Glamping in a working boatyard

UK Wales North Wales Gwynedd Aberdovey Smugglers Cove Boatyard

  • Sleeps 2 (max 2 adults, 0 children)
  • Beds Provided
  • Bed Linen Provided
Rustic glamping in a working boatyard with an exceptional waterside location on the Dyfi estuary
  • Comfortable double bed and a love seat!
  • Glazed wheelhouse with amazing views of the estuary
  • Outside deck for enjoying the ambience and beauty of the estuary

The Owner Says

Love nest for two – village hall for campers – music or party venue.
We have converted an ex-Scottish fishing boat into a quirky space, she is pulled up onto the shore and is entered via a doorway cut in the side.
She is not gleaming and shiny, more quirky and fun.
She has been used for gigs, music, films, storytelling and a party space. As a standing music venue she holds 25/30 people.
If you have booked our cottages or camping pitches, she can provide a warm dry space for your group on the foreshore. If you are looking for a romantic weekend away with a difference, the experience will be memorable.
She is 40 foot long and 13 foot wide, with good standing headroom. On entering through the door in the hull, you find yourself in an area of about 20' x 13', the ribs and planking of the vessel are visible, giving lots of character.
At one end is an area which can be used for a bar or for cooking (double ring gas cooker and kettle) and at the other end a wood burning stove.
There is seating along the sides for 12 people plus a few loose chairs. There is also a piano.
You then pass through to the stern cabin, which has a double bed and a love seat! This cabin is lined with boards that follow the lines of the hull, which gives it a real nautical feel.
Upstairs is the wheelhouse which is glazed and has amazing views of the estuary, outside there is a deck for sitting and enjoying the ambience and beauty of the estuary.
The space is lit with fairy lights and spot lights using solar generated electricity.

Features & Facilities

There are toilets and showers in an ablutions building near the car parking area. Firewood is available for sale (by the bag or wheelbarrow load) and small campfires are permitted in the three camping pitch fireplaces. Pitches have outstanding estuary views (partly because they are practically in the water!) and, when the tide is out, there is a beach. There is no vehicle access to the camping pitches, however the site provides a wheelbarrow for carrying your kit and it's only a 100m walk. The Boy John, a converted fishing vessel, is available for groups to use as a communal space or as glamping accommodation. It features a sleeping cabin, wheel house with bench/bed, piano, log-burning stove, galley, fridge, music station, furniture and storage, and access to the top deck to enjoy the views at your own risk.


Aberdyfi is 3 miles away. It's a charming, colourful little fishing village with a few good eateries and a big sandy beach. The drive takes less than 5 minutes but if the tide is a long way out you can walk, for around an hour, along the sands. It's a 10 minute drive to Machynlleth, a larger market town with independent shops along the high street, and a little further on the same road is the Centre for Alternative Technology (01654 705950), an interesting place to visit if you've been taken in by the eco-conscious camping. Smugglers Cove looks across the water to RSPB Ynys-hir (01654 700222), the location for much of the BBC's Springwatch series and the Dyfi Osprey Project (01654 781414), nearby, is particularly interesting. It is one of only two breeding locations for Ospreys in the UK with a walkway and hide for observing. Of course, by far the two biggest things here are heading into vast Snowdonia National Park (01766 770274) to walk, hike, bike and explore or to go boating on the estury directly from the boatyard. If you need a little tution try Dyfi Yacht Club (01654 767607) in Aberdyfi where there is sailing, kayaking, kitesurfing and more.

Food & Drink

Forage the trees around the camping pitches or get out your fishing rod and try to reel in your own dinner to cook on the campfire or if you're after something a little more speedy then the local towns of Aberdyfi & Machynlleth have a range of good eateries specialising in Welsh cuisine, fish and seafood etc. with a great deli in each.  There is even a Michelin starred restaurant on the other side of the river!
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Getting There

Take the A493 from Machynlleth for about 6 miles, after a sharp right then left hand turn the entrance to Smuggler's Cove is on the left. There is parking as you enter, then walk under the railway to the estuaryside where you will find the boatyard and camping. The nearest train station is Penhelig in Aberdyfi (3 miles) or Machynlleth (6 miles).