•   Bala Lake Railway - views of the lake and mountains
  •   Gorwelion, just outside Bala - cafe, softplay, plant sales and more
  •   Visit some of the splendid gardens in North Wales
  •   Centre for Alternative Technology
  •   Llangollen has several visitor attractions
  •   Pistyll Rhaeadr - the highest waterfall in Wales
  •   Pontcystlle Viaduct and the Llangollen Canal - a World Heritage Site
  •   Underground tours, mine exploration and more

Visitor Attractions in North and Mid Wales

In and around Bala, more information is available from the various visitor centres

In addition to the local Visitor Attractions, there are many other Attractions located in North and Mid Wales, which are easily accessed from the Bala area. These include several UNESCO World Heritage sites - which are places or buildings of outstanding universal value - as well as sites of the National Trust and CADW - the historic environment service of the Welsh Assembly Government.

There are many different types of Visitor Attractions, many are suitable for families and some have a historical and educational interest. The list is endless with:

The following are just examples of some of the Visitor Attractions, in North and Mid Wales, accessible from the Bala area.

Popular attractions include:

  • Portmeirion, Italianate village (near Porthmadog) set on a stunning esturay with extensive gardens - one of the most popular tourist attraction in North Wales
  • Electric Mountain Visitors Centre at Dinorwig Power Station, (Llanberis) - a tour of the Dinorwig Power Station which was built inside a mountain
  • The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) (near Machynlleth) and see “Practical solutions to 21st century problems"
  • Llechwedd Slate Caverns (Blaenau Ffestiniog): experience a miner's environment at this award-winning attraction with the Deep Mine Tour and Miners’ Tramway Tour - also Victorian Village and the Miner’s Arms.
  • King Arthur's Labyrinth (Corris) An underground storytelling adventure using a disused Welsh slate mine as a dramatic backdrop.

Historic Sites and Buildings include:

  • Erddig Country House: Atmospheric house, featuring 485-hectare (1,200-acre) country park and formal walled garden. Life above and below stairs at the second most popular historic house in the UK (National Trust)
  • Plas Mawr Elizabethan Town House, (Conwy): Possibly the best preserved Elizabethan townhouse in Great Britain
  • Plas Newydd (Llangollen): Home of the Ladies of Llangollen. The romantic story of their elopement and setting up home at Plas Newydd, captured the imagination of Regency Society. Exhibition of their story. Peaceful riverside walk and gardens
  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal (Llangollen to Chirk) is a UNESCO World Heritage site; starting at the Horeshoe Falls the Llangollen canal crosses two major viaducts at Pontcysyllte and Chirk.
  • Ruthin Gaol, experience a 19th C. prison
  • Rhug Chapel Near Corwen.   Small private chapel built for Colonel William Salusbury in 1637. Fine seventeenth-century interior fittings.
  • Valle Crucis Abbey  Near Llangollen.  Medieval remains of Cistercian abbey founded in 1201.
  • Parc Glynllifon (Llandwrog near Caernarfon) Come and enjoy a fun day out for the whole family at Glynllifon’s historic gardens and country park.

Mines and Museums:

  • Corris Mine Explorers (Corris)  A rare opportunity to explore the abandoned workings of an old Welsh slate mine with one of Wales’ top Mine Explorers. 130 years of mining history captured and awaiting discovery.
  • King Arthur's Labyrinth (Corris)  A great adventure for the children. Sail with a Dark Age boatman on this Underground Storytelling Adventure. Pass through a waterfall and back across a thousand years into the depths of the Labyrinth.
  • Llechwedd Slate Caverns (Blaenau Ffestiniog): experience a miner's environment at this award-winning attraction with the Deep Mine Tour and Miners’ Tramway Tour also Victorian Village and the Miner’s Arms
  • Conwy Valley Railway Museum (Betws-y-Coed) with minature railway
  • Chwarel Hên, Llanfair Slate Caverns (near Harlech): as well as visiting the slate mine there is a Children's Farm Park and a breathtaking view of Cardigan Bay
  • National Slate Museum, (Padarn Country Park, Llanberis): The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn. The museum is sited in the Victorian workshops built in the shadow of Elidir mountain, site of the vast Dinorwig quarry.
  • Sygun Copper Mine, (Beddgelert) a family attraction situated in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park and is open most of the year. Self-guided tour with audio-visual presentations and multi-lingual interpretation.
  • Llanfair Slate Caverns (Near Harlech)  The entry to this old but important slate mine is through the main tunnel, under the twin arches of the crypt, and into the lofty cathedral cavern.
  • The Lloyd George Museum  (Llanystumdwy near Criccieth)  Discover the life and times of David Lloyd George in the Museum and Highgate, his boyhood home.
  • Quaker Heritage Centre (Dolgellau) Discover the story of the Quaker community that once lived here and of the persecution which forced them to emigrate to Pennsylvania.

Power Stations with Visitor Centres:

  • Electric Mountain & Dinorwig Power Station  Set against a magnificent backdrop of the towering mountains and the magnificent scenery of Snowdonia, Electric Mountain is First Hydro Company's Visitor centre in Llanberis.


Information compilied by Abercelyn Country Houses and Cottages