August’s plan was to get back to Watergate Bay in Cornwall to relive last year’s awesome memories of surfing, body boarding and beach hopping. That didn’t go to plan since I was a little concerned about an 8 hour journey for the pup. Plus her behaviour has been somewhat questionable….
Shell Island was therefore our next choice. It’s recently had tons of money invested in to it. Rik’s been going since he was a small boy and introduced me to it a few years ago – I like to think it’s become somewhat of a tradition now. The island has always had its own shop, bar, restaurant, showers, toilets and arcades. Everything’s here should you just want to veg for a week or so.Personally I think the showers and toilets were OK. I’m quite funny about public facilities (I’d rather dig a hole) . But the money invested has certainly improved the quality of the place.
Sadly most of the time, it’s not the establishment, it’s the customers.
With views of Snowdonia and an array of beaches and towns nearby to visit, it makes a nice getaway.
Wherever you pitch up on the island, you’re guaranteed sea views, mountain ranges and sand dunes. The island’s sunsets and sun rises are spectacular! On the warm evenings as the sun set and the stars came out to play, we sat snacking on a warm blanket playing cards and being in the moment. On the chillier nights as a thick blanket of cloud hugged the surrounding mountains, we retreated into our sleeping bags (we should have brought the fire-pit)!
We had glorious sunshine for most of the week so we spent most of it at the beach, we took a trip to Barmouth beach , Harlech Castle (though there was no where to park – so go early if you plan on getting in) and instead diverted to Harlech’s beach – a long stretch of golden sands. We may even have caught a few very cold waves to body board on. It was amazing to see Baby Bel catch her first rushing wave and albeit wasn’t sure to start with, it didn’t take her long till she went for a swim all by herself.
Food wise – I wasn’t overly keen with the food – their fresh pizzas which we ordered on the first night after waiting in an hour’s long queue weren’t anything spectacular. The food generally is more convenience food which is not to my liking anymore. I’d advise you to bring your own food (and a cooler box) if your pallet is a little refined or sensitive. We made our own breakfast – I love cooking outside!
OK I’ll admit it, I’m a bigger fan of wild camping – I love to be out in the middle of nowhere. BUT if you just want a hassle free, few nights away knowing that most of your basic needs are covered, camp sites like these are ideal.
Above all, it was just chance to relax and see how Baby Bel got on with other people, dogs, and the sea! And actually, she took to it like a duck to water. Dare I say she was as good as gold.
That time she decided to have a toilet break on the one stormy (ish) night we had whilst there (3AM). Our Bel, likes to do her ‘business’ in private and so took off across the field to another’s tent and (in the bushes nearby to sleeping strangers) went for it! If that’s wasn’t it, she then went and lost her harness which meant I spent a further 20 minutes in the darkness and winds, equipped with a low lit lantern (to avoid attracting attention) on a quest to find this black harness in the black of night. Luckily it had reflectors on and so I found it hiding in a bush she’d sniffed earlier!
We finished our last night with a dog walk around the harbour and some salty chips (when it Rome!) Leaving the next day only to be told we had to wait an hour as the tide hadn’t gone out. You see with Shell Island, it literally is an island so if the seas in, you can’t get over the road to the main land (exciting!).
Next time, I’m bringing the sea kayaks. 🙂
Overall though, I’d give Shell Island a 4/5 rather than a full 5 (on the basis of their food). For panoramic views, a nice hot shower and some lovely trips to the beach, it’s certainly worth a stay.
What have you been doing over the summer?