Wales is a fantastic spot for a family camping holiday and break, with the following campsites particularly highly recommended.
Moreton Farm, near Saundersfoot
This engagingly unspoilt site, located away from the sandy beaches and harbour pubs and chippies of busy Saundersfoot, is reached by a 1.5km-long tree-lined footpath. The secluded campground itself offers lots of places to run wild in addition to the good play area, and there’s also luxury accommodation in wooden lodges, cottages and a farmhouse.
St David’s, Berea, near St David’s
This is perched on a hill overlooking the sea 1.5km from the coast. The views are at their best as the sun sinks into the ocean, when you could be in California. There’s no play area and ball games are not allowed, but it’s a great spot for sunset barbies, and the site is only a short drive from some of the country’s best beaches (the coast-hugging Puffin Shuttle bus stops outside). Book through the Camping and Caravanning Club.
Freshwater East, Trewent Hill
This charming site with its play area is in a fabulous position – near the safe, sandy beach and a stroll across the cliff (on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park footpath) from Barafundle Bay with its Caribbean feel. It’s also a short drive from the excellent beaches of Manorbier, Broad Haven South and Tenby.
Nantcol Waterfalls, near Barmouth
This is not your normal campsite, and youngsters love it. There are no facilities, just portable toilets (Easter-Sept), a river to splash your face in and campfire logs for sale. The Snowdoniabackdrop, falls and lake are attractions in themselves, and there are also walks (lake, river and woodland). It’s near pretty Shell Island and Barmouth’s beaches.
Coed Helen, Caernarfon
Despite its sweeping views across Snowdonia National Park, this site is only a 10-minute walk from Caernarfon with its castle and steam train. It has a special area for ball games, and you can use the open-air pool on the static caravan site next door (May-Sept). There are walking and cycle routes nearby, and beaches a short drive away.
Pencelli Castle, near Brecon
Lying alongside the Brecon & Monmouth Canal, this site is a good spot from which to wave at the barges or go canoeing. It’s lovely for youngsters, with a play area and a large grass area for football and cricket. Bikes can be hired to explore the local lanes and the Taff Trail cycleway. The family shower rooms are excellent.
Brecon Beacons National Park, Abercrave, near Sennybridge
A spectacular site, this is part of the National Showcaves Centre with its underground delights. A river gushes through, crashing off glacial boulders, while the pitches amongst trees, grassy knolls and rocks have gorgeous views. Facilities are limited but children adore the wildness, and there are shops within easy driving distance. The Gower coast is about 30km away.
Cardigan Bay, Cross Inn, near New Quay
Only a few kilometres from the beaches of the charming resort of New Quay yet deep in rolling countryside, this is a quiet, discreet spot with a fine play area and a whole field for ball games. The village grocery sells local produce, and there’s a wealth of beaches within easy reach, along with Cardigan itself.
A children’s delight, this lies right behind the dunes at Llangennith on Rhossili Bay, with its big sky and even bigger beach. It used to simply cater for surfers (and there are still plenty of shaggy, tanned chums around, and there’s a surf school nearby), but there are now two family fields with decent facilities, a play area and a family restaurant. Swansea is within easy reach. Tel: 01792 386204
Tredegar House Country Park, Newport
Set in a landscaped park complete with stately home, this place gives children total freedom. It’s neat, and visitors can enjoy the benefits of the park – avenues of towering trees, a lake with swans, shops in outbuildings (including a pub-restaurant) and frequent festivals. It’s easy accessible from M4 and a short hop from Cardiff.