Barmouth Bay Holiday Park is owned and operated by Away Resorts. The company, which prides itself on offering great British holidays, owns five holiday parks all located in stunning locations – Whitecliff Bay in the Isle of Wight, Tattershall Lakes in Lincolnshire, Mill Rythe in Hampshire, Mersea Island in Essex and Barmouth Bay in Snowdonia, West Wales. We were delighted when the lovely people at Away Resorts invited us to review Barmouth Bay Holiday Park.
We know Barmouth well for we enjoyed a family camping holiday in the area a couple of years ago. As a rule we try to avoid returning to the same place twice for our holidays, purely because we enjoy getting to know new areas. We were more than happy to break our own rule however for the opportunity to stay at Barmouth Bay. As their website promises, the holiday park is located on the coast within Snowdonia National Park with spectacular views of mountains, hills and valleys.
Our journey from Gloucestershire
It took 3.5 hours to drive to Barmouth from Gloucestershire. The scenery en route was absolutely stunning. Most of the journey spent on A roads with mountainous peaks surrounding us.
I had kept an eye on Charlie, our eldest son, who suffers from car sickness as the roads were very windy and hilly. It was Harry, our youngest, who took us by surprise by projectile vomiting all over the back of the car when we were just 30 minutes away from the holiday park! (Kids like to keep you on your toes don’t they?!) As you can imagine, when we arrived at Barmouth Bay at 10.30pm on Friday evening we were all feeling rather tired and fed up!
Our first impressions
We were aware from the website that the reception was going to be closed upon our arrival and so-called through to the out of hours contact number provided. The member of staff quickly helped us retrieve our keys from the key safe and explained how to open the car barriers, etc. Charlie and Harry were so excited to open up the caravan door and explore our new home for the next three nights. I managed to take a couple of photos of the bedrooms. The other photos below were taken the next morning before my boys managed to make themselves too much at home!
We were absolutely delighted with our caravan. It was a superior 8 berth caravan which could not have been more than a year old. It was spotlessly clean with modern, light furnishings and central heating. The caravan had a master double bedroom, two twin bedrooms, a spacious lounge with pull out sofa bed and a modern kitchen with microwave and every utensil we could possibly need. There was a main bathroom with shower and toilet and conveniently, a separate toilet.
Richard and I decided it was pointless attempting to immediately put our boys to bed. They were far too excited running around from room to room, fully checking out every nook and cranny! We therefore unpacked and then we all settled down with a much-needed drink. I was pleased to find that the caravan had plenty of storage and wardrobe space. I could even put all of our bags under one of the beds to keep them hidden.
Barmouth Bay holiday park sits alongside a stunning sandy beach, it also has a kids play ground, sports court and a large private heated pool with children play pool area.
I must admit my first thoughts when I woke up on Saturday morning were not the beach or pool, I was just concerned about our car covered in sick! I was relieved when I found out that there were laundry facilities on site and a shop next door to buy washing powder from. (It’s the little things that can make or break a holiday isn’t it?! It could have completely ruined the first morning of our holiday if we had needed to go into town searching for a launderette).
We fully made the most of all the park facilities during our short break. On Saturday we were joined by my friend Helene who came to stay with us for a night. After packing up a picnic the five of us took the short stroll over to the beach to make the most of the sunshine and let the boys build sand castles. Apart from one couple with a dog, which Harry took an instant liking too, we had the picture perfect beach to ourselves all afternoon:)
Saturday evening we decided to try the fish and chips from the takeaway located across the road from Barmouth Bay (they were very good!) In addition to Billy’s Fish & Chips, there is a restaurant at Islawrffordd Holiday Park called Nineteen57 which has an outside beer garden and children’s play area (see photos below). We intended to stop by to enjoy a drink outside whilst the kids played but we ran out of time. It is definitely a place I would recommend to other families thinking about a stay at Barmouth Bay though. (I had a peek at the menu – £13 for a burger and chips, so not cheap but it was a rather upscale looking place!)
On Sunday we went for a swim in the on site pool. It was raining and we were a little worried that the place would be packed however there was only one other family in the pool. As with all the other facilities at Barmouth Bay we found the pool and changing areas clean and well maintained. The changing rooms were rather basic, there were no private changing rooms, mirrors or hair dryers but our boys certainly didn’t care about these minor details and had a blast splashing around in the children’s play area!
We had promised the boys all weekend that we would take them to play on the slot machines and so on Monday morning we headed over to the arcades located next door in the Sands Leisure Complex. There were literally every arcade game you could think of in the building although we mainly made the most of the boys still enjoying the 2p machines! (I’m sure this is not going to last for very long! The £1 machines are already starting to appeal to Charlie).
Barmouth & nearby attractions
The town of Barmouth is only a short drive from the holiday park. (5 miles to be exact from the park to the harbour). The town has many quirky shops from seaside souvenir shops through to designer furniture shops, independent coffee shops, ice cream parlours and a variety of bars/restaurants.
After a swim on Sunday we headed into Barmouth. We headed straight to the harbour to check out the boats and watch a hen party attempting to paddle board!
There are lots of sightseeing excursions available from Barmouth harbour such as boat trips and fishing trips. The town also has many attractions nearby including castles, farms and slate caverns. More information about local attractions can be found here.
Although the beach next to Barmouth Bay is picturesque and quiet, we particularly enjoyed the wide sandy beach in Barmouth itself. It is a perfect beach for crabbing and exploring the sand dunes. As it is so wide I can never imagine, even on a hot sunny day, that you would ever have to fight for space to sunbathe!
Although there were no local events taking place during our stay there are plenty taking place over the summer holidays including the Barmouth Kite Festival, the local lifeboat station RNLI Fun Day and a local beer festival. More information about these events can be found via the Barmouth Bay events listing.
During the school summer holidays the holiday park hosts some fab family activities including games of water polo/beach volleyball, under water sea scooters, family movies on a big outdoor screen and raft building. There is a small charge for some of the activities however there is always at least one free activity every day.
Top tips for a family break at Barmouth Bay Holiday Park
*** As mentioned above, the car journey to Barmouth is absolutely stunning. In fact I would even go as far to say it is the most scenic ride I have ever taken in the UK. It is however windy and hilly. Be prepared for car sickness, have sick bags etc and try to avoid kids from looking down i.e. reading books which often makes it worse.
*** The shop next door to Barmouth Bay Holiday Park is great for stocking up on forgotten items although it would be expensive to do a big shop there. Instead stop in Barmouth at the Cooperative or Spar to stock up on groceries for your stay.
*** If your child is a light sleeper pack black out blinds as the curtains in the bedrooms do let in a lot of light. You may also want to pack child bed rails as the single beds are quite narrow. (As we had a spare mattress we placed it sideways on in between the two single beds and this worked perfectly!)
*** Parking in Barmouth is plentiful and if you have a drive around you will see signs for full day parking from £3. If however you would prefer not to use your car whilst staying at Barmouth Bay you can travel easily by train. Talybont train station is a short walk up the street from the holiday park. Regular trains travel between Talybont and Barmouth.
We thoroughly enjoyed our relaxing and traditional seaside break at Barmouth Bay Holiday Park. We had intended at some point over the weekend to drive to nearby Snowdon to experience the train ride up to the summit. To be honest we have had an incredibly busy few weeks reviewing Mark Warner Holidays, Alton Towers and Wychwood Festival and it so was lovely to just chill out for once and relax! Even though the weather was not great we were still having too much fun on the beach, looking for crabs and playing in the arcades to even think about loading up our car and driving up to Snowdon!
We have enjoyed several camping and camper van holidays as a family of four but this was our first holiday with Harry in a caravan. We will most definitely stay in a caravan again. As the caravan was so spacious it was truly a treat to chill out in the mornings and just enjoy being together.
Charlie and Harry took great delight every morning snuggled up on the sofa bed in the front room, watching their favourite cartoons. They both loved the novelty of listening to the rain one morning falling on the caravan roof. Harry’s number one pastime whilst we were staying in the caravan was to run up and down from the bedrooms to the front room enjoying the sound of the hollow floor from underneath his feet! (its good job we didn’t have people below us, he sounded like a herd of elephants!)
The caravan also worked particularly well for us in the evenings when both boys were in bed. Richard and I had the choice of whether to stay in the front room watching the TV or enjoy the summer evenings outside, a choice we would not have if staying in a hotel room.
Disclosure – We were invited as guests by Away Resorts to enjoy a three night stay at Barmouth Bay Holiday Park. As always, my opinions are my own. If you are interested in saving 35% on the cost of a short break or holiday at Barmouth Bay check out our exclusive discount code available until the 30th June.