“ Cae Gwyn ('White Field') is a sheep farm in the south of Snowdonia National Park with a farming history dating back over 200 years. Even to this day very little has changed over the centuries. The only differences perhaps are that today we run the 190 acre hill farm using organic principles, and that Cae Gwyn now welcomes you to experience a close to nature holiday. „
Cae Gwyn (White Field) is a small campsite in southern Snowdonia near the village of Bronaber. As you would expect the scenery is stunning - in fact the site was voted one of the UK's top 10 most senic campsites by the Guardian in 2007. It is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts being in the heart of the National Park and has facilities which specifically cater to bikers and walkers.
I stayed here as we were mountain biking at Coed-y-Brenin forest which is 5 minutes drive or you can access the trails directly from the site. There are also plenty of footpaths for walkers, when you book accommodation you receive a free walking guide to the local area which is usually priced at £2.99 and for fishing enthusiasts rights to Afon Eden which runs through the farm. Cae Gwyn is a working organic sheep farm and the site is run on eco friendly lines - there are recycling bins for glass and cans, the waste water is discharged onto the farm and so all soaps and detergents provided are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. It is also part of the Cors Goch Trawsfynydd Nature reserve which is a designated site of special scientific interest (SSSI) intended to protect and promote rare wildlife. The reserve can be explore directly from the farmyard.
As well as camping in tents or campervans, the farm also has a camping barn which sleeps 10, bed and breakfast and a furnished caravan to let, although unfortunately there is no room for you to bring your own caravan. Although the site accepts small numbers of campers they are not short on space - each pitch is well spaced out so the chances of being disturbed by your neighbours is very small. Only prebooked guests are accepted so do make sure to arrange your stay first - all bookings are done by phone although they will answer other queries by email. Camping costs £7.50 per adult per night, inclusive of using all the facilities. Children under 14 are not permitted on site so this isn't the place for a family holiday and as it is a working sheep farm dogs are not allowed either.
The facilities are first class - there are plenty of showers and toilets which are always clean and there is never a shortage of hot water - just the thing after a long muddy bike ride! Campers have access to a fridge and freezer and microwave oven as well as washing up rooms with hot running water and eco friendly washing up liquid provided. There is a clothes drying room in case the British summer is living up to its reputation and a jet wash as well as a secure lock up facility for bikes. There are electrical power points for pluging in hair driers or mobile phone chargers although hook ups are not available in the camping fields. There is also wifi available in the farmyard - ask the owners for the password. Portable and reusable barbeques are allowed as long as they are far enough off the grass not to scorch it but disposable barbeques and open fires are not permitted.
If you don't fancy sleeping under canvas for what ever reason the camping barn is a good alternative. We swapped our booking to the barn on our second visit as it had been raining for about 2 weeks solid and we didn't really fancy pitching tents in a quagmire! The barn sleeps 10 on camp beds, pillows are provided but bring your own pillow case and sleeping bag. The toilets and showers are located in the farmyard but the barn has its own kitchen facilities - a fridge, freezer, microwave, toaster, kettle and 4 ring hob. Plates, cups and cutlery are also provided and there is a DVD player though no TV reception. The barn was really warm and comfy, it is one big room though so not much privacy - you can book the whole barn but if not then there may be others sleeping there too. If you have 5 or more people in your group it costs £10/pp to stay in the barn, otherwise it is £12/pp.
A second barn has been converted to provide B&B accommodation - I haven't stayed here but it does look really nice from peering in the windows! There are 4 rooms - double, twin, triple and family all with ensuites, tea/coffee making facilities, wardrobe, TV and DVD player. There is also a breakfast room and communal lounge with wifi available in the lounge. Room only is £21, with breakfast is £27 per person, single occupancy has a £10 supplement. Breakfast is continental only - no cooked option. You can also hire the entire barn and self cater if you prefer this costs £160/night or £900 for the week for up to 7 people, additional people - up to a maximum of 13 - are charged £15/night (or £18 if the hire is for less than a week). There are currently various special offers on the website for winter.
There aren't any pubs or shops that are easy to walk to as the site is just off the A470 which is a busy road with no footpath or street lights but there are 2 villages within a couple of minutes drive, Bronaber, which has a small shop and a pub serving food and Trawsfynydd where there another couple of pubs and a bigger selection of local shops. If you are staying for more than a night or two there are several other villages to explore as well as the towns of Porthmadog and Dolgellau.
This a really friendly place to stay and makes a great base for exploring Snowdonia.