Quarry Wagon – Small Duchess

Cosy and stylish pod type accommodation in Snowdonia National Park – great for walkers, mountain bikers, couples and small families. 


• Sleeps up to 3  • Private Kitchen • Electric light and heating •Shared washing facilities close by including hot showers  • USB charger • Parking nearby • Fire pit  • One dog or 2 small dogs welcome • Open March – early January

Enjoy our fantastic location from the comfort of Small Duchess, cosy whatever the weather!

Small Duchess is one of the new quarry wagons we built in 2021.   The stylish and unusual self catering accommodation can sleep up to 3 people, making it ideal whether you’re a couple, small family, on your own, or with mates. Available from March – January.

What’s Inside?

There is a proper standard size double bed and 6ft 1″single bed/bench seat. You can knock up simple meals in the kitchenette and eat around the dining table. The wagon is fully insulated with an infrared heater for instant warmth at the flick of a switch.  There’s electric lighting and a USB charge point. Because sometimes you need to stay connected,  we offer free wifi near reception and 4G on site.

The kitchenette inside features a 2 ring gas hob, sink with cold water tap, plenty of storage and a cool box. You can also use a shared fridge freezer close at hand. Cooking implements and crockery are provided so all you need to bring is bedding/sleeping bags and towels.

Order takeaway croissants and barista coffee for breakfast then sit back and relax around your fire-pit with a chilled craft beer from our shop!

Loo and shower

Hot showers, washbasins and flushing loos are close by and shared with other campers (with nice clean loos practically en suite).  If you prefer to have private en suite facilities, you might prefer Empress wagon.

“Great site in a stunning location

We were delighted with our three night stay in the Little Duchess wagon. Sarah was the perfect host and the facilities were clean, Covid safe and the layout of the site nestling in the wooded hillside allows privacy. It’s a great location for walkers and cyclists close to Cadir Idris and the Mawddach trail. I thoroughly recommend a stay at Graig Wen and we will definitely return.”

Mike, August 2021

Outdoor space
Enjoy views from your private seating area right outside the wagon with a fire bowl and picnic table. Here in Snowdonia Dark Skies Reserve  it’s perfect for awesome star-gazing. Children can find freedom to explore (under supervision) in our adjacent 40 odd acres of wild woods and fields.
Small Duchess is sited so you can see views of the mountains over a couple of camping pitches about 20 metres away.  During November and December these pitches are not in use so in winter you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the stunning Mawddach Estuary and mountains.

Home built with local timber

During the winter we built the wagons from scratch to our own design, just as we did with Jones, our shepherd’s hut. The wagons are clad with rosy Douglas Fir timber produced locally and ecologically in the Esgair Forest. The forest is part of the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere Reserve, which supports sustainable livelihoods based on healthy environments. The wagon’s sleek interior is made from sustainable birch plywood, giving it a light and airy modern feel.

The two new quarry wagons, Small Duchess and Empress, are less secluded than our yurts and shepherd’s hut, located on the small camper van area of our camp site. You’ll have a few neighbours in up to half a dozen camper vans/caravans (less in winter) but our site is very quiet, laid back and friendly.
If you’re happy being a little less secluded with more in the way of home comforts, you’ll enjoy a stay in Small Duchess whatever the weather. However If you’d rather be away from everyone, then you might like to consider Idris yurt or sharing the hidden glade with a few other glampers.
What are quarry wagons?
Similar in design to shepherd’s huts or cabins on wheels, we were inspired to call our new accommodation “quarry wagons” to reflect the typical Snowdonia industrial heritage of our location.
Our smart new wagons are sited where, in Victorian times, rock was brought on much more basic, open topped wagons from Ty’n y Coed slate quarry just down the road. The rock was split into roofing slates in the building which now houses our adjacent holiday cottages.
Why the names Small Duchess and Empress?
Because each of the two wagons is called after the traditional names for sizes of slate used by local Welsh quarrymen. “Small Duchesses” are a couple of sizes down from the largest “Empress”.
Here at Graig Wen, when the slates were cut, wagons transported them down a steep tramway or “incline” (which you can still see running across the tent camping fields). Slates were loaded onto boats at a jetty on the Mawddach Estuary before being shipped off to roof the Victorian world. By the 1870s, our site was no longer in use and oak, willow and rowan trees have grown up to provide shelter and frame the mountain views.
You can see a picture of Ty’n y Coed Quarry as it is now if you click the images below. The old photos from the National Museum of Wales Collection are from other North Wales slate quarries, but they give an idea of what would have been going on at Graig Wen in the mid nineteenth century.


What we provide and what you should bring

Prior to your arrival you will be emailed a link to download our new Guest App. This will enable you to self-check in and gives you all the information you need to plan your stay, from what to bring and the wifi code to the best places for coffee and cake, local walks etc.


  • Proper double bed and two optional full size single bench bes (please bring your own sleeping bags/bedding and pillows)
  • kitchenette with 2 ring gas hob, cold water sink, cool box 
  • USB charger
  • Electric lighting
  • Infrared heater
  • Saucepans, plates, cutlery, mugs, beakers etc for 4 people
  • Waste bin and bin bags



  • Wash basins with hot and cold water and flushing loos close by shared with campers.
  • Hot showers within 100 metres shared with campers.
  • Fridge / Freezer access
  • Private seating area with picnic bench
  • Fire pit –  logs, kindling and firelighters  for sale on site
  • One car parking space near wagon

What you should bring

  • Download your Guest App for full details
  • Bedding, sleeping bags, pillows etc
  • Towels

There are a couple of steps up to Duchess. There is a step up into the double bed. Those with bad back problems may not want to push the fold down bed back up, but it has a spring on it so most people find it fine. Those bringing very young children may want to bring side bars for the bench bed which isa couple of feet off the ground.

Small Duchess Prices 2021

From £80 – £95 / night

2 night minimum bookings outside of school holidays.  Sorry no check ins on Sunday or Thursday.

School holidays and most other times, we book the wagons for 3 / 7 nights Friday to Monday and 4 / 7 nights Monday to Friday.

You can check availability, prices and book online by using the calendar on this page. We are sorry we do not offer one night stays unless it is last minute.

Small Duchess calendar

Tips on searching for availability
Choose a dark green date to check in. 2 nights minimum except for school holidays when you should search for 3 or 7 nights from Friday check in or 4 or 7 nights from Monday check in. 

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