Manorafon Farm Touring & Camping
Website : http://www.manorafon.co.uk/
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Open - March 1st - September 30th
Current fees (2014)
Caravan, motorhome or tent and car, plus two people (two adults or one adult and one child) - Hard standing pitch (including ehu) £17.50 per night low season, £19.50 high season.
Grass pitch with ehu - £16.00 low season, £18.00 high season. Tents larger than 17sq.m - £20.00 low season, £22.00 high season
Grass pitch with no ehu, £13.00 low season, £15.00 high season. Tents larger than 17sq.m - £18.00 low season, £20.00 high season
Additional adults £4.00 each per night, additional children £2.50 each per night, awning or pup tent £1.00 per night, gazebo £3.00 per night, additional car on a pitch £1.50 per night.
Discounts - Single occupancy £1.00 per night reduction, hikers and cyclists £1.50 per night reduction, small tent (less than 4.5sq m) £1.50 per night reduction.
This lovely little site, situated in the grounds of Gwrych Castle estate, lies between the countryside and coastline of North Wales just a few minutes walk from the small town of Abergele. There are two single track lanes leading from the main road to the site - the first one goes through the entrance archway to the castle estate, and though there's no problem driving a car through anyone towing a caravan will need to use the other lane about 100yds further along. There's no actual site reception but the owner lives at the house so booking in is done by ringing the front door bell - when I last stayed there (August 2013) none of the pitches were numbered but if you're not sure where to go then the owner or one of her family will come out and show you.
There are 15 hard standing pitches with ehu for caravans/motorhomes, 19 grass pitches with ehu and 26 grass pitches which are non-ehu. Most of the pitches are level and the grass ehu pitches are terraced and very spacious, though many of the non-ehu pitches are on a slope towards the back of the site. The showers and toilets are cleaned regularly and are always spotless and there is a hairdryer provided in the Ladies; there's also a separate disabled toilet and shower at one end of the amenities block and a covered pot washing area at the other end. Other facilities include a coin operated laundry area and a freezer for ice packs, and gas is available from reception.
Next door to the site is a large golf course with the old castle beyond it, and the lane which runs past the site makes an excellent traffic-free dog walk. Although the castle itself is a derelict and dangerous ruin and has been made inaccesible to the public the lane goes right past it and leads to several paths through the woods; if you go straight ahead and far enough there are some caves in the rocky hillside and great views along the coast. The path eventually drops down onto the road which takes you back to the site, which makes for a really good circular walk with or without a dog.
Abergele town centre is less than ten minutes walk from the site; there's a large Tesco which is open till very late and most of the shops, cafes and take-aways you would normally get in a small town, though don't expect to see any of the usual high street fashion shops as there aren't any. There are four pubs, all of which do food, and the A548 to Llanrwst leads off from the main street, about halfway along. A short drive along the main road through the town takes you to Junction 24 of the A55 coast road where there's a Macdonalds and a large farm and pet store which has a good range of pet food and accessories, and you can even take your dogs in with you.
The nearest railway station is right on the coast at Pensarn and the beach there is a very pleasant fifteen minute walk or five minute drive from the site. There are three car parks situated along the promenade, which are all free, an amusement place, kiddies rides, a couple of cafes, takeaway, beach shop and a couple of kiosks, one of which sells fishing bait. That's about it, but it's a pleasant enough little place and when the tide goes out it leaves several wide pools on the beach which are great for paddling in. If you want to explore further afield then Manorafon is ideally situated for the Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno to the south and Rhyl to the north - if you want to leave the car on site then the No. 12 bus, which goes in either direction, stops on the main road just by the lane to the site.
The best bit about Manorafon just has to be the animals; there are pigs, chickens which often roam about freely, ducks, rabbits, adorable pygmy goats and even a couple of wallabies, and there's a path which runs beween the enclosures so you can see them close up - kids will love that part of the site. I can only think of one real niggle and that's the showers - they are on a push button and although they are hot they don't stay on for long so you have to keep pushing the button, which can make hair washing etc a bit of a trial. Other than that Manorafon is a great little site with reasonable prices, and well situated for visiting other places in North Wales.