Lake Vyrnwy is a great day out for walks, cycling, and even canoeing. Easy within reach of central Wales and the borders for a great day out.
Lake Vyrnwy, or Llyn Efyrnwy to give it’s proper name, is a majestical place.
Nestled within steep forested mountains, and even a gothic tower on the water, you could think you’re in somewhere like Luxembourg. It’s not what you expect after driving down the lanes, past rolling farm land, to be confronted with a large dam.
In fact, the gothic tower that sits on the lake is actually where the water gets filtered before being sent down pipes to Merseyside. You got to hand it to the Victorians. If we built it today, that filter station would just look like a boring concrete box instead of a mystical castle on the lake.
Lake Vyrnwy History
The history is not all a garden of roses though as an entire village was flooded when the dam was created. The village was called Llanwddyn. It was relocated to the new village of Llanwddyn, which is the village by the dam.
There’s a small parking area and picnic spot at the side of the lake near the old village. You can read an information board all about it there.
In really dry spells the remains of the old village emerge from the lake.
Here’s a spooky dive video taken under Lake Vyrnwy.
Things to Do at Lake Vyrnwy
Lake Vyrnwy has a road that goes around its circumference, which is about 13 miles long. Just long enough for a half marathon – which, funnily enough, they have every year (see Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon website for more details).
If you’re not up to running it, plenty of people use the road to spend the day walking around the lake….but that might be a bit far with the kids.
Family Birdwatching and Walks with the RSPB
We thought this was a fantastic idea. It contained activities, such as bark rubbing and scavenger hunt, to even books and binoculars.
Thumbs up to the RSPB for such as great idea.
The RSPB manage the nature reserve that runs around the lake.
You can pick up leaflets in the RSPB shop that help you spot the local birdlife or do one of the nature trails they have created.
This is a great place for the kids to spend some time spotting birds coming to the feeders.
The RSPB have a few hides around the lake.
Walks at Lake Vyrnwy
As well as walking around the lake and walking across the dam, the RSPB have 5 nature trails.
These range from 1-2 miles all the way up to 5.5 miles, so something for everyone.
Cycling & Cycle Hire at Lake Vyrnwy
It does get busy in summer months, with lots of cars (and the odd coach) trying to find a parking space around the lake. The road is very narrow in places, so you’ll need to keep your eyes open for drivers not paying attention, but when it is busy, cars won’t be travelling fast.
We visited ‘out of season’ and the road was quiet, with only us and the other occasional car.
Canoeing and Watersports on Lake Vyrnwy
Sailing, windsurfing, and canoe hire is available at certain times of the year (weekends from Easter to October). You can also hire wetsuits, plus pay a fee to put your own canoe on the lake. (Make sure you have insurance – click here fore more details on canoeing insurance).
Click here for (an old) water sports price list. For more details call 01691 870 615 or 07816 036 358.
Getting in Touch with Lake Vyrnwy (RSPB)
Here's how you can get in contact with Lake Vyrnwy (RSPB).
Where to find Lake Vyrnwy (RSPB)
Sat Nav Postcode: Lat/lng: 52.76139,-3.45969
Latitude: 52.7774277, Longitude: -3.4880567
There's a few parking spots around the lake, or parking and picnic spots in the village of Llanwddyn, which you can drive over the dam to get there.
Llanwddyn, Lake Vyrnwy.Show on Google Maps Show on OS Maps
Other Places Nearby
Be in the know!
Join thousands of other parents and receive our regular newsletter containing a round up of the latest articles, days out, campsites, and reviews for helping you get your family outside and active.