Things To Do In Bala, Top 10Published on 21 Oct 2013 by Gwion Llwyd
Things to do in Bala. A quick introduction to this bustling market town famous for water sports and outdoor adventure activities in Snowdonia, North Wales.
Bala Adventure and Watersports Centre
The great people from Bala Adventure and Watersports can be found on the northern tip of Llyn Tegid / Bala Lake throughout the summer months. They offer a great range of activities both on and off the water. Everything from raft building to mountain biking, from dingy sailing to gorge walking, from kayaking to archery. Visit the website and book your place.
National White Water Centre
The national white water centre a couple of miles north of Bala has hosted several world championship events. Set within a beautiful natural landscape the wild river Tryweryn has a worldwide reputation of excellence for white water sports. An adventure not to be missed.
Shops, Pubs and Cafés
There are lots of nice little shops and cafés in Bala. Y Badell Aur Café (The Golden Pan) is favored by a lot of locals as is ‘Y Cyfnod’. Plas yn Dre has some nice outside seating in the summer. There are also four or five pubs in town to choose from. Bala has the usual grocery stores, butchers, post office etc plus a couple of quirky bric a brac shops. When I visited last week, Y Ddynes Ddisglair’ a new boutique and beauty salon had just opened. I was very impressed. Make sure you pop in if you’re passing.
Get Wet is most recognised for it’s High Ropes course. At 21m up it’s the highest in the UK. But they can also offer paintballing and gorge walking. As they say on the website; get high, get shot and get wet!
Bala sits in a valley between 3 mountain rages. The Arenig, Aran and Berwyn mountains. The more famous peeks of Cader Idris and Snowdon are only a short drive away but I would encourage visitors to Bala to explore these lesser-known local mountains first. Early risers can often find themselves walking above the clouds as they scale Aran Fawwdwy or Arenig Fawr. The morning mist lingering over the lake to create a truly magical experience. Ordnance Survey Map – Landranger 125 covers the area.
I’ll have to confess here that I know nothing about fishing. But I know a lot of it goes on around Bala. I’m told the River Dee in this part of North Wales is famous for it’s Grayling. A rare and elusive fish. A lot of anglers also enjoy fly fishing on Llyn Tegid/ Bala Lake and the smaller Llyn Cwmprysor and LLyn Maes Y Clawdd. I’ll point you to the Bala and District Angling Association in the hope you’ll get a more informed discussion there, but please comment on this article if you feel I need to add something.
Bala Lake Railway
When Lord Beeching decided to close the railway line running from Llangollen to Barmouth in 1963, local engineer George Barnes with help from the council and ex British Rail staff set about the task of converting one of the most picturesque parts of the line to narrow gauge. The volunteers made good use of the 2-ft gauge stock that was no longer required by the slate mining industry of the area.
Today Rheilfordd Llyn Tegid Ltd. is a successful private enterprise running hundreds of happy holiday makers from Llanuwchllyn to Bala and back along the banks of Llyn Tegid. They have ambitious plans for the future.
Bala has a lovely, relaxed and friendly 10 hole golf course just on the outskirts of town. Its location some 1000 feet above sea level and sitting as it does in a basin between three mountain ranges ensures members and day visitors are treated to fantastic panoramic views on fine days.
A lot of hardened mountain biking enthusiasts will head for the famous Coed Y Brennin mountain biking centre some 30mins west of Bala. And it is to be recommended. But if you prefer to stay off the beaten track the people at Gro Cycles might be for you. Their fantastic ‘bike delivery’ service as well as numerous suggested routes around Bala will ensure you and the family can experience this most beautiful part of the Snowdonia National park in the best possible way.
Caerau Uchaf Gardens
Landscape gardening proffesionals Toby and Stephanie Hickish opened up their fabulous gardens at Caerau Uchaf to the public back in 1994. The gardens seem to be expanding every year and lots of people are very keen to recommend the food served at the café.