Walking Tours in Waterfall Country

These waterfalls are one of the real jewels in the crown of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Waterfall Country Walking Tours can be done in all weather conditions. In fact, heavy rain makes them flow even more spectacularly. These tours are also wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer's day when it is also possible to swim in some of the pools. All of these Walking Tours are designed to last all day, but vary in length.  On the longer tours we will walk faster to complete the tour on time.

Waterfall Country - Grade (a)

'Heart of the Park and Waterfall Country' Sight-seeing tour

We have discontinued our Grade A Waterfall Country Walking Tour because we feel that our 'Heart of the Park and Waterfall Country' sight-seeing tour, which includes approximately 4  miles of walking, is a better tour for people who are interested in seeing the waterfalls with only a moderate amount of walking. This tour also has the possibility of an extension to walk to  Sgwd yr Eira waterfall.

Waterfall Country - Grade (b) 

'All Three Walk Behinds'Total Distance: 6.6 miles, Total Ascent: 312m

(Part 1: 0.6 miles, Ascent 26 m), (Part 2: 3 miles, Ascent 126m), (Part 3: 3 miles, Ascent 160m)
£59 per person if 2 participants, click here for full price information and how to book
Includes a picnic lunch and expert guiding by a Mountain Leader and Geologist
Pick up and return from Abergavenny station or your local accommodation (depending on location)

This walking tour is three separate walks with transportation in-between by vehicle.  It is perhaps the ultimate way to see all of Waterfall Country's waterfalls. The trouble with the otherwise amazing Walking Tour (c)  'The  Waterfall Loop' is that it does not include the National Park's highest waterfall: Sgwd Henrhyd, because it is isolated from the other waterfalls. On this tour we are able to visit all three waterfalls that can be walked behind: (i) Sgwd Henrhyd, (ii) Sgwd Gwladys and (iii) Sgwd yr Eira.

Behind Henrhyd Waterfall
Behind Henrhyd Waterfall
Behind Sgwd Gwladys
Behind Sgwd Gwladys (The Lady's Fall)
Stepping stones at Sgwd Gwladys (The Lady's Fall)
Behind Sgwd yr Eira waterfall.
Behind Sgwd yr Eira waterfall.

Route

Part 1

0.6 miles, Ascent 26 m

The tour starts at Sgwd Henrhyd, which has a short but steep walk there and back. This waterfall is the highest in the Brecon Beacons and it is possible to walk behind it. The waterfall is famous for being filmed as the entrance to the 'bat-cave' in one of the Batman movies. It is also the dicovery site of a fossil tree trunk that now lies outside Swansea Museum. The fossil was found by William Logan who later went on to have the highest mountain in Canada named after him.

Part 2

3 miles, Ascent 126m

We then move on by car to Pont Melin Fach. After just 5 minutes we pass a small, nameless yet pretty, waterfall. 10 minutes later we arrive at the impressive Upper Sgwd Ddwli, which appropriately means 'The Upper Gushing Falls'. From here it is only another 10 minutes to the 'Lower Gushing Falls' but we will get a better view of them on our return. After 10 more minutes we reach Sgwd y Bedol / 'The Heart Shaped Waterfall' on a hot summer's day the pool in front of it is a great place for a refreshing dip! The path then continues on to Sgwd Gwladys / 'The Lady's Fall'.  It is possible to walk behind this waterfall using boulders as stepping stones. We the climb above the waterfall for a look down on it. We then re-trace our footsteps back to the 'Heart Shaped Waterfall'. From there, if the water level allows and you are feeling adventurous, it is possible to walk along the river bed to the 'Lower Gushing Fall' for a close-up and spectacular view which is followed by a short scramble back to main path. Once we arrive back at the car, we stop for our picnic lunch. The vehicle then relocates for the third stage of the walk.

Part 3

3 miles, Ascent 160m

We walk for 15 minutes to reach the first waterfall Sgwd Clun-Gwyn / 'The Fall of the White Meadow'. From here it is a further 30 minutes to reach the most celebrated waterfall in the Brecon Beacons: Sgwd yr Erira / 'The Fall of Snow'. This waterfall is so magical because it is possible to walk behind and watch the water cascading down. The path then climbs a long stair case with large steps before getting back to level ground and the path back to the car park.

Extension

If we have time and you have the stamina. We can make this Walking Tour a Grade C by extending it. Instead of walking straight back from Sgwd yr Eira on the easy path, it is possible to retun on a narrow steep path taking in three additional waterfalls: Lower Cilhepste Falls, Sgwd y Pannwr and Sgwd Clun Gwyn Isaf. This is well worth doing because the cascades of Sgwd Clun Gwyn Isaf are some of the most spectacular falls in Wales.

Waterfall Country - GRADE (C) 

'THE WATERFALL LOOP'Distance: 8.5 miles, Ascent: 556m

£56 per person if 2 participants, click here for full price information and how to book
Includes a picnic lunch and expert guiding by a Mountain Leader and Geologist
Pick up and return from Abergavenny station or your local accommodation (depending on location)

This is the classic Waterfall Country walk, taking in all the best waterfalls, except Sgwd Henrhyd, which is in an isolated location away from the main waterfall cluster. The walk feels longer than the distance suggests because the paths are uneven and sometimes muddy and slippery. If you want to see the waterfalls in one single, satisfying walk, then this is your choice.

The advantage this walk has over Walking Tour (b) is that there is no doubling back on yourself, and this walk also visits the small, yet very interesting, Sychryd waterfall, with Bwa Maen (the Stone Bow), Dinas Rock (where King Arthur's army lies sleeping) and the old gunpowder works.

Sgwd Gwladys
Sgwd Gwladys
Walking along the river bed of the RiverNeath to the Lower Gushing Falls / Sgwd Ddwli Isaf
Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf (Upper Gushing Falls)
A very full Sgwd Clun Gwyn (Falls of the White Meadow)
Sgwd Clun Gwyn Isaf (Lower Falls of the White Meadow)
Walking on from having been behind Sgwd yr Eira
Walking on from having been behind Sgwd yr Eira
Tram rails that used to ascend Sgwd Sychryd to reach silica mines

Route

The walk starts in the village of Pontneddfechan which lies on the boundary of the historic counties of Glamorgan and Brecknockshire. The walk starts by passing a large outcrop of the 'Farewell Rock' which is a layer of rock that lies beneath the South Wales Coal measures. We then pass some beautiful fossil trees in an overhanging ledge. The path at this stage is wide an easy and was a former tram road for a silica mine in the valley. Soon we pass the abandoned adit of the mine. Sandstones rich in quartz were mined in this area and then crushed to produce fire bricks or 'Dinas' bricks which were used to line furnaces.

After a while further we reach the first waterfall Sgwd Gwladys / 'The Lady's Fall'.  It is possible to walk behind this waterfall using boulders as stepping stones. We the climb above the waterfall for a look down on it. We then continue up the gorge to Sgwd y Bedol / the 'Heart Shaped Waterfall'. From there, if the water level allows and you are feeling adventurous, it is possible to walk along the river bed to the 'Lower Gushing Fall' for a close-up and spectacular view which is followed by a short scramble back to the main path. 10 minutes later we arrive at the impressive Upper Sgwd Ddwli, which appropriately means 'The Upper Gushing Falls'.  About 10 minutes further on is a small nameless waterfall and 5 minutes after this is a beautiful meadow with picnic tables where we will eat our lunch. This place is called Pont Melin Fach.

After Pont Melin Fach we leave the River Neath which we have been following since the start of our walk and cut through the fields via footpaths, followed by a short section on a minor road and again on a footpath to reach the next cluster of waterfalls which flow over the River Mellte.

Our first waterfall in this valley is Sgwd Clun Gwyn which means the 'Fall of the White Meadow'. From  here we follow the the river on a narrow path on the side of the gorge to reach Sgwd Clun Gwn Isaf / 'The Lower Falls of the White Meadow'. These falls are in fact a whole series of waterfalls and are amongst the most spectacular in Wales. To see these falls we climb down a steep path from waterfall to waterfall. At the base of the falls, the path is much flatter and follows a boardwalk above the mud to reach Sgwd y Pannwr /'The Fall of the Fuller'. From here, we pass through woodland on a narrow and muddy path to eventually reach the Lower Cilhepste Falls. From these falls, it is only a short distance to the most celebrated waterfall in the Brecon Beacons: Sgwd yr Erira / 'The Fall of Snow'. This waterfall is so magical because it is possible to walk behind and watch the water cascading down.

After passing behind Sgwd yr Eira we climb up the other side of the Hepste gorge and reach the ruins of an abandoned farm. From here he cut down to the river again and see another small, unnamed waterfall. From here we follow the river on a small path to reach the ruins of an old gunpowder works. From here, the path continues until we reach Dinas Rock. This rock is an impressive buttress of limestone that has also been modified by quarrying. There was probably an Iron Age fort on its summit, and legend says King Arthur's Army lies sleeping in a cave within it, ready to be called when Britain needs them again. A short distance around the corner from Dinas Rock is the spectacular Bwa Maen / 'The Stone Bow' fold. This impressive geological feature shows layers of rock crumpled up into a great fold. Also at this site we can see fossil corals, the Neath Disturbance fault, the entrance to caves, the route of an old tramway and our final waterfall, Sgwd Sychryd. From here it is a short walk through the village of Ponteneddfechan, which conveniently has 2 pubs, back to our car.

A selection of photos from these walking tours