Brecon Beacons National Park
The Talybont Waterfalls walk is a moderately challenging hike along the ridge of a glacial valley offering spectacular views, before descending into the valley where you will witness a series of picturesque waterfalls
Talybont Waterfalls Walk – Introduction
When we discovered the Talybont Waterfalls walk online, we instantly liked the description of this walking trail and the variety it appeared to offer. Firstly, the hike was a good length, over 4 miles (7 km) and was clearly going to be a reasonable challenge with steep sections, especially at the start.
Secondly, the trail incorporated a glacial valley ridge walk meaning that there were going to be some great views on offer, subject to weather conditions. Thirdly, the trail would take us past a selection of waterfalls and anyone who has read our blog before will know that we just love waterfalls.
Talybont Waterfalls Directions
Although the Talybont Waterfalls are located right in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, they are easily accessible by road. The waterfalls are situated a mere 8 miles (13 km) from the A470, the main route connecting north and south Wales.
The Talybont Waterfalls car park that we choose for the starting point for our hike was the Blaen y Glyn Uchaf car park. The walk literally starts at the entrance to this car park. There is another nearby parking option which is the Blaen y Glyn Isaf car park, located less than a mile to the south-east.
For Sat Nav users the Talybont Waterfalls postcode is CF48 2UT. However, our suggestion is to click on the ‘Directions’ link at the top of the Talybont Waterfall map below and allow Google to effortlessly guide you.
Talybont Waterfalls Walk – Step by Step Guide
Head back to the car park entrance, cross the cattle grid and immediately on your right-hand side you will see a path leading up the hill, alongside a wooden fence. This is the starting point for the Talybont Waterfalls walk.
Do you fancy catching sight of your first waterfall right at the start? You are in luck because immediately to the left of the track are two small waterfalls worth taking a look at before you even start the walk!
The initial section of the walk takes you along the bank of Nant Bwrefwr. During this stage, you will see a number of picturesque waterfalls of varying sizes as you make your way up this green and leafy river valley.
A little further along, the trail parts company with the river as it veers slightly to the right and up the steepening mountain ridge. At the same time, the path breaks out of the wooded, leafy valley surroundings and on to barren, grassy mountainside.
Looking up, you will now see the obvious peak ahead of you. Follow the path which becomes steeper as you progress until you reach the top. You will now catch sight of the magnificent sweeping glacial valley off to your right.
Talybont Waterfalls Walk – Following the ridge of the glacial valley
Now that the challenging climb is complete, the next stage of the walk literally hugs the western ridge of this glacial valley. This guarantees that you are totally spoilt with these majestic views every step that you take.
Since you have now reached the top of the ridge, the gradient pretty much flattens out. This means that you can enjoy the far-reaching vistas in relative comfort.
In approximately 20-25 minutes the track will take you across a small stream. This is the Blaen Caerfanell river that rises on the Gwaun Cerrig Llwydion plateau which is the area out to your left at this point.
This river drops down into the valley where further down it meets the Blaen y Glyn river; At this point, it becomes the Caerfanell. You will be walking along the banks of this river a little later on the Talybont Waterfalls walk.
Continue along the path until it reaches the head of the valley when the trail tracks to the right. As you follow the track in an easterly direction, you now get the chance to enjoy the sweeping views right down the full length of the valley.
Vickers Wellington Crash Site Memorial
When we heard that there was wreckage of a crashed 2nd World War Wellington bomber along our route, we simply had to see it. However, the path leading to the memorial site was not immediately clear to us, so hopefully, these instructions should help pinpoint the location for you.
As you progress along the path that hugs the ridge at the head of the valley, you will notice a steep escarpment at the top of the ridge opposite you. You need to make your way to the area just below the left side of this escarpment.
With this as a visual guide, sticking to the most appropriate path should not be a problem for you. Shortly, the large stone memorial and tangled wreckage of the Wellington Bomber should come into sight.
On 6th July 1942 this Vickers Wellington Bomber (R1465), crewed by 5 Canadian airmen was on a training flight from RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire, England. It is believed that the aircraft met heavy cloud and the pilot descended from the advised 10,000 ft altitude to visually check their location. The aircraft struck the top of Waun Rydd, killing all those onboard.
It was a bit of a heart-wrenching moment as we stood reading the memorial inscription about these airmen while standing alongside the actual wreckage of their aircraft.
Descending into the Valley
The next stage of the Talybont Waterfalls walk takes you down into the glacial valley. There are plenty of options to get down there. It is really up to you which one suits you best.
One option is to continue past the crash site memorial to the end of the ridge and then descend gradually down to the river valley below. We chose to head into the valley from just a little way back from the crash site memorial.
Head back just a short distance along the path on which you arrived and look to your left. You will see a tributary leading down to the valley below. Although there is no discernible path to follow at this point, simply follow this tributary until it intercepts the Blaen y Glyn river which runs south from the head of the valley.
It is now really just a case of making your way down along the banks of the Blaen y Glyn river. There is no obvious path at this stage so you will be walking on thick tufty grass which is boggy in places and can make progress a little awkward at times!
Further down the valley, the Blaen Caerfanell river joins the Blaen y Glyn river from your right. It is at this point where the Caerfanell river is born. You should now also see woodland up ahead, off to the right of the river.
Prior to reaching the woods, ensure that you cross to the left-hand side of the river as the path from that point only exists along the river’s left-hand bank.
Now for the Waterfalls
As the river reaches the woodland, you will cross a wooden stile and then the valley drops away giving rise to a series of small but picturesque waterfalls. The path is easy to follow, sticks mainly to the bank of the river and only occasionally veers away but never too far.
This means that the waterfalls are either easily viewable directly from the path or via a short excursion taking no more than a minute or two. The path is narrow, uneven and can be very muddy in places (as we experienced!). So, just be careful as you progress along your route.
Eventually, you will reach a wooden footbridge which you will need to cross. Once on the opposite bank, head upstream a short distance to view the highest of the waterfalls along this stretch of river.
Pass through the metal kissing gates and you are now on the final stretch of the Talybont Waterfalls walk. A short distance into the woodland you will see a stream and cascading waterfalls coming down the hillside from your right. Head up the rough path on your right keeping the stream/waterfalls on your left-hand side.
Following the steepish climb, parallel to the waterfalls, the path then heads through long undergrowth where the path can be difficult to spot at times. Soon after, you will head back into woodland where the trail becomes clear once more.
At the head of the woodland follow the path around to the right and in no time you will find yourself back at the car park from where you started.
Talybont Waterfalls Walk – Facts and Information
How long is the Talybont Waterfalls walk?
7.67 km (4.76 miles) – This was recorded using the ViewRanger app.
How difficult is the walk?
Well, this of course depends on how fit you are. I would consider it to be a moderately difficult walk.
Every hiker should always be prepared and this is certainly a trail where preparation is absolutely key, especially when it comes to the correct clothing. I don’t care if you are planning this hike in the summer or winter, this is the Brecon Beacons and weather can change quickly.
It is easy to be deceived by the weather conditions especially as you are starting from a sheltered valley car park. You may not think the wind is very strong but just wait until you complete the initial climb and are fully exposed to the elements!
For a large period of the Talybont Waterfalls walk, you will be walking along the high exposed ridge of the valley where there is no shelter from the wind or indeed the rain.
So, make sure that you are layered up, and have your waterproofs at the ready. You will also need a good pair of waterproof hiking boots. You will realise this when you are walking through the valley, where the ground is often boggy in places.
The path along the river bank during the waterfall section is also extremely muddy from time to time I can only imagine what it is like following heavy rainfall!
Also, consider that you will be out in nature for upwards of 3 hours. Therefore, ensure that you have a good supply of water in your rucksack and some decent high energy snacks to keep you going.
Talybont Waterfalls Walk – Our Thoughts
Any hiking trail that we are trying out for the first time always brings with it a certain level of excitement. It’s the sense that you never quite know what you are going to experience and how you are going to feel until you have completed it.
The Talybont Waterfalls walk just offers so much variety and in our book variety is key to a good hiking trail. Firstly, there is the challenging initial climb, followed by the spectacular glacial valley ridge walk, with the far reaching views. Of course, this is followed by the valley section with the numerous waterfalls to enjoy.
Visiting the Wellington Bomber crash site memorial was also a fascinating experience if tinged with sadness. It was certainly a poignant moment as we read the names of these five young Canadian airmen while standing alongside the tangled wreckage of their aircraft.
How pointless it all seemed, these young men losing their lives on the hills of South Wales, whilst training for the war effort thousands of miles from their home. This is why we must never forget the huge sacrifice they made!
If you want to take in all this wonderful nature in quiet solitude, we suggest that you arrive early. This is especially important if you are planning your hike on a weekend or during school holidays.
Would we recommend this hike? Absolutely!
Have you experienced the Talybont Waterfalls walk? If so, please share your thoughts in the comment box below. We would certainly be interested in hearing them…