Wonderful on Tap

Our visitor sites
Considered Wales’ most beautiful lake and located just a short drive from the Shropshire border, Lake Vyrnwy is ideal for twitchers, cyclists and fishing fans.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update

This visitor site is open with restrictions in place

Our visitor sites have reopened, but we're carefully following the latest government guidelines and rules.

This site is now open - there are extra measures in place to protect your wellbeing and the safety of other visitors, the local community and our teams.

If you visit this site, observe social distancing, follow the rule of six, check opening times, follow any new measures we put in place, and stay local.

The site is only open to visitors from Wales. Until the national lockdown in England has been lifted, please do not travel to any of our Welsh sites from England.


Toilets are very limited and only open 9am to 5pm.

Artisans Cafe

Artisans Cafe is open offering takeaway service only.

Rule of four

In line with government guidelines please only meet in groups of no more than four (not including any children aged under 11).


Watersports will remain closed.

Cinema, RSPB Shop, birdhides, HD building and play area all remain closed for now.

  • Maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from other visitors and staff

  • Respect any instructions or signage - they're there to keep you safe
  • Look after those with you - keep dogs on leads and children close by.
  • Maintain good hygiene and avoid touching hard surfaces

Welcome to Lake Vyrnwy

Help us take care of the wonderful Lake Vyrnwy

From fairy tale towers and old stone bridges, to breath-taking scenery and rare wildlife; Lake Vyrnwy is a truly special place and we’re working with the RSPB Cymru to protect and nurture this wonderful place for generations to come. Find out more about the Lake Vyrnwy Experience Project and the RSPB Cymru appeal.



A little bit about Lake Vyrnwy...

Learn more about the beautiful Lake Vyrnwy

Why was Lake Vyrnwy created here?

    Lake Vyrnwy was created to capture water from the River Vyrnwy so it could be used to supply the ever expanding city of Liverpool with fresh clean drinking water.


    What was here before?

    Well, a century ago the Vyrnwy Valley looked very different. The valley of the River Vyrnwy was closed off by the building of the dam and the whole valley was flooded when
the reservoir was filled. The creation of the lake involved relocating the former village of Llanwddyn. Farms and their land were also submerged below the water.
The village consisted ofa ParishChurch, two Chapels, three Inns, ten Farmhouses and 37 houses. In dry summers the water level  sometimes drops far enough for the
ruins of the old village to be seen - kind of eerie but cool huh? 

    The new settlement was built lower down the valley, even the graveyard was relocated along with the Church.


How long did it take to build the Dam?

    The Corporation of Liverpool began work on the huge masonry dam in 1881 to secure a fresh water supply for Liverpool. The Dam was completed in 1888.The lake took two
years to fill andwater was first supplied to Liverpool in 1891. An official ceremony in1910 was conducted by the then HRH the Prince of Wales to mark the completion of the works.


How big and deep is it?

    The reservoir is 216 ft deep at its maximum depth. The pointed tower is the ‘straining tower’ and is where the water leaves the lake on the start of its 70 mile journey down the aqueduct. The water passes through a fine metal mesh to remove large objects. Lake Vyrnwy is surrounded by a perimeter road which is 11.75 miles long.


What is Lake Vyrnwy’s role in the water supply network?

    The reservoir was created to provide drinking water for Liverpool. The water is carried to the City of Liverpool by an Aqueduct. The dam and reservoir were created when
Liverpool was growing rapidly. The new factories and mills of the Industrial Revolution were attracting workers to the area. Clean water was required not only for the increased population, but for steam driven machines.


Where does the water come from?

    The dam and reservoir was built to take advantage of the nearby Vyrnwy Valley and The River Vyrnwy. The reservoir was filled by restricting the flow of the river behind the Dam.
The two stone towers on the top of the dam house the valves which control the excess water flowing from the base of the wall to allow the river to flow normally.

Educational visits

School groups

In partnership with the RSPB, Lake Vyrnwy provides facilities for school groups to learn about this special environment we are caring for.
Please contact us on 01691 870278 to find out more.