Wales is a camper’s paradise, and Cardiff’s undulating environs are no exception. To its west lie Jurassic coastlines and crumbling castles, and to its north, the ambling wilderness of the Brecon Beacons topped with the snowy peak of South Wales’s tallest mountain. With plenty of places to pitch a tent (or park a caravan), Culture Trip has asked our local insiders to recommend some of their favourite spots to camp near Cardiff.
A 30-minute drive outside Cardiff brings you to Sully – a tiny sea-swept village carved out of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Don’t bring your tent; instead, bed down in one of the comfortable mobile homes at Bay Caravan Park. A stay here grants you access to a stretch of private beach for blustery walks, sandcastle building and, weather permitting, swimming – although you can splash in the site’s indoor swimming pool year-round. Can’t be bothered to cook? Make a beeline for the Captain’s Wife for pub grub and a pint. Recommended by local insider Annis Ince
Forgo the too-tight-for-a-car stonewalled lanes of sleepy Llantwit Major (30 minutes from Cardiff), and head a mile north to Acorn Camping, instead. Campers, glampers and plane-spotters are welcome here, and the 1.8ha (4.5-acre) site is also an ideal base for exploring the coastline’s contours on horseback. After a windswept morning galloping amid spray, stones and the occasional surfer, the log-burning stove of Cwtch Cafe beckons – and a slice of the home-made Victoria sponge wouldn’t go amiss, either. Recommended by local insider Annis Ince
Mornings at Willow Springs begin not with the sound of birdsong, but with the trickling of a waterfall. Hidden in an Afan Forest glade about an hour from Cardiff by car, this eco-friendly campsite may lack phone reception, but it makes up for it in rambling routes – along with some of the best mountain biking tracks in the country. To stay, either pitch your tent among the trees or book the wooden-walled Shepherd’s Hut for a touch of rural glamour. Recommended by local insider Annis Ince
The main allure of Plas Dolygaer is its proximity to Pen y Fan – the tallest peak in the Brecon Beacons. Bag the best pitching spot next to the small lake and hike the 886m (2,906ft) mountain at sunset. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with 360-degree views of sun-burnt sandstone, sheep-speckled hills and, in the distance, Cardiff’s shimmering lights. As you descend, look up for the Milky Way – this area has International Dark Sky Reserve status, making it excellent star-spotting territory. Recommended by local insider Holly Brace
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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