The Cambrian Mountains is the collective name for a vast, empty area of central Wales. It stretches for 45 miles – all the way from Snowdonia in the north southwards down to Llandovery, where the Brecon Beacons take on the upland mantel in the hilly heart of the country.
In that 45-mile journey, from Machynlleth to Llandovery, you encounter only one main road and the first shop to be seen for miles around – and only a very small one at that – is found at Rhandirmwyn. There are no petrol stations, your mobile phone won’t work and the land belongs to the animals.
As the damp westerly winds blow in from the Atlantic over this wonderful wild expanse of high, rounded hills, the natural consequence of high rainfall has been exploited by the water companies. Many large reservoirs have been built in the Elan Valley, of which Llyn Brianne is a particularly attractive example. These unnatural lakes have their detractors, but they have, without doubt, allowed much easier access to these lonely places than was previously possible and a chance for the determined to penetrate this last wilderness in southern Britain.
The very civilised Camping and Caravanning Club site at Rhandirmwyn is the perfect basecamp for what amount to almost expeditionary days out in this monumental tract of untouched countryside. The site is a level expanse situated in the bottom of the Tywi Valley, next to the river, with the big green hills rearing up on both sides. It’s a lovely place just to sit outside the tent and admire the surroundings, watching the buzzards soar on the thermals. Not that you’ll be doing much lounging about, though, not once the alternative options are pointed out to you.
Site facilities are to a very high standard, as is usual with the Camping and Caravanning Club sites, but what isn’t quite so typical is just how few folk know about this hiddenaway place. Even in the middle of summer, to find this site anywhere near full would certainly be a surprise.
This is a very salubrious site in every way, but what it offers, more than anything else, is a gateway to the kind of wild and empty places that seem to be completely alien to the hustle and bustle of modern life, but that most of us feel an instinctive need to communicate with. And the most obvious thing it communicates, in its own natural way, is ‘leave your mobile behind’.
(info supplied by the campsite)
Have your saySign In to add a review.
My girlfriend and I stayed here over the weekend in Easter last year, and benefitted from some fantastic weather, but also found the campsite and staff great. Not having a map of the area the camp one of the members of staff kindly lent us his own map for the day.
All of the facilities were well presented and clean, and it really is set in amongst some wonderful countryside.
We'd certainly come back again.
2 of 2 readers found this review useful.
Okay its a caravan and camping club so a bit conservative but what a great site! Very helpful managers and a beautiful spot. Lots of paths and walks into the hills and a very good pub ten mins walk up the hill.
Good spot for cycling either roads or off road (neither for the faint hearted though! Very hilly!)
Drainage is a problem in parts of the site if you're in a camper.
If they could allow firepits it would be near perfect.
These are niggles though.
1 of 1 readers found this review useful.
ErwlonBrecon Road, Llandovery, Carmarthenshire SA20 0RD
This inviting, well-maintained and peaceful little site in the heart of the Welsh countryside strikes that all-important balance of remaining unspoiled, yet still featuring homely facilities that makes camping comfortable.
Five Saints Riding CentreFive Saints Riding Centre, Gilfach Farm, Pumsaint, Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire SA19 8YN
Mount your trusty steed and take to the lush hills at this back-to-basics West Wales bolthole.
Oak Grove RetreatsDoldowlod Old Station Caravan Park, Llanwrthwyl, Rhayader, Powys LD1 6NN
A retreat in every sense, peace and quiet are the order of the day at this welcoming Mid-Wales haven.
Pencelli Castle Caravan and Camping ParkPencelli, Brecon, Powys LD3 7LX
Great for first-time campers with flat pitches, shade, shelter, canals, cycle paths, views and a choice of 3 glorious fields – the Orchard, the Oaks, or the Meadow.
Ty Cefn TregibTy Cefn Tregib, Ffairfach, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, SA19 6TD
This secluded Carmarthenshire yurt site has all the creature comforts without any of the hassle.
Dan-Yr-OgofThe National Showcaves Centre for Wales, Abercrave, Glyntawe, Swansea SA9 1GJ
Situated right next to a Dinosaur park which contains over 100 life sized replicas, this site will fascinate the kids, leaving you to enjoy the Brecon Beacons in peace.
Camping at YnysfaenYnysfaen Cwmwysg, Trecastle, Brecon, Powys LD3 8YF
Peace and tranquility reign supreme at this tents-only site in the heart of the Brecon Beacons.
Mandinam Shepherd’s HutLlangadog, Carmarthenshire SA19 9LA
Try these refurbished Victorian shepherd & gypsy huts for a ‘different’ type of holiday accommodation, in a picture-perfect glade just outside the Brecon Beacons National Park.