Five hidden lakes of Snowdonia

Tucked away in different parts of Snowdonia there are several hidden lakes. How many of them can you find?

Being close to water brings a sense of calm and serenity, whatever the weather. 2018 is the #YearOfTheSea in Wales, and this is as much a celebration of our rivers, waterfalls and lakes as it is of the coast.

The hidden lakes of Snowdonia aren’t so hidden that you wouldn’t be able to find them once you know where to look… but they’re not necessarily very easy to find, and unlike the more visible lakes like Llyn Padarn and Llyn Tegid, they’re not easy to spot as you’re driving along on a day out.

Here are five hidden lakes of Snowdonia that are especially worth the effort of seeking out.

Llyn Elsi - geograph.org.uk - 75874Llyn Elsi

Tucked away above Betws-y-Coed you’ll find Llyn Elsi, a lake which is in fact a reservoir providing water to the village. The lake used to be two smaller lakes until the 20ft dam was built in 1914.

It’s around 700ft up, so expect great views towards the Carneddau and Glyderau mountain ranges. To get there, you can use one of a number of footpaths – the most direct of which starts just behind St Mary’s Church in Betws-y-Coed.

Llyn Mair. - geograph.org.uk - 235172Llyn Mair

Llyn Mair is an artificial lake near Maentwrog, just above Plas Tan-y-Bwlch. It was created by William Edward Oakeley in 1889, as a 21st birthday present to his daughter Mair (hence the name!)

Bordered with ancient oak woods, this is a very tranquil lake and a popular picnic spot. Running through the woods above the lake is the Ffestiniog Railway, and there’s even a railway station (Tan-y-Bwlch) within walking distance of the lake.

The shape of the surrounding hills creates an interesting echo at the lake – something younger visitors enjoy testing out!

Llyn Cwm BychanLlyn Cwm Bychan

Llyn Cwm Bychan can be found in the Rhinogydd mountains, an area which has been described as “Wales’ last true wilderness”.

The lake is a source of the River Artro which flows through the village of Llanbedr towards the sea.

This is a pretty lake where you can enjoy a short walk (or take your bike, if you’re up for some cycling). The lakeside trail can be joined at the car park, at the eastern end of the lake.

Llyn Llywelyn - geograph.org.uk - 648305Llyn Llywelyn

If you’re looking for some blessed peace, Llyn Llywelyn is a great place to find it! This small lake is in the middle of the Beddgelert Forest, close to Rhyd Ddu train station on the Welsh Highland Railway.

This is a great spot for peace and tranquillity surrounded by all the best that nature can offer. There’s a circular walk of around 4 kilometres, which starts from the car park and takes you up to the lake and back.

Llyn Geirionydd - geograph.org.uk - 181436Llyn Geirionydd

We’ve cheated a little with our final lake – Llyn Geirionydd – because it’s not exactly hidden… but it’s a little out of the way so we thought we’d include it anyway!

You can get to the lake by car from either Trefriw or Llanrwst, in the Conwy Valley. Or, if you’re feeling energetic and fancy walking there, it also features on the Trefriw Trails.

An interesting fact about Llyn Geirionydd is that it’s the only lake in Snowdonia where power boats and water skiing are permitted.

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