, you are less likely to meet obstructions if you follow the guidelines and respect the landowner’s wishes.
Pro-Tip – Always set up your toilet 30m or more away from water sources and paths. Any waste should be buried a minimum of 15cm and properly covered.
Make Wales Your Next Wild Camping Destination
I hope you have some idea of the wonders awaiting in Wales. It is a country I have visited several times. Each time, I discover something new and find something even more beautiful and interesting.
For wild camping, Wales definitely has some of the most dramatic and varied landscapes you can find. Also, it has wild camping locations for all levels of experience. From tough treks in Snowdonia to more laid-back adventures in Pembrokeshire, there is something for everyone.