Set on the coastline of Snowdonia National Park, Shell Island is the biggest campsite in the UK. The site which spans over 450 acres, is less than 30 minutes north from the popular seaside town of Barmouth, making it the perfect destination for a summer holiday.

The welcoming entrance sign to Shell Island. Seagulls can be seen flying in the background.
The welcoming entrance sign to Shell Island

Shell island accepts, both tents and campervan's with prices starting from just £9.00 per person per night off season. While it's not the cheapest campsite for families, it has much to offer that other sites cannot compete with.

So what makes Shell Island unique? Not only is it one of the largest campsites in Europe, the island is based in a fantastic location just a stones-throw from the beach. Lucky campers may even find themselves in a pitch overlooking the sea, though these spots are often the first to be snapped up. 

It's also a tidal island meaning at certain times Shell Island is inaccessible when the tide is in. This is never for more than a few hours, though it does make for some slightly nail-biting drives when you've got minutes to cross before the waves start lapping at the road!

Looking across the beach at Shell Island. The foreground is sandy but the shore is shingle
Part of the beach that Shell Island campsite overlooks

Peeping down a sandy path to the beach. The path is lined with thin grass that grows tall and each side of the path.
One of the paths from the campsite to the beach


Shell Island has one main shower block near the reception area, with a secondary smaller shower block beside it. The showers are free to use and always hot, though they can get incredible busy at peak times. While the showers are near reception, there are multiple toilet blocks dotted around the site, meaning you are never more than a few minutes walk from the loos. While these sites are very handy for those 3am wee's, they do not have hot water which is unfortunate.

There is also an on site shop, camp shop, tavern, restaurant and snack bar, meaning you won't go hungry if your bbq doesn't quite live up to expectations. Drinking water is also readily available across the campsite.

Standing on a sandy path looking towards the campsite. Tents and campervans can be seen across the landscape.

You really couldn't get any closer to the beach if you tried

Looking across the campsite. Tents and campervans are scattered across the land. The mountainous Snowdonia National Park can be seen in the background.
Looking out across the campsite. Snowdonia National Park can be seen in the background


  • The campsite is located beside the sea meaning it has easy access to the beach and beautiful views in every direction.
  • It's around 20 minutes from Barmouth and around an hour from Snowdon.
  • There are multiple toilet blocks across the site, all with disabled access.
  • The showers are free to use.
  • The size of the site means you have lots of space to yourself.


  • The shower blocks can get busy at peak times.
  • Cleanliness could be better at busy times.
  • Not all of the toilet blocks have hot water.

Bigger doesn't always mean better, and while I think this is true when it comes to some of the facilities available on Shell Island, the location of this giant campsite really cannot be beaten. Shell Island is one of those places where it's easy to fall in love with the area and many find themselves returning year after year to battle the tides and pitch up on this beautiful stretch of land.

Have you ever camped at Shell Island in Wales?

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