We’ve just had 2 glorious nights at an idyllic Caravan Club CL site within the Llanfendigaid Estate, a couple of miles north of Tywyn(Gwynedd). The site is located in large wooded paddock, opposite one of the estates imposing farmhouses and a row of converted cottages. It’s approximately a one mile easy walk from the site to the Cardigan Bay coastline. The site is quiet, rural and fairly isolated, however within less than 0.9 mile is the small railway station of Tonfanau. The regular passenger trains stopping here, allow you access to the cambrian coastline rail network. With Aberdovey to the south and Barmouth to the north, it’s a great way to explore this part of Mid Wales.
Booking and availability checks for this site can all be conducted online through the owners website. You can even select the actual pitch you want, perhaps something that other CL owners should consider for their websites: http://www.llanfendigaid.co.uk/caravan-club-home.htm They also rent out cottages.
Anyway, on arrival we parked up near to the old mill on our designated pitch. Nestled in the corner of the paddock, with the sun shining and no traffic noise, it was absolute heaven. The owner Will Garton-Jones came over to introduce himself, gave us a quick brief about the site and the immediate area and then left us to our own devices. Short and sweet, just what we wanted. The site is grassed, well laid out with 5 x individual pitches set around the paddock and the price of £14pn includes EHU. The location is well sheltered within a natural bowl, aided by trees and boundary walls. A pleasant spot.
The site also has its own vegetable/fruit garden, items which can be purchased from the estates gardener. For an extra charge you can have access to the indoor heated swimming pool, which is also located within the paddock!
The CL has a toilet hut and handbasin, it looks like an original victorian loo, but updated (basically a plumbed in “Long Drop”), Its basic but clean and probably quite cold and breezy in the winter!. When we arrived a birds nest inside inside the toilet hut was home to a swallow and her 3 x chicks, They fly in and out through the open loo window, as you enter/exit. There is also a coin operated shower available.
Communications from the Llanfendigaid site are poor. With no mobile phone signal in the immediate area, the nearest place to pick up a signal is about half a mile down the lane towards Tonfanau Railway Stn. No DAB either, however all’s not lost, the site owner has fitted WiFi satellite internet and for an additional charge you can make use of that. It’s not cheap at £3 per hour or £9 for the day, but if you’re there for a few days and really need email etc its probably a must. The cost comes down for longer use. So a week will cost £18 total. We managed without it and actually quite enjoyed not being tied to the phone.
……..Confession Time. We realised about 30 mins after leaving our home location, that “we’d” forgotten my phone! Oh how I laughed. The “Other Half” is now briefed to carry out a 100% kit n equipment check of all personnel and equipment before we commence the Movement Phase of the operation. I of course will be “Kit-Check Checker” Monitor, as of course I never forget anything!
One of the big pluses of the site is the close proximity of the Cardigan Bay coastline. To reach the coast on foot, you have two options:
Option 1: Follow the very quiet lane, that runs alongside the CL to Tonfanau Railway Stn, go over the pedestrian crossing and continue to the pebble beach. As you walk along this lane you will see the remnants of an old army camp that closed in 1971. If your interested in its recent history, check out this site: http://www.aajlr.org/tonfanau/tonfanau_main.html In the late 1950’s/early 60’s the army trained junior soldiers here. It would have been a very bleak place for those lads in the depths of winter, positioned right on the coast, living in nissan huts, heated by single pot bellied stoves…no double glazing, duvets, or central heating. Baltic!
Option 2: Involves a cross-country walk, along a private path to the railway line, you then cross the railway line using a private crossing point and follow a cliff-edge bracken track. The track is not for the faint hearted, but there are ideal spots along it to stop for a picnic or a flask of tea and because the access point is private, you are unlikley to be disturbed by other walkers.
On reaching the cliff edge, the views looking North towards Barmouth are superb.
As the weather was so great we decided it was time that the dog learnt to swim. With the outside temp touching 30 degrees, the sea water was clear and warm. Within a few short minutes the dog was going with his instinct and happily dog paddling around in the water. The pebble beach around Tonfanau was very quiet, which suited us.
So to conclude, if you can survive without your mobile being constantly available, crave rural peace and tranquility then this site is definitely worth a visit. For us a combination of the weather and the stunning setting equals a very attractive place to spend a few days. We will be back.