This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Bala. To help you make friends with Bala before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Bala is a small town most known for being home to Wales’ biggest freshwater lake and for its proximity to the Snowdonia National Park. The four-mile long Bala Lake, or Llyn Tegid in Welsh, is the prime attraction for most tourists and popular spot for sailing, canoeing, and fishing.
Bala hostels are not in plentiful supply, but you should be able to find a place within easy reach of town and every place is used to looking after the needs of hikers, cyclists, and outdoor types.
The predominantly stone and slate-built town is pretty tiny but has a fair supply of little shops, pubs and cafes to suit most visitors’ immediate needs. There are some good butchers and small independent food shops which should satisfy self-caterers
A tourist railway has steam and diesel trains that tootle along the lake’s shore. The nine-mile journey starts in the village of Llanuwchllyn before heading to Bala and along the lake, offering some great views of the water as well as the surrounding peaks.
Hikers often walk the fourteen-mile circumference of the lake, as well as the Arenig, Aran, and Berwyn mountain ranges nearby. Further opportunities for hiking in the area include Wales’ highest mountain, Snowdon, and Cadair Idris, a rocky peak at the southern end of Snowdonia National Park.
The area sees a lot of visitors but has retained a high concentration of Welsh speakers and has a proud nationalistic community.
Bala hostel seekers without a vehicle will find that public transport is quite limited but the bus from Wrexham to Barmouth does pass through town. A car is required to truly make the most of the area, however, walkers will find plenty of trails within reach of Bala’s centre.
Written by local enthusiast for Bala hostelsLaura T