Beautiful Bala Lake, crossed by the River Dee, is the largest body of water in Wales, being four miles long and a mile wide. The lake is known in Welsh as 'Llyn Tegid', meaning Lake of Serenity, and was formed by the action of glaciers.
Local legend states that the lake is inhabited by a monster which is known as 'Teggie' and it is claimed that on moonlit nights towers and buildings can be seen under the waters of Bala Lake. Legend states these buildings to be the palace of King Tegid, husband of Ceridwen, the mother of the famous Welsh bard Taliesin (c. 534 - c. 599), the earliest poet of the Welsh language and often referred to as Taliesin Ben Beirdd (Taliesin, Chief of Bards) who was born in the area.
Bala Lake is widely used by watersport enthusiasts, because of the winds which sweep through its mountain valley setting. Kayaks and Yachts are available for hire to tourists, the steam trains of the Bala Railway run along its shore.
Bala Lake is a protected wildlife site and its waters contain abundant pike, European perch, trout, eel and a rare and protected whitefish called the Gwyniad, a relic of the last Ice Age. The gwyniad spends most of its time in the deeper, colder parts of the lake and only swim into the shallower water at night to spawn, the fish is no longer found anywhere else in Britain. The lake also contains the very rare mollusc Myxas glutinosa - the Glutinous snail.
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