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More Lakes - Further Afield
Llyn Pwll-y-Gele

Llyn Pwll-y-Gele

6 acres
700 feet
Easy/Moderate Access
Welsh for “Pool of the Leeches,” Pwll y Gele is a six-acre lake situated at a height of seven-hundred feet, located between two minor roads which run south from Llanfachreth.

This is one of several pools in Wales which were used for the breeding of leeches for medical use, in fact Wales was the leech-farming capital of Europe some two-hundred years ago. In the Victorian age, some forty-two million leeches a year were used for medical blood-letting in Britain. Leeches are still used in medicine today, but no longer inhabit this lake (as far as I am aware anyway).

The lake was enlarged with a small dam, which includes a date of 1956. The dam was damaged in the mid-2000s, but work has taken place over the past few years to fix this and to enhance the footpaths, including the building of a couple of new wooden bridges.

Young salmon were introduced here in the 1980s in the hopes of encouraging them to return to breed, but nothing became of the venture. The lake is teeming with trout and minnows, along with ducks, grey herons, dragonflies, insects and frogs.

There is a very pretty footpath which runs from the quiet west road, over a stream, beside the southern edge of the pool (over the dam) and exits at two points on the eastern (even quieter) road.

A footpath also runs the opposite way from the western road for around a mile, crosses a minor road and then follows a driveway which leads to Lower Lodge, the southern entrance to the old Nannau Deer Park.
The Blue Lake

The Blue Lake

0.5 acres
390 feet
Moderate Access
Also known as “The Blue Lagoon”, “The Blue Lake” is a flooded pit from the old Golwern Slate Quarry which operated from 1865 to 1915, employing a maximum of six men during its working life. It is located near Friog, Fairborne.
Llyn Gafr

Llyn Gafr (Goat Lake)

7 acres
1,600 feet
Difficult Access
Llyn Gafr, also known locally as Llyn yr Afr (Lake of the Goat or Goats) is one of those lakes you pass by rather than going to. It’s on the Fox’s path, one of the trickier routes up Cader Idris, but the section to this lake is on the easier side. If you fancy walking up another 237 feet you can get to the far more impressive Llyn y Gadair, so this lake is probably best visited on your way down when you will appreciate a rest.
Llyn Arran

Llyn Arran (Aran)

1 acre
1,579 feet
Difficult Access
Llyn Arran (Llyn Aran) sits in a rather desolate and remote spot beneath Cader Idris and is the source of the Afon Arran which is one of the two rivers that dissect Dolgellau (the other being the Wnion). Access is difficult, so many people only view it from above when walking along the ridge from Pen y Gadair to Mynydd Moel. When viewed this way you can see its almost square shape.

If you want to dip your toe into the lake, you’ll need to get to the top of the minor road to Bwlch Coch and its old radio mast and follow the uneven path over the rough grass, cotton grass and streams for over an hour (and you’ll be pleased when it does eventually come into view and you realise you are going the right way). It’s one of the walks to best avoid after moderate to heavy rain.
Llyn Pen Moelyn from Pared y Cefn Hir

Llyn Pen Moelyn from Pared y Cefn Hir

2 acres
900 feet
Moderate Access
Sometimes called “Llyn Llygad” (“Eye Lake”) due to it deep section in the middle which resembles an eye. It is also known as Llyn Pen Pared.

The photo above was taken from “Pared y Cefn Hir” the large hill above Cregennen Lakes. This is a nice place to get a good view, although you have to walk to the end of the hill to see it. You can also walk around the base.
Llyn Cyri

Llyn Cyri

4 acres
1,150 feet
Difficult Access
Llyn Cyri is one of the most remote lakes of the Cader Idris foothills. You can reach it via a rarely trodden path from the old Dolgellau to Llanegryn Road (called Ffordd Ddu or The Black Road). However one of the best ways to see it is an ‘Aerial’ view from the Tyrau Mawr Ridge Walk. The above photo was taken on this walk on the descent down. From here you get a fabulous view back along the Cader Idris range with Cregennen Lakes in the distance.
Access is listed based on access to a car. Lakes marked as Easy are near a road.
All photographs are Copyright © Ian King.

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