The Lakes of Wales

We show you where to go and what to see in Wales

Tal y Llyn Lake

Wales is home to many lakes, in all parts of the country you will find beautiful and picturesque bodies of water. Here we have picked 10 of our favourite lakes.

Bala or Llyn Tegid

Situated in the County of Gwynedd, Bala is not just a beautiful body of water but also plays host to many water sports and activities.

There are two sailing clubs which offer kayaking, yachting and other boating activities and the lake is also popular with fishermen and women who come for the pike, perch, roach and brown trout.

The lake is nearly 5 square kilometres and has some lovely walks which offer great views of the lake. There is also the Bala Lake Railway - a nine mile return journey on one of the great little trains of Wales.

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Llyn Idwal

A small lake situated high in the Glynrau Mountains in Snowdonia. At only 800 by 300 meters it is its spectacular location that makes this lake so very much worth a visit. Don't expect an amenities here, except for the stunning view and a small pebble beach on the edge of the lake. Due to the coldness of the water swimming is not advised in Llyn Idwal.

Llyn Mwyngil also known as Tal y Llyn

Llyn Mwyngil is a glacial ribbon lake in the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd. It is probably the best known lake in Wales - mainly due to a photograph of it being used on the microsoft windows operating system as a desktop background image.

It truly is a set in a beautiful landscape especially when viewed from its western edges looking up the valley. The lake sits below Cadair Idris (to the left as you look up the valley) which if can muster up the energy is worth the climb for fine views of Llyn Mwyngil in one direction and llyn Cau in the other.

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Llys y Fran

Tucked away in a valley in Pembrokeshire is Llys y Fran. This is actually a reservoir and is surrounded by a country park. It is popular for fishing, gentle walks around the waters edge and off road cycling. There is also a large dam which is quite spectacular when the water is rushing down the overflows.

Two large car parks make ample space for visitors and there is also a cafe.

Llangorse Lake

Situated near Brecon in Powys is Llangorse Lake - the only lake in Wales to have the remains of a crannog (man made island which had a village built on it) and the only lake in Wales to have a thatched round house built on stilts actually perched in the lake itself.

The lake is popular for pike fishing and there is an activity centre on the lakes edge where you can hire boats and kayaks for use on the lake. The lake and the surrounding Llangasty Nature Reserve are a SSSI site and home to Blue Tailed Damselfly's and Water Voles amongst other wildlife.

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Llyn Llydaw

Situated on Snowdon (the highest peak in Wales) is Llyn Llydaw. You can walk past this lake if you follow the Miners Track to the summit of Snowdown. The lake is some two thirds of the way up and is well documented as being one of two lakes that King Arthur's sword Excalibur could have been thrown into.

The lake sits in a barren mountainous landscape and there are no amenities unless you make it to the summit of Snowdon where you can enjoy some food and a drink in the Cafe on the top of Wales.

Lake Vyrnwy

Built in the 1880's Lake Vyrnwy is a reservoir in the Elan Valley in Powys. The dam is as ornate as it gets with some fine architecture adorning its span and it's setting in the Elan Valley makes it well worth the visit.

The area surrounding Lake Vyrnwy is a nature reserve with many species of birds and butterflies make it their home and until recently it laid claim to having the tallest tree in Wales and England.

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Llyn y Fan Fach

This is a dammed lake sitting in a bowl below Waun Lefrith in the Brecon Beacons. Although beautiful the surrounding countryside is barren grassland which gives the area a quite magical ambience.

There is good car parking space about a mile and a half below Llyn y Fan Fach and a well trodden path leads up to the lake. For those feeling a little more energetic, you could continue up past the lake and on to Llyn y Fan Fawr about 2 miles to the east.

Llyn Du'r Arddu

Situated 2 two thirds of the way up to the peak of Snowdon in Gwynedd, Llyn Du'r Arddu is a small lake set under a 100 meter cliff face. Best to arrive around 12 - 1pm during the summer to catch any sun rays whilst there. There are derelict mine buildings and you may also see rock climbers as the area is quite popular with them.

You can catch the Snowdon Mountain Railway to Clogwyn Station if you don't fancy the walk from Llanberis.

Llyn Teifi

High in the Cambrian Hills is Llyn Teifi - the source of the River Teifi which meets the sea at Poppit Sands in Pembrokeshire. The surrounding area is has been called the 'desert of Wales' due to how little (human) interaction there has been in the area. You'll be hard pressed to see anything man made other than the small mountain lanes and footpaths.

The Teifi lakes also offer good fishing and the Cambrian Hills offer good walking.

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