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8 Scenic Spots for Wild Camping in Wales

Wild camping in Wales

8 Scenic Spots for Wild Camping in Wales

Craving privacy, solitude and stunning scenery? You’ll love wild camping in Wales. With little more than a tent, sleeping bag and cooking gear, you can have dramatic mountain scenery, tumbling waterfalls and postcard-perfect seascapes all to yourself.

Escaping the crowds is one of the biggest draws of wild camping in Wales. Jam-packed holiday parks are a great option for some. But nothing beats a campsite that’s all yours. We’re talking no whirring generators, no barking dogs and no noisy kids. Unless of course, you bring them along for the fun.

Ready to walk on the wild side? Read on for our countdown of the best wild camping spots in Wales.

The legalities of wild camping in Wales

Wondering where can you wild camp in Wales? Before you pitch your tent, it’s important to understand the rules. In Scotland, the Land Reform Act allows you to wild camp in pretty much any non-enclosed area. In Wales, the rules are stricter.

Wild camping is only allowed with permission from the landowner. Not to worry. This doesn’t mean you can’t plan a wild camping Wales getaway. You’ll just need to reach out to landowners before you peg down your tent. Now you know the rules about wild camping in Wales, let’s get stuck into the best spots.

The best wild camping destinations in Wales

1. Wild camping in Snowdonia

Snowdonia attracts four million visitors a year and is the country’s signature national park. There are plenty of full-service campsites in Snowdonia National Park. But if you’re willing to venture off the beaten track, you’ll find spectacular wild camping spots. Remember, unlike official camping sites in Wales, you need permission from the landowner to set up your tent when wild camping.

Venture to the northern edge of the park if you want to get away from it all. The Cwm Caseg Valley is a gateway to the Carneddau Range. You’ll find some breathtaking wild camping in Wales here, including a hidden spot beside a crystalline mountain lake.

If you’re hoping to climb a mountain, Cader Idris has some great flat spots at the summit. Moel Ysgyfarnogod is another spectacular peak. However, it’s best to check the winds if you plan to wild camp on the summit as they can be strong.

2. Wild camping in the Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons National Park is subject to the same wild camping laws as the rest of Wales. That said, it’s a little easier to find wild camping spots in Wales here. National Park Authority Visitors Centres have lists of landowners who allow wild camping. Stop by a centre to pick up a list, contact property owners and find beautiful places to camp. We’re not talking about serviced campsites. These are basic and off the grid, so don’t expect facilities. Pack everything you need to spend a few nights in the mountains and don’t forget the hot chocolate!

Wild Camping in Brecon Beacons, South Wales

If you’re looking for a real adventure, consider hiking up to Grwyne Fawr Bothy. The tiny mountain hut sits in a remote valley and overlooks a glassy reservoir. With room for just three people, it’s cosy to say the least. It’s best to bring a backup tent just in case the bothy is full. Dramatic views make this one of the best wild camping Wales destinations.

3. Wild camping on the Llyn Peninsula

The Llyn Peninsula is one of the best wild camping spots in Wales. Expect long sandy beaches, rugged cliffs and rolling green hills. The flat, grass-covered cliffs are tailor-made for tents! There’s nothing quite like waking up to sparkling sea views and breathing in the salty air. As always, seeking permission from landowners is essential, so be sure to do your due diligence before setting up your tent.

We’ll let you in on a secret though. Porth Lago Beach in Rhydlios isn’t just for day-trippers. For a small fee, you can drive a motorhome onto the clifftops and wild camp for the night. Roll out your towel on the sandy beach, splash in the turquoise water and cast a line for bass. Pro tip: sizzle your catch of the day up for dinner with a sprig of wild thyme.

4. Wild camping in the Berwyn Mountains

Deep valleys, rugged peaks and windswept moorlands await in the Berwyn Mountains. Sleeping under the stars is one of the best ways to enjoy this wild and remote pocket of Wales. Many travellers skip the Berwyn Mountains in favour of neighbouring Snowdonia National Park. This is a blessing in disguise as it keeps the area uncrowded. The scenery is remarkable and the stargazing is out of this world.

Speaking of which. The Berwyn Mountains gained international headlines in the 1970s after a UFO incident. The event was dismissed as a simultaneous earthquake and meteor. Though some are convinced it was a spaceship crash. Whether you believe in UFOs or not, it’s a fascinating story.

Pack your hiking boots and bag one of the many peaks in North Wales. Cadair Berwyn is a challenge, but will take your breath away with incredible views. If you’re looking for remote spots for wild camping in North Wales, Cadair Berwyn is a hidden gem. Pack plenty of warm layers! The sunrises are beautiful, but the winds can be bitter cold. From some peaks you can spot Snowdon, the tallest peak in Wales!

Looking for something offbeat? Pitch your tent on Moel Fferna and explore an abandoned 19th-century slate mine. Moel Sych is another gloriously uncrowded wild camping North Wales spot.

5. Wild camping in Pembrokeshire

Ancient hillforts, centuries-old castles and astonishing sea views await in Pembrokeshire. Like the rest of Wales, wild camping in Pembrokeshire isn’t allowed without permission from the landowner. That said, wild camping in South Wales is definitely possible with the right approach.

Wild camping on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path will immerse you in beautiful landscapes. It’s easy enough to check into a cosy B&B in a nearby village. But where’s the fun in that? Wild camping means you can fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves and wake up to fiery sunrises. Plan your hike in the spring to see the wildflowers in full bloom. It’s no wonder Pembrokeshire is one of the best wild camping South Wales destinations.

Wild camping in Pembrokeshire, West Wales

If you want to be a little closer to civilisation, try wild camping near Haverfordwest. The charming market town is brimming with pubs where you can enjoy a pint before heading into the wilderness. Spend the night sleeping under the Milky Way and head back into town for a full Welsh breakfast.

6. Wild camping in Carmarthenshire

Reset your batteries with a wild camping adventure in Carmarthenshire. The region is nicknamed the “Garden of Wales” and offers a bounty of wild camping spots. Camp in a wildflower-filled meadow or enjoy complete solitude on a hilltop farm. Castles pepper the Tywi Valley, another world-class wild camping spot.

The Taf Estuary is another fantastic place to spend a night or two. If you’re looking for a little more comfort, check out Milkwood Camping. This hidden gem stays true to the back-to-basics wild camping philosophy. Though there are no complaints about the Scandinavian-style washhouse and wood-fired sauna. The perfect antidote to a long day of hiking.

Don’t miss the National Botanic Garden of Wales while you’re in Carmarthenshire. The gardens are open throughout the year and showcase plants from around the world. Discover tumbling waterfalls and crystalline streams in the Great Glasshouse. Get up close with eagles and raptors at the British Bird of Prey Centre.

7. Wild camping in Swansea

Swansea may be the second-largest city in Wales. But you can still find plenty of wild camping spots nearby. Whether you’re dreaming of wide open spaces or postcard-perfect sea views, you’ll find it in Wales. A chat with local landowners can unlock some of the best South Wales wild camping experiences.

8. Wild camping on the Gower Peninsula

Hiking the Gower Coast Path is a great way to wild camp in Wales. This 39-mile-long trail takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. You’ll pinch yourself as you walk past golden beaches, soaring limestone cliffs and wildlife-rich salt marshes. The peninsula has earned its crown as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The trail takes around four to five days to complete, depending on your speed.

You’ll start in the chocolate-box seaside village of Mumbles or in the tiny village of Crofty. Both are great places to stock up on hiking snacks. Wild camping isn’t technically allowed on the Gower Coast Path. However, there are some beautiful sites where pitching a tent for the night is okay. If all else fails, the trail is dotted with guest houses and B&Bs where you’ll receive a warm welcome and a hot breakfast.

Tips for wild camping in Wales

With the right attitude, finding wild camping spots in Wales is possible. To help make your experience as relaxing as possible, we’ve put together the following tips:

Limit your stay to one night

Many landowners are happy to let adventurous campers pitch their tents for a night or two. While some will allow you to stay longer, most prefer campers to move on to minimise their impact. Asking to stay for one of two nights will maximise your chances of a “yes” from landowners. If you’re asked to move on, respect the wishes of the landowner and pack up without argument.

Wild Camping in North Wales Mountains

Be discreet

Wild camping is all about getting away from it all, so it makes sense to be discreet when setting up your tent. Where can you wild camp in Wales? As a general rule, stay away from roads, walking trails and fences. Wild camping is all about getting away from it all, so it makes sense to be discreet when setting up your tent. For example, the official Snowdonia National Park Wild Camping Code advises camping on high ground such as open hills and fells. However, you should stay away from houses, farms, gardens and private properties.

Keep noise levels low

Leave the Bluetooth speaker at home. After all, wild camping in Wales is all about connecting with nature. Keeping noise levels low is also respectful to landowners.

Dusk to dawn

Wild campers do their best to fly under the radar. For many people, this means setting up their tent at dusk and taking it down at dawn. If anything, this philosophy is a great excuse to get up early and enjoy the sunrise!

Leave no trace

This is one of the most important rules of wild camping in Wales. Leave no trace! Pack away all rubbish, including food scraps and toilet paper. And leave your temporary campsite exactly as you found it.

Be prepared to pay

Some landowners will ask for a small fee or token amount to wild camp on their property. We recommend travelling with cash so it’s easier to make the transaction if they ask.

Pack a trowel

Nature will definitely call when you’re wild camping. When it’s time to go, take care of business 30 to 50 metres away from streams, rivers and lakes. Packing a trowel makes it easy to bury waste at least six inches deep. Pack toilet paper in a plastic bag and take used paper with you rather than burying it. Dog poo bags are ideal for this and the contents can be disposed of safely later.

Move on if you’re unsure

If you’re unsure if a site is suitable for wild camping, it’s best to move on to a different location. This is the best way to respect the rights of landowners and your fellow nature lovers using the area.

Whether you’re planning a multi-day hike or a cheeky overnighter, wild camping in Wales will sate your appetite for adventure. Alternatively, there is a whole host of idyllic holiday cottages to choose from across the country.

The headline / featured image in this post was taken by Chris Homer: You can see a selection of his work at chrishomer.uk