Walks And Walking in Wales – Welsh Waterfalls
The Brecon Beacons in South Wales are famous for mountain walks across the vast ranges of the Brecon Beacons National Park. However, by visiting South Wales and the Brecon Beacons National Park you are also rewarded with the spectacular Welsh waterfalls hidden amongst the ancient woodlands and forest walking routes.
Whilst the Brecon Beacons offer reliable walks and walking routes there are also claustrophobic caverns, woodland gorges and forest tracks that spring pleasant scenic surprises. Where the sandstone gives way to a band of outcropping carboniferous limestone you enter Waterfall Country.
The limestone weathers to form craggy, fractured landscapes made up of narrow gorges, pot holes, sink holes, caves and, most rewarding, waterfalls.
The landscape has definitely suffered for the pleasure of man and the main area to see these splendid features is Ystradfellte, an isolated area close to the abundant Mellte, Hepste, Nedd and Pyrddin Rivers. It is here that there are a succession of magnificent waterfalls which includes the most famous Welsh waterfall; Sgwd-yr-Eira also known as The Spout of Snow.
The overhang at Sgwd-yr-Eira is such that you can walk the low pathway around and behind the cascading waterfall without getting (too) wet.
For the caving enthusiasts there is the giant mouth of Porth-yr-Ogof up the Mellte River but for the walkers, hikers, trekkers and ramblers staying above ground is a happier pursuit to the underground mazes created by the erosive action of water on limestone.
Unlike the mountain ranges of the Brecon Beacons that are best tackled with the assistance of clear blue skies it is best to walk the Welsh waterfall walking routes when it has been raining, preferably the night beforehand.
Most of the walks and walking routes for the Welsh waterfalls can be found at the Clun Gwyn starting point by the Mellte, Hepste, Need and Pyrddin rivers that all plunge over a series of waterfalls although the distance becomes tiring due to the tricky, rocky climbs of this eight mile stretch.
Following the Afon Mellte you emerge at the Sgwd Uchaf Clun Gwyn, Sgwd being the Welsh for waterfall. Continuing along Gwaun Hepste to the Sgwd Isaf Clun Gwyn there are opportunities to splash through streams passing between the Mellte and Hepste valleys until reaching the Sgwd-yr-Eira. Then following Afon Nedd to Afon Pyrddin the result is the Sgwd Gwladys beauty spot.
The final Welsh waterfall of note is Henrhyd Falls. This delightful walking route takes you through Craig-y-nos Country Park and its 19th century castle to the summit of Cribarth returning along the beautiful gorge to Henrhyd Falls.
Henryhd Falls is the highest waterfall in South Wales and offers another chance to walk behind this fabulous Welsh waterfall without getting too wet, even offering enough space to sit down, relax, enjoy a picnic and marvel at this unbelievable area of outstanding natural beauty.