Summer is upon us, the weather is finally heating up and school holidays are just around the corner, so what are your travel plans? Are you wondering where you can take your campervan or motorhome for travel in the UK? The luxury of having a campervan or motorhome is that you’ve got greater flexibility with your trips.
Wales is an excellent choice, no matter what season. You can swap city life for a little countryside peace, exploring historical towns and medieval ruins or spotting unique and diverse wildlife.
A small but mighty destination, Wales boasts some of the UK’s richest and most unspoilt scenery so it’s an ideal location for a campervan trip in the south.
What are you waiting for? Get your campervan insurance in place and get ready for a wonderful Welsh adventure!
Some unique destination in Wales for campervans
Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway, or something a little longer, we’ve got some inspiration to unlock that wanderlust within.
1. Brecon Beacons National Park
When you approach the Brecon Beacons National Park, you will be greeted by breathtaking scenery, spellbinding river valleys and lush countryside, ideal for camping.
Just an hour from Cardiff, the Brecon Beacons is great for a short break or to form part of a longer trip throughout the south of Wales.
Whilst a visit here is lovely any time of year, it’s incredibly magical throughout the Autumn when hills and forests glow in varying shades of yellow and rust, mist settles over still lakes and cool mornings make for perfect woodland walks.
A few spectacular sights worth a visit in the area include:
- The stretch between Ystradfellte and Pontneddfechan, where sheer valleys and waterfalls have been carved into limestone hills. There are paths that follow the rivers with good accessibility for most walkers.
- Carreg Cennen Castle offers incredible views and is a favourite among photographers.
- Waterfall Country is exactly as the name suggests - the most famous of them is Sgwd-y-Eira, the Snow Waterfall, which forms a curtain of water with a secret natural path behind.
- If you fancy leaving your campervan behind for a few hours, hop aboard the Brecon Mountain Railway for a journey that ventures through the Taf Fechan Reservoir before ascending to Torpantau.
Best areas for camping in Brecon Beacon National Park
It’s worth noting that while wild camping is generally illegal in England and Wales, some landowners will allow people to camp for a small fee. Let’s take a look at some of the best areas for camping in this part of the world:
Fforest Fawr and Coed y Rhaiadr
You’ll feel like you’re well and truly in the wild here, but benefit from the protection of more woodland than other areas in the national park.
Brecon Beacons Caravan Club Site
The perfect base for exploring the area with a central location near the foothills of the Brecon Beacons mountain range.
Cantref Camp Site
Great for the whole family, this pet-friendly adventure farm park is close to Brecon and also offers horse riding activities.
Pembrokeshire appeals to nature lovers, historians and families alike. With a stunning 186-mile coastal walk, waters that are the playground for seals, whales, dolphins and a host of seabirds, and wonderful seaside towns, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in the region.
An ideal destination for summer holidaymakers, food festivals and seaside activities only add to the brilliant coastline that has been voted the second most beautiful in the world.
To get the most out of your stay, don’t forget to include a few of these activities:
- Spend an afternoon exploring the lively Victorian towns of Saundersfoot and Tenby, with harbours skirted by colourful buildings.
- Take a day trip from St David’s to Skomer Island between April and August for a chance sight of nesting puffins and razorbills.
- Set out to sea on a boat trip to spot bottlenose dolphins, porpoises and minke whales throughout the summer.
- Join a coasteering tour with a professional to experience the craggy water's edge in a different way.
- Visit Carew Castle and Tidal Mill for a castle with a different feel, which has recently been renovated, to see the rich and colourful history of the building.
Best areas for camping in Pembrokeshire
For views of the sea and a farm shop that sells local produce, this is a traditional campsite with tents and campervans, surfers and families.
Near the eclectic seaside town of Tenby, this site offers panoramic ocean views and is surrounded by woodlands, hiking trails and coves for exploring.
Morawelon Camping and Caravanning
Welcoming campers for 60 years, this beachside campsite is set to the backdrop of Carningli and is open March through October.
3. Snowdonia National Park and Gwynedd
The atmosphere in Snowdonia National Park is simply magnetic. Home to the highest mountain in Wales, a network of trails across craggy peaks and lakes, and quaint villages, this is the perfect place for exploring.
If you plan on reaching the summit of Mount Snowdon, it’s advisable only to do so between June and early October unless you are an expert hiker with the correct safety equipment due to snow on the mountain.
The hike takes most who attempt it 6 to 8 hours to complete, taking one of the six designated trails. In the summer, if you fancy giving your feet a rest and swapping your camper for a train, you can catch the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the top.
There is so much more on offer here though, so be sure to add a few of these to your must-do list when you visit:
- Caernarfon and Harlech Castles are world heritage sites that shouldn’t be missed when in the region and hold historical significance as a testament to Edward I’s attempts to conquer the Welsh.
- Portmeirion feels like it has been plucked out of the Italian Riviera and is a popular tourist stop.
- Betws y Coed and Beddgelert are must-visit villages that offer a truly Welsh experience.
- A plethora of sensational waterfalls which are particularly beautiful after heavy rainfall. Swallow Falls, on the river Llugwy, and Conwy Falls at the junction of the Conwy and Machno rivers are the most notable in the area.
- The Glyders for views of Mount Snowdon. The classic circular walk from the car park at the western end of Llyn Ogwen should take about 5 hours to complete and offers scenic vistas of the national park.
- Cadair Idris is by far one of the park’s most beautiful peaks. Either take the Pony or Minffordd path around to drink in the best views of the valley lakes.
Best areas for camping in Snowdonia National Park and Gwynedd
Much the same as Brecon Beacons National Park, wild camping isn’t legally permitted, so we’ve found a few places that feel as close as possible to the real deal.
Pen y bont
Located near the Bala Lake, this scenic campsite is dog friendly and open from March through to October.
Llyn Gwynant Campsite
Experience the freedom of free camping, without the risks, in one of the most dramatic campsites on this list. No reservations are required for groups under 20 people and it’s open all year round.
Snowdonia Base Camp
Another one for the wild campers, and ideal campsite in the heart of the national park located beside Llyn Cwellyn, at the foot of Mount Snowden. Fire pits are available for an authentic camping experience and it offers plenty of peace and quiet.
Time of year to visit
Wales has four well-defined seasons, although it also benefits from a temperate climate without extremes thanks to its location. Wales sits beneath the territory where dry continental air from Eurasia meets the moist air of the Atlantic Ocean.
The time of year you choose to set out campervanning in Wales will be dependent on the activities you want to do, what you want to see and, of course, how the weather will impact those things. Let’s review how to get the most out of each season.
Spring (March - May)
Life awakens in spring as fields bloom full of wildflowers, temperatures begin to rise and the days start to get longer again. This is a wonderful time to set out into the Welsh countryside and make the most of the fresh air.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the sights and sounds of spring as nightingales and cuckoos sing, a sign that the woods are growing more animated as we head into the summer.
Summer (June - August)
The season when the days are long, temperatures are at their warmest and often the driest part of the year in Wales. Summer is the ideal chance to maximise your time outdoors from hiking and biking to coastal walks and seabound adventures.
Summer is also full of festivals, an abundance of local wildlife and an excellent time for experiencing everything Wales has to offer.
With 600 castles, more by area than anywhere else in the world, you’ll have plenty of daylight to see at least a few, find a seaside pub to relax for an afternoon or try your hand at spotting dolphins, porpoises and puffins along the Welsh coastline.
Autumn (September - November)
Forests are cast in shades of gold and amber as the leaves begin to turn, days grow shorter and the temperatures start dipping again.
An exceptionally beautiful time in Wales, Autumn offers visitors a spectacular display of foliage as the trees prepare for their winter slumber.
Head to Margam Park where the deer rutting season is in full swing for one of nature’s greatest spectacles, take a stroll through the Wye Valley to enjoy the colour extraordinaire or pay Tintern Abbey a visit for its backdrop of oak, beech and ash trees in full autumnal plumage.
Winter (December - February)
How does heading indoors to cosy up by the fireside sound? Winter is the perfect time to make the most of exploring small towns and villages throughout Wales, some will even feel like you’ve got the place all to yourself with the crowds of summer long gone.
This is an ideal chance to see the rare red kite in the Welsh mountains where the species was saved from extinction.
The countryside is also occasionally treated to a dusting of snow in the winter, which can make the glassy lakes even more picturesque.
Where can you park/camp?
You might be wondering, can I park/camp anywhere in the UK? Unlike in Scotland where wild camping is quite acceptable, Dartmoor National Park is the only place where there is no policy of open access for wild camping in England and Wales.
This is because all land in England and Wales is owned by individuals or organisations, and permission should be sought before wild camping to avoid trespassing.
While seeking permission is best practice, this isn’t always possible – in these circumstances you should follow the wild camping code of conduct.
Overall, the idea is to pitch as late as possible, leave as early as possible, be happy to move on if requested and leave no trace you were ever there.
To avoid any confusion about wild camping, you might feel more comfortable booking a campsite at a camping or caravan park.
This often comes with the advantage of having access to a powered site and sometimes additional or larger cooking facilities than those in your camper as well as amenity blocks for showering.
Don’t forget essentials like campervan insurance
To ensure your trip goes off without a hitch, there are a few essentials to remember before you roll out of the driveway.
If you’re planning on heading to more remote destinations, or hiking and biking some distance from any major towns in Wales, it’s best to have a well-stocked first aid kit in case of any injuries.
With specialised campervan insurance you can make sure you’re covered should the unexpected happen, plus your campervan contents will be protected, too.
For a campervan insurance policy that suits your needs and budget, get a quote from Motorhome Protect today.