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Llyn Padarn (Lake Padarn) is a sparkling 242-acre (one square kilometer) lake nestled in the Llanberis Pass at the foot of Mount Snowdon, (Wales' highest mountain) in the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd, north Wales. The lake is part of Padarn Country Park which covers 800 acres (3.2 square kilometers) and offers a wide range of water sports, lakeside picnic areas, and scenic nature trails.
Llyn Padarn is a two mile (3.2 kilometer) long glacially formed lake connected to neighboring Llyn Peris at its southeastern end. Llyn Peris forms the lower reservoir of the Dinorwig power station. In order to preserve the natural beauty of Snowdonia National Park, the power station is located deep inside the mountain Elidir Fawr. The power station is connected to a national grid substation at Pentir by cables that are buried for approximately six miles to avoid unsightly power lines and poles in the park.
Motorized water craft are not permitted on Llyn Padarn, but the "Snowdonia Star" operates regular cruises up and down the lake. For anglers, the lake boasts excellent brown trout fishing along with Arctic char, salmon and seatrout. A water sports center on the lake rents canoes, row boats and sailboats to visitors.
Padarn Country Park is located at the southeastern end of Llyn Padarn. The park offers a number of lakeside picnic areas and Coed Allt Wen, an area of rare and ancient oak trees. A number of themed nature trails wind their way through the park including a five mile scenic trail around Llyn Padarn. The park also contains a museum on the slate quarrying industry in the area.
The outflow of Llyn Padarn creates the River Rhythallt (Afon Rhythallt) which runs past the village of Brynrefail, Gwynedd. At the Pont Rhythallt bridge in the village of Llanrug, the river changes its name to Afon Seiont and eventually reaches the sea at the historic town of Caernarfon. River Rhythallt is a great paddling river with many places for fishing, sightseeing and camping along its banks.
On the southern side of Llyn Padarn lies the village of Llanberis. Llanberis is home to the Llanberis Lake Railway Station which is a stop on a one hour train tour of the area. The Railway, which opened in 1971, is a narrow gauge heritage railway, which runs for two and a half miles along the northern bank of the lake. Visitors can catch the train at Gilfach Ddu station in the Country Park and ride on the recently opened extension up to Llanberis Village, past the Welsh Slate Museum, and historic Dolbadarn Castle. The railway uses the original Padarn Railway, which from 1843 to 1961, carried slate from the Dinorwic Quarry. The locomotives used for the scenic tour were once used to haul slate wagons in and out of the quarries.
For vacation rentals and holiday cottages, the beautiful village of Llanberis offers hotels, bed & breakfasts, and a number of self-catering options for visitors of Llyn Padarn. Touring caravan and camping sites can be found in Snowdonia National Park. Covering 526,720 acres, (2,132 square kilometers), the Park is the second largest National Park in Wales. The mountains of Snowdonia are the highlight of the park with Mount Snowdon reaching 3,560 feet (1,085 meters), the highest point in Wales. Over 100 summits of varying heights and difficulties are a draw for climbers. Non-climbers can take the Snowdonia Railway, Britain's only rack railway, to the top of Snowdonia.
For those who enjoy touring castles, the striking ruins of Dolbadarn Castle and Caernarfon Castle are just a short drive from Llyn Padarn. Standing at the mouth of the Seiont River, Caernarfon Castle is one of the most famous castles in Wales and attracts visitors from around the world. Vacation rentals, holiday cottages, and real estate for sale and rent can also be found in the royal, seaside town of Caernarfon.
Llyn Padarn and beautiful Snowdonia National Park make the perfect holiday destination for those seeking a tranquil setting surrounded by rich culture and local history. Explore ancient castles, hike majestic mountains, and enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. A visit to Llyn Padarn will be sure to delight even the most seasoned of travelers.
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