The Beautiful Lake Vyrnwy

The gorgeous, Victorian lake is located in Wales on the edge of Snowdonia national park and south of Bala; positioned in the rural, remote Berwyn Mountains. The manmade lake itself is actually a reservoir for an English city, Liverpool. It has a stone built dam, that was built in the 1880’s and being the first of its kind in the world. It is not only spectacular to look at but the engineering behind this special creation is pretty special too. Lake Vyrnwy was the first dam to carry water over its crest instead of in a channel at the side. At the bottom of the dam is a build-up of water known as the still basin this absorbs energy when the water flows over the crest and into the valley, stopping the water eroding the foundations of the dam.

The reservoir is Severn Trent water’s largest, when full it can take as much as up to 60 gig litres, covering an area of 1,120 acres of land. The lake’s circumference is 11 miles with a road that goes all the way around it. 311 streams, waterfalls and rivers flow into the lake and are named after the mountains or hillsides they have flown from.

The lake entices heaps of outdoor enthusiasts year round, for all different activities. Including kayaking on the lake, sailing, hiking in nearby estate’s trails, runners, rock climbing, cycling the circumference and horse riding. Or if you are not the active type, pull up a deck chair open out a picnic and enjoy the stunning scenery in a lakeside water’s edge cove. There is something for everyone! My husband recently ran the ‘Lake Vyrnwy half marathon’ he reported this event to be a highlight in the running calendar with a fast route around the lake starting from the local village with great organisation and a real community spirit.

There are several options for all budgets in terms of accommodation, from the grand ‘Lake Vyrnwy hotel & Spa’ with a fabulous restaurant, Spa and upgraded rooms with picturesque views over the lake. To rural, back to nature campsites. Lots of options to choose from online…

It truly is a magnificent place and a very special place to me as this is where my grandmother was born, ‘Gwendoline Boden’. Her father my great grandfather ‘George Boden’ was also the lake’s house keeper looking after the lake many years ago… It really is like something out of a fairy tale. I can’t explain why it is so special, but believe me you will understand when you visit! Standing on the dam looking out towards the lake gives you a magical sensation …


  1. I have stayed at the hotel there. It was more than 10 years ago and we had dogs with us at the time, but the hotel had (and, I presume, still have) kennels where they can be housed. The next morning was interesting as we travelled up to North Wales, faced with a blizzard and a flat tyre!

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