Hotels in Wales by a Lake
Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa
Lake Vyrnwy is the ultimate ‘hotel with a view’ – standing in splendid isolation on a forested hillside, overlooking a dramatic, mountain-ringed lake. These surroundings also influence the enjoyment of the food, with seasonally changing menus that make the best use of local produce and game from Lake Vyrnwy’s own 24,000-acre estate. Tear yourself away from the hotel and you’ll find an area of outstanding beauty rich in wildlife. The hotel makes the most of its location, offering everything from birdwatching to clay shooting, classic fly fishing to fabulous walking.
Although it’s worth staying here for the views alone, there are many other compelling reasons. When you add the hotel’s other assets – its country house comfort, excellent food, impeccable service and exceptional range of sporting and country pursuits – you’ll understand why guests just keep coming back; doubly so when you add the exotic treatments from around the world offered by Lake Vyrnwy’s Spa and Thermal Suite.
Sitting beneath Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa is Lake Vyrnwy itself – a 26-metre deep reservoir containing over 59 gigalitres of water and a perimeter of 12 miles. The reservoir was built in the 1880s to supply Liverpool with fresh water, flooding the head of the Vyrwy valley and submerging the village of Llanwyddyn.
311 brooks, waterfalls and rivers flow into the lake and are named after the mountains or hillsides they flow from. The river flows from the dam into Shropshire, where it converges with the River Severn near the village of Melverley on the Welsh border and outflows into the Bristol Channel.
Llyn Cefni is the second-largest manmade lake in Anglesey. The dam was built in the 1940s, creating the reservoir to supply drinking water to the island. A disused railway cuts the lake in two. The Cefni Angling Association, established in 1952, manages the reservoir as a fishery, with part of the northeastern half being managed as a nature reserve. Two main rivers feed into Llyn Cefni, the Afon Frogwy on the west side and the Afon Erddreiniog entering on the northeast side. This river links the lake to the Cors Erddreiniog National Nature Reserve, which is an important fenland area.
During World War II, a water scheme was devised for the town of Llangefni in central Anglesey. It involved water from a local source being pumped to two settling tanks in the Dingle part of the town. From here the water was pumped across the river to a reservoir and water tower, on the site of the present Pennant Estate. These arrangements became redundant with the building of the Cefni Reservoir, which was completed in 1951, but the settling tanks and pumping station survive in Llangefni to this day. The new scheme was designed to supply most of the water needs for the people of Anglesey for the foreseeable future.
Llyn Tegid is the largest natural lake in Wales, sitting at over four miles long and a mile wide at its widest point. It’s home to the rare ‘gwyniad’ fish – a species that became trapped in the lake at the end of the last ice age some 10,000 years ago. The gwyniad is a member of the whitefish family and is only found in Llyn Tegid.
There are two sailing clubs on the lake and hire facilitates for canoeing and sailing at the Bala end of the lake. Alternatively, you can sit back, relax and view the lake from the narrow-gauge railway which runs along the east shore of the lake from Llanuwchllyn to Bala and is a great favourite of children.
The Metropole Hotel & Spa
The Metropole offers versatile accommodation and ambience that appeals to a wide audience with modern bedrooms, a superb spa and a great touring location.
The elegant, spacious lounge and lobby, still true to its 19th-century roots, relaxes you as you enter the spa which includes sybaritic saunas and jacuzzis, cocooning indoor pools and soothing treatments, while the bar and brasserie serve up bistro food in a clean, chic space.
The hotel is able to cater effortlessly for many needs – intimate weekends away or big family reunions – without having to compromise.
Just a short drive from The Metropole lies the Elan Valley – a series of 6 dams, reservoirs and 73-mile aqueduct, all different but hold vital roles.
The Elan Valley was built a hundred years ago to supply desperately needed clean water to Birmingham. It was an epic feat of civil engineering set within an area of outstanding scenic beauty. Today, the dams and reservoirs provide a lasting amenity in their own right for visitors to enjoy as well as safeguarding the natural habitats of numerous species of flora and fauna.
Llangorse Lake is the largest natural lake in Wales and is only a 20-minute drive from Bear Hotel.
The lake lies in a hollow formed by glacial action. Surrounded by a patchwork of green hills, fields, meadows and hedgerows, Llangorse is a truly beautiful spot and a lovely place for a variety of water sports or fishing (with a permit). It’s also a fantastic haven for wildlife.
An interpretation centre on stilts on the northwest shore offers information about the lake’s unique heritage site, the Crannog, a man-made island made of oak, willow and hazelwood. Well over 1000 years old, it now has trees growing on it, but it was probably once the site of a royal palace.