Bala is a picturesque and historic little market town consisting of little more than a main street, lying on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. Bala was founded by Royal Charter around 1310 by Roger de Mortimer in order to tame the rebellious Penllyn District populace. Today, Bala is possibly one of the best places in Wales to hear the spoken Welsh language (one of the oldest languages in Europe), with it being the first language of around 80% of the 2000 or so population.|
Bala is within a scenic hours drive of many of the coastal resorts of north and mid Wales, though many people find all they need in and around Bala itself. Though small, the town has all the shops and amenities you could need. Surrounded by the high peaks of Aran Benllyn, Arenig Fawr and the spectacular Berwyn mountains, Bala boasts the largest natural lake in Wales, Bala Lake or Llyn Tegid, which offers excellent water sports and fishing facilities. Indeed, Bala lake is home to a unique species of fish called the Gwyniad, a kind of land-locked herring which is said to date back to the Ice-Age.
Running along the south shore of the lake is the Bala lake narrow-gauge Steam Railway which is an ideal way to take in the breathtaking scenery, or if you are feeling more energetic, why not take to the many walking and cycling routes in the area.
In a nearby valley to the north is another lake, Llyn Celyn, which is entirely artificial. Canoeing competitions are held on the white water downstream from its dam.