Magical, whimsical, natural and atmospheric! Top 5 lakes for a wedding or elopement in Snowdonia
Weddings and elopements in North Wales should be about immersing yourself in the stunning natural surroundings. As a professional, independent celebrant and adventure enthusiast, I love it when couples come to me with unique ideas for outdoor ceremonies!
So, for my next three blog posts, I thought I would focus on Top 5’s for outdoor weddings in North Wales:
· Top 5 lakes for a wedding or elopement in Snowdonia
· Top 5 summits for a wedding or elopement in Snowdonia
· Top 5 beaches for a wedding or elopement in North Wales
To start, I thought I would recommend some lakes (or llyns as they are known in Welsh). Lakes in Snowdonia can provide amazing, natural and incredibly picturesque surroundings for your bespoke ceremony. With the mountainous backdrop of Snowdonia, North Wales in particular, is a fantastic destination, if you’ve always dreamed of a lakeside wedding ceremony or elopement.
But, before you get carried away with the romance of it all, one thing you may wish to consider is logistics. If you are thinking an elopement or smaller affair, it is obviously a little easier than if you have a larger invite list. Some lakes are easily accessible, in fact, practically roadside, but this means you will sacrifice privacy. Others require a little walk in, but if you choose these, you will be rewarded with seclusion, tranquillity and uninterrupted views.
This beautiful lake sits at the foot of Snowdon, adjacent to the famous mountain village of Llanberis. The lake is the sixth deepest in Wales, and home to the Arctic char, a fish left behind from the last ice age! If you explore the lake shore there are a number of quieter spots that are perfect for a lake shore ceremony. You are close to Llanberis village and so parking, mod cons and accommodation are close to hand.
Paddle boarding has taken off massively on Llyn Padarn, and, if you fancy an offshore ceremony on your paddleboard, with the backdrop of Snowdonia, you can do it here!
If you are thinking a bit more off grid, then on the north-eastern banks of the lake is a hidden gem, Cae Mabon (https://www.caemabon.co.uk/). Cae Mabon is an Eco-Retreat centre that looks like it is straight from Lord of the Rings. At its heart is a Celtic Roundhouse; the surrounding “hobbit” houses can accommodate up to 30. This place has a wood burning hot tub fed by a mountain stream and bags of character.
I couldn’t include a list of the top lakes in North Wales for a ceremony without mentioning Llyn Gwynant. Llyn Gwynant is in the heart of Snowdonia, on the opposite side of Snowdon to Llyn Padarn. It is a truly stunning setting, close to the Watkin Path up Snowdon and the infamous Watkin Path Pools.
Llyn Gwynant Campsite (http://gwynant.com/weddings/) caters for weddings with onsite barns, as well as camping facilities. This is another place where you can add unique touches to your celebrant led ceremony, such as tree planting, handfasting or jumping the broom. You can even jump on a paddle board or canoe for a post ceremony photo opportunity!
Llyn Idwal is a stunning lake at the foot of the Glyders in Snowdonia. It sits in the amphitheatre of Devils Kitchen, Y Garn and Glyder Fawr. The name Llyn Idwal refers to an old Welsh legend. In the 12th century, Owain, Prince of Gwynedd, gave his only son Idwal into the care of his servant, Nefydd Hardd. But Nefydd's son, Dunawd, was jealous of the talented Idwal. So, he pushed Idwal into this lake and Idwal drowned. Owain named the lake - Llyn Idwal in mourning for his only son.
Parking is on the A5 (be sure you don't block the pavements) or adjacent to the Youth Hostel. The walk in to the lake shore is relatively flat and only takes about 20 minutes. It can be a busy spot, but the lake shore is large enough that picking your ideal ceremony location shouldn’t pose a problem. It's all about the mountain atmosphere here!
Llyn Elsi is truly enchanting and offers spectacular views across to Moel Siabod on a clear day. The lake is set within Gwydir forest, but close to the popular village of Betws-y-Coed. Access is via forest tracks and there is limited parking for c. 8 cars, close to the lake shore. The eastern lakeshore provides vistas over Snowdonia and a beautiful viewpoint over the lake for a ceremony and picnic!
Although I featured this on one of my other blogs, Cregennan Lakes is such a great spot, it is worthy of another mention if you are looking for a unique lakeside ceremony. Cregennan Lakes is owned by the National Trust and sits on the northern slopes of Cader Idris, 5 miles from Dolgellau. It’s a lesser-known spot and so you will feel like you are truly escaping into the wilderness for your magical day. Scout out your lakeside ceremony spot and take in the spectacular views!
Finally, if none of these fabulous lakes tick all your boxes, please do get in touch as there are many other lakeside or even on lake options that might be the right fit for you!