Brecon Beacons National Park Waterfalls
Interested in visiting some of the best Brecon Beacons waterfalls? Well, we have highlighted four super walks that will lead you to a multitude of the finest falls the national park has to offer
Walks to Some of the Best Waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons
For those of you who have been following our blog for a while, you will know all about our love of waterfalls. There is something completely mesmeric about gazing at a tumbling sheet of water that seems to draw us to waterfalls wherever our travels take us.
Thankfully, living in close proximity to the Brecon Beacons National Park, we never have to venture too far as here you will find an abundance of waterfalls that even satisfies our cascading water desires.
Here we have highlighted four interesting nature walks that take you to a wide variety of Brecon Beacons waterfalls. Let’s go…
Four Waterfalls Walk
Walk distance: 5.5 miles (9km)
Time: 3-4 hours
Starting Grid reference: SN928124
Parking: Cwm Porth car park
Trail Guide: Our Walk Review
The Four Falls trail is located in an area now commonly referred to as ‘Waterfall Country’. Situated within the Vale of Neath in South Wales, the area’s popularity has been driven by the large number of publicly accessible waterfalls that sit along the Nedd Fechan, Pyrddin, Hepste and Mellte rivers.
Although Waterfall Country is not officially defined, it typically includes the Brecon Beacons waterfalls along these rivers located between the villages of Pontneddfechan in the south and Ystradfellte to the north.
This may be a celebrated Brecon Beacons waterfall walk but its popularity is well justified in our opinion. Not only does it offer a beautiful circular hiking trail through the exquisite countryside but it leads you to four picturesque, yet contrasting waterfalls.
The first three Brecon Beacons waterfalls that you will discover when approaching from the northerly Cwm Porth car park are all located on the Afon Mellte. These are:
1. Sgwd Clun-Gwyn (‘Fall of the white meadow’)
2. Sgwd y Pannwr (‘Fall of the fuller’)
3. Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn (‘Lower fall of the white meadow’)
4. Sgwd yr Eira (‘Falls of snow’)
The fourth and probably the most impressive of the falls on this Brecon Beacons waterfalls walk is the Sgwd yr Eira which is located on the Afon Hepste.
This is definitely the most recognisable Brecon Beacons waterfall on this walk as it is the one behind which you can walk. It is quite an experience walking beneath the hard band of sandstone whose overhang protects you from the thundering cascade passing just above your head.
By the way, if you fancy the walk behind the falls prepare to get wet, so you may wish to come equipped with a full waterproof kit for this experience! It is also incredibly slippery, you have been warned!
Talybont Waterfalls Walk
Walk distance: 4.76 miles (7.67 km)
Time: 3-4 hours
Starting Grid reference: SO056175
Parking: Blaen y Glyn Uchaf Car Park
Trail Guide: Our Walk Review
The Talybont waterfalls walk commences at the Blaen y Glyn Uchaf Car Park, a short distance west of the Talybont Reservoir in this central section of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
If you are visiting to simply see some Brecon Beacons waterfalls, you can take care of this desire by making the 15-minute walk down through the woods to the Caerfanell River.
However, if you are open to a bit of adventure, the 5 mile Talybont Waterfalls walk is well worth the experience. You will witness the dramatic Blyn y Glyn glacial valley as you skirt the rim high above.
Furthermore, you will also get to see the actual wreckage of a Vickers Wellington Bomber that crashed in 1942, along with its accompanying memorial.
Oh yes, almost forgot, the waterfalls – You will see plenty of them!
Immediately, alongside the trail as you leave the car park sits the first of the falls along the Nant Bwrefwr River. Then, as you start the steep climb up to the valley’s edge, a further Nant Bwrefwr cascade can be seen just off to your left.
On the return sector of the walk, the trail follows the Blaen y Glyn river which upon joining the Blaen Caerfanell becomes the larger Caerfanell river. Soon after, the river valley steepens and a plethora of picturesque small to medium-sized waterfalls reveal themselves.
Henrhyd Falls & Nant Llech Walk
Walk distance: 4 miles (6.5km)
Time: 2.5 hours (Henrhyd Falls & Nant Llech Walk), 20-25 minutes (Henrhyd Falls only)
Starting Grid reference: SN853120
Parking: Henrhyd Falls Car Park
Trail Guide: Our Walk Review
Henrhyd Falls is the most majestic of all the Brecon Beacons waterfalls that we have seen to date. Clearly, Hollywood film producers thought so too as these very falls doubled as the Bat Cave in the 2012 film, The Dark Knight Rises starring Christian Bale. Not a bad claim to fame!
If you plan on making this trip just to gape at the splendour of these wonderful falls, I can’t say I blame you. Just a 10-minute stroll from the car park is all it takes! What’s more, this is another of the waterfalls in South Wales that you can walk behind.
Although very enticing, this does not come without risk as rocks have clearly fallen from the roof of the waterfall overhang in the past. I only plucked up the courage (stupidity) to venture behind the falls on my second visit to the location. Glad I did though! Proceed at your own risk!
If you find yourself enjoying the area as much as we did, perhaps you are not ready to head back to the car park just yet. In which case, the hike along the Nant Llech River valley is well worth the effort!
The trail leads you westerly along the Nant Llech River, through the exquisite Graig Llech Woods, to the River Tawe. At this point, you have the option of retracing your steps or following the small country road back to the car park.
Walk distance: 4.35 miles (7km)
Time: 3-4 hours
Starting Grid reference: South – SN900076, North – SN909105
Parking: To the South: Small parking areas behind the Angel pub in Pontneddfechan
To the North: Pont Melin-Fach
Trail Guide: Walk Review
The Elidir Trail, like the Four Waterfalls Trail, leads you to four waterfalls or five if you have a touch of the explorer in you! The route takes you through another section of the charming and celebrated ‘Waterfall Country’ with starting points from both the north and south.
From the southerly start point: Follow the Elidir trail along the banks of the Nedd Fechan until the river is intercepted by the Afon Pyrddin, the banks of which you will now follow to the first of four or five waterfalls depending on your choice.
1. Sgwd Gwladus (also spelled Sgwd Gwladys) (Lady’s Falls)
The Sgwd Gwladus is approximately 6 metres (20 feet). It is another of the Brecon Beacons waterfalls on our list that you can walk behind, along with the Sgwd yr Eira and Henrhyd Falls.
2. Sgwd Einion Gam (‘Fall of Crooked Einion’)
The Sgwd Einion Gam is located 800 metres upstream of the Sgwd Gwladus and is the least visited of the five Brecon Beacons waterfalls on this walk. This is not altogether surprising as this waterfall is off the waymarked trail and far more difficult to access.
To reach the falls you must follow a poorly defined path along the banks of the Afon Pyrddin involving a number of river crossings to reach the waterfall.
The effort is well rewarded as this is arguably the most impressive of the falls on this walk, standing at 21 metres (70 feet). Furthermore, the Sgwd Einion Gam is the second-highest single drop waterfall in South Wales, after Henrhyd Falls.
If you can harness your inner adventurer, you will certainly appreciate a visit to the Sgwd Einion Gam!
3. Sgwd y Bedol – (‘Horseshoe Falls’)
Once you have visited Sgwd Gwladus and/or Sgwd Einion Gam, retrace your steps downstream until the Afon Pyrddin joins the Nedd Fechan.
Now, you follow the Nedd Fechan upstream (north) to take in the three main falls along this stretch. The first waterfall that you will catch sight of is Sgwd y Bedol but there are in fact three small falls in quick succession at this location.
4. Sgwd Ddwli Isaf ( ‘Lower Gushing Falls’)
5. Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf – (‘Upper Gushing Falls’)
Once past the Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf, it is just a short walk to the picnic and parking area of Pont Melin-fach, the northerly starting point for the Elidir Trail.
Here is a great spot to take a break and have a bite to eat, before heading back down the banks of the Nedd Fechan to the starting point in Pontneddfechan.
Brecon Beacons Waterfalls – Summary
There is a vast selection of waterfalls in South Wales to feast your eyes on. However, if you are looking for the highest concentration in one area, you simply must head to ‘Waterfall Country’ in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
With the Four Waterfalls Trail and the Elidir Trail in close proximity, you not only have two super walks but 11 amazing falls for your viewing pleasure.
However, you also simply must head to Henrhyd Falls too as this, in our opinion, is the most majestic of all the waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons.
We would probably place the Talybont Waterfalls last on the list for pure waterfall viewing satisfaction. That said, if you are looking for a fantastic Brecon Beacons mountain hike that also includes some waterfalls, then this is hard to beat!
If you have had the pleasure of experiencing any of these falls, kindly let us know your thoughts in the comment box below…