Snowdonia has numerous inland lakes providing endless opportunities for those wishing to enjoy watersports of all kinds. The graceful Llyn Tegid, Bala, Wales’s largest natural lake, is a sailing, canoeing and windsurfing Mecca whilst the scenic Llyn Geirionydd in the Gwydir forest is a favourite with boaters.
The very beautiful Llyn Gwynant also attracts many watersports enthusiasts and has the added interest of being one of the locations where the Hollywood Blockbuster Tombraider II, starring Angelina Jolie, was filmed. Canoeing, kayaking and rafting, for sport or recreation, is readily available throughout Snowdonia, from gentle introductions to the wildest white water experiences and toughest challenges. The options are endless but Afon Conwy, Afon Glaslyn and Afon Llugwy all provide opportunities for the experienced.
The popular and award winning Tryweryn National Whitewater Centre, located near the town of Bala, offers white water kayaking and rafting opportunities for both novice and expert all year round. World-class competitions are held here.
Plas Heli is the name of the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Events Centre in Pwllheli.
The iconic building, that has received financial support from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council, includes:
• meeting rooms
• changing rooms and showers
• a grand hall for concerts, conferences and exhibitions
• secure compound
Plas Heli is ideal to host many events including:
• sporting events
Mysterious lakes, lively rivers and breath-taking waterfalls have helped shape the distinctive glacial landscape of Snowdonia Mountains and Coast. Their magic and beauty has attracted visitors for centuries, but today they also provide all kinds of exciting opportunities to get on the water.
Bala's Llyn Tegid - the largest natural lake in Wales - is a major watersports centre. It's close to the River Tryweryn, a torrent that guaranteed white water - and white-knuckle rafting thrills at the National White Water Centre, where anyone who doesn't mind getting wet can have a go.
The options are endless but Afon Conwy, Afon Glaslyn and Afon Llugwy all provide opportunities for the experienced. Try kayaking on beautiful Llyn Gwynant near Beddgelert or Llyn Padarn at Llanberis.
Other watersports lakes include Llyn Geirionydd hidden away in the Gwydyr Forest, Llynnau Mymbyr near Capel Curig, Llyn Trawsfynydd and Llyn Brenig near Cerrigydrudion.
With 200 miles of coastline there's salt in our veins. The shores of Snowdonia Mountains and Coast is packed with sailing and watersports action.
Wakeboarding is a speciality at Abersoch, while hardcore surfers and body boarders head for Porth Neigwl (its alternative name, Hell's Mouth, might give you an idea of what to expect).
Standup paddleboarding - the new big thing in watersports, is popular in a number of venues, including Dinas Dinlle and inland water such as Llyn Padarn. Read about Sian Sykes' Inspirational stand up paddleboarding (SUP) trips and tips.
Sailors can choose between the sheltered Menai Strait and the open waters of Cardigan Bay and the Irish Sea, accessible from string of havens, harbours, marinas and slipways.
Biggest of all is Hafan Pwllheli, a world-class modern marina with over 400 berths and excellent onshore facilities at the gateway to some of the best sailing waters in the UK.
Useful Contact Numbers:
Gwynedd Council Contact Centre
Aberdyfi 01654 767626
Barmouth 01341 280671
Conwy 01492 596253
Porthmadog 01766 512927
Pwllheli 01758 704081
Caernarfon, Victoria Dock
Natural Resources Wales
In an emergency dial 999 and ask for Coastguard
For information on slipways, boat launching and marinas contact the Gwynedd Maritime Unit on 01758 704066. For harbours and maritime information in the Conwy area call 01492 596253.