Llyn Padarn is a magnificent glacially formed lake nestled amidst some of Snowdonia’s most spectacular scenery. On its southern banks resides the busy village of Llanberis and towards its southeastern end you will discover the enchanting and extensive Padarn Country Park. This covers an area of 800 acres and includes Coed Dinorwig, a rare and ancient Sessile Oak woodland as well as the marvelous Vivian Quarry. Most notably, both Llyn Padarn and Coed Dinorwig are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Lying contiguous to Llyn Peris and located at the foot of Mount Snowdon, Llyn Padarn reaches depths of up to 30m (100ft) and is recognised as the sixth deepest lake in Wales. It is one of only three remaining natural localities in Wales to support the rare alpine fish, Arctic Charr, a living relic of the lakes glacial origins. Aquatic plants of special interest include the floating Water-plantain and small Quillwort. Otters and small numbers of Wildfowl frequent the lake and the outflow, Afon Rhythallt, is a critical spawning site for Salmon and Sea-trout.
Coed Dinorwig (also known as Coed Allt Wen or Coed Chwarel), stands as a prominent feature on the steep slopes overlooking Llyn Padarn. The canopy of this nationally important ancient woodland is dominated by Sessile Oak with some scattered Birch. Mountain Ash, Holly and Hazel typify much of the understorey, combining to provide a dazzling autumnal display of colour. The ground flora comprises communities of Bell-Heather, Bilberry, Greater Woodrush and Bramble, pretty Bluebells in spring and seemingly evergreen ferns, lichens and mosses. Look out for the uncommon Helleborine, a nationally scare species of orchid with delicate white flowers. Together with the plant life, the forest is also home to Wood Ants, the Speckled Wood Butterfly and bird species including Lesser Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart. The internationally endangered Lesser Horseshoe Bat, are known to hibernate in the nearby Vivian Quarry. Other bats include the Common Pipistrelle and Daubenton, which forage in the woodland and above Llyn Padarn respectively.
Attractions within the vast Padarn Country Park are not just limited to the delights of Llyn Padarn, Coed Dinorwig and the Vivian Quarry but also include the old Quarry Hospital Museum, the Welsh Slate Museum, a number of lakeside picnic areas and various crafts and adventure activities. There are five themed woodland, lakeside and industrial heritage trails to explore, as well as extreme sports including rock climbing, orienteering, scuba diving, rowing, canoeing and sailing. There is also the Llanberis Lake Railway, which runs along Llyn Padarn’s northern bank. The park grounds are open all year round and ample car parking facilities are available on site.