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Best in Wales award for seaside caravan park in Southern Snowdonia

An aerial shot of Islawrffordd Caravan Park.

A luxury caravan park on the Southern Snowdonia coast has been named the best in Wales in the AA Caravan and Camping Awards 2022-’23.

Islawrffordd Caravan Park at Talybont, near Barmouth, owned and run by the Evans family since 1957, has won the prestigious award for the second time, having previously triumphed in 2012.

Dylan Evans with (from left) his wife Jane, receptionist Casey Hughes, holding the AA Camping and Caravan Award, Mari Evans, receptionist Willow Hughes and John Billingham

Managing director Dylan Evans dedicated the award to his late father, Gwynfor, who died last year and to the park’s customers past and present.

“My father is still close to our hearts and he would be very proud that we have won this award,” said Dylan. “We are very privileged and proud to be recognised as a leading caravan park in the industry.

“This award is an endorsement of all the hard work and investment that we have put into the park over the last 30 years, but we could not have achieved this success without our excellent staff.

“We are delighted to bring this award back to, what we think is, the most beautiful part of Wales.”

Dylan now runs the park with his wife Jane, niece Mari and chairman of the board John Billingham, who are fellow directors, following the retirement of his twin brother, Geraint, in February.

The 25-acre park has 12 staff, 201 holiday homes, 75 fully services pitches for touring caravans and motorhomes, an indoor swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi, Nineteen.57 Bar and Restaurant, an entertainment complex, luxury shower and toilet block, children’s playground with a pirate ship, car hire and a private slipway onto a  sandy beach.

In a double celebration for the park, Nineteen.57 Bar and Restaurant was runner up in the Best of North Wales category in the Welsh Restaurant of the Year Awards 2022. The bar and 40-cover restaurant are leased by Chris and Emma Statham and Sion Wellings.

Dylan added: “We are very proud of this fantastic achievement by Chris, Emma and Sion and the partnership that we have with them.”

In the assessment of Islawrffordd Caravan Park, the AA Inspector said: “Situated on the coast between Barmouth and Harlech and within the Snowdonia National Park, this site has clear views of Cardigan Bay, the Llŷn Peninsula and the Snowdonia and Cader Idris mountain ranges.

“This is an excellent, family-run and family-friendly park that has seen considerable investment over recent years. A superb restaurant and bar, ‘Nineteen57’ offers both formal and relaxed areas for enjoying locally sourced food.”

The park, which is an AA 5 Platinum Pennant Campsite, is open all year around and includes former British motor racing champion Nigel Mansell as one of its holiday home owners.

The Mansell family has been enjoying holidays at Islawrfford for 65 years and the Evans family lays claim to setting Nigel on the road to stardom by starting him go-karting as a boy.