A campsite, on a river bank, in the beautiful landscapes of North Wales with a pub. Sounds almost too good to be true really, but it isn’t.
The Crown Inn boasts a limited number of camping spots alongside the River Alwen. To reach the pitches you must first pass over a small ford through the river itself. They’ve done a good job of making it as smooth under wheel as possible, but it’s not suitable for vehicles with low ground clearances. We got our 10 year old trusty Vauxhall Zafira over it no problem - recently passed driver Sarah didn’t blink an eye and ploughed straight in :)
There was an organised meet of campervans there who had taken the spots further down the river bank whilst we had been left the pitches next to the ford itself. It actually turned into being the best spot to have as it gets the most sun all day. A couple of more campervans turned up but it became apparent that some folks didnt want to risk the ford crossing, particularly the longer vehicles.
The ground is pretty hard on the side of the this river and some of our plastic pegs took a fair bit of banging in. I really recommend getting some rock pegs to cut through easier, much easier to remove afterwards too. The pitches are flat but the ground is a little bumpy in places, pitch carefully to avoid getting in a tizz when it comes to bed time and you’re on top of a rock ;)
There are a selection of on ground fire pits, permanent places where people have been having fires. I still haven’t had a chance to get my Made O’ Metal fire pit out this year - I think I’m going to make a video on it, its that good! You can buy firewood from the pub for 5 pounds a bag too.
This camp was really about just chilling out with friends, everyone was in dire need of a break so we didn’t plan anything on this trip. Just a great chance to chill out and spend some time with dear friends. Friday night we had a bit of glance round, a few spots of rain and we went to visit the pub itself.
The Crown Inn is a Grade II listed historic Welsh drovers inn, nestled in a cliff face and over looking the bridge of the River Alwen. It cost us 15 a night per tent to stay here and 5 of that can be used as credit in the pub! We went and paid and decided to have a couple of bowls of chips and a coke. Two bowls of chips, a coke and three lime and sodas came to under 6. The pub is traditional, small but full of character and characters. We had a warm welcome but it really reminded me of how all Welsh pubs were when I was growing up and going on holiday with my parents. I found it really refreshing and obviously a little nostalgic to not be in a chain pub or another gentirified “gastro pub”. There’s even a pool table in the back though there was a bit of a queue for it. I managed to jump on the wifi there briefly and for free, enough speed to check my emails. There’s little to zero phone signal at the Crown Inn so I was relying on getting messages out over data using WhatsApp/Facebook. The chips were good and we managed to sit out most of the rain whilst in there.
Saturday and Sunday were much of the same, we just hung out at camp, talked and ate whilst the kids played in the river. We bought the kids some river / beach shoes so they were in and out all day. There are apparently Brown Trout in the river so we gave the kids some nets with the hope they’d catch something ;)
The Crown Inn is a beautiful spot and we love basic sites, I think a washing up basin for the pots and maybe a water tap nearer the river would be useful. There’s no showers and the sink in the bathroom of the pubs is just that, small and less than a meter from the urinals. If you can deal with that then you’re onto a winner here, after all location is everything.
Thanks for reading,