Shell Island, Wales

Camping in the fields at Shell Island
Kentfield /Foter

About Shell Island Campsite

Shell Island in Wales is one of those great places where you can give your family a taste of a real adventure. It is certainly a place we keep going back to.

Technically not an island, it can be reached by causeway except at high tide, so check the website for the best time to arrive and depart.

The area is quite large and you are free to find your own pitch. This can either be a grass field, by a cliff (perhaps not if you have little kids), or best of all, out by the dunes.

To reach the dunes keep on driving past the facilities, past all the fields, and past the last field. You will see huge sand dunes, like something out of the Sahara.

Follow the road around and you will find an area below the dunes, mostly grassed, with trees for shelter. If you are lucky you can find your own little tree enclave right by the dunes.

Facilities out by the dunes are basic (a few portaloos) but drinking water is provided. You can always drive to the main centre for showers, etc.

However, if the wilder side of camping doesn’t suit you, Shell Island also has a full range of facilities, including on-site shop, on-site cafe, on-site bar, and entertainment in high season.

It can get really busy, so best to book and arrive early.

Shell Island dunes
fraznrach /Foter

What about campfires?

Campfires are allowed (if off the ground), and so a real campsite experience and adventure for the kids. The dunes are quite a climb and go on for some way until you hit the beach.

See our article on cooking outside for ideas on campfire cooking.

  • Tents
  • Motor Homes
  • Showers
  • Wash-up
  • Fires Allowed
  • Pets Allowed
  • Chemical Disposal
  • Entertainment
  • On-site Shop
  • Laundrette
  • Play Park
  • By the Beach
  • Boat Launch

How much will it cost?

March-June, Sept-Oct:
Adult: £6.25 per night -£37.50 per adult weekly rate
Child £2.50 per night -£15 per child weekly rate (3-15 years old)

July-August, Summer Half Term, Bank Holidays
Adult: £7.25 per night -£43.50 per adult weekly rate
Child: £3.00 per night -£18 per child weekly rate (3-15 years old)

Prices last checked August 2012

Getting in Touch with Shell Island

Here's how you can get in contact with Shell Island.

Shell Island Website

[email protected]


Shell Island Facebook Page

01341 241453

[pullquote style='right'] Average customer rating for Shell Island 4 out of 5[/pullquote]

Where to find Shell Island

Sat Nav Postcode: LL45 2PJ

Latitude: 52.8191605, Longitude: -4.1426773

Click here for directions

You go through a village Llanbedr, and follow the road around past an old RAF base and onto the causeway. Please check tide times on the Shell Island web site before travelling.

Shell Island, Llanbedr, Gwynedd.

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Other Places Nearby



Average customer rating for Shell Island 4 out of 5
Get Out With The Kids rating of 3.5 out of 5

Shell Island has received reasonably favourable reviews over on Trip Advisor (4 out of 5 based on 24 reviews). However, there is a ‘Poor’ and a ‘Terrible’ review, so here’s what to expected at Shell Island:

  • The place is massive.  Not a campsite, but an island (sort of).  You can therefore be very far from the facilities.
    There are a few porta-loos at some remote locations, but these are porta-loos so don’t expect high quality.  Being spread over a large area means that the staff cannot clean them as often as you may wish.
  • The place is very very popular.  It therefore gets very very busy.  They do close the island when it is full and can be very strict about letting people on, so if you are meeting up with other friends and family then get there in good time.
    Also, when it is busy, the best spots will be taken and the dispersed facilities will be stretched.
  • It is facing the Irish Sea.  It can get very windy.  Tents can be ripped to shreds if not pitched properly.
    Take prevailing winds into consideration, especially if you want to pitch on the cliff top overlooking the sea.

We have camped at Shell Island more times than I can remember – and we’ve loved it.  But from out point of view, treat it as a place to ‘semi-wild-camp’.  We take facilities for a fire, our own water supply, and have also taken a portable toilet (though taking the waste all the way to the disposal point was a hassle).  If you take that approach – i.e. be self sufficient from the facilities as much as possible, get there in good time, and find a good pitch that is sheltered and out of the way, then Shell Island can be a fantastic campsite.

The major downside we have seen over the last few years is the greater commercialisation of the site.  You now have to ‘check-in’.  Prices have gone up.  And although they are enforcing site limits, it does appear to get over crowded on the busiest weekends of the year – which we now avoid.

Our recommendation is to go out of peak season.

Their rules on ‘single-sex’ groups and teenage parties have slipped, and you don’t want your young kids next to a group of ‘big kids’ partying all night.  Our review rating is therefore lower that previously.

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Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

1 Comment
  1. […] if you are familiar with popular campsites like Shell Island and Nantcol Waterfalls in the area, this is just a little further up in the hills than Nantcol. […]

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