Lakes and Mountains

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Bala & Penllyn is situated in the Snowdonia National Park, Wales, in an area known as the Welsh Lake District. The area has dramatic scenery with mountains almost touching 3,000 ft high, deep valleys, fast flowing streams, rivers, waterfalls, forests and many lakes. Visitors can enjoy the Bala & Penllyn area or use it as an excellent base to explore both Mid-Wales and North Wales including Snowdonia.

Bala is a small, historic, market town that provides all the essential services for visitors including: banks, a post office, supermarkets and shops selling local produce including two traditional butchers and delis with Welsh and international products. Both butchers have won many awards and including the best butcher in Wales. There are, of course, cafes, restaurants, pubs and Inns, catering for a range of tastes, either in Bala or nearby. Penllyn is the area around Bala with many small towns and villages each with their own character and history.

Afon Tryweryn which is fed by Llyn Celyn that runs through Bala is world renowned as a white water kayaking river. Leading canoe organisations hold national and international events there every year and the National Whitewater Centre has its home at 'Canolfan Tryweryn' in Bala.

Local visitor attractions in the area include the Bala Lake Railway

Bala Lake, or Llyn Tegid, is over four miles long and a mile wide at it's widest point, making it the largest natural lake in Wales. It is an important home for the rare 'gwyniad' fish - a species that became trapped in the lake at the end of the last Ice age some 10,000 years ago. It is a member of the whitefish family, and is only found in Llyn Tegid. The lake takes its name from Tegid Foel, a character in the Mabinogi, the collection of early native Welsh tales, in which he is the husband of Ceridwen the enchantress.

Bala was founded by Royal Charter around 1310 by Roger de Mortimer of Chirk Castle. He was keen to establish the town as a means to taming the rebellious 'Quakers' of the Penllyn district near to Bala. The town we see today is largely that built as a result of Roger de Mortimer street layout, which marked out a series of square courts in the 14th century. The main street running through the town known as 'Stryd Fawr' being the exception. This was the place where markets were held, and continues to provide the civic focus in the town.

One of the earliest structures is the Tower of Bala or 'tomen', a tumulous or moat hill formerly thought to mark the site of a Roman camp. Other notable structures and buildings include the large stone built Calvanistic Methodist theological college 'Coleg y Bala' and the grammar school, founded in 1712. A statue of the Rev Thomas Charles (1755 - 1814) is also a key feature in the town. He was a renowned theological writer credited largely with the foundation of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

During the 18th century, Bala was known as one of the leading centres for the manufacture of flannel, stockings, gloves and hosiery. Many people in Bala made their living as 'knitters'. Almost everyone knitted socks and generated income from selling them at the popular 'knitters market' which helped to make Bala's name further afield. Today, the main local industries are farming and tourism.

Llyn Tegid | Bala Lake

Bala Lake, or Llyn Tegid, is over four miles long and a mile wide at it's widest point, making it the largest natural lake in Wales. It is an important home for the rare 'gwyniad' fish - a species which is only found in Llyn Tegid.



  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets


  • EV Charging - Pale, Bala, LL23 7PS
  • Free Parking - On street - limited time
  • Parking with charge - Park & Display Car Parks: The Green LL23 7NG Stryd y Plase LL23 7SW.

Property Facilities

  • Public toilets

Target Markets

  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

A5 west from Llangollen, then A494.

Public Transport Directions

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

Public Transport Information Service:

Accessible by Public Transport: Blaenau Ffestiniog station is 21 miles away.

Bala & Penllyn


Gwynedd, LL23 7AD

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Mary Jones Walk, BalaBy following this linear route, you will walk 28 miles through the spectacular countryside of the old county of Meirionnydd, from an enchanting valley at the foot of Cadair Idris to the shores of Llyn Tegid.

Betsi Cadwaladr, BalaA circular walk first through the town, over farmland and moorland to Llanycil returning along the lake and through the town with many stiles. The walk passes various locations associated with Betsi Cadwaladr.

Tegid Trail, BalaA linear, mainly level trail on tarmac. Suitable for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs etc. Excellent views of the lake and hills around Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid). Access to the lake shore at several places (via steps).

Llyn Tegid | Bala Lake, Southern Snowdonia Bala & Penllyn | Scenic Drives, BalaExplore Bala & Penllyn by road using the free Trail leaflets, which you can download. Each Trail has fascinating local history information, picnic locations, walks, refreshments and toilets.

Bala & Penllyn | Cycle Trails, BalaDownload the free leaflet with six cycle routes through the exciting scenery around Bala, southern Snowdonia, the home of the annual Wild Wales Challenge cycling event.

Bala Lake and countrysideBala & Penllyn | Walking Trails, BalaThe Bala & Penllyn area has a wide range of Walking Trails for everyone – including: all ability, children, heritage, scenic and mountain walks - and all through stunning mountain and lake scenery of southern Snowdonia.

What's Nearby

  1. Visit our award-winning visitor centre and discover how the story of a young Welsh girl…

    0.97 miles away
  2. A scenic heritage train ride through the glorious scenery of the Snowdonia National Park…

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  3. St Melangell Church

    St Melangell's is one of the loveliest small churches in Britain, and one of the most…

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  4. North Powys | Cadair Berwyn

    Cadair Berwyn mountain summit (Y Berwyn or Mynydd y Berwyn) is the highest point in the…

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  1. A rare example of a little-altered private chapel of the 17th century. Llangar Old Parish…

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  2. Pistyll Rhaeadr is a stunning waterfall in the Berwyn Mountains, just inside Wales, west…

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  3. Llyn Brenig Lake is set in 920 acres of moorland and forest in the heart of the Denbigh…

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  4. Clocaenog Forest (NRW)

    This large forest lies to the north of the B5105 on the Hiraethog Moors. It has some of…

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  5. Dyfi Walking Tours in southern Snowdonia takes visitors to iconic buildings, historical…

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  6. Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre is in the heart of southern Snowdonia near Dolgellau, is the…

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  7. Ty Mawr Wybrnant

    A traditional stone-built upland 16th-century farmhouse, birthplace of Bishop William…

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  8. Coed Ganllwyd Nature Reserve

    The Dolmelynllyn estate is about 5 miles north of Dolgellau. To explore the estate,…

    14.24 miles away
  9. Dyfnant and Vyrnwy Forests are in a part of Mid Wales renowned for rolling hills, lush…

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  10. Mill shop offering a huge range of traditionallly woven throws and rugs, outdoor &…

    14.46 miles away
  11. Coed y Brenin Forest Park is set in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park near Dolgellau and…

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  12. St Mary's Church

    The Parish Church was built in 1873, and designed by Paley & Austin of Lancaster.

    15.07 miles away
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