At Goboony, we pride motorhome travel for the freedom it provides, the ability to go anywhere, anytime. But having to constantly stop to find a campsite, adjust your schedule to their check in and check out times, isn’t part of that deal. Campsites can also be costly in certain areas, and have a reduced sense of privacy. While some enjoy the social aspects and perceived safety of a campsite, if you prefer to stay at free overnight motorhome parking spots in Wales, read on!
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Is it possible to camp for free with a motorhome in Wales?
The regulations for wild camping in Wales are pretty similar to England and Scotland, except that there is less tolerance regarding it. You cannot wild camp somewhere without the permission of the landowner. This doesn’t mean to say no wild camping or overnight parking, simply that you need to ask first. This could be a farmer, a local council or the owner of an establishment. We’ll list the places known to be accepted, but still try to ask the closest landowner once you arrive. Most will be happy to allow it!
What is the difference between wild camping and overnight parking?
The two terms are quite similar, but it is genuinely considered that wild camping is somewhere rural, truly in a forest of field, while overnight parking is in a lot or bay. Wild camping can be harder to do nowadays, given laws, while overnight parking can occur by establishments that have expressed permission. Some pubs or hotels allow it, in the hope that customers will come inside for a drink or bite to eat.
Tips for Overnight Parking
Given that wild camping and overnight parking are quite the grey area, give yourself the best chance of being left alone by being on your best behaviour. Here are some tips for minimizing your impact, and ensuring the area can be enjoyed once you’re gone:
- Leave no litter, not even food scraps. These can impact the ecological imprint of the area.
- If you’re in doubt regarding a location and if it’s allowed, simply ask. If not, find another spot. If you’re asked to move, do so respectfully, as this is within their right.
- Chat to fellow travellers or locals to find tips of where they’ve been. The best places are not overcrowded, and will be spread word of mouth.
- Don’t stay somewhere longer than a night, and leave in the morning. If you’re looking for somewhere to spend days and enjoy an afternoon in, you’ll be better off at a campsite.
- Toilet talk! If you’re overnight camping, you should ideally have a self-contained vehicle or be sure to park next to a public toilet. If, for some reason, this cannot be the case, be sure to do your business at least 30m away from any water source or path, and bury your waste at least 15cm deep (covered over!). Carry any paper or sanitary items away with you to be disposed of correctly.
- Don’t light any fires, it can be extremely dangerous in an open area and spread quickly. Use specified fire pits in campsites if you’re really craving that s’more.
- Be respectful of others nearby, including wildlife, by keeping noise down and not moving things around the area.
Not happy with these rules? Then you may be better off staying in a campsite for ease.
The Best Overnight Motorhome Parking Spots in Wales
1. Powys - The Promenade Car Park
Crossing the English border to Powys, the Promenade Car Park offers free overnight parking for motorhomes between 6pm and 8am. Be aware that there are no facilities in this carpark, but given that it is a 5minute walk to the town centre, you can always head there if needed.
The Promenade Car Park, Fenni-Fach Road, Brecon, Powys, LD3 9LL, UK
2. Fishguard - Seaview Hotel, Seafront
Another free overnight parking option in Wales, the Seaview Hotel allows motorhomes to stay in its car park. No services offered, but if you eat or drink in the hotel, you can use their toilets.
Seafront, Fishguard SA65 9PL, United Kingdom
3. Nantgaredig - Railway Hotel
Not free, but a better price than most campsites! In Nantgaredig, you can stay in the parking lot of the Railway Hotel for £5 per night. A good deal, considering they offer water, toilet disposal, toilets and rubbish disposal. At the hotel itself, you can enjoy a range of pub classics and a pint after a long day travelling.
Station Rd, Nantgaredig, Carmarthen, Dyfed SA32 7LQ, UK
4. Pembroke - Speculation Inn
This cosy Inn at the start of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is rurally located, providing the perfect escape and privacy. It is free for the first night, and every night following is £10. WIFI and water offered. They advise calling first to secure a spot.
Pembroke St, Pembroke Dock, Pembroke, Dyfed SA71 5RU
Where can I wild camp in Wales?
- If you’re visiting Wales, it is likely that you’ll be heading to Snowdonia in the north. Snowdon captivates the skyline, and is certainly worth the challenge to trek. To wild camp near this impressive site, head to the road between Llanberis and Nant Peris, where you’ll find a large and level layby with minimal traffic near. It’s a mere half mile to the pub in Nant Peris in case you fancy a bite!
- Another great area is in the Rheidol Valley, a large layby not too far from the power station. Or alternatively, you can head up into the hills, where you will discover numerous spots around the Nant y Moch reservoir.
- Heading to the Brecon Beacons in a motorhome? Rest your weary head at Court Farm Llanthony, for a stunning view with public toilets nearby.
- In the Lleyn Peninsula, you can wild camp at this stunning peninsula facing Porth Iago beach. Watching the sunset over golden sands and clear waters will be a true highlight of your journey. Wild camping is included in the £5 parking fee, which is paid at Ty Mawr farm you pass through on the way.
Find a motorhome in Wales and let the adventure begin! By visiting these spots, you’ll lay out a great route through this gorgeous country. Let your Wales road trip begin with hiring a motorhome in Wales, or rent a motorhome in Bristol and cross the border.