I spent a weekend glamping in a bell tent at Cae Lal camping & glamping site in Bangor, North Wales. The site has strong eco credentials and has a beautifully laid back vibe. Here I share my stay with you…
Where did we go?
Cae Lal Camping & Glamping
Brithdir Mawr, Lon Wern, Bangor LL57 4BY
What we thought
Just a few minutes off the North Wales Expressway, I turn onto a tiny lane and immediately feel my blood pressure drop. SatNav dutifully leads me down winding lanes before a right turn where I see a sign announcing I’ve arrived at Cae Lal.
Parked up, rain lashing down, I’m hurriedly battling a waterproof over my head when I’m greeted by owner Bethan who explains the site to me and gives me a quick tour.
A row of cheery bright pink wheelbarrows are available for guests to transport camping gear from their car to their accommodation or chosen pitch, which can be accessed via a raised wooden boardwalk.
Despite staying in a fully furnished bell tent and traveling on my own, I trundle up and down the boardwalk a full 3 times before my car is empty and I’m ready to release myself from my soggy jacket.
I reflect that long flared denim jeans probably weren’t the smartest choice for wet weather. What do I know though, it’s not like I do this for a living.
Once settled inside I take it all in and hungrily fall on some of the local produce welcome gifts inside. The interior of the bell tent is beautiful. Comfortably furnished, all calming colours and full of lovely reclaimed pieces that echo the ethos of Cae Lal.
There are two big inviting butterfly chairs that have snuggly faux fur throws and cushions and make for the ideal reading spot and the interior generally feels like a welcoming hug. The rain only serves to intensify this feeling which I describe to Bethan later as something akin to hygge.
She tells me there’s a local word that means exactly the sort of feeling I’m describing, where you can hear the elements raging outside but you’re cosy, protected and content. Unsure of the spelling, phonetically, the word is ‘wo-ze’ which feels like a lovely, fitting word to use.
As the rain slows I unzip the tent and peer out, watching tall grasses and wildflowers swaying in the breeze as I listen to birds and ponder the task of making myself an evening meal.
The next morning is clear and dry, and an hour after I first peer outside, the sun is blazing, the sky clear and blue. I’ve planned to make the short 15 minute drive to Llanberis to swim in Llyn Padarn and I’m buzzing with excitement.
I spend a slow and lazy morning drinking coffee, wandering around the site, capturing video and soaking it all in. I’m feeling super relaxed as I pack my swimming gear and head off towards the peaks of the Snowdon range.
I’m delighted to take the last free parking space I spot and spend the next couple of hours swimming, meditating and reading in the sunshine beside one of my favourite places in the UK to swim.
I travel back to Cae Lal via Go Outdoors in Bangor, contemplating whether to cross the bridge over to Angelsey to have a walk at Newborough Warren, but a sense of contentedness has settled on me, and my instincts tell me to get back to the campsite and make the most of the beautiful, peaceful surroundings there.
I return and settle outside of my bell tent in the sunshine with my Kindle, my crochet and a bottle of Prosecco. I proceed to spend the next 3 hours doing very little, enjoying being still and having time to do exactly as I wish.
As the afternoon stretches into evening, more camping guests arrive. I’m struck by how friendly everyone is and I think of the saying “your vibe attracts your tribe” and decide that it is just as relevant for places as it is for people.
There’s been great effort here to allow people to come together outdoors, with a big communal campfire area, plenty of outdoor seating and a fabulous large indoor space which includes comfy seating, foosball and a kitchen area where guests can use the fridge, kettle and toaster.
When I finally muster the ability to move again, I decide a shower is in order before dinner, and I’m wowed by the facilities. It’s really not often I’m able to describe campsite facilities as beautiful, but at Cae Lal, the attention to detail and the general aesthetic truly is beautiful.
With everything being off-grid here, the site has been designed to have minimal impact on the environment. Structures like the shower block are all movable and the provided handwash, shower gel and even cleaning spray are all-natural and organic to ensure there’s no nasty chemical run-off generated by the site.
As well as bell tents, there are other glamping accommodation options that will be ready to book very soon. Whether you’re bringing your own tent or glamping, the site feels joyously wild and due to the tall wildflower meadow, guests have plenty of privacy.
I loved my weekend at Cae Lal and I always know I’ve been somewhere special when I’m looking forward to making a return booking as a paying guest.
The bell tent I stayed in was comfortable and beautifully furnished and the on-site facilities were equally lovely.
The location of the site makes it super easy to explore North Wales, including areas like Conwy, Llanberis, Snowdon, Angelsey, Aber Falls, Caernarfon and more.
I’ll definitely visit again.
DISCLOSURE | Thank you to Cae Lal who invited us to stay. We were not paid to write this review.
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