Covering over 2,000 square kilometres of largely untouched lands, Snowdonia National Park is a mix of scenic grasslands, gushing rivers weaving through the forests, stunning mountain ranges and gracious lakes.
The lakes are perfect for all sorts of activities including boating, strolling, fishing or simply walking around as you admire the wildlife and the surroundings. In this guide we look at ten of the most impressive lakes in Snowdonia and what they have to offer.
Llyn Caseg Fraith
Llyn Caseg Fraith sits north of Snowdonia. The small elevated lake is notorious for wild camping and holds remarkable views for those who brave the surrounding boggy area and have the hiking ability to reach the lake.
It is next to the towering Tryfan mountain. Unfortunately, Llyn Caseg Fraith is a too cold for swimming. But it is an essential part of the natural beauty that is Snowdon and one of the few places you have to see to believe they exist.
Llyn Tegid or Bala Lake as it’s also called sits in the Welsh Lake District. It’s on the edge of the old market town of Bala and is the largest natural lake in Wales. It is also the setting for many of the Folk tales in the region which includes Teggie (equivalent for Loch Ness Monster).
Llyn Tegid is often flocked by tourists and is a hive of activity hosting all kinds of water sports. You will also find walkers and steam train enthusiasts who like taking trips around the lake using the Bala Lake Railway.
Technically, Llyn Crafnant is a reservoir. It supplies water to the nearby town of Llanwrst. It lies on the norther edge of Gwdir Forest. The lake and the surrounding areas have always been popular holiday destination dating back to the Victorian times and also has a rich mining history.
The lake and the nearby Carneddau mountains give you the perfect opportunity to learn about the mining history of the region. There’s also a café near the lake where you can enjoy refreshments and a bite as you enjoy the views of the water and the surrounding natural beauty.
Like Llyn Crafnant, this lake at Trawsfynydd is also a man-made reservoir. It’s an excellent place to stroll but the main activity here is angling. Amateur fishers throng the lake for its wild brown trout that populates the lake. There’s a fleet of 40 boats and outboard motors on-site which is perfect for fishing. The best thing about fishing here is there are no prohibited areas of fishing.
Bird watchers are also a common sight here. Occasionally, their keen eye and patience is graced by the seldom presence of an osprey.
Llyn Cwellyn offers some of the best lakeside strolls. The Janus Path which is the most stunning walk allows you to approach the lake from the Snowdon Ranger car park. The car park has numerous amenities and facilities including a disabled parking, accessible toilet, benches and even accessible picnic tables in case you want to grab a bite by the lakeside.
The Janus Path takes you through the woodland at the edge of the lake giving you a chance to capture some breath-taking views of Snowdon and the surrounding mountains. Although the lake is not popular for any water activities, the views and its surrounding is spectacular to say the least.
Llyn Padarn is one of the most beautiful lakes in Llanberis. Llanberis is home to the top attractions and activities in Snowdonia, so expect Llyn Padarn to rate highly as well.
Llyn Padarn is the sixth deepest lake in Wales. It is home to the Arctic Char – a fish ‘left behind’ by the last ice age, and it is overlooked by the haunting remains of the Dolbadarn Castle.
The lake is set within the beautiful countryside of Padarn Country Park. It is a favourite among tourist offering exciting walks, numerous activities and attractions that will leave you wanting more.
Glaslyn is not the most popular lake in Snowdon but that’s because getting to the lake takes hard work. According to legend, the lake is bottomless and is home to amonster. Don’t expect to find any activities here. But there is plenty to see and the views from the lake are jaw-dropping.
If you’re looking for a spot that is popular with water sports, Llyn Geirionydd is the place for you. It is the only lake in the region to allow water skiing and powerboats. Despite being fun-centric, the lake doesn’t lose it’s touch with nature. It’s set in the beautiful Gwydyr Forest around Betws y Coed and Llanrwst.
The three quarters of a mile long lake is not the easiest to find, but you’re going to love every effort you put into finding the lake. The icing on the cake with this lake has to be the stunning scenery.
Tal y Llyn
Tal y Llyn sits comfortably at the foot of Cadair Idris. It’s one of those lakes that you can hardly miss. It’s a large glacial lake best known as a fishing spot. It’s home to salmon, brown trout and sea trout.
If you’re not having any luck fishing, you can jump on the Talyllyn Railway for an unforgettable countryside journey of this part of Snowdonia.
Llyn Ogwen is tucked between two of Snowdonia’s mountain ranges – The Glyderau and Carneddau. It is just a few miles from the village of Bethesda. Being a shallow lake, it is loved by fishermen who frequent here for the trout.
The lake is surrounded by beautiful and dramatic scenery which explains its popularity. If you’re visiting by car, there are plenty of parking spaces which is a plus.
Like most landmarks and historical sites in Snowdonia, Llyn Ogwen also has folk lore around it. It’s rumoured to be the final resting of Excalibur. But, the same is said of Llyn Llydaw so it’s not clear which of the two lakes claimed the revered sword.