The lake was built by the British in 1873 by building a dam across the Thalagala Stream which flows from Piduruthalagala to be used for watersports and recreational events. Before that it was a swampy bog surrounded by small hills. It was named after Sir William Gregory the British Governor of Ceylon by the time the lake was built. Waters of the lake are now directed to a hydro power station near Nanu Oya.
Nuwara Eliya is one of the coldest towns in the island, drizzling and mist is in the forecast pretty much everyday which makes it a perfect place to relax. Enjoy a fine cup of tea at any of the restaurants faced to the lake.
Boat rides starts from a smaller lake connected to the main lake which is on the opposite side of the road where the car park is at.