Glamping Todhunter Style

Highlights of our week at Graig Wen

The first camping trip Mr T and I ever took together was wild camping along the Gower Peninsula in Wales. It still ranks up there in the top 10 “best holidays ever”. (Since you ask, the others would include: kayaking in New England, island hopping in the Scillies, snowboarding in Aviemore – the year we got “real” snow-  and the grand tour we took around Europe a couple of years back.

White Memorial Conservation Centre, Connecticut. August 2010

As you can see, we’re not really the sitting by the pool with a book kind of holiday maker). It’s 25 years since that first wild camping trip and these days I prefer a little more home comfort – running water and a loo makes me a much happier camper. But I do like to “Get away from it all” and insist that tea is cooked on a real fire.

This year we planned to take the Teen and her friends to our favourite camp site not far from Barmouth, only to discover it was fully booked and no amount of pleading could persuade the owners to squeeze us in.  I set about googling for an alternative and by chance came across Graig Wen. I’m so glad we did. We have just got back from a blissful 3 days and although I’m always reluctant to share our most favourite places, for risk of having them spoilt, I doubt very much that will happen at Graig Wen.

For one thing the compost toilet might put some of you off – and the 600m walk to the showers – note the “up hill” is a bit of a treck. But, they also offer self catering, rather fab looking B+B and hard standing with electric hook ups for the less hardy among you! Above all, from a camper’s point of view, the pitches are well spaced out and the tentipi we rented was tucked away in a clearing, we couldn’t even see another tent.

The tentipi comes equipped with an outdoor kitchen inc. gas cooker

The tentipi was a moment of genius on my part, why pack a huge tent into the car when we have 3 teenagers and their various belonging, when for a few extra quid a night we could arrive to find all kinds of luxury waiting for us? Put like that, Mr T could hardly refuse and so with much teasing and accusations of “glamping” we set off.

Within minutes of throwing their rucksacks in the tipi, declaring it “cool” and choosing which of the 4 camp beds and snuggly blankets were theirs for the night the three teens  set off to explore and for the rest of our stay we hardly saw them, except for meal times.

Breakfast Graig Wen style

Pork chops cooked over the fire grate

The Graig Wen shop sells essentials, including marshmallows!

Mr T and I pitched our tiny tent and popped the kettle on. We ordered a bag of wood (Ash, felled at Graig Wen), which was delivered right to our door – luxury indeed – we normally have to forage for drift wood before we can eat!

Drunk on the peaceful atmosphere, the friendly staff and chocolate available 24/7 from the “honesty shop”, I must have had a moment of madness as I suggested to Mr T that we hire bikes and ride along the Mawddach trail to our favourite pub. The bikes just happened to be single speed “Cruisers” and with a little adjustment the lady’s version suited me very well. In fact, if you saw a dumpy middle aged woman cycling from Barmouth to Dolgelleau with a huge grin on her face last weekend that was probably me! At this point my biking friends will fall off their chairs, so I’ll say this quietly single speeds are great fun and my saddle was really comfy … I might even be tempted to buy one … one day!

Graig Wen cruisers come equipped with bike locks and puncture repair kits!

After four days of walking, cycling, cooking tea on the fire and knitting (of course I took my knitting!) it was time to come home. We were all sorry to leave and I’m pretty sure we’ll be back. Not in the tipi next time, but “real camping”  and no doubt another ride on those fab bikes!


However you’ve been spending the summer, I hope it’s been fun.

Tx

Leave a comment

4 Comments

  1. Ali

     /  August 17, 2011

    Sounds idyllic! How great to get away from it all! xx

    Like

  2. Tracey Todhunter

     /  August 17, 2011

    It was Ali, such an amazing place.

    Like

  3. Rob

     /  August 17, 2011

    Cracking little camp site, stayed there last year. Grand biking near by too.

    Like

  4. It all souinds wonderful – but at my slightly more advanced age, I like the comfort of 5 star hotels!!

    Like

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  • I’m Tracey Todhunter. I’m a freelance writer. specialising in green / ethical living – with a “sideline” in craft!

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  • The gooseberries are plump and tart - perfect for gin! This is my favourite summer gin. Add a few elderflowers if you like. Freeze the gooseberries first so they release their flavour. 
#gooseberries #gin #girlgardener #eatwhatyougrow #ediblegarden #permaculture #countrywisdom #slowliving #summerinaglass #homesteading #greenliving #slowliving #slowfood Borage. I'll be freezing these flowers in ice cube trays for adding to summer Pimms & gin. 
The leaves make a fabulous "tea" to feed tomatoes (mix in a bucket of water with a handful of nettles), it doesn't smell as bad as comfrey feed and much cheaper / greener than the stuff you buy in garden centres!!
#girlgardener #edibleflowers #slowliving #foraging #permaculture #countrywisdom #mygardenrightnow Throwback . Taken on a visit to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire a couple of weeks ago. Can you read that  card? A valet to whiten your converse! Brought back memories of  whitening my Dunlop green flash in the 70's!!!
#chatsworth #converseallstars #conversetrainers Strange sky tonight. Common hogweed. Even the weeds look beautiful in the sunshine today. The flowers and  stems of this one are destined for the dye pot. There are lots of varieties of hogweed, if in doubt don't touch - the sap is highly irritant, even poisonous in some. 
#hogweed #foraging #ecodye #permaculture  #naturaldye #slowliving #bakingandmaking Everyone loves elderflowers - even the cockchafers (maybugs). Last night we sat in the garden drinking the first batch of elderflower champagne, watching the bats & the moths and listening to a blackbird serenading us. The hedgerows are full of elderflowers & champagne is easy to make (easier than cordial), if you have white wine vinegar, lemons & sugar. Click on the link in my bio and type "elderflower champagne" in the search bar. 
#wildfermenation #elderflower #elderflowercordial #elderflowerchampagne #foraging #slowliving #bakingandmaking #cockchafer #wildyeast #permaculture
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