Love Welsh Cakes as much as we do? We have decided to declassify our Welsh Cake Secret Recipe and to share it with you all! Are you ready to sweeten your hands? Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus to all our followers.     

– 675 g of self-raising flour
– 330 g of butter from a local supplier
– 255 g of caster sugar
– 3 local eggs
– A few sultanas
– 2 teaspoon of mixed spice
– Love

How to:
1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, creating a firm dough ball.
2. Roll out the dough 1cm thick, and then slice it into rounds.
3. Carefully, give the rolls a heart shape with a biscuit cutter.
4. Shallow-fry them in a pan using a little local butter. Fry both sides until they are golden-brown while you taste our local beer Red Grouse, produced by Vyrnwy Brewing Co. Our pastry chef Bill advises: Please be extra careful here because if you fry them too much they start to kind of melt.
5. Finish them in the oven for five minutes at 160 °C. This step is our secret key, so please don’t miss it!
6. Place them in a plate, dusting a bit more of caster sugar while they’re still hot.

Mwynhewch eich bwyd!


Books and Daffodils around the Lake


This year St Davids Day and the World Book Day overlap! So we were wondering how to set up a link between both festivals when a happy stroke of luck turned our attention into a well-known poem about the daffodils, by Wordsworth. Reading it, we just realized that one of its stanzas worked really well at certain picture of the Lake opened in one of our screens at that moment. Et voilà! Such a serendipity the one we had today.

I wandered lonely as a cloud 
That floats on high o’er vales and hills, 
When all at once I saw a crowd, 
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 
Continuous as the stars that shine 
And twinkle on the milky way, 
They stretched in never-ending line 
Along the margin of a bay: 
Ten thousand saw I at a glance, 
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. 
The waves beside them danced; but they 
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: 
A poet could not but be gay, 
In such a jocund company: 
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought 
What wealth the show to me had brought: 
For oft, when on my couch I lie 
In vacant or in pensive mood, 
They flash upon that inward eye 
Which is the bliss of solitude; 
And then my heart with pleasure fills, 
And dances with the daffodils. 

Have an exciting read today and a happy World Book Day!📚


RSPB Lake Vyrnwy Summer Sightings

RSPB have kindly agreed to let us re-post one of their blog entries of sightings here at Lake Vyrnwy back in the summer.  We hope this gives you an idea of what wildlife you can expect to encounter here at Lake Vyrnwy, Wales.  If you would like to keep up to date with their recent sightings then take a look at their blog.

Highlight of the week was a superb Clouded Yellow butterfly seen flying around Llanwddyn (3rd), this migrant species arrives into the UK from southern Europe in variable numbers every year and is not a common sight in Montgomeryshire. In fact the whole week turned out to be rather good for butterflies with Purple Hairstreak spotted in the Hotel Wood and the weekly transect producing 57x Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Small Skipper, Comma, Green-Viened White, Large White, Small White, Small Copper and Meadow Brown butterflies.

This superb Clouded Yellow butterfly was a good find in Llanwddyn during the week (Many Thanks to Gavin Chambers for the photo)

Red Admiral butterfly was recorded in small numbers during the weekly butterfly transect.

Earlier in the week we unveiled the following mystery photo on the RSPB Mid Wales Facebook Page.

Well done to everyone who identified the mystery creature as a male Emerald Damselfly. This colourful damselfly is relatively frequent along waterbodies on the reserve at present. Other odonata sighted on the reserve this week included, Azure Damselfly, Black Darter, Common Hawker and Brown Hawker.

Emerald Damselfly can be found frequently along the reserves waterbodies at present.

High levels of bat activity were observed at dusk along the Afon Vyrnwy, with the bridge near the Sculpture Park (OS Grid: SJ020190)  being a particular good spot to watch feeding Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle and Daubenton’s bat as well as listen to a family of Tawny Owls. The Afon Vyrnwy also played host to Kingfisher (daily), Dipper (daily) and Grey Wagtail (daily).

Sightings on the lake included, 28x Canada Geese, 47x Mallard, 2x Teal, 9x Goosander, 1x Little Grebe, 3x Great Crested Grebe, 4x Cormorant, 5x Grey Heron and 2+ Common Sandpiper.

We’ve been treated to some beautiful sunsets on the reserve recently.

Other interesting avian sightings included, 1x Red Kite (regular over Llanwddyn), 1x Hobby (over Llanwddyn, 4th), 1x Goshawk (Red Trail, 4th) and Crossbill (regular, Visitor Centre, Orange, Red and Green Trails).

Macrolepidoptera Of The Week

Blue-bordered Carpet is top moth this week. Uncommon in Montgomeryshire this species inhabits damp woodland.

Blue-bordered Carpet (Many Thanks to Gavin Chambers for the image).



Special Moments at Lake Vyrnwy

We thought it would be a great idea to share some photos that we have received over the past month.  The beautiful weather we have been having has meant that there has been lots of photo opportunities out on the terrace and glorious sunsets to capture in the evenings.

Champagne Afternoon tea photographed by Julie Edwards

Champagne Afternoon tea on the terrace photographed by Julie Edwards

Evening view from out Tower Restaurant photographed by Rachel Reynolds

Evening view from out Tower Restaurant photographed by Rachel Reynolds

A day out on the lake from Eleri Smith

A day out on the lake from Eleri Smith

Daytime view out of the Tower Restaurant photographed by Maisie Davies whilst on work experience here

Daytime view out of the Tower Restaurant photographed by Maisie Davies whilst she was on work experience here.

A stunning sunset photographed by Victoria Owens

A stunning sunset photographed by Victoria Owens

Another beautiful sunset taken by Victoria Owens

Another beautiful sunset taken by Victoria Owens

Thank you to those mentioned for sharing these wonderful photos with us.  Do you have any photos of your time here that you wouldn’t mind sharing?  If so, go on to our Facebook page and share them on there or email them to – we would love to see them!

Continental Tyres choose our venue for worldwide launch!

We feel very honoured to be the venue of choice for Continental Tyres and motorcycling journalists from across the globe for the launch, which took place on 29/06/14 at midday, of an all new adventure sports tyre – The Continental TKC70.  Thirty motorcyclists have been testing these tyres on some of the World’s finest motorcycles right here on some of Wales’ finest roads.

Today (Monday 04/08/14) we have journalists from as far afield as America coming to stay with us to test these tyres – How exciting!

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Well done Ian & Jess!

Ian our Food and Beverage Manager and Jess our Assistant Spa Manager recently took on the gruelling challenge of cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End all in aid of Welsh Air Ambulance and Shropshire Cat Rescue.  They started their journey on the 23rd of June and managed to cycle the 926(ish) miles to Lands End in ten days.

Ian and Jess at John O'Groats

Ian and Jess at John O’Groats

Ian - Welcome to England

Entering into England

Ian celebrating the end of their cycle

Ian celebrating on arrival at Lands End


RSPB Lake Vyrnwy Recent Sightings 20th-26th July 2014

RSPB have kindly agreed to let us re-post their blog entry of recent sightings here at Lake Vyrnwy.  If you would like to keep up to date with their recent sightings then take a look at their blog.


Top sighting this week was a flyover Yellow Wagtail from the Red Trail (23rd), this summer migrant usually inhabits lowland agricultural fields with the nearest known local population located towards Welshpool. Another highlight this week was an Osprey which flew down the lake (23rd). The lake also played host to 30x Canada Geese, 30+ Mallard, 3x Teal, 3x Great Crested Grebe, 1x Cormorant and 4x Grey Heron.

Frequent Kingfisher sightings this week included birds seen from the Lakeside Hide, below the dam and along the Afon Vyrnwy (Many Thanks to Gavin Chambers for this image taken at Vyrnwy last year).

Other interesting bird sightings this week included, Red Kite (regular along the Dinas Mawddwy road), Sparrowhawk (regular at the Visitor Centre), Green Woodpecker (1x juvenile, Green Trail, 1x Abertridwr), Dipper (regular, Afon Vyrnwy), Wheatear (Bala Road), Stonechat(Rhiwargor waterfall), Spotted Flycatcher (family parties, LLanwddyn and Dinas Mawddwy road) and Crossbill (Visitor Centre, Red and Green trails).

Siskin are regulars at the bird feeders at present (Many Thanks to Sam Constable for the image).

The distinctive blooms of Harebell can be seen along the Green Trail at present.

Purple Hairstreak butterfly should be searched for in the oak woodland at present with at least four sighted along the Green Trail this week (Many Thanks to Gavin Chambers for the image taken off site).

The weekly butterfly transect highlighted a fresh emergence of Peacock’s, with twenty individuals counted alongside a single Comma and small numbers of RingletLarge White,Green-veined WhiteSmall TortoiseshellMeadow Brown and Large Skipper.

The blooms of Common Knapweed are providing a rich source of nectar for insects at present like this Skipper butterfly.

Odonata on the wing this week included, Banded Demoiselle (first record this year), Emerald DamselflyBlack DarterCommon HawkerBrown Hawker and Golden-ringed Dragonfly.

Look how dark this male Black Darter is in comparison to last weeks female.

Macrolepidoptera Of The Week

This week’s top moth was also the focus of attention in the following mystery photo unveiled on the RSPB Mid Wales Facebook Page earlier in the week.

I can now reveal that the giant moth in the photo is a Northern Eggar. Well done to everyone who guessed correctly. Eggar moths are an important part of the Vyrnwy food web with the hairy caterpillars being a favourite meal for Cuckoo and the flying adults a food source for acrobatic Hobby’s. Dayflying ginger male Eggar moths may be seen zigzagging across the higher level trails at present.

Female Eggar moths were attracted to the light on our moth trap.



Afternoon Tea – The Royal Connection.


With the launch of our new afternoon tea imminent, we felt it fitting to share with you the ‘Royal Connection’ of this historical tradition.

The origins of afternoon tea, a quintessentially English tradition, are rumoured to date all the way back to 1662 when Catherine of Braganza married Charles II of England, she brought with her a casket of tea, introducing it to the royal court and became known as ‘the tea drinking Queen’.

The tradition of Afternoon Tea as we know it (with savouries and cakes) took a little while to develop and is attributed to Anne, 7th Duchess of Bedford who, in the early 1840’s requested light sandwiches, tea and cake be brought to her in the late afternoon to ‘stave off that sinking feeling’. Over time, she started to invite close confidantes to join her, to exchange news and stories over tea and light refreshments: one of Britain’s finest traditions was born.

Other social hostesses quickly picked up on the idea and the practice became respectable enough to move it into the drawing room.  This pause for tea became a fashionable social event. During the 1880s upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock.

Traditional English afternoon tea parties are all about socialising and enjoying time relaxing with the warmth of tea and friendship. Even though there seem to be a lot of rules, how you eat your scone or hold your teacup doesn’t really matter. But if you want to stick with tradition, good manners are all part of the authentic afternoon tea experience.


Traditional Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room, Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa.

2013 Fishing Season Review

Mr Makin, one of the lakes most regular fisherman has been kind enough to write this review of last years fishing season. We will soon be moving to a dedicated fishing blog – please, bear with us – it’s on its way!

The 2013 season was dominated by extremes of the local weather. The opening months of March and April featured snow on the surrounding hills with, melt water coming into the Lake via the feeder stream and the occasional snow shower to test the fortitude of the anglers. However, the early season fishing gave good sport for the hardy souls who ventured out. The fish were in superb condition and both the rainbows and brownies fed hard at times and gave good sport to both sinking and floating lines. Whitegates fished well on some days. Brian Owen had a bag of 18 brownies and 2 rainbows on bumbles and black and green lures fish on an intermediate line. Paul Makin had 11 brownies (best 1.25 lbs) and 8 rainbows (best 4.0 lbs) taken on Bumbles, Montanas and Caddis fished on floating and intermediate lines.

May, June and July proved to be very wet and cold at times with the rivers pushing coloured water into the Lake. However, the fish fed hard during the warmer spells with some excellent catches. Paul Makin had 12 brownies best fish 1.25 lbs and 11 rainbows best fish 2.5 lbs on Bibios, GRHE, Claret bumble taken on a floating line at Whitegates. GV & H Westropp took 22 brownies using a sink tip with Invictas, Bibios, and Connemara Blacks from Whitegates. Brian Owen (fishing with gillie John Davies) took 20 brownies and 12 rainbows on Black and green lure and Welsh Witch from Whitegates. Messrs Hughes and Ogbourne took 17 brownies and 4 rainbows to 3.8 lbs. on Bibios and Claret Bumbles. Messrs Dickson and Coleman-Smith took 25 brownies and 1 rainbow on Bumbles and Vivas. P Hutchinson (fishing with gillie John Davies) took 27 brownies and 3 rainbows on green and black lures.  Paul Makin (taking advantage of a fishing break) had bags of 16, 28 and 20 brownies taken from between Whitegates and the Cedic on a slow sinker Bibio, Grenwells and GRHEs.

Eddie Wilkinson had 10+ brownies on a dry Hopper from between the Cedic and the Tower. Derek and Owen Edwards had 19 brownies – best fish 2.5 lbs and 1 rainbow from Whitegates. M Edwards (fishing with gillie John Davies) had 13 brownies and 1 rainbow on Dabblers and Welsh witches fishing from the Boathouse end. Messrs Owen and Sleigh had 22 brownies and 1 rainbow on Black Pennels, Butchers and Zulu using floating lines. GV and H Westrop had 13 brownies on Connemara Blacks and Bibio from Whitegates. Messrs Naylor and Horton took 13 brownies by dapping with Sedges from Whitegates. Alan Thomas took 9 brownies and 2 rainbows from the Boathouse end.

August September and October were distinguished by very low water conditions with little water entering the lake and days of bright sunshine. However, there were days when the fish fed well. Rys Williams (fishing with gillie John Davies) took 4 brownies from Whitgates. Tom Chambrrian had two good days 23+ brownies and 19 brownies plus 2 rainbows caught on Claret Bumble and Mallard and Claret at Whitegates. Mr Edwards (fishing with gillie John Davies) caught 5 brownies up to 1.5 lbs on a black and green lure and a sink-tip. Messrs Jones caught 23 brownies and 11 rainbows from Whitegates on Olive Dabbler, Gold Pennel and dry Daddys. R Hillier and R Sumsion had 15 brownies and 1 rainbow on floating black Hoppers from the Boathouse end. Paul Makin had 4 brownies and 8 rainbows to 3.0 lbs on Missionaries, Sweeny Todds and Peter Ross on a medium sinking line from Whitegates. Brian Owen and Hyada Steele (fishing with gillie John Davies) – 7 brownies to 3 lbs and 4 rainbows taken on Cats Whiskers, Muddlers and Black and Green lures on sinking lines from the Boathouse end. Neal and Carol Moss took 7 brownies to 1.0 lbs and 1 rainbow at 2.25 lbs taken on mini-Muddler, Gold Butcher and GRHE using an intermediate lines from the Boathouse end.

Most productive flies were Claret Bumble, Connemara Black, Bibio, Green and Black lure, Montana and GRHE.

Unforgettable Days Out – Whatever your Age!

We have lots of ideas to inspire fun days out whether you are staying at Lake Vyrnwy Hotel and Spa or simply visiting the area for the day…

Wonderful Wildlife

The lake is home to an abundance of wonderful wildlife; the RSPB hides and walking trails are a great place to start. Pack a pair of binoculars; you never know what you might see on a warm spring day. Look out for new born lambs or sheep being sheared, even birds of prey displaying – peregrines, buzzards, red kites and hen harriers may be visible over the moor.

Walking Lake Vyrnwy

Take a leisurely stroll around the lake at the foot of mountains, with its breath taking tower and dam or explore one of the many RSPB nature trails; our favourite is the Rhiwargor trial. Starting and finishing at the Rhiwargor car park, the trail is 2.3 miles long and includes mountain views and a spectacular waterfall.

For the more adventurous or serious walker there’s miles and miles of footpaths to take you off into the hills and mountains and the opportunity to feel the splendid isolation of the spectacular countryside around Lake Vyrnwy.


Hire a bike and you can spend hours exploring the shores of the lake. The road around Lake Vyrnwy is 11 miles long and couldn’t be more perfect for a leisurely bike ride with its flat road and picnic stops. Bikes are available to hire at two stations over the dam; Artisans and the Barn Café.

Lambing Live

At this time of year you can embrace rural living – your very own version of ‘lambing live’. The RSBP farm is alive with lambing activity – over the next few weeks hundreds of lambs will be delivered and farm gates open to visitors. Lambing lives makes for a truly unforgettable experience for all of the family. The farm will be open throughout the weekends in April as well as May bank holiday (5th and 6th) with all events starting at 1pm from the RSPB shop, just over the dam. You’ll need to wrap up warm – the lambing sheds can get a little chilly!

Spring time is a particularly special time of year for us at the lake; the sun begins to shine and everything wakes up, providing a beautiful backdrop for your activities. Whatever you get up to this spring we hope that you have a wonderful time and will share your adventures with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Springtime, Lake Vyrnwy.