The last bank holiday weekend we had, Boyfriend & I decided that it would be a great opportunity for us both to stretch out adventurous legs, and have a camping weekend away. Me,having been camping before - but never in England - left Boyfriend on a mission to decide where we were going to go. With so many options out there, there is no way I could have decided where to go!
It wasn't until the Monday before the bank holiday that Boyfriend sat me down and told me that he had found the perfect place for us to camp. Within about ten seconds of me looking at his laptop screen, my wanderlust kicked off....Big time.
Cae Du Rhoslefain is nestled on the Welsh coast. It is one of those places that immediately struck me as the type that if you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't know about it at all. Which, for us, was perfect. The campsite is quite large, and although when we went it wasn't too busy, you can tell that in the summer, it must be fit to burst with happy campers.
I have never seen a campsite like it. You are literally right on top of the sea. All day the melodic sounds of waves lapping against the shore, and distant sea birds tickle your ears. Visiting Cae Du was like entering a bubble. Being there makes you feel completely detached from the rest of the world.
We made the decision to not take the car, but to get the train down instead. This was the first time I had ever carried a "proper" camping bag. To be honest I didn't think I was going to be able to do it. Between us, we literally took everything with us that we needed. And that meant our bahs weighed an absolute tonne. Even with all the clasps strapped around me, I knew that with one wrong step, I would easily topple over!
|Photo Credit: Boyfriend|
But, being the stubborn old goat that I am, I knew I had to do this. Carrying the bag from train to train wasn't that bad, but when we got off the train at our final destination, reality kicked in a little bit. I had to carry my 10kg bag to the campsite. By myself. Oh shit.
After about a 2.5 mile walk full of gorgeous scenery, nature, animals...and very colourful language, we arrived at the campsite, checked in with the farmer, and began to set up camp. We chose a spot on top of a slight incline overlooking the sea. It had started to rain, and we didn't want to take the risk of being too close to the water and freezing to death. As it happens, we pitched right in front of the railway line (don't worry there is a stone wall and shrubbery to separate campsite and track) but with trains passing once every few hours, and stopping before midnight, we barely even noticed. Alongside the bleating of lambs and calls of the sheep, it made for very atmospheric background noise.
The Cae Du Rhoslefain campsite offers toilet and shower facilities, as well as a sheltered area to sit and cook should it decide to pelt down with rain. You can also buy lamb burgers and fresh eggs from the farmhouse if you need supplies. Just having these little luxuries to hand made the whole weekend more comfortable. I don't mind roughing it in the slightest, but knowing that there was a toilet close by did put me more at ease. We were also very lucky and had lovely neighbours who lent us some fire-starters for our campfire, which, for some reason, just refused to stay aflame.
That was one of the things that I thought was great about Cae Du Rhoslefain; they let you have campfires. In fact, at the top end of each pitch there is a pit surrounded by stones should you want to build a fire. This was one of the many cherries on the cake that weekend. I'm renowned for feeling the cold really, really easily. Amongst my friends I'm known as the reptilian woman because even a cool summer breeze is enough to make me shiver. So to be able to have a fire was my saving grace at night. And we didn't have to find our own firewood either. The farmer's son also came around with bundles of wood for sale each evening for £5.00 each. With two bundles bought each night, we were well sorted and kept nice and toasty, roasting marshmallows, listening to Pink Floyd, drinking wine, and looking up at the stars.
It did rain a bit during the weekend. But that didn't bother us. When you live in England you come to realise that just a bit of rain can't stop you from doing anything, because, well, you'd never get anywhere. There is something really therapeutic about sitting in your tent and listening to the rain too. And it didn't hinder us. Boyfriend could still light the fire so we could cook and make hit drinks, and showery bursts always stopped just in time for an evening round the fire. It was just heavenly.
On the first day we hopped on the train and went a few stops down the line to Machynlleth, or "Mac" as we affectionately refer to it. Stopping there was a completely off-the-cuff decision. The sky on the Sunday started out very grey, and after our walk to the station, the heavens opened and it lashed it down. Visiting "Mac" was the result of a quick Google.
And boy am I really happy we found it! "Mac" was a lovely place to visit on a rainy day. There are a plethora of little shops to go in to, cafes, and pubs. We stopped off a few times along our jaunt through the village. Had some lunch. Picked up charcoal and fire-lighters and more wine, and then went for a cheeky afternoon beer in the local pub.
|Churchyard in "Mac."|
Staying in Cae Du Rhoslefain was just amazing. Because we were in such a bubble, I rarely had phone signal, so wasn't constantly going on Twitter, Facebook, and checking my emails. Boyfriend and I really got to spend some quality time together, doing the things that we love and being outside amidst rolling hills, trees, and the coat. We joked how we are both just as bad when it comes to checking our phones, but on our weekend away, it was just the two of us.
On Monday, we set out a little early to do some more exploring. The farmer's wife kindly ordered us a taxi from a company she knew, and soon after, a taxi arrived. We were all set and ready to head to Tywyn top find something to eat, but our taxi driver suggested that instead, we go to Aberdovey. It was honestly like having our own private tour guide. If you have never been to that part of Wales before you wouldn't have a clue where to go, but we got lots of recommendations of places to go in Aberdovey, things we could do, and where we could get food before our journey home. We even got help knowing which train station to go to to hop of the train back to "Mac" ( back to Mac - hehe.)
|Photo credit: Boyfriend|
We ended up going to the Penhelig Arms for some lunch before the journey home. It is such a gorgeous little pub/restaurant filled with sea-related décor, and located a stones-throw away from the water. The food was delicious, and definitely enough to keep us going. After getting our fill, Boyfriend and I headed across the road and just looked out over the water. It was just gorgeous.
Even though we were only away Saturday - Monday it honestly felt like we had been on an extended summer break. We got home so relaxed and at ease that it felt like we had been away for ages.
If you love camping and being outdoors, then I cannot recommend Cae Du Rhoslefain enough. It is a hidden gem on the Welsh coast and surrounded by amazingly picturesque landscapes. There are so many things to do and see and experience that I could happily stay again and again and not get bored. How could you tire of looking out at the sea everyday? Whether you take your car, or walk/train it like us, it is definitely somewhere every camping-lover needs to go.
For more information about the Cae Du Rhoslefain campsite, visit: