Llyn Padarn – All You Need to Know
If you’re ever in North Wales and happen to stop by Snowdonia, Gwynedd, Llyn Padarn is one of those places you shouldn’t leave without visiting. While Snowdonia isn’t short of fantastic landscape and mountains to view and peak, Llyn Padarn offers among the best experiences while you’re here. It has diverse flora and fauna, not to mention the incredible landscape making it a great place to visit and mountain walk.
What is Llyn Padan
Llyn Padarn is a glacially formed lake in Snowdonia. It is a moraine-dammed lake about 3.2km long and about 94 feet deep at its deepest point. It’s considered one of the largest natural lakes in wales.
To the south, this magnificent feature is linked to Llyn Peris, and the vibrant village of Llanberis lies to the southern banks of the lake.
How to Get to Llyn Padarn
There are numerous ways you can use to reach Llyn Padarn. Because of its richness in wildlife and activities, the area receives many visitors, and in most of the paths, you will have company. However, motorised transport is not allowed in the area, save for the regular 3.2km long cruises offered by the Snowdonia Star.
Brynrefail is located about a few kilometres west of Llanberis from where you go north towards Caernarfon on the A4086, then take a right turn before continuing for about 180 and metres then taking another right turn. You take a final right turn for about 120 metres before making a sharp left.
Parking here is limited, and the road is uneven and often wet. Carrying a pair of boots when using this route is highly recommended, especially when heading to the viewpoint.
Through South Lakeshore
For visitors that decide to visit the Electric Mountain Visitors Centre in Llanberis first, you can make your way to Llyn Padarn using the A4086 heading west to the town’s parking on Lakeshore. About a kilometre down the road, you can make a right turn onto Ystad Ddiwydiannol Y Glyn, then head down about 250 metres into the Padarn Country Park parking area.
This is an excellent route for those with limited mobility because of its proximity to the parking area. Wheelchair users can find convenient access at the eastern end right behind the Village Car Park.
Dolbadarn Castle is just 400 metres from the main Snowdon Mountain railway station in Llanberis. It’s another great route to access Llyn Padarn. The easiest route is from the front of the railway station where you go about 60 metres towards the town using the A4086. At the Padarn Country Park signpost, make a right and proceed about 250 metres, where you will be ushered into a large car park on the left.
The path along the Dolbadarn Castle is good but occasionally rocky. There’s no wheelchair access to the castle, but the path only takes about 5 – 10 minutes of walking time to get to the viewpoint.
The Dolbadarn Castle viewpoint is directly opposite the entrance to the car park. It is a marked path that crosses the bridge using a narrow footbridge. The 13th-century castle is part of the picturesque view as it is perfectly positioned together with the Llanberis Pass and the surrounding mountains.
The northwest corner has some of the best views, and the forest tracks to the right give you a glimpse of the quarries of Dinorwic.
The Best Viewpoints on Llyn Padarn
There are different viewpoints on Llyn Padarn. Depending on your selected viewpoint, you can enjoy various views. Each of the viewpoints is named after the accessibility path you take.
From this viewpoint, you can enjoy excellent views of the bridge with the reeds in the foreground. The lake reflects the mountains and sky to perfection, creating a mirror-like effect. This is an excellent spot if you would like to take some stunning photos.
You can get a glimpse of the mountains, hills, and trees that surround the lake. As you cross the bridge, take a right and follow the wall, there’s a small gap that gives you access to a view of the lake below the bridge, where the reeds make an excellent foreground.
You also have a clear view of the 3.2km length of Llyn Padarn with the Glyderau lying on the left on Snowdon to your right. The Brynrefail is commonly frequent by photographers and visitors that have an authentic taste for scenic views.
From South Lakeshore, the views are the same but a slightly different perspective. The best location for this view is from the Llanberis Lakeshore town parking. You can also get some nice views from the car park at Padarn Country Park.
The location is closer to the hills and a clearer view of the Snowdon Star boat. The panoramic views from this location are breath-taking, especially if you’re lucky to be here on a still, sunny day when the lake has perfect reflections of the surrounding.
In the foreground, you can take in the rugged look of the trees and rocks, which makes for a nice contrast for the surrounding scenery.
What To Do in Llyn Padarn
Llyn Padarn is one of the most frequented regions because of the sheer volume of activities available within the lake and the Llanberis region.
While in the region, you can visit various museums like the National Slate Museum and the Quarry Hospital Museum. The Dolbadarn Castle is also within walking distance of Llyn Padarn.
The Electric Mountain, Llanberis Lake Railway, and the Snowdon Star Llanberis Lake Cruises are some of the other star attractions in the region. For visitors looking for more physical activity, there is the Vivian Diving Centre, or try your hand at Mountain Independence for hiking.
A fan-favourite in the region is taking the Llyn Padarn Circular loop trail. It’s a moderate route commonly used for nature trips, walking, and hiking and is clearly marked using wooden posts with a white band, which takes the worry out of the experience.