Wales’ lakes are a paradise for fishermen, for those who seek striking scenery and rural splendour, and for the brave who enjoy a cool dip! Some are also used for watersports and more energetic pastimes.
The Snowdonia National Park is the lake district of Wales, here you can enjoy a variety of lakes large and small, deep and shallow. Although in the heart of the mountains, many can be reached by car. Some of more dramatic lakes are only accessible on foot; however, if you make the effort, you will be well rewarded.
Under the summit of Snowdon nestle two lakes where men once mined for copper – these are Glaslyn and Llyn Llydaw which, although a good trek from the nearest carpark, are visited by many every year. The River Glaslyn flows from the slopes of Snowdon south-west for 25k to the sea and Cardigan Bay.
Llyn Padarn is one of Snowdonias loveliest lakes. You can even take a boat trip along its length or a train tip along one of its shores. On a clear day from its shore, you can look south up the valley to the distant summit of Snowdon.
Wales’ largest natural lake is Llyn Tegid near Bala. This lake is home to the ‘gwyniad’, a small rare fish that was stranded here at the end of the last Ice Age. This lake also affords the visitor a train ride along its shore.
Many of Wales’ lakes were created by man to provide water for living, work and leisure. At one time a number of Welsh valleys and villages were flooded to provide water for people in England – against the will of local people. Today, these lakes are place of quiet and solitude, but under the still waters lie sad stories.
Wales’ largest reservoir is Llyn Efyrnwy (Lake Vyrnwy) in the Berwyn Mountains of Powys. The water from this lake has supplied the Liverpool area for over a century. In Mid Wales, the reservoirs of the Elan Valley were built to supply the Birmingham area. The Llyn Brianne Reservoir on the River Tywi supplies the people of south Wales; the dam is Britain’s highest.