Car Trail:Bala & Penllyn | Scenic Drives at Bala & Penllynadd to shortlist

Bala Lake

Bala Lake

Bala Lake

Scenic Driving Trail, free entry

LL23 7AD



Many of the fantastic scenic drives in Mid Wales are set against panoramic and breathtaking backdrops and fantastic for motorists who love to explore places off the beaten track. There are a number of scenic driving trails in and around the Bala & Penllyn area and a Car Trail leaflet can be downloaded from GoBala ( Each Trail has fascinating local history information, picnic locations, walks, refreshments and toilets.

Bala & Penllyn Circular Road Trail is 27 miles, and will take around 1½-2 hours. Starting at Bala, this route and includes the villages of Frongoch, Arenig, Glanllyn, Llanuwchllyn, Llangower and return to Bala.

Bala Lake is the largest natural lake in Wales created according to folklore to punish the behaviour of the cruel Prince Tegid Foel, the wild lord who lived in a palace that now lies at the bottom of the lake.

The area around Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid) is rich in wildlife. The Gwyniad is a species of whitefish which is unique to Bala Lake. The shoreline is the only location on mainland UK where the glutinous snail is found. Otters are present around the lake throughout the year.

Sites to see along the route include:

Fron-Goch - The village of Fron Goch is rich with history. During the First World War the disused building of a local Whiskey Distillery became a German prison of war camp. Then, following the Easter Rising in Dublin, (1916) an internment camp for 1800 Irish prisoners of war, the most notable being Michael Collins. The Irish volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army united as one in Fron Goch. They became known as ‘The Irish Republican Army’ (IRA). A commemorative stone denoting this significant event can be found in the lay-by, on the outskirts of the village.

Fron Goch Farm (opposite the layby) was home to Sara Evans, the great-grandmother of Abraham Lincoln and nearby is the Whitewater Centre - A world-famous centre for white water activities including canoeing and rafting.

Quaker Remembrance Stone - A bronze plaque near the Tryweryn dam commemorates the submerged farm of Hafod Fadog, a Quaker meeting place in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Many of these early Quakers emigrated to Pensylvania, seeking freedom to worship in The New World.

Tryweryn - This dam was constructed to form a reservoir to supply water for Liverpool in the 1960s, despite widespread
protests, the village of Capel Celyn and a number of farms were drowned. It is said that the drowning of Tryweryn marked the dawn of the Welsh protest movement.

Rhydyfen - The artists, Augustus John and James Dickson Innes, lived in Rhydyfen from 1911-1912. This location at the foot of Arenig Fawr, inspired them to paint views of the Arenig Mountain.

Parc- The Welsh Women’s Institute (Merched y Wawr) was established in 1967. An old tradition is still practised here called, ‘Cerdd Dant’. This is where Welsh Poetry is sung in harmony to the accompaniment of a harp.

Glanllyn- On the left of the A494, lies Glanllyn, the old country residence of the Wynn family of Wynnstay. Today it is an outdoor activity centre for Urdd Gobaith Cymru, the Welsh League of Youth.

Caer Gai - A farm built on the remains of a Roman fort (75-105 AD). The fort was positioned on an important strategic route near sources of gold and lead. Later the home of Welsh poets. It was burnt down in 1645 during the civil war by Cromwell’s men.

The old Chapel - The chapel can be seen from the main road. Michael D. Jones was born here, one of the men responsible for establishing the Welsh settlement in Patagonia in 1865.

At Bala Lake Railway Station, Llanuwchllyn you can catch the steam train here for a 5 mile run along the Lake to Bala and nearby the station at Llanuwycllyn is the start of the Aran Walk.

As you leave Llanuwycllyn, there is a car park on the left, just before the bridge (Pont y Pandy) with a Mary Jones walk information sign. This is the start of a strenuous walk onto the Aran ridge with major summits Aran Benllyn (2,903 ft/885 m) and Aran Fawddwy (2,969 ft/905 m).

At Llangower there is access down to theLake shore and a lovely picnic site. Catch the steam train at the halt and there is . Disabled access to lake shore and railway halt.

Baby changing facilitiesCash PointCoach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Disabled toiletsGift shopOn-site cateringOn-site light refreshmentsPostboxPublic toilets

Children welcome

Park & Display Car Parks:The Green LL23 7NG; Stryd y Plase LL23 7SW.

Open all the time


Free entry




LL23 7AD

Location and nearby places


Plan route to Bala and Penllyn using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SH 926359  Lat: 52.91033 Long: -3.59841


A5 west from Llangollen, then A494.

By Bus: T3 Bus Service: Barmouth-Dolgellau-Llanycil-Bala-Wrexham

Public Transport Information Service:

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 21 miles from Blaenau Ffestiniog station


  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Cash PointCash Point
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site cateringOn-site catering
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • PostboxPostbox
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome

Park & Display Car Parks:The Green LL23 7NG; Stryd y Plase LL23 7SW.

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