CAMPSITES | Shell Island, Llanbedr, Wales Campsite Review

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Shell Island gull

Another perfect blue sky day at Shell Island

The Lowdown

Shell Island
North Wales
LL45 2PJ

£7.25 per adult
£3.00 per child
£2 per dog

Shell Island entrance sign

Shell Island does get cut off from the mainland, so be sure to check tide times

Shell Island is the UKs biggest campsite, and with a whopping 300 acres of space, you can pitch anywhere you like, from wide open fields or sand dunes to secluded little nooks overlooking the sea.

Shell Island Shop

The main shop on Shell Island

Camp shop

The camp and leisure shop

Souvineer shop

The gift shop

When you enter Shell Island you’ll pull up at reception close to all of the central amenities. Following our journey which generally takes around 3 hours, we usually take the opportunity to stretch our legs, grab an ice lolly from the shop and run up the hill for a look around to gauge how busy the site is.

Entering Shell Island

Through the barriers, then off up the hill to choose a pitch

We’ve been going there for so long now that we tend to head straight for one of our two favourite areas, chosen depending on the size of the group we’re camping with. Invariably we end up overlooking the sea or nestled in the sand dunes, but we’ve never yet chosen a spot we’ve regretted camping in.

Shell island facilities

The main toilet block with shower block at the rear

All the ameneties are centrally located, so depending on where you choose to pitch, you may have quite a long walk to the shop, showers or the loo, so do take this into consideration when you choose where to pitch.

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Camping field

One of the many wide open camping fields on Shell Island

Our Verdict

We’ve been camping at Shell Island now for 15 years, and in all that time, it has barely changed. From the faded facades of the on-site shops to the chilled-out vibe, but for us, it’s all about the location. With stunning huge stretches of sandy beach through to the many rock-pools along the tidal causeway, it’s the location that keeps us coming back for more every summer.

Camping at Shell Island

Boutique Camping

Shell Island is the perfect location for group camping trips and we highly recommend dolphin spotting as they can often be seen swimming along Cardigan Bay. The mudflats and marshes that surround Shell Island provide superb habitats for wildlife, so take binoculars, a great zoom lens and wildlife identification books with you to really make the most of your stay.

One of the camping areas

One of the many camping areas on Shell Island

In my opinion the facilities are shabby, but the loos are usually clean enough. I’ve never used the showers there, we have our own solar shower that I prefer to use but the verdict from friends is usually that they’re OK.

Our pitchOur favourite place to camp on Shell Island


  • Stunning views of Cardigan Bay
  • Incredible sunsets
  • Lovely area of Wales to explore
  • Good value pitch fees
  • Campfires are allowed

Group camping

A recent group camping trip

Rockpools on the beach

Rockpools at Shell Island

More rock pooling

 investigating rock pools at low tide

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Insider Tips

  • If you have small children, but don’t want the noise of the more heavily populated areas which are closer to the central facilities, make sure you take a camping loo with you to avoid night time treks to the toilet block.
  • There are 3 beaches in total, but we recommend the wide sandy south beach, which runs for a full 6 miles all the way down to Barmouth.
  • Avoid the wide open fields which often get crowded and can be noisy and choose instead a shady grove at the far end of the sand dunes, or choose one of the smaller camping areas right in front of the sea.
  • Don’t panic if you forget something, there are 3 main shops on Shell Island selling camping gear, basic groceries and souvineers where kids will love spending their pocket money.
  • Grab yourself a bucket, net and some bait and spend a few hours crabbing. Whether you’ve got kids or not it’s extremely enjoyable.
  • The sea off Shell Island is beautiful and perfect for little ones to paddle in or for long leisurely swims.
  • We recommend a day out in nearby Barmouth, or a visit to Harlech castle.
  • When you first arrive, take a slow drive or walk around the site to find the area best suited for you to set up camp in.
  • In the summer holidays, it is worth booking in advance as at peak times, Shell Island can get very busy.

Find out more about Shell Island.

Sunset at Shell Island

Gorgeous sunsets come as standard at Shell Island

Over to you!

Have you been to Shell Island? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.

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DISCLOSURE | This camping trip was booked and paid for independently. We were not paid to write this review.

Where to next?

Shell Robshaw-Bryan
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