Surrounded by the hills of Snowdonia, Lake Bala, or Llyn Tegid in Welsh, is the largest lake in Wales. The lake makes up part of Three Lakes Challenge, which also includes Loch Awe in Scotland and Windermere in England.
Situated to the south west of the small town of Bala, Lake Bala, or Llyn Tegid – which means ‘Lake of Serenity’ in English, lies between the Berwyn, Aran and Arenig mountains. At nearly four miles long and up to ¾ of a mile wide, it is Wales’ largest natural lake.
The lake is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, owned and managed by the Snowdonia National Park Authority. A wide range of recreational activities take place on the lake.
During the summer months the lake is mottled with multicoloured canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and sail boats. Safety boats, power boats (except electric powered boats) and sailing craft above 5.8m are not permitted to use the lake.
The lake’s famously deep, clear water is believed to be inhabited by a monster known as the ‘Tegi’. However, there are many other species that live in or around the lake.
Inhabitants include otters and 14 species of fish, such as pike, European perch, trout, eel and a whitefish called the Gwyniad, a relic of the last Ice Age which is extremely rare and only lives naturally in Bala.
Lake Bala also contains the rare mollusc Myxas glutinosa – a species of small freshwater snail.