Walks and Walking: Henrhyd Falls; Walking The Welsh Waterfalls, 10 Miles Hard Walking in the Brecon Beacons
Our second drizzly morning so, as with yesterday, we strapped up with gaiters, sturdy walking boots and hooded windproof jackets but this time our our hats and snoods stayed on for a while. Today was an early start as we wanted to get back to our long lost family and spend some time together on our last day in Wales so we quickly jumped in the Vito Sport and made our way to Neath and in the village of Coelbren we found the Henrhyd Falls, the largest of the welsh waterfalls in South Wales.
However, we don’t get to visit the falls until the end of our walk so we leave the Vito Sport in the car park and move on up the road from which we parked.
Walking past the mobile phone mast we continued up the road to a stile which we crossed and then followed the pathway across the fields, bending slightly to the left before we reached the same road that we had originally walked up. Turning right, we headed up towards Pen-y-cae before finding another pathway leading us to a wide road that quickly narrows before reaching another pathway.
There is only one pathway so it’s a very easy navigation up to a road that forks just after the Outdoor Adventure Centre, we go left that has a sharp left down to so gates in front of us that then lead up to gates that let us enter the Craig-y-nos Country Park.Passing some friendly Welsh ponies and keeping to the sound of the water there was a good photo opportunity by the giant stepping stones.
Expecting a grand entrance, it is more of a side entrance to the park curving round to our left we join the main park area before reaching it’s main entrance by a small lake. We turn left outside of the entrance by the Craig-y-nos Castle, which looks like a good venue for weddings rather than one of huge historical importance. Crossing the road we needed to get up on the hill and rather confusingly there is a sign that points us in the right direction, yet says “No access to the hill”!
We continue down the road until we see the correct access and this is where we also find a myriad of pathways. So, the general idea was to walk up the hill to Cribarth, walk over the hill and then walk back down the hill on the same side we went up. I had to get the walking poles out for this climb as my legs were quite tired after 4 hard walks this week!
Confusing? Yes, but that’s the idea… to explore the hillside and it’s geology. We walked away from the peak of Cribarth to explore the shake holes below us.
We zig-zagged up, down, over, across and back over until we reached the bottom in sight various sign posts. If you can see the church from the top of the hill then that’s the easiest navigation point down. The road is where we needed to get to so we followed one of the signs down through the Abercrave Wood through Abercrave Farm to reach the road turning right to find Abercrave Bridge. We have now entered the residential area of Abercaf and wlak between the school and the fire station turning left and keeping left again we follow the road to Llech Bridge to find a very clear signpost to Henrhyd Falls on our right.
Once on this track we simply followed the river up to the falls up and down through the beautiful woodland noticing various waterfalls along the way and stopping off for belated and very welcome cheese and pickle sandwiches!
Shortly after our stop we reached a sign that takes us to our car park or invites us towards the Henrhyd Falls itself. A few steps up and down we are at the falls and they are very impressive. As the falls are very accessible I made a short 2 minute video walking in to, behind and out of the Henrhyd Falls so you can see what the Henrhyd Falls look like.
We then retraced our steps back to the car park signpost and walked steeply up to the Vito Sport and, my god, after 5 1/2 hours walking on top of a whole week of walking the Brecon Beacons, it was a sight for sore eyes!!