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Venture on the Four Waterfalls Walk in the Brecon Beacons

Henrhyd_Falls - One of the Four Waterfalls Walk in the Brecon Beacons

Venture on the Four Waterfalls Walk in the Brecon Beacons

It’s hard to imagine a better way to spend the day than exploring it. That’s exactly what’s on offer with the four waterfalls walk in the Brecon Beacons.

At the head of the Vale of Neath in Wales, there are so many beautiful waterfalls that it’s been coined Waterfall Country – and it sure does live up to its name! Most of the cascades are accessible on foot, as long as you’re prepared to walk through the beautiful woodlands to get there.

The area’s dramatic waterfalls have formed over centuries, sculpting the landscape and offering a glimpse into the natural history of Wales. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Brecon waterfall walk and its glorious scenery.

 

Sgwd Clun-Gwyn waterfall - seen during the four waterfalls walk

Four Waterfalls Walk

The Four Falls trail, Brecon Beacons is a challenging walk – but it is hugely rewarding with stunning country views and spectacular cascading waterfalls. The four waterfalls along the trail are Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Y Pannwr and the most famous, Sgwd Yr Eira.

Sgwd Clun-Gwyn:

Known as the “Fall of the White Meadow,” this two-tiered waterfall cascades over a cliff and can be viewed from a platform accessible after crossing a wooden bridge at the trail’s start. Adventurous visitors can get closer by descending to the waterfall’s top or bottom.

Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn:

This multi-tiered waterfall is smaller but no less beautiful, nestled among ancient woodland and best viewed after a descent involving steep, muddy stairs.

Sgwd y Pannwr:

Characterised by its heavy cascade, reaching this waterfall involves a muddy and uneven trail over the river and scrambling over rocks to arrive at its base. This is the highest waterfall and has the deepest pools, perfect for a dip on a hot day.

Sgwd yr Eira:

The largest of the four, offering a unique experience of walking behind the waterfall. The trail to this fall is steep and muddy, requiring careful navigation.

Whatever the weather, this Brecon Beacons walk will not disappoint. The stunning circular route is as memorable on a rainy day as it is in blazing sunshine!

How long does it take to walk the four waterfalls walk?

The Four Falls is a fairly long hike of 5 ½ miles so allow at least three hours plus time for breaks. Keep in mind there is a good amount of up-and-down terrain and no toilets en route. Stick to the waymarked trail, which tends to follow higher ground.

 

Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn - seen during the Brecon Beacons Waterfall walk

How do I Get to the Brecon Beacons Waterfall Walk?

The Brecon Beacons waterfall walk visits four beautiful waterfalls and is one of the best waterfall walks in Britain with delightful woodland gorges, riverside trails along the Afon Mellte and a series of roaring waterfalls.

The carpark is located at Cwm Porth Car Park, Waterfall Centre, Cwm Porth, Ystradfellte, Aberdare CF44 9JF. There are toilets and picnic benches here. Keep in mind that there are none on the walk.

From the car park, you can pick up a useful map for £1 which will outline the circular route of the four waterfalls walk. You can choose to either start the trail along the river or take the entrance just up left from the car park entrance. We advise you to take the route next to the river so that you reach the most spectacular waterfall last and you work your way up to the most impressive one along the trail.

Weather and Best Times to Hike the Four Waterfalls Walk:

The  Brecon Beacons waterfalls are most impressive after heavy rainfall, making spring and autumn ideal times to visit. Summer offers nicer weather, while winter conditions can make the trails icy and more challenging.

Flora and Fauna of the Area:

The four waterfalls walk takes you through diverse landscapes, including woodlands, riverbanks, and upland areas. In these settings, you might see a range of wildflowers, especially in the spring and summer. The trail is known for its lush greenery, with mosses and ferns being particularly prevalent in the damper, shaded areas near the waterfalls. In the higher and more open areas, you might find heather and other hardy upland plants.

The Brecon Beacons waterfall walk is rich in bird life, so keep an eye out for various species of birds, including buzzards and red kites, known for their distinctive forked tails. The woodlands and riverbanks provide a habitat for smaller birds like flycatchers and warblers. Mammals such as otters may be spotted near the streams, although they are shy and elusive. Bats are also common in the area, especially around dusk.

 

Small waterfall in Brecon Beacons National Park

Safety and Hiking Tips:

The Brecon Beacons waterfall walk can be steep and uneven in places and can also be particularly challenging in wet conditions.

Check Weather Forecasts: Before setting out, check the weather forecast. The weather in the Brecon Beacons can change rapidly and being prepared for rain, wind, or even sudden sunny spells is crucial.

Start Early: Begin your walk early in the day. This gives you plenty of time to complete the walk in daylight, as the trails can become more challenging to navigate in low light conditions.

Stay on Designated Paths: Always stick to the marked trails. Straying from the path can not only damage the local flora but also increase the risk of accidents, especially near steep or slippery sections.

Carry a Map and Compass: While the trails are well-marked, having a map and compass (and knowing how to use them) is useful, especially if you venture off the main paths or in case of poor visibility.

Pack Essentials: Bring a backpack with essentials like water, snacks, a first aid kit, a whistle for emergencies, and a fully charged mobile phone. Remember that mobile reception can be patchy in remote areas.

Inform Someone of Your Plans: Let someone know your planned route and expected return time. This is particularly important if you are hiking alone..

Conservation and Environmental Awareness:

Visitors are encouraged to respect the natural environment by not leaving any litter and staying on marked paths to preserve the area’s natural beauty.

Family and Accessibility Considerations:

The walk is not accessible for prams or wheelchairs due to its uneven and steep nature. It can be enjoyable for children, depending on their stamina!

Can you walk behind Henrhyd Falls?

Henrhyd Falls is one of the most photographed of all Wales’ waterfalls, owing to its appearance in the Hollywood blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises, in which the Batcave was hidden behind it. It’s not recommended that you walk behind the water, because of the rockfall risk.

However, you can do so at the final stop on the Brecon Beacons four waterfall walk. The walk climaxes at the most impressive waterfall, Sgwd yr Eira. Probably the most spectacular in the Brecon Beacons, this waterfall allows you to walk behind a curtain of thundering water – making for a great experience you won’t forget in a hurry!

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