Since Shaun and I mostly work over Christmas and New Years we often book leave for the first shift cycle of January. This also happens to fall
nicely over Shauns ridiculously inconvenient birthday (seriously; who has a birthday on 5th Jan?! So inconvenient...). We decide to spend a few nights away somewhere in the Campervan with just us and Bentley. Preferably somewhere quiet but also epic. We had been spoilt last year by the amazing scenery in Europe from our Honeymoon and wanted something that was similar but in the U.K. This is partly down to the fact we haven't had Bentley's pet passport sorted yet.
We had been in contact with a few of our Vanlife friends and Snowdonia had come up a number of times. The problem we had was that most campsites are closed at this time of year. We searched and searched until we finally came across a site that has only been open a couple of years. That site was the Llanberis Touring Park near Caernarfon. Looking on googlemaps it looked like a 5.5mile walk up to the top of Snowdon directly from the park, perfect!!
We actually had a very easy drive up to Llanberis, which was surprising since it was a Friday. We are also lucky because Bentley travels well in the van and mostly lies down on the padded boot space, meaning we don't have to stop too often. We have a waterproof cover for the cushion in the boot incase there's ever a toilet accident (so far never happened but we like to be careful) or he's filthy (more likely).
We arrived at the site at night and were given a warm welcome by the wardens who seemed very pleasant and showed us where we could walk the dog on the site and where our pitch and the toilets were. Going onto the site we could immediately tell it was going to be a pretty quiet weekend as there were only a handful of motorhomes and vans there, perfect! We are pretty quick at setting up the van these days and it was all done and dusted in no time. Bentley had rubbed himself on the muddiest patch of grass and looked a mess (standard) but so long as he's happy then I'm happy.
After a lovely night's sleep we awoke to the sun shining and a crisp but stunning day for a walk!! I won't go into too much detail beyond this as we've done an entire vlog on it, but needless to say the views were epic, the company was lovely, and the welsh don't half do a good cake!!!
One thing I do want to discuss however was the last night we were in Llanberis. If you've watched the vlog already then you'll know that we had a lot of trouble with high winds that made sleep in the pop-top almost impossible. Somehow, with some earplugs in, Shaun still managed sleep but I sadly did not. With winds gusting up to 54mph banging against my side of the bed rocking us around a lot I did not sleep a wink. At 3am I was worried enough to nudge Shaun to wake him up to say that I wanted to move to the downstairs bed. This is not something we had ever tried before with Bentley in the van...
We moved everything on the back parcel shelf to the upstairs bed and Bentley thought it was very interesting sliding forward on the back seats! It was funny watching the confusion on his face. We dragged the mattress topper and duvet down and Bentley suddenly had his absolute dream situation!! A massive bed shared(ish) with his Mum and Dad! No one will be surprised to learn that Bentley initially took up almost all the space but with a bit of encouragement he did relent some of the duvet so we could actually lie under it and he slept very peacefully by our feet. What was initially a bit stressful actually turned out to be really lovely with the three of us sleeping (more) soundly but most importantly all snuggled together.
Despite our best efforts to sleep the wind still pelted us and the windscreen cover needed a bit of adjustment at 6am and Shaun went out to check on the Cali-Topper too. Amazingly everything was holding up really well but it was just the noise upstairs that had kept us awake most of the night. In the future we will look to see if the weather is due to have very high winds and just sleep downstairs from the start, especially now we know that Bentley won't keep us awake jumping on us all night and can actually share the bed.
We ended up returning a day early from Snowdonia, and I mentioned on Facebook we'd had a pretty rubbish last day. I don't really want to go into too much detail here (or in our vlog) because I like to think that Shaun and I are both very positive and people watch us because they enjoy that positive vibe that we (hopefully) give off. Let me just say that at the end of the day nothing serious happened but we just had one of those days where everything constantly went wrong and it's hard to keep up that level of positivity. However, despite this we arrived home and my mum had left Shaun an extra birthday present of some amazing smelling bubble bath! This couldn't be better timed as we both enjoyed washing the day away with relaxing baths. Next thing we know there's a knock at the door and my neighbour is standing there with an unexpected parcel! We have been sent something amazing to review for the channel and we are both exceptionally excited about this item! Sorry, no spoilers, but trust me it's awesome. This just goes to show that even the rubbish days can easily be washed away and Karma will soon bring you something epic, but I'm afraid you'll all just have to keep watching and reading to find out what it is!
All in all we really did have a lovely time away and it hasn't put us off future trips. If anything it's shown us that even in severe weather we can all sleep together on the bed downstairs and still be comfortable. So, here's to more adventures!
Before I go I just want to mention that Llanberis Touring Park *probably* had the best facilities we've ever experienced in any campsite! The thermometer was set to a soul warming 23°C, the showers had heated flooring and a separate changing area, the toilets were always super clean and there were some booths to do your make up in. The washing up room was also lovely and warm and there were plenty of sinks. All in all, I'd give it a super impressive 9/10!! The only downside was the hairdryer wasn't amazing and in comparison to the facilities at, say, Camp Sexton in Italy it didn't *look* amazing; as in just basic decoration. But again, that's absolutely fine, just highlighting what is needed for a 10/10!
Check out the video below to see our Snowdonia adventure!