Camping at Shell Island
Mon 17 Jun 2019 - Sun 23 Jun 2019 at 00:00  

Join Merseyside on IVC's annual excursion to Shell Island ( From Monday, 17th June to Sunday, 23rd June 2019, for six nights under canvas. Shell Island is a stunningly beautiful place with very good facilities (hot showers, pub, shops and restaurant). It lies on the Welsh coast between Harlech and Barmouth. It is the largest campsite in Europe. When that nugget was first heard it rang alarm bells but it is the antithesis of a cross between Butlins and Hieronymus Bosch's vision of hell ( It is low density and in some areas almost wild. It is possible to camp 15 minutes walk away from the amenity block. As most children will be in school, the campsite will be quiet and the roads clear. Bring a tent, wine and walking boots.

Some people arrive early and leave late, so you can add to the core weekend. It is perfectly all right to come for just one night. The daily charge is £7·90 per person or 47.40 for 7 nights. (If you are over 60 years old, bring proof and ask for the reduced price.) Over 60 £6.90 and £41.40. Bookings may be made online at the Shell Island website. In the evening we play petanque, barbecue and discuss what we will be doing the following day.

In the documents area is a distillation of the correspondence from earlier years; a sort of frequently asked questions section.(

It cannot be predicted whereabouts on the site we will be setting camp. There are favourite places but it is always possible for them to be already occupied. By our tents there will be signs bearing the Merseyside IVC emblem. We aim to pitch the tents in a big circle around a central gathering and cooking area. If you arrive when there is no one about, please do not set up in that nice big space in the middle.

Members of other IVCs together with others who are not members will be attending this event.


For those approaching from the north and the M62 corridor, the North Wales Express Way (A55) is strongly recommended. At Conwy turn south onto the A470 to travel up the Conway valley. After Llanrwst and after passing the road to Betws-y-Coed, take the turning on the right signposted Blaenau Ffestiniog. It is still the A470.

At the bottom of the hill, before Blaenau Ffestiniog town centre, there is a very small round-a-bout. Turn right here, following the signpost for Porthmadog A496 (A487). As soon as you see them, follow signposts for Harlech, which will lead you onto the A487.

Harlech is a medieval town stuck on a lump of rock and is to be avoided. Look out for the sign to Barmouth. It will indicate a right turn shortly before Harlech. Take that turn. It is further but quicker.

Continue towards Barmouth. You will not be going as far as Barmouth. In Llanbedr look out for the Victoria Inn, cross over the bridge and immediately turn right towards the railway station. 2·2 miles later you are at Shell Island.

If you miss the tide, go and eat in the Victoria. If you are a couple of minutes late do not be tempted to drive through. The salt water will ruin your car and the difficulty is not the depth of water but locating the road surface.

Approaches from the south and east involve going through Dolgellau. The road between Llangollen and Dolgellau is prone to clogging with slow moving vehicles.

Links to> Tide Times ( & Camping Details (
Link to> Google Street View (,-4.1425071,3a,75y,277.04h,93.8t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sFRvUY2TDXX50jigkPkjw9Q!2e0)
Link to> The Turn to Shell Island from the A469 (,-4.100593&spn=0.000013,0.016512&t=m&z=17&layer=c&cbll=52.820312,-4.100603&panoid=J6bq5mLS1-POX3R4axPtyw&cbp=12,186,,0,5.49)
Shell Island’s Location - Post Code LL45 2PJ
OS Map OL18 - NGR SH 556 266


Camping at Shell Island [2014] by Sarah Davis

Camping at Shell Island, which is situated on the coast of North Wales, just south of Harlech, was the perfect camping experience. The site was amazing, the views were stunning, the company was excellent and the weather was glorious.........what more could anyone want.

The event was organised by Nick Wilkinson from Merseyside IVC, who proved the perfect host. Nick had been to Shell Island before, so picked an ideal camping spot for the group and had everything well organised.

The camping party had 6 IVC members, from 3 different IVC clubs, Merseyside, Sheffield and Cambridge, as well as a few friends. Everyone arrived on Friday, in time to get tents set up and prepare for the BBQ in the evening. We ate exceedingly well, washed down with a glass or two of wine and sat around chatting and getting to know each other before retiring to our cosy accommodation.

Saturday morning was a very chilled affair; people surfaced in dribs and drabs, boiled kettles, drank tea and ate breakfast before deciding what to do during the coming day. We split into different groups during the day, some people heading for Barmouth, others exploring the fabulous beaches and Shell Island itself and drinking tea in nearby Llanbedr. In the evening we had another BBQ ...........all in all a perfect day.

Most people packed up Sunday morning after another lazy start to the day, before heading off home. My friend and I stayed on and visited Harlech Castle in the afternoon, a spectacular castle built by Edward 1 in the late 13th century.

Unfortunately, I awoke the next day to the sound of rain at 5am.........well it was Wales! The rain was torrential and we even had thunder, but after breakfast it cleared so that we were able to pack up relatively dry tents before leaving to beat the high tide at 12:30.

All in all the perfect weekend end away.

Below Emma Thompson expresses the sentiment of IVC at Shell Island.

TripAdvisor (


One of the activity options is to stroll south along the beach the ten kilometres to Barmouth. At the halfway point, the Afon Ysgethin runs to the sea across a pebble beach. The water is only 20cm deep but you will want to take off your good footwear to ford it. Because of the pebbles, it is very uncomfortable in bare feet. A pair of crocks or old plimsolls are invaluable.

There is another option for a group expedition.

An option is to drive to Porthmadog and catch the Welsh Highland Railway ( to Caernarfon ( Then going for an evening meal in Porthmadog to let the drivers rest a little before the ride back to Shell Island.

Porth Merion ( is nearby.

Follow the links, have a think and it will be discussed at Shell.

Article: The 10 most common mistakes people make when they go camping. (

Equipment advice from the DoE (

This is an IVC National Event. You must be a full (paid up) member of IVC to attend. If you are not a member do not contact the organisers. Speak with your nearest branch of IVC. Your nearest club is to be found at

For the organiser’s contact details and other confidential information, please, ask a committee member.
Please, note that the Merseyside IVC is considering leaving the Meetup system.

BOOK BY: Fri 07/Jun/2019
MEETING: If you are unable to find the group, then wait around the restaurant and pub. If you are expected and unable to contact us by 'phone, a scout will periodically dispatched to search for you.

Facebook Meetup