Llyn Tegid | Bala Lake, Southern Snowdonia

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Many of the fantastic scenic drives in Southern Snwdonia 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 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.

Llyn Tegid / 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 Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) 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.

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  • EV Charging - Y Grîn car park, Y Bala, LL23 7NG (50 kW Charging Point) Canolfan Byw'n Iach Penllyn, Bala, LL23 7YE (4 machines 7kW)
  • Parking with charge

Map & Directions

Road Directions

A5 west from Llangollen, then A494.

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

Public Transport Information Service: www.traveline.cymru

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

Bala & Penllyn | Scenic Drives

Type:Car Trail

Bala & Penllyn, Bala, Gwynedd, LL23 7AD

Add Bala & Penllyn | Scenic Drives to your Itinerary


Lakes and MountainsBala & Penllyn, BalaBala - home to the largest natural lake in Wales, surrounded by the peaks of Aran Benllyn, Arenig Fawr and the Berwyn Mountains

Mary Jones WorldMary Jones | Heritage Trail, BalaThe Mary Jones Walk retraces the route the 15-year-old Mary Jones walked 25 miles from Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, across the Welsh mountains, to Bala to get a Bible from Revd. Thomas Charles.

Llanycil, BalaBetsi Cadwaladr | Heritage Trail, 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.

Llyn Tegid | Bala LakeBala & Penllyn | Cycle Trails, BalaCycle routes through southern Snowdonia and the exciting scenery around Bala,

Bala Challenge EventBala & 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.

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