Top 5 Beautiful, Must visit lakes in Snowdonia

Llyn Padarn Llanberis Lake

Nestled on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, Gwydir Forest, and the Carneddau mountain range, Erw Glas Glamping & Camping is the perfect base for lake enthusiasts. Whether you’re climbing Snowdon or exploring the national parks, there’s a lake adventure for everyone. Here are our top 5 picks within an hour’s drive of our site:

1. Llyn Padarn – Gwynedd

Llyn Padarn, adjacent to the bustling tourist town of Llanberis, is a favourite for visitors. It offers one of the most picturesque views in all of Snowdonia, with its reflective surface mirroring the surrounding mountains. For seasoned paddle boarders, Llyn Padarn presents a thrilling challenge amidst breathtaking scenery with its dynamic waters set against a backdrop of towering mountains. If you’re looking to relax, paddle towards the lake’s edges, enjoy a stroll along nearby paths, or explore the charming town of Llanberis. Snowdonia Watersports offers board hire, lessons, and open water swimming, plus a well-stocked shop and rooftop café. Look out for the famous “Lonely Tree,” a captivating feature that adds an extra touch of mystique to the lake and is popular on insta! Llanberis town itself is great to explore with slate mines and quaint train journeys.

2. Llyn Llydaw

Llyn Llydaw in Snowdonia is one of Wales’ most beautiful lakes, especially on calm days when Snowdon reflects perfectly on its glassy surface. Accessible via the Miners’ Track from Pen-y-Pass, it offers an easy, scenic walk with stunning views of the Gwynant Valley. For a more challenging hike, continue to Llyn Glaslyn or even to the summit of Snowdon.

Lyn Glaslyn, the wide gazing eye of Snowdonia, she’s seen much happiness and much tragedy of the many years she has been alive, and so a single tear falls from her eye. This tear is the Glaslyn which translates to ‘The Blue Lake’. It is the legendary lake where Arthur threw his great sword of heroes, Excalibur into the depths for the lady of the lake to take until a hero would return to claim it. The perfect spot for some wild swimming.

3. Cwm Idwal & Llyn Ogwen

Explore beautiful ice-sculpted Cwm Idwal – a bowl-shaped hollow filled with the crystal clear waters of Llyn Idwal, world famous for its rock formations and rare and fragile plant life. The walk is moderately strenuous but offers some of the most dramatic scenery in the UK. Cwm Idwal is a glacial cirque valley and the rock found here dates back to over 450 million years ago. Below it lies Llyn Ogwen, a popular spot for water sports and steeped in Arthurian legend.

To start the ascent to Llyn Idwal, head to the Ogwen Visitor Centre in Snowdonia National Park. The surrounding landscape, including the iconic Tryfan mountain, makes Llyn Ogwen a must-visit. 

4. Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid)

About an hour’s drive from our site, Bala Lake is the largest natural lake in Wales and a haven for paddle-boarding. With its crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain scenery, it offers a serene paddle-boarding experience. Bala town on the lake’s shores has a thriving fishing and yachting culture.

Bala Lake is beginner-friendly with shallow waters near the coast, making it perfect for building confidence. Don’t miss the paddle-boarding schools offering lessons or rent a board for the day.

5. Llyn Geirionydd

Just a ten-minute drive from Erw Glas, Llyn Geirionydd in Gwydir Forest is ideal for swimming, paddle-boarding, dog walks, or picnics. This lake, reputedly the home of 6th-century poet Taliesin, is surrounded by beautiful landscapes. Nearby Llyn Crafnant is a fishing lake offering great cycling and combined walks. Both lakes have car parks and toilet facilities.

Gwydir forest is rich in history, with remnants of old lead mines and industrial landscapes now softened by nature. For those who love hiking, the Geirionydd to Crafnant Trail is a moderate 4.6 mile route offering stunning views of both lakes and the surrounding mountains. The trail winds through forest roads, narrow footpaths, and past historical mining sites, providing a blend of natural beauty and rich history.

These lakes, each with their unique charm, offer a range of activities from paddle-boarding and hiking to soaking in the serene beauty of Snowdonia. Make sure to explore these stunning spots during your stay at Erw Glas Glamping & Camping!

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