Michelle Hart from Tasty PR with a Hungry Hart visited Shell Island in Llanbedr, Gwynedd with mixed results.
Shell Island – A Stunning Site with Lots of Dirty Secrets
Shell Island suddenly seemed to be on everyone’s radar this summer so, having decided to stay local (ish) this year we headed off with the kids and the dogs for 10 days to what is described as Europe’s largest campsite.
Expectations were high having checked out the official website and on arrival we weren’t disappointed. Stunning scenery, beautiful location just north of Barmouth and amazing views of Snowdonia. The sun was shining, we found a magical pitch close to the huge sand dunes and all was good with the world.
But sadly Shell Island is not all it first seems. Certainly it is an amazing place. Huge, gorgeous beaches with fabulous rock pools for crabbing and giant sand dunes for rolling down. But so many site rules are simply not adhered to. Campers are not supposed to pitch within 20 metres of each other but within the first 24 hours we had four other tents within a 10 metre radius. Single sex groups are apparently banned – but the party boys in their Bench and McKenzie tops were everywhere, swigging their WKD. Dogs are supposed to be kept on leads – but our own little hounds took huge offence as plenty of other dogs came sniffing around our tent where they were happily tethered outside.
We took the kids bikes expecting them to be able to cycle around safely but with so many drivers ignoring the 20 miles per hour rule I just couldn’t let my 7 year old loose on his bike.
And then there’s the rubbish. Shoes or Crocs are a must for the kids when playing in the dunes, littered as they are with broken bottles, cans, dirty nappies and all manner of rubbish. Not only did the wardens show no signs of clearing up this hidden dirt, they also seemed happy to drive past the more obvious piles of bin bags, bottles (and in one case a completely abandoned camp) and abandoned barbecues which dirty, lazy campers had simply abandonded when packing up. This rubbish remained where it was for days on end.
How very sad that such a wonderful place is being ruined by thoughtless campers and lazy owners/wardens who simply don’t enforce their own rules meaning that an area of outstanding natural beauty is being slowly destroyed. What should and could be a truly magical experience for so many is being ruined by the few – and the owners who could and should do more to preserve the beauty of this magical place.
Will we return? We’d love to say yes – it has the potential to be an incredible site, but to be honest we doubt it. Old timers told us things were never this way before. Shell Island it seems has become Chav-on Sea.
Shell Island is the biggest campsite in the UK and does not take bookings. Campers are admitted between 8am and 8pm (9pm on Fridays).
March – June Sept & October (excluding Whit week & Firework weekend)
Adult £6.00 per night – £35 adult weekly rate.
July & August (including Whit week & Firework weekend)
Adult: £7.00 per night -£40 per adult weekly rate
Child: £3.00 per night -£18 per child weekly rate (3-15 years old)
Dogs (max. 2): £2.00 each per night
Tel: 01341 241453