Discover North Wales on Foot – Lake Walks
Snowdonia National Park has about 250 lakes, or Llyns as they’re known in Welsh, so there are many opportunities for walkers to enjoy a lakeside walk in North Wales and to help you, here are our favourites:
Llyn Padarn is the lake nearest to award-winning Imperial Hotel in Llandudno. Although small compared to others as it’s only 240 acres, this glacially formed lake is stunningly beautiful as it nestles in the heart of Snowdonia and is part of Padarn Country Park. As well as being a popular spot for walkers there are also plenty of attractions to visit in the area including the National Slate Museum, Quarry Hospital Museum and a fun trip on the Llanberis Lake Railway, a narrow gauge steam train that takes you alongside Llyn Padarn.
In the heart of the Denbigh Moors on a forested site is Llyn Brenig, a large man-made reservoir which boasts the highest sailing club in North Wales. Stop off at the visitor centre to pick up information on the area as well as all the available walking routes.
Llyn Alaw or Lily Lake is the largest man-made lake on Anglesey and it’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest with a variety of wild fowl especially over-wintering birds including teal, northern shoveler and the whooper swan. Visitors will find bird hides as well as several miles of footpaths although they don’t make a complete circuit of the lake.
If you want to visit a lake that is surrounded in myths and legends then Llyn Ogwen needs to be at the top of your list. The Lake is between two mountain ranges of Snowdonia, the Carneddau and the Glyderau and legend has it that Sir Bedivere cast King Arthur’s sword Excalibur into Llyn Ogwen for it to be caught by the Lady of the Lake!
On a much larger scale is Bala Lake or Llyn Tegid, which is the largest natural lake in Wales, not just North Wales at 1,196 acres. The lake lies in a glacial valley in Snowdonia National Park so its beauty really is a sight to behold, and as well as walking it offers visitors plenty of other things to do including cycling, white water canoeing, kayaking, horse riding and sailing.
Llyn Trawsfynydd is a man-made reservoir measuring 1,200 acres between Porthmadog and Dolgellau. It was created in the mid to late 1920s to supply water for Maentwrog Hydo-electric power station, which at the time was the largest power station in the UK, and then in the 1960s for Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station which is currently being decommissioned. Now, the lake is source of adventure for visitors and very popular with walkers.
Lake Vyrnwy or Llyn Efyrnwy is another man-made lake which is set in the remote and beautiful Berwyn Mountains, south of Lake Bala on the edge of Snowdonia National Park. It was built in the 1880s to supply Liverpool with fresh water as well as power to the local area and was the first large stone-built dam in the UK using great blocks of Welsh slate. When full the lake covers an area of around 600 football pitches but you can enjoy a 12 mile walk around the lake following one of the many walking trails.