Bala Lake to Llanuwchllyn, Return by Train
Bala is a lovely market town in North Wales and is within the boundaries of Snowdonia National Park and ideal for exploring North and Mid Wales. The one main street, High Street where the original markets were held, and the two back lanes were once attached to the old Tomen. Tomen y Bala is a large Norman Castle mound located at the end of town and is now a pretty public garden. There is a lot of history here and buildings to view look for the leaflet Y Bala Town Walk, for an interesting walk round the town. The White Lion Royal Hotel, where we are staying, was once visited by Queen Victoria hence “royal” in the name and also Welsh whisky was bottled here during the 1890’s. Bala and the surrounding areas are one of the best places to hear the Welch language being spoken compared to other areas of Wales.
Llyn Tegid or Bala Lake is the largest natural lake in Wales and is the most beautiful. It is of glacial origin and used to extend to some 8 miles long, it now measures 4 miles long by 1 mile wide. Llyn Tegid means Lake of Serenity and is home to the unique fish called the Gwyniad a kind of land-locked herring dating back to the Ice-Age.
Llanuwchllyn is a small village at the south end of the lake and is close to the Cambrian range of mountains so is popular for the hill walkers. Here in the village is the headquarters of Bala Lake Railway which is a narrow-gauge steam railway which runs alongside the east side of the lake to Bala. Well worth going on costing £6.50 single way or £9 return.
We walk down the road opposite the White Lion Royal Hotel to the north end of the lake. There is a car park and information centre here and the views are breath taking. We then go left over the bridge and then go through the gate to the Bala Lake Railway station. We go over the railway bridge and make our way up to the tree line and turn right, we follow the track through Bala Lake Hotel. We cross a cattle grid then bear to the left at the sign post then over a stile into the wood and follow the path over a stile then over a small stream. We then go uphill slightly until we meet a single track road we go through the gate opposite and then take the path on the right over the stile. Going over stiles and through gates we make our way downhill, going over a stream by the edge of some trees and walk straight ahead bearing uphill to the left and then right to a building and take the track passing another building to the road. At the road we turn left and then take the path on the right and go over a stream then bearing to the right we come to a farm here we turn left in front of the farm. We follow the path crossing over a stream and then cross a road going downhill to the road next to the Bala Lake railway. We now follow the road all the way to Llanuwchllyn to pick up the train back to Bala. At Bala station we retrace our steps back into Bala.
An easy walk with a few moderate inclines and declines.
Approx 6.75miles using OS map OL 23
Bala in Gwynedd, North Wales, on the A494.
There is parking in Bala or at the Lake side.
There is parking in Llanuwchllyn if you wish to do the walk from there.
Toilets and Refreshments
There are public toilets in Bala town and at the lake. Public toilets are also at Llanuwchllyn and the train station.
For refreshments there are plenty of shops, pubs, cafes, bakeries and takeaways in Bala.
In Llanuwchllyn there is a pub and a shop.