Author: Tudor Rees
Adventure Britain is based in Wales and we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to nature. Our valleys, hills and mountain tops have to endure a bit too much rain, leading to many waterfalls cascading their way through the nation’s countryside. So, whether you’re up north or down south, these eye-catching attractions are never far away.
If you’re a hiker, photographer or fancy some relaxation amongst nature, we’ve listed the best walks in Wales with waterfalls.
Listed as the highest waterfall in the whole of South Wales, Henryd Falls is tucked away deep in Brecon’s Graig Llech Woods. Standing at 90ft tall, the Henryd Falls can be accessed via the free car park north of the quaint Coelbren village.
The two-and-a-half-hour meandering walk there is full of nature and woodland complete with an old disused watermill, remnants of a landslide and a peek at the River Tawe.
Given the waterfall’s size, it’s best enjoyed in the hours or days after a downpour. Of course, ensure you’re a confident walker with appropriate footwear, if you tackle the trail in the wet.
We’d recommend saving breakfast or lunch and enjoying your well-earned meal at the foot of the fall – it’s worth it!
Pontneddfechan, the most southern village in Powys, is hiding a big secret: its gorgeous waterfall walk. Signposted as the starting point of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons’) “Waterfall Country”, the walk contains six waterfalls, the most famous of which being Sgwd Y Eira, known for the walking space behind it.
The first half of the walk follows the river Neddfechan, with Sgwd Yr Eira being the first waterfall you’ll meet. Other falls follow, all ranging from quiet to fast-flowing dippers.
The walk itself is easygoing, complete with relics and references to the country’s industrial heritage. It interweaves in with the popular Glynneath Waterfalls, which is the go-to waterfall spot in Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons).
For those who want to see as many waterfalls as possible, the Pontneddfechan Waterfalls are perfect. Some say it’s the best waterfall walk in Britain, with six falls in only three hours. To get there, drive along the A465, turning off at Glynneath and following Pontneathvaughn Road to Pontneddfechan.
(Source: The National Trust)
For those who like their waterfalls fast and noisy, the Aberdulais Falls is the one for you. After a rainstorm, the volume of water that descends down the River Dulais onto these falls is an awesome spectacle.
As a flash flood river, the Dulais fills up quickly, meaning this is a popular spot for storm chasers and photographers in the wet, winter months.
While the Aberdulais Falls don’t have a waterfall walk per say, there are remnants of historical tinworks, an old electricity-producing waterwheel and a visitor centre for some slices of history and a spot of lunch.
To get there, head to the A4109, 3 miles north-east of Neath. Then go off Exit 43 off the M4 at Llandarcy, then the A465 for the Vale of Neath. You should be able to find Aberdulais village signposted.
(Source: Visit Mid Wales)
Pistyll Rhaeadr, located in Northern Powys, is one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in Britain. The walk to the base of the waterfall is short, but visitors can continue their stroll along a well-maintained footpath, through some relaxing woodland and across the quiet Afon Rhaeadr.
The calming walk is in direct contrast to the waterfall itself, which stands at 73 metres high. The waterfall is truly a marvel, listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Wales. There’s plenty of space at the foot to take it in, complemented by Site of Special Scientific Interest classified greenery, flowers and trees.
Pistyll Rhaeadr inspired 19th-century author and travel writer George Borrow to pen the following in his book Wild Wales:
“What shall I liken it to? I scarcely know, unless it is to an immense skein of silk agitated and disturbed by tempestuous blasts, or to the long tail of a grey courser at furious speed. I never saw water falling so gracefully, so much like thin, beautiful threads as here.”
To get to Pistyll Rhaedr, travel north of the A5 west of Telford. Then, turn left onto the B4396 near Nesscliffe, then through Knockin. After meeting the junction of the main A483 road from Welshpool to Oswestry, cross to the White Lion pub at Llynclys. You should be able to find your way from there!
(Source: World of Waterfalls)
Melincourt Falls is a bit of a hidden gem, and it’s not even difficult to get to. Since this waterfall falls just outside of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park, it often gets left off of the tourist and travel information for the area.
Melincourt Falls has been a popular rambling destination since the 1700s, as evidenced by the 1795 painting ‘The Waterfall at Melincourt, Vale of Neath’, which is currently hanging in the Tate.
The 15-minute walk there isn’t too difficult, but it can get very wet and boggy, so bring your best walking shoes. The laid-back walk there is complemented by the waterfall’s charming size, standing at just 24 metres.
Melincourt Falls is apt for those who want some quiet time for themselves surrounded by nature. To get there, drive on the M4 to junction 43, and then take the A465 to Merthyr Tydfil. At the first roundabout on the A465, take a right on to the B4434 to Resolven. Follow the road until you reach Melincourt, then trot on down the public footpath for some deserved and chilled “you time”.
Discover Wales With Adventure Britain
If you’re a fan of walking or hiking, then discover the best walks in Wales with waterfalls with our qualified guides. We’ll also show you the most picturesque peaks and vistas in Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) and the Gower Peninsula, while promising good exercise and even better laughs.