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Llyn (Lake) Brenig is a sparkling 920-acre (3.7 square kilometer) reservoir located in North Wales, in the heart of the Denbigh moors. Nestled between the counties of Conwy and Denbighshire, the reservoir is used to manage the flow of the River Dee as part of the River Dee regulation system. In conjunction with Llyn Celyn and Llyn Tegid, the lakes maintain the water supply for the residents of Llangollen, Wrexham, Chester and Merseyside. With its scenic heather and tree-lined shores, Llyn Brenig is also a wonderful place to visit with opportunities for fly fishing, walking, mountain biking, bird watching, exploring unique archaeological sites, or just a family picnic.
Construction of Llyn Brenig was completed in 1976; by 1979, the lake had filled. The catchment of the reservoir is significantly over-reservoired, meaning that when the water level is drawn down, it can take several years for it to completely re-fill. Llyn Brenig is therefore only used during severe drought conditions when Llyn Celyn and Llyn Tegid will not be able to maintain the flow of the River Dee. During the building of the reservoir, over 50 sites of Mesolithic (early Stone Age) and Bronze Age artifacts were discovered. These artifacts can be viewed in the Brenig Visitor Center on the south side of the lake. Burial and ceremonial monuments can be visited by following several archaeological trails on the north west side of the reservoir.
Llyn Brenig offers 14 miles (23 kilometers) of shoreline and features several trails which circle the entire lake. The landscape surrounding the lake is relatively flat and ideal for walking and cycling. Challenging trails for the more adventurous hiker and biker are also available and stretch into the Clocaenog Forest and around nearby Llyn Alwen. Llyn Brenig is also a great place for bird spotting, and there are a number of bird hides around the lake. The wild heather on the slopes of Marial Gwyn in the North Cambrian Mountains is maintained to provide a natural habitat for birds and other wildlife. Much of the moorland surrounding the lake is open access land, and Clocaenog Forest can be freely explored on foot, mountain bike or horseback.
Stocked with 36,000 rainbow trout shortly after its filling, Llyn Brenig is known as one of the best fly fishing lakes in the United Kingdom. In 1990, the reservoir was chosen to be the site for the World Fly Fishing Championships and has continued to be a host for international competitions. The current record stands at 17 pounds, 5 ounces (7.9 kilograms) for a trout caught in 2006. Additional watersports on the crystal clear lake include sailing, canoeing, and swimming. Large motorboats are not allowed on the lake in order to preserve the pristine environment of the lake and the water quality. Public boat launches and picnic areas can be found around the shoreline. An island in the northern end of the lake is a popular spot with kayakers and anglers. Along with rainbow trout, anglers can cast their line for brown trout and tiger trout.
There are no vacation rentals or holiday cottages directly on Llyn Brenig, but several self-catering cottages and hotels can be found within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of the lake. Touring caravan and camping sites can be found in Snowdonia National Park, just west of the lake. Covering 526,720 acres, the Park is the second largest National Park in Wales. The mountains of Snowdonia are the focal point 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. For non-climbers who would like a view from the top, the Snowdon Mountain Railway is available. An engineering marvel, the rack and pinion railway takes visitors to within 66 feet of the summit. The Snowdon Mountain Railway is considered one of the greatest railway journeys of the world.
For those who enjoy exploring castles, the striking ruins of Denbigh Castle and Dolwyddelan Castle are just a short drive from Llyn Brenig. Other attractions include the charming villages of Hiraethog and Cerrigydrudion. The Hiraethog region features a beautiful area of rolling heather moors, dense forests and tranquil lakes. Cerrigydrudion is a historic village clustered around crossroads that lead to a number of villages and towns in Wales. Vacation rentals, holiday cottages, and real estate for sale and rent can be found in both villages.
Llyn Brenig is the perfect holiday destination for those seeking seclusion and untouched beauty. Moorland, farmland, mountain ranges, forests, lakes and rivers offer an exciting variety of places to explore, activities to try, and attractions to visit. In addition to fishing, water sports, and wildlife, visitors to the reservoir can make their way to the top of the highest mountain in Wales and enjoy an unsurpassed view of the region. A visit to Llyn Brenig is one you will not soon forget.
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