The luxuriously wild campsite in Wales with proper loos and a 200-year-old pub

The campsite has just 26 pitches
-Credit: (Image: Hawarden Estate)


While the thought of a wet weekend in a damp tent might not be everyone's idea of fun, one Welsh campsite is delivering outdoor indulgence that transcends the average camping trip.

The Hawarden Estate Farm Shop campsite welcomes happy campers to the lush green grounds of a historic estate, inviting them to "celebrate the great outdoors during spring, summer and early autumn". And what a place to enjoy the wonders of the Welsh countryside, with 6.5 acres of total gorgeousness at your disposal.

With just 26 pitches spread across the grounds, there is plenty of space for guests to enjoy their freedom. The site offers pitches for tents and campers, as well as pre-erected bell tents located in two wild meadows with views of Hawarden Old Castle, an original motte-and-bailey that was built in the 14th century.

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The 18th Century Hawarden Castle
The 18th Century Hawarden Castle still stands at the heart of the estate -Credit:Hawarden Castle

Nestled away in a corner of a vast estate that was once home to four-time Prime Minister William Gladstone, the campsite is perched on the Welsh border. Described on the website as "Wild, but absolutely luxurious" the Hawarden Farm Shop Campsite claims to be "the best in North Wales."

They've even shared a little TikTok showing just how peaceful and relaxing the location is.

So forget about busy campsites with crowded playgrounds and overpriced clubhouses, this little idyll offers a slower pace of life for campers, without scrimping on the conveniences you need to enjoy your stay. Family-friendly and dog friendly too, the site specifically limits the number of pieces available to just 26 to help protect the land.

The bell tents at Hawarden
The bell tents offer basic comforts like camping beds -Credit:Hawarden Estate

It's not all birdsong and silent reflection here though, as the site has plenty of brilliant things to see and do.

At the heart of the rural retreat lies the Hawarden Farm Shop, which serves as a cafe, a deli and an artisan bakery. The shop is also the starting point for the Explorer Trail which encourages younger visitors to take part in an interactive adventure through the fields, orchards and surrounding woodlands.

Without a whiff of entertainment arcades or fast food outlets, the hub of the estate focuses on a more altruistic approach to fresh food and entertainment.

The Hawarden Farm Shop
The Hawarden Farm Shop is the hub of the campsite -Credit:Hawarden Estate

There are lake swimming sessions each weekend throughout July and August, and countless lovely walks through private Estate parkland, ancient forests and into the wilds of North Wales.

Adding to the upscale feel of the campsite is the addition of 'proper loos' and showers. While it's nice to be at one with nature, it's better to do so in comfort.

After a long morning running wild and free, what could be nicer than a cold pint and a hearty lunch? The Glynne Arms is also part of the historic estate, located in the centre of Hawarden village, with a large courtyard perfect for enjoying during warmer weather, and menus that change with the seasons.

The Glynn Arms
The Glynn Arms is just a short walk from the campsite -Credit:Hawarden Estate

Winner of The AA Welsh Pub of the Year (2020), diners can choose from a carefully curated menu by Adam Williams, a chef who champions fruit and veg grown just a stone's throw from the pub itself. Serving up bar snacks, an indulgent main menu and an impressive-looking Sunday lunch, campers should book a table to ensure they get to taste it all.

The 200-year-old hostelry also sells a good selection of liquid refreshments, including some of the "very best Welsh, biodynamic and natural wines" as well as craft beers, real ale and cocktails.

Visitors who don't fancy sleeping beneath the open skies can instead choose one of the design-led luxury properties in the estate. These include an elegant Georgian house with a wood-fired hot tub, an opulent apartment in a wing of Hawarden Castle and a super cute custom-built beekeeper's hut.

The BeeKeeper's Hut
The BeeKeeper's Hut has a private hot tub, sauna, an outdoor kitchen and spectacular views -Credit:Hawarden Estate

As a venue, Hawarden offers much more than just a campsite with nice loos and a farm shop. Throughout the summer there are classes and workshops in the Walled Garden, walks, talks and child-friendly activities. Hawarden also hosts its very own Summer Camp micro-festival, packed full of campfires, entertainment, performances and more, in an intimate outdoor setting.

Campers who can bear to drag themselves away from the unique parkland location can embark on a 35-minute drive to the beaches around Point of Ayr Lighthouse, 20 minutes to Moel Famau and the Clwydian Range or an hour to Snowdonia.

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