Following a major redevelopment, bringing Cardiff’s iconic reservoirs back to life, Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs opened on 28 July 2023.

Built in the late-19th century, Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs are a Victorian landmark – covering 110 acres of green and blue space and home to amazing flora and fauna – offering an oasis of calm in Cardiff. Since acquiring Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs in 2016, Welsh Water has been working with partners and the local community to bring the reservoirs back into operational use and has created a hub for health and wellbeing, whilst protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of the site.

A brand new two-storey visitor centre offers spectacular views across the reservoirs and presents an exceptional food experience, featuring the finest Welsh produce. During the day the café boasts a delicious breakfast and lunch menu, along with a three course Sunday lunch menu. The café will be transformed into a ‘restaurant by night’ in September 2023, when an evening menu will be available three evenings a week. Meeting rooms are available for hire; and a Grab & Go service on the ground floor provides a selection of snacks and drinks, fresh coffee, and ice cream.

With the reservoirs restored and Llanishen refilled, a range of water activities are offered. Water sports enthusiasts can sail on Llanishen reservoir where Hannah Mills OBE, the most successful female sailor in Olympic history, learned to sail. Canoeing, stand up paddleboarding and kayaking also forming part of the watersports programme (but please check with them beforehand).

Visitors to Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs can enjoy 3 miles (5 km) of circular paths around the reservoirs, a woodland story trail and a bird hide.

Three ladies in a canoe on a reservoir.
A restaurant in a visitor centre.

Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs

Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs is a unique natural resource of significant ecological value, encompassing two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for waxcap fungi (with up to twenty-seven species found on the embankments of both reservoirs) and overwintering birds. Footpaths have been installed around the reservoirs enabling the public to enjoy walks around the reservoirs.

As Welsh Water Adventures prepares to welcome visitors to the site, it has worked closely with Natural Resources Wales and ecologists to inform how the site is managed and to ensure that any threat to its SSSI status is mitigated. When the site opens, visitors will be asked to respect nature by sticking to the paths. Dogs (with the exception of assistance dogs) will not be permitted on any of the footpaths around the reservoirs but are welcome in the visitor centre and car park area.

The reopening of Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs will add a fifth site to Welsh Water Adventures portfolio of visitor attractions across Wales. The other destinations are Llys-y-frân (Pembrokeshire), Elan Valley (Mid Wales), Llyn Brenig (North Wales) and Llandegfedd Lake (South Wales).

We look forward to welcoming visitors to Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs – which is a wonderful addition to Cardiff’s green spaces. We hope that people of all ages from across Cardiff and beyond will visit the reservoirs, to reconnect with nature and water, making memories together.”

Entry to the site is free (parking and activities will incur a fee). Booking is essential for water activities.

A man on a stand up paddleboard on a reservoir.

Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs

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