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Lake Vyrnwy Nature Reserve (Powys)

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Lake Vyrnwy is man-made, with the dam that created it completed in 1888. The village of Llanwddyn was submerged by the lake. In dry summers, if the water level drops far enough, the ruins of the old village reappear.

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    2 Reviews
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    • More +
      04.11.2010 15:56
      Very helpful



      Pay a visit!

      Lake Vyrnwy really is a magical place! Located deep in the Mid Wales hills ; Lake Vyrnwy is one of the best locations in the world.

      ~* History *~

      Lake Vyrnwy is a man-made lake situated in the village of Llanwddyn. This isn't just some ordinary lake though - no this lake has a wealth of history behind it's glorious image. Believe it or not, just over one hundred years ago, there was a village beneath this lake ; a village called Llanwddyn, with thirty houses, a post office, three pubs and a church! During the late years of the last century, Liverpool city was short of water. Due to it's heavy rainfall, Llanwddyn was chosen as the 'village to drown' ; something the locals were totally against ; it meants losing their homes, their everything!

      ~* 100 Years On *~

      One hundred years on, the lake is still supplying water to Liverpool!

      Today the 'old Llanwddyn' (a new village also called Llanwddyn was made for the people of the old village, however, many moved away from the area, as a result of losing their homes!') lies beneath a peaceful lake.

      The village itself is very small (home to around 150 people), although every year, the village is visited by thousands of visitors from all corners of the World.

      ~* The Lake *~

      The one thing which stands out the most for me when I think of Lake Vyrnwy is the fantastic view! There isn't quite a few like it ; it's breathtaking. It's fairy-tale like straining tower, stands proudly to the left of the lake. There is a dam (with a road on top, so that you can cross the lake - there is not charge for crossing the dam)

      Each year a half marathon takes place, which attracts hundreds of runners and and thousands of visitors.

      ~* Relax *~

      If you are looking for a bit of 'peace and quiet', then this is the place to be, as this is one of the most peaceful places you will ever visit! It also helps if you like nature, as this place is very 'natural'. There are plenty of walks to go on , a lake to cycle round , and plenty of birds to do some bird watching.

      ~* Cafe *~

      You can hire some bikes from one of the local cafes; Artisans, which is a cafe and gift shop. Feeling hungry? You can pick up a bite to eat here. Choose from a selection of baguettes and panninis ; something to suit all tastes. There are plenty of choices of gifts to take for friends and family back home ; again something for all tastes.

      ~ On Yer Bike ~*

      I love cycling around the lake as it is such a calm experience. Eleven miles does sound quite a lot for people who are not used to cycling, however I can assure you that it really isn't as bad as it sounds, and whatsmore is that it is flat all the way round. There are also plenty of picnic areas around the lake, including the 'Lake View Tea Room'.

      ~* Other Activities *

      Cycling and walking aren't the only activites! Oh no, there are plenty of other activities (in Lake Vyrnwy and around the area) to keep you busy. Choose from a range of :

      Water Sports
      Clay pigeon Shoot

      ~* Let's Have A Picnic *~

      There are plenty of picnic areas at Lake Vyrnwy (the ones around the lake are great, as it means you can sit at a table right by the water, which is especially great in the summer. There are also some picnic areas in the village in a couple of areas.

      ~* The Island *~

      Below the dam, there is what is called an 'island'. There are many sculptures here from 'artists' both local and from countries all over the world.There are many paths on this 'island' (it's not a large island , just a piece of ground which used to be an old field) where you can walk around the different sculptures. One thing which annoys me about the sculptures are that some of them are things like 'a hand holding a candle' and 'a little house'. I think that they should be statues of things to do with the village, such as a sculpture of the tower and St. Wyddyn who was the saint of the old village, hence it's name (Llan "Wddyn").

      ~* Birds ~*

      If you like birds then there is an R.S.P.B shop which is located just left after the dam. Here you can gain information about birds, as well as buy bird related products (books, binoculars , toys etc). There are also many bird hides ,and walks for 'bird watchers' around the lake.

      ~* Accomodation *~

      There are two B&Bs in the village itself ("Gorffwysfa" and "The Oaks"). I havn't stayed at these B&Bs although they do have a good reputation.

      There is also the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel which is located to the right of the lake, overlooking the lake which means that it has a fantastic view. There is a restaurant in the hotel which is quite posh, but has great food (£39 for a five course meal). They also server a great afternoon tea! They also have a pub which is attached to the hotel which also serves food!

      There is also a spa in the hotel, which is ideal if you fancy a bit of pampering. The hotel also has fantastic conference facilities so that you can mix business with pleasure.

      There are also two caravan parks in the area if you would prefer to stay in a caravan.

      All in all, there are plenty of choices of accommodation available, whether it's a B&B, hotel, caravan or camping your'e after. You can get it all here!

      ~* Shop *~

      There is a local shop called Dafarn Newydd , which is one mile from the dam. (You are most likely to pass this shop on the way up to Lake Vyrnwy, if you are coming from Llanfyllin or Pen-y-Bont Fawr). The shop is located to the right (by the football field).

      The shop is a great little shop ; which sells a range of products ; they even sell petrol/diesal, newspapers and magazines,lottery and a DVD hire.

      ~* Night Life *~

      There isn't much night life here! There is the pub which is the only 'local entertainment', so if you are looking for some clubbing on a Saturday night, then your nearest club is in Oswestry which is around twenty five miles away.

      ~* Extra Information *~

      If you are looking for a nice quiet day out then have a day out in Lake Vyrnwy! It's also a great place for a romantic weekend!

      Welsh and English are both spoken in the village.

      Lake Vyrnwy is situated right on the Welsh/English border, so you only have to go a few miles and your in England! It's also quite near to the coast , which means that a day out at the seaside is only around one hour and a half away!

      ~* Facts *~
      Here are some facts which may persuade you even more to take a visit to Lake Vyrnwy!

      Vyrnwy is pronounced as 'Vern-wee'.

      The welsh name for the lake is 'Llyn Efyrnwy'.

      Lake Vyrnwy estate is currently on sale for £11 million!!

      Bank Holidays are usually very very busy!

      The locals are very friendly and always willing to chat!

      There is plenty of carparking space available - and it's free!!

      ~* Ghost Story *~

      lake Vyrnwy is said to be haunted!! Here is a 'ghost story from the old village' :

      There was an old couple who lived in an old farmhouse called 'Cynnon Isaf' (which was situated not far from the dam - the house was knocked down at the time of building the dam)

      he lake. The house was haunted, and everynight the couple would hear a noise which was like shouting and screaming, and things would violently fly across the room. The couple had had enough and so called on a man called 'Dic Spot' who was a poltergeist (a man who deals with ghosts), who came to deal with the spirit. He stayed the night at the farmhouse and in the morning told the couple that he had caught the spirit in a bottle. He told the couple to place the bottle under a large rock (they did so, on the island) and told them that this spirit would never bother them again. A few years later, when the time came to build the dam, there was a large rock in the way; the only way to move the rock was to 'blow it up' using dynamite. The Welsh and Irish men who were working on the dam, witnessed the 'explosion', and couldn't believe their eyes when a 'toad' appeared where the rock had been, surrounded by dust and looking as though it had been asleep for a number of years. This was said to be the ghost of 'Ysbryd Cynnon'.

      Thanks for reading!
      November 4th 2010
      xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao under xdonzx)


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      • More +
        13.02.2009 07:59
        Very helpful



        A great place to visit.

        Lake Vyrnwy is a beautiful, man made reservoir set in the heart of the scenic Berwyn Mountains in Mid Wales. The lake was created in 1888 by the damming of the River Vyrnwy to supply water for the city of Liverpool. In damming the river, the builders also drowned the village of Llanwddyn, but kindly rebuilt it away from the rising waters! Apparently, the village is visible during a drought, but with the recent weather over the last couple of years, there's little chance of seeing it!

        The Victorian engineers who built it really knew a thing or two, the dam looks almost new today over 100 years later. Unlike most modern buildings, the dam and water tower are lovely to look at, with the tower's copper roof giving it a 'fairy castle' look.

        The area is quite remote, and it takes a long cross country trek to get there, but once there, it's worth it.

        Despite being an artificial lake, Lake Vyrnwy has been described as the most beautiful lake in Wales. If you visit, I think you'll tend to agree, it is gorgeous.

        Nowadays, the area is owned by Severn Trent Water and managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) as a nature reserve.

        The facilities at Lake Vyrnwy are quite good for such a remote location. There's a nice little café, RSPB shop, craft shop, toilets and ample parking. Bicycles can be hired here, and as there's a road that runs around the whole circumference of the lake, a distance of 12 miles, cycling can be a real pleasure. ST Water also have a visitors centre here.

        There's lots to do and see around the lake and surrounding areas. As you might guess from the RSPB association, the area is great for birdwatching. Several rare species frequent the surrounding moors and mountain sides (such as black grouse, merlin and hen harrier), and there's plenty of less rare birds to be found closer to the lake (with Welsh woodland specialities such as redstart, pied flycatcher and wood warbler, plentiful). A bird 'hide' with disabled access overlooks a woodland area just outside the café. The lake is stocked with trout, and boats can be hired for the day.

        There's plenty of stopping points around the lake with colour coded walks for those who (like me) like circular walks but can't use a map and compass. These walks are really worth attempting and vary from 1.5 to 5 miles in length. The scenery is spectacular. My favourite walk follows the 'green trail'. This is about 3 miles long and takes you to the impressive Rhiwargor Waterfall. There's a picnic table at the base of the waterfall, then the walk then carries on to a secluded hide on a little island at the end of the lake. This is actually one of my favourite of all walks.

        In my view, the best time to visit the area is around May. All the summer visiting birds have arrived and are in full song and more importantly, the midges and horse flies aren't yet on the wing looking to drink blood from the human visitors!

        I really do believe that this is one of the most beautiful parts of Wales to visit and, if you're in the area, it's well worth a look.


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