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“Ace - providing the weather is right!”
Review of Shell Island

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Shell Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Just as with any camping experience, Shell Island is great (unless you're battling 90mph winds). I've been here in the sunshine and in the rain - I love the place. When the tide comes in, the place becomes an island, which means no leaving until the tides are out again and the road is uncovered.

It's a great place to find a little space to camp in, chill out, get a fire going and relax for a weekend. We visited Harlech castle up the road, but other than that there aren't many places to go outside of camp. It's really nice wandering the length of beach in the sunshine, and the amenities are okay too. The toilet block can be a fair walk from your set up, but there are portaloos dotted about too if you can face them. Showers, a little cafe, gift shop and pub are on site too and they're all okay.

The second time we went it was absolutely blowing a gale and there was a huge queue of cars waiting in line to leave at 4 in the morning. The wind was at 80/90mph and our tents got trashed. We managed to last the full night but we did end up cutting the holiday short and leaving the next day. You can't predict the weather though, and that's what camping is all about.

Definitely worth going. I am giving Shell Island 4 rather than 3 because we had loads of fun both times!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Gemininski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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575 - 581 of 686 reviews

Reviewed October 23, 2013 via mobile

We camp at Shell island on a regular basis. We have tried lots of other campsites but keep returning to Shell island.
What we like is the fact that there are no set pitches so you can choose to put your tent where you like (if it's free). The location is amazing - views of Snodownia and the sea; Rock pools, crabbing, sand dunes, and a long sandy beach all fantastic . It could do with a few more loos and showers but as the sun goes down it really is amazing and we love it.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank Sue N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013

This sheltered estuary harbour is excellent for launching water craft. I took along my GP14 dinghy and was able to drive it into the water 2 hours +/- high tide. Be aware it is tidal and you have to wait for suitable high water to sail.

The people fishing in the estuary don't understand that sail boats have priority over fishing lines so be prepared to cut lines in case of an emergency snag!!

We sailed out of the estuary and around the bay with plenty of time to make it back. We trawled a line and caught dinner, Mackerel, they were so tasty.

The camp site is good but gets crowded in the holidays.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Adrian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2013

We have just come home after ten days spent on the island, we have gone back time and time again. To be fair we went in a campervan so didn't need the toilet facilities that much. Alot of people have commented that the buildings need updating but if they were all modernised it just wouldn't be Shell Island. I can understand that people who haven't been before and expect luxury will be very disappointed but the beauty is in the place itself and the freedom to pitch up wherever you like, we chose three different spots throughout our stay.
Cannot imagine anything worse than being told where you can camp and having to stay put throughout your whole stay wether you like it or not. There are no electric hook ups so it is old fashioned camping - proper camping as it should be - surely that is half the fun ? Stunning views - beautiful walks - dolphins to watch out for, miles of beach, rock pools, shell collecting - peace and quiet - like heaven with the door shut !
Personally wouldn't go during school holidays when it is busy as so often happens when alot of people get together there is no respect for other people's privacy or feelings - humans let the place down not the toilets or the showers, if you want luxury - go to a posh hotel, don't go camping and moan about everything - make the best of it and experience the surroundings

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank chrisnsteve2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2013

Just had a single night at Shell Island and the place and concept is amazing. It's a 320 acre peninsular of grass land and sand-dunes with toilets and water points dotted around - no marked plots, you rock up and pitch where ever you like. They allow camp fires and BBQ's and you get the feeling it's a bit of a free for all but it has the space to achieve this.

The thing that lets this place down is the out dated facilities. The café/stage building looks tatty and there doesn't seem to be a theme or consistency in anything they do. There is a feeling of "make do" with the place and feeling flows throughout the whole pace.

The showers, wash-up area, laundrette, shop, reception, everywhere just looks like it could do with updating.

This is the second time we have stayed at Shell Island - the first time was 8 years and no much has changed - the games room is particularly dirty with many of the games either not working or partly working.

If they sort out the facilities and spend a bit of cash bringing them up to date this place could be really special.

On the up side the bar has a good selection of beers that are, surprisingly reasonably priced.

Room Tip: Pick a pitch overlooking the sea.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Rich B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2013

I planned a trip with my friends and their kids for a weeks holiday. After reading through some reviews, I was a bit apprehensive. When we got their we were met by friendly staff who quickly booked us in. Then we were told to go were we liked. The views were out of this world and we set up in a field near the sand dunes. It was really busy as it was in the summer school holidays. We went crabbing ,fishing, shell collecting, swimming and floating on large floating rings we got from the shop. We had barbecues and fires at night and the kids toasted their own marshmellows. The sun sets caught your breath as they were beautiful and the stars were like a blanket. I have never seen so many in years as I now live in a city. The only down side was at night I thought the tent was going to blow away. The wind picked up late afternoon and died down in the morning. The shops are well stocked and reasonably priced an the people in the camping shop are very friendly. They gave us lots of advice on fishing and the tides. The pizza place is brilliant, we had a pizza night and all ten kids loved it. We avoided the pub as their were lots of adults who can't handle their drink and spoil it for families who have young kids. I used the laundry room and it was clean and the member of staff showed me how to use the machines. The showers were clean and hot, but some don't have enough power and trickle, so check before you undress. The kids played on the play area but gets a bit over crowded. We all loved it and would go again next year. But a bit of advice take your own portaloo as the ones on the campsite are dirty and run out of loo roll quickly. Be careful of the ripe tides in the sea as the coast guard was kept very busy.

Room Tip: If you like peace and quiet don't go near the shower blocks and pub, as it is a busy area. If yo...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Michelle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2013 via mobile

We camped on Shell Island for just 1 night. The site was very quiet and we had a fantastic choice of places to pitch. The views are spectacular and we pitched overlooking the sea. The facilities on Shell Island are very limited and to be fair the management do recomend that you bring a portable toilet with you. I think if you go to Shell Island with the mind set of 'rustic' camping as it was years ago ie: washing in your tent with water from a boiled kettle then you will have a good time. I would also recomend that you steer clear of the cafe, bar etc they are dreadful, dirty and badly managed.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank Jankev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shell Island

Address: Llanbedr, Snowdonia National Park LL45 2PJ, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > North Wales > Snowdonia National Park > Llanbedr
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Llanbedr
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Based in North Wales and boasting stunning views of the unspoilt Welsh countryside, including Cardigan Bay and the Snowdonia National Park, Shell Island is one of Europe's largest Campsites. Catering for all the family and with excellent facilities, Shell Island will make your camping experience one to remember. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Shell Island Llanbedr, Wales

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