Outdoor Activities available near to Abercelyn, Bala, Snowdonia

Including: mountain walking, whitewater rafting & canoeing, high ropes, sailing, biking, zip-wire, go underground and more

Bala is the outdoor centre of Snowdonia - with spelendid mountain, lake and rivers and a wide range of outdoor activities available, including:

  •     mountain walking, scrambling, climbing and abseiling
  •     whitewater rafting
  •     canoeing and kayaking: on lakes, whitewater rivers, estuaries and the sea
  •     sailing: boardsailing and dinghy sailing on Lake Bala
  •     open water swimming in Lake Bala
  •     biking: on car-free trails, quiet roads and challenging mountain passes
  •     mountain biking and downhill biking on purpose built tracks
  •     orienteering
  •     high ropes
  •     canyoning

10 Great Escapes in Snowdonia by VisitWales

For the more adventurous, things to do include:

Mountain Walking

Abercelyn is within the Snowdonia National Park and offers both strenuous walking or relaxed scenic walks suitable for young children. Mt. Snowdon, Cadair Idris and the Rhinogs are within easy travelling distance by car for a day’s walk. To the west of Bala is the Arenig mountain range with 13 summits above 2000 ft (610 m). To the east of Bala is the Berwyn mountain range with 24 summits above 2000 ft. To the south of Bala is the Aran mountain range with 14 summits above 2000 ft including the famous Aran ridge. A feature of local mountain walking is the solitude. There is a comprehensive set of walking Trails avaiable at Abercelyn and advice. There are walks directly from Abercelyn and other local walks include lake walks which can be combined with a ride on the Bala Lake Steam Railway.

There are also walks through nature reserves and forest parks, many of which are signed.

Rock Climbing & Abseiling

Several activity providers offer instruction in rock climbing & abseiling in the Snowdonia National Park.

There is a small indoor climbing wall at Llangollen, with instruction available.

White-water kayaking, canoeing and rafting

The National Whitewater Centre on the River Tryweryn, is less than 10 minutes by car from Abercelyn, and provides some of the best "reliable" white-water (grade 3-4) in the UK, with regular releases guaranteeing good water conditions. The River Tryweryn has hosted not only many national slalom & white-water racing events but also the World Championships in 1981 and 1995 and the Junior white-water racing World Championships in 2002.

The River Dee flows out of Lake Bala and further downstream the Serpent’s Tail and Llangollen Town Falls have hosted many national and internal slalom & white-water racing competitions. At Mile-End Mill on the River Dee, in Llangollen, there is a permanent white-water site, which is not reliant of water releases. Llangollen is around 30 minutes drive from Abercelyn.

Lake Bala is an ideal venue for beginners or for more experienced paddlers to work on paddling technique before venturing to the River Tryweryn or Dee. Bala Adventure & Watersports Centre, located on Bala Lake Foreshore, have canoes and kayaks for rent and also provide courses.


Lake Bala, the largest natural lake in Wales, is a very popular venue for sailing. Access is provided at the Lake Foreshore only a few minutes from Abercelyn. Bala Adventure & Watersports Centre, located on Bala Lake Foreshore, have windsurfers, dinghies and catamarans for rent and also provide courses. They also have a large sailing boat which will take up to seven adults for a cruise on the lake. Discount available for Abercelyn guests.

The Bala Sailing Club is located on the north-east end of Bala Lake only 5 minutes drive from Abercelyn.

Cycling on roads or dedicated tracks

There are several quiet local roads for cycling, e.g. around Lake Bala and the Dee valley and also quiet roads over mountain passes with spectacular scenery. There are six “Bike Routes around Bala” on roads, which are signed. The Mawddach trail (18 km, 11 miles one-way) is car free and runs through the Mawddach estuary, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the country. More Information on cycling

Mountain and Downhill Biking

There are many excellent locations for Mountain Biking in the Berwyns and Penllyn Forest near Bala and specialised mountain bike sites at Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park near Dollgelau, Gwydyr Forest Centre, Penmachno and Llandegla Forest.

Mountain bikes can be rented from the Bike shop in Bala (R H Roberts). More information on Mountain and Downhill Biking


An easy route, suitable for beginners/children, and two harder routes at Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park near Dollgelau.

Activity North Wales located in Bala offer a wide range of outdoor activities.

If you need help to arrange your activities just contact Abercelyn Cottages or ask when you stay with us.

Outdoor Activities
Lake Bala a Mecca for watersports

Outdoor Activities
Rock climbing not far from Bala

Outdoor Activities
Mountain walking in Snowdonia with views

Outdoor Activities
WhiteWater rafting and canoeing at the National WhiteWater Centre, near Bala

Outdoor Activities
Go underground - explore a mine

Outdoor Activities
Wild swimming in the mountains

Outdoor Activities
The fastest and longest Zip wire in the World

Outdoor Activities
Downhill biking on purpose built trails