I’m sure you have noticed the temperature is dropping ever so slightly, the days are getting shorter and the leaves are slowly changing colour – and all these signs show summer is drawing to a close and Autumn is right around the corner!! I love Autumn it is my favourite season out of them all, I really cannot stand hot weather it doesn’t agree with me. It probably doesn’t help that most of my wardrobe is jumpers and jeans… Oops
But I thought it was time for my next installation of ‘Wales | The Collective‘ as it is another season and there are always new and interesting places to visit in Wales. So for this season, I felt it was worth teaming it up with my favourite location EVER! Pairing my two loves in life in one. And because I adore this one location so much I think I will make it my only recommendation for this months installation. I think it is so beautiful this time of year. Now you might be thinking.. come on Adell get to the point so here it is…
It is a bit of a mouthful for those of you who are not familiar with Welsh Pronunciations, but it is quite easy in comparison to some places in Wales such as a village in Anglesey which has a very renowned train station that has become pretty famous for the length of its name ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch’! which is the longest in the world!
Now, this wonderful lake that I will be speaking so highly of is a reservoir in Powys, which is a part of Mid Wales. It was built back in the 1880s to supply Liverpool with fresh drinking water. The process resulted in a small village called Llanwddyn becoming submerged and the valley was flooded. If you visit the lake now you are treated to a Sculpture Park, a few shops, a nature reserve and the ever so iconic damn. The area sits on a 24,000 acre RSPB Reserve, with viewpoints and hides all around the Lake to observe birds and scenery.
The reason why I suggest this location for this time of year is because the leaves start turning the most majestical colour as Autumn rolls in. If you go when there has been heavy rain you will see the force of the water as it gushes over the dam. It is quite a spectacle. If you really want to get some good photos the best place to go is the sculpture park as you are level to the ground where the water is crashing down, you have to go through a gate and walk across a small section of a field to get them but the view is lovely. The photos above showcase the view from the ground when the water comes over the edge.
Things To Do There?
Not only does the sculpture park offer wonderful views of the dam it also showcases numerous wooden carvings, with trails to follow, picnic benches and a calming river running along side it. In previous years I have gone to the sculpture park around Easter time where they hold an Easter Egg hunt around the carvings. Which is always fun especially when you can run around and explore the area, it was a child’s dream.
There are so many activities in the area all year round and they hold so many interesting activities where you can take part in helping to preserve the landscape or even go on a Sketchbook Studies Course whilst surrounded by the most stunning scenery. If you find a need to grab a sketchbook and draw what you see there is a small art shop to suit those needs.
When I was younger I took part in lambing on one of the many farms that surround the lake. This was something I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. It was quite an experience helping a mother sheep give birth to her lamb, and unless you are brought up on a farm it’s not something everyone gets to do. It does get quite messy so if you’re going to take part in this then I recommend taking a spare pair of clothes. I’m not sure if they still do this activity but if you are interested it might be worth checking around Spring Time.
Other activities which you can do at Lake Vyrnwy includes cycling around the 13 Mile Lake, rock climbing, horse riding or even going on a hike. There’s plenty of hides to get up close and personal with nature and spot some of the many birds that have made this place home.
Tallest Tree In the UK
Lake Vyrnwy is the perfect environment for growing monstrous trees, with lush vegetation and untouched ground, and it’s no surprise the site was once home to the tallest tree in the UK growing to a mighty 209 ft high. After being damaged in stormy weather the tree has since been transformed into a carving of a giant hand. I really recommend seeing this as it is quite a spectacle. Over the years it has aged, the once rich bark has become a more muted tone. A nearby tree from the same species is 199 ft high making it the tallest tree in Wales.
Grab a Bite to Eat
There are plenty of areas to eat around Lake and in the nearby area whether you just want to grab a cup of tea maybe some hearty soup or even a fancy dinner there is plenty of places to eat. I recommend the three places listed below.
Artisans – A wonderful place for Ice-Cream, souvenirs and hiring bikes.
Lakeview Tearoom – This offers some of the best views over the lake whilst sipping on your tea. This is a more affordable option than my third recommendation and has a really cosy feeling.
Lake Vyrnwy Hotel and Spa – If you’re dining in style or want to treat yourself to a nice sit down meal then this is the most fancy option out the three.
What Makes It Special?
This lake has a special place in my heart. I really love it there, and I have grown up in the area becoming very familiar with the surroundings. It was also where I began experimenting more with my photography and also where I learnt more about my camera. So I credit my photography to this lake as it is where it all began for me and it has taught me so much in composition, camera settings and perspective.
The images below are the first few pictures I took on my camera of the Lake over a year ago now roughly this time of year. They were used for my Media Studies Coursework and even now I’m still very proud of them.
It is common for me to visit this area 2-3 times a year purely because of how much I love it there. In my opinion, the best time to visit the lake is in the early hours of the morning or during sunset when most the tourists have gone and you really get a sense of how peaceful it is here.
Where To Stay?
As Lake Vyrnwy is just on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park amidst the remote and beautiful Berwyn Mountains it is fairly easy to commute to and offers the most stunning views along the way. With captivating waterfalls and unspoilt countryside you really would want to make the most out of a journey there. It isn’t as busy as the lake district so you really get a true sense of the environment.
There are two hotels in the near proximity to the lake. One directly looks over the lake and offers some of the best views whilst the other is a little further away but is a more affordable option.
Lake Vyrnwy Hotel – This hotel overlooks the lake. It offers fly fishing, spa treatments and clay pigeon shooting so there’s a lot of activities with this hotel. For me the spa seems really fun and a great way to sum up a trip to Wales. Some people even choose this hotel to be their wedding venue which has a pretty awesome backdrop in my opinion! You can book a hotel room > here <
The Oaks – With this Hotel it has such a cosy, cottage feel to it. It was once the home of the engineer to the Lake Vyrnwy Estate. So it’s nice that it has such a deep history to the lake. It is a little bit further away from the lake than the other hotel but you still get some amazing views. You can book this hotel room > here <
If you want to learn more about the area, where to eat, or what to do when you are there then I reccomend you visit > this website < for more information.
Want To Make A Holiday Out Of It?
If you would like to go for a weekend or even a week then my top recommendation is to bring a warm coat for this time of year and a good pair of walking boots as you will be doing a lot of walking! Other places to visit in the local area include Bala Lake, Snowdonia, and Pistyll Rhaeadr (The tallest waterfall in Wales). These are all just a short drive away and offer some really stunning views. One thing to mention is all of these destinations are open to the public and are completely free to visit. As exploring nature is something everyone should have the experience of doing.
And on that note, this concludes my second blog post of The Collective. I really do enjoy writing about Wales as I have spent many years of my life there and it is a place that truly feels like home to me, so I do want to do it justice. I’m sorry the blog posts have been all over the place lately but I recently got a job so I’m trying to get used to a different routine. Not to mention the ‘Collectives’ do take a while for me to write these as I do a lot of research about each location to make sure they’re factually correct, not to mention finding helpful links to help out. So bare with me for a while so I can start planning ahead.
Have you ever been to Wales, if so what part do you enjoy visiting the most? What place feels like home to you despite it not being where you live?