At the tip of the largest natural lake in Wales sits the town of Bala, where a population of just under 2,000 people welcomes visitors throughout the year. The town dates back over 700 years and its people are passionately Welsh, with 80 per cent of the population speaking the Welsh language fluently giving Bala the 11th highest percentage of Welsh speakers in Wales.
The market town is an ideal holiday location for outdoor pursuit enthusiasts, who enjoy outstanding facilities for white water kayaking, fly and coarse fishing, hill walking and cycling. Bala's location towards the very centre of north Wales is part of what makes it so popular, with many of Wales' beautiful coastal resorts within an hour's drive and the Snowdonia National Park - a designated area of outstanding natural beauty - right on the doorstep.
Bala became known in the 18th Century for its production of flannel, stockings, gloves and hosiery but the town's history stretches right back to 1310, when Roger de Mortimer founded Bala by Royal Charter in an attempt to tame what he saw as a rebellious populace in the Penllyn District.
Perhaps the longest-standing resident of Bala is the rare gwyniad fish, which was trapped in Bala Lake when it formed at the end of the last ice age, 10,000 years ago. The fish is found nowhere else in the world and is critically endangered due to changes in its natural habitat.
Visitors to Bala can indulge in a thoroughly Welsh holiday, with the voices of famous male choirs ringing out through the town and harps being played in homes and schools. Accommodation in Bala can be found in self-catering cottages that are beautifully in keeping with this much-loved town.