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Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) and the Aran Mountains

Bala[dead link] (Welsh: Y Bala) is a picturesque town of 2,000 people (2021) on the shores of Lake Bala (Welsh: Llyn Tegid) in Gwynedd, North Wales. It lies at the south-eastern edge of the Snowdonia National Park. Excellent national centre for white water rafting and canoeing nearby.

Get in


By road


Bala lies on the main A494 MoldDolgellau road, a few miles south of its junction with the A5 LondonHolyhead trunk road.

By bus


Bala is served by TrawsCymru T3, between Wrexham and Barmouth. Connections with services from South Wales and North-West Wales can be made at Dolgellau.

By train


Bala is not connected to the national rail network. The nearest connections are at Wrexham or Blaenau Ffestiniog. The Bala Lake Railway makes the 9-mile journey to the village of Llanuwchllyn at the southern end of Bala Lake. This follows part of the route of the old RuabonBarmouth line, which was closed in the 1960s.

Get around




According to the 2001 census, Bala ranked 11th most Welsh-speaking town in the country, with 80.1% of the town's population able to speak the language fluently. As with anywhere in Wales, visitors will encounter no problems conversing in English, though a "Bore da" (Good morning) or "Diolch" (thank-you) will always be appreciated.


  • 1 Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid). 3.7-mile-long glacial valley lake Bala Lake (Q1335466) on Wikidata Bala Lake on Wikipedia


National Whitewater Centre
  • The National Whitewater Centre (Canolfan Tryweryn), Frongoch, Bala, +44 1678 521083. White-water rafting and canoeing on the River Tryweryn. The flow of water in the river is governed by a dam controlling the flow of water from the Llyn Celyn reservoir, meaning that conditions in the water are predictable, though this does not make the experience any less exhilarating once you are actually on the river!
  • For a more sedate water-borne experience, it is possible to hire rowing boats, canoes and sailing dinghies on Bala Lake.
  • Hiking. Aran Fawddwy, at the southern end of Bala Lake, is the highest mountain in the old county of Meirionydd (Merionethshire, the southern part of the modern county of Gwynedd). Bala is the main centre for walking in the Aran and Arenig mountain ranges, which are considerably less frequented by walkers than Cadair Idris to the south or the ranges around Snowdon in the north of Snowdonia, and can therefore offer a peaceful days walk.
  • Angling/Fishing. It is possible to fish Bala Lake from a boat or from the shore. River Angling is also available in the area.
  • 1 Bala Lake Railway, LL23 7BS, +44 1678 540666. This train makes the 9-mile journey to the village of Llanuwchllyn at the southern end of Bala Lake. This follows part of the route of the old RuabonBarmouth line, which was closed in the 1960s. Bala Lake Railway (Q804578) on Wikidata Bala Lake Railway on Wikipedia
  • Look out for Tegi, Bala's answer to the Loch Ness Monster, which is said to inhabit the deep waters of Bala Lake. Visitors can make up their own minds as to the likelihood of her existence. The lake houses a genuinely (scientifically verified) unique creature: the Gwyniad (Coregonus pennantii), a freshwater fish of the salmon family. The Gwyniad is native only to Bala Lake which existed nowhere else in the world. A project to introduce it to another nearby lake was undertaken from 2003 to 2007, to mitigate the risk of its extinction should some tragedy (pollution or similar) befall Bala Lake.
  • Football: Bala Town ("The Lakesiders") play soccer in the Cymru Premier League. That's the top tier within Wales, but mostly amateur and on a par with England's fifth-tier National League. Their stadium is Maes Tegid, capacity 3000, on Castle St.


  • The National Eisteddfod of Wales. Held in Bala on three occasions, including 2009. An Eisteddfod is a traditional festival of literature, music and performance, conducted in the Welsh language.
  • A number of canoeing competitions are held in the area
  • Wa Bala music festival




  • 1 Eco-Caffé (Siop y Gornel, Chwarae Teg, Fair Play), 21, Tegid Street, LL23 7EH (Walk from Bala High Street, Opposite White Lion), +44 1678 521055. 10:00-18:00. A delightful, refurbished, more than 200-year-old bake-house deli, has life breathed once more into it. Offering freshly prepared on the premises; homemade soup and specials of the day, along with carvery baps of butcher-roasted joints. Try the oven-baked meats and farm-house cakes, made from natural local ingredients. Freshly ground coffee beans.




  • Bala Backpackers' Hostel, 32 Tegid Street, +44 1678 521700.
  • Henstent Holiday Park, Henstent Park, B4391 Llanfyllin To Bala Rd, Llangynog, Powys, SY10 0EP. Perfect for those looking for tourer caravan accommodation, Henstent Park is a short distance away from Bala.
  • Pale Hall, Palé Estate, Llandderfel, nr Bala, LL23 7PS, +44 1678 530285. Palé Hall is a privately owned luxurious Victorian country manor near Bala in North Wales, set amongst 16 acres of gardens on the edge of Snowdonia National Park.
  • Pale Wood Holiday Park, Pale Wood Holiday Park, Llandderfel, Bala, LL23 7RA, +44 1678 530212, . A five-star holiday park with caravans and lodges set in woodland scenery. Has a beautiful collection of holiday homes set in stunning natural surroundings.
  • 1 Ty Newydd Bala B&B (Ty Newydd Bed and Breakfast Bala), 12a Cae Gadlas, Bala, LL23 7AT, +44 1678 520964. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 10:00. Offering two double rooms, one with en-suite and one with its own private bathroom. Decorated to a high standard all rooms have a TV, and wireless internet access with tea and coffee available on request. Off-street parking is also available. Ty Newydd has a no-smoking policy throughout. £68-70.
  • Erw Feurig Farm Guesthouse, Cefn-Ddwysarn, +44 1678 530262, .
  • 2 Bwch-Yn-Uchaf, Llanuwchylln LL23 7DD, +44 1678 540983. Camping and caravan site at the south end of Bala Lake, open May-Oct. Tent £16.

Go next

This city travel guide to Bala is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.