So on a late Saturday night, my partner and I decided to plan a spontaneous trip for the following weekend. We wanted great landscapes, stunning scenery and a real adventure! Being massive nature-lovers, we thought what better thing to do than head into the scenic welsh countryside for the Brecon Beacons: Four Waterfalls Walk near Ystradfellte? And yes, we couldn’t pronounce the god-damn thing either! With the most beautiful woodland gorges, riverside trails and roaring waterfalls that -trust me- just got better and better as we went along, we couldn’t recommend it more. Words really don’t even do the place justice, so you’re just going to have to head over there to experience it for yourself!
Things To See:
As you arrive in the Brecon Beacons you’ll find the falls are about six miles northeast of Glyn-Neath which is on the A465 main road. There are 15 waterfalls within a 4 mile (approx.) radius, but the main falls on your paths are as followed:
1. Sgwd Clwn-Gwyn the topmost and the highest of the falls on this walk, Sgwd Clwn-gwyn tumbles about 40 feet over two ledges. You can view from the edge (as we did) or gain direct access to the falls from the other side of the river (reached via a footbridge that you pass on the route). Be careful on this one as you are able to get pretty close to the edge. But it’s a great fall to kick off with! Now unfortunately there was a massive branch restricting our view (you’ll see it on the video above, typical hey!), so all photo credits for this picture go to Cody Duncan. As you can tell, the Autumn is also a great time to visit: pretty magical with all the vibrant fall colours against the water right?!
2. Sgwd y Pannwr is the next waterfall on your route, it’s the lowest of the falls on the Afon Mellte and tumbles over an elongated shelf that gives it a Niagara-like appearance (just a miniature version!). The pool below the falls is calmer than most sections of this river, due to a sharp curve in the river that slows down the flow, but this makes it the perfect picnic stop for lunch! What’s more relaxing than the sounds of birds singing, and water trickling?! Dreamy.
3. Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn – After a short walk through winding paths you’ll arrive at Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn. Many people actually end up missing this one as it’s a slight detour from your main route, but it actually turned out to be one of my favourites! There’s also two sections of it. The water cascades at the bottom:
And the upper falls at the top. To get here, you have to kind of climb up a steep rocky path (you almost wouldn’t notice it so look out!), but it is pretty remarkable once you get there! Quiet, peaceful, and luckily for us: we were the only ones there!
4. Sgwd yr Eira – Last but not least, you’ll reach the Sgwd yr Eira curtain waterfall, for your most memorable experience of them all! Formed where the Afon Hepste river leaps over a 50 foot cliff between high banks, its unique feature is that a narrow path runs behind the watery curtain, which means you can literally WALK BEHIND A WATERFALL! ‘Eira’ means snow, an allusion you will easily understand if you see the falls in full, white flow. This was the highlight of our trip for sure! As you can see in our video, we just couldn’t stop smiling, and I KNOW you will love it too!
Overall the walk is 5.5 miles. It’s relatively flat along the riverside, although it can get a little hilly in places (particularly when trekking up/ down to the falls)- just take these parts steady, but overall: suitable for all levels of fitness. Uh-huh, definitely no reason not to go! 😉 There are also places on the route where you can see rivers flowing out from the mouth of a cave. It’s super exciting; you just have to remember to keep looking up so that you can take it all in! Perfect through Spring, Summer and even into Autumn, the Brecon Beacons: Four Waterfalls Walk is definitely one for your wish-list!
Your starting point is Gwaun Hepste or Cwm Porth car park; grid reference SN935123 or SN928124 for those who may need it. You can see more sources and comprehensive details for this article here and here.
“Discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes..”
I’m a big believer in not only traveling to see the world, but exploring all the wanders around you- whether that’s 10 minutes from your home, or a couple of hours drive away. There is so much to do and see close by. Why let any of that go to waste?
Dream big. Explore often. Enjoy every moment.