Shell Island

We’ve had two weeks back in the UK to say, “Hi!”, to the family and friends. It’s also given us some time to do some maintenance and improvements to The Van. So before we head off for the second half of our Eurotrip, we thought we’d give The Van a ‘shakedown’ night away to make sure the upgrades were working OK. Some family and friends were camping in Shell Island, which seemed like an ideal opportunity for socialising and testing.

As it was Easter weekend, traditionally it should have been raining, however the weather was glorious so the drive took much longer than expected as everyone was making the most of the sunshine. Barmouth looks really nice, although we weren’t too keen on the fact that it took us nearly an hour to drive through it.

Driving into Barmouth. Not shown: Long snake of stationary traffic.

Shell Island is a peninsula lying west of Llanbedr in the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. It was formed after the River Artro was diverted in 1819 from its previous course where it entered the sea to the south of Shell Island.  It is known for the variety of seashells that wash up on the beach. A large part of the peninsula is now a huge campsite.

The Shell Island site is unlike most British campsites in that once you are in, you are given pretty much free reign to pitch wherever you want. It means you end up with clusters of tents, motorhomes and campervans of friends and family meeting up and has a great atmosphere. It also has a fairly unique feature of the tide coming in and flooding the causeway on to the island a couple of times a day for about 2 weeks each month.

The Van docked to the tent hub.

The site itself is lovely, it’s surrounded by sand dunes, beaches, marshlands and groves of trees. We enjoyed walking along the shoreline, beach-combing and enjoying the sound of the waves. We were only staying the one night but it was a lovely test of the van upgrades. The site only had two downsides. First is that there are very few facilities, which was fine with us as we had all we needed in The Van. The other is that lots of other people know about Shell Island, and combined with the fantastic weather, it was pretty busy. We’d definitely go back again though.

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