Wild Wonderful Day in Waterfall Country
Wild Wonderful Day in Waterfall Country - Waterfall Country is enchanting and magical. It lies in the Vale of Neath in the Brecon Beacons and we recently had the opportunity to go and explore. If you are looking for things to do that are away from the crowds, then this is one of those!
Following in King Arthur's footsteps
Armed with maps and leaflets, we set off for the car park at Dinas Rock. A legend claims that Craig-y-ddinas is the rock under which King Arthur sleeps, waiting to rescue Wales from the Saxon invaders. I quote from a Kittiwake book “a tale relates how a Welshman from London visited a cavern under the rock and found the king, with his knights, asleep inside. He was told he could take the gold and silver from the slumbering heroes, but had to remember to tell them to ‘sleep on’. On the first occasion he remembered, but predictably forgot on his second trip. His greed was met with destruction!”
With picnics stowed in rucksacks, boots laced up tight and sticks in hand, the boys studied the maps but us girls were happy to follow the obvious path and get going.
The first part of the walk was far steeper than we had imagined, but of course what comes down must go up first! We were fresh and keen and after just over an hour we reached the first waterfall. Sgwd yr Eira is amazing and we marvelled at something so fabulous here in the UK. Although it was a little bit slippery on the rocks, the experience of walking behind the curtain of falling water is unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry. Sgwd yr Eira means fall of snow apparently, and it really did look just like that.
We sat on the rocks and ate our picnics enjoying watching the antics of various boys ‘playing’ in the water below the falls - rather them than me though as it wasn’t all that warm!
Having walked down to the waterfall, we then walked up a long flight of steps on the other side and followed the path to see the next waterfall, Sgwd Clun Gwyn, the ‘fall of the white meadow’. From there it was onto another picnic area at Pont Melin-fach where we stopped for a second lunch! There is a car park there and we were entertained as we ate by a group of men who were setting up for a full on banquet complete with dozens of bottles of wait for it… water!!
We were well over half way back to the car and we reckoned it was downhill all the way from here to the Waterfall centre at Pontneddfechan. Why do the Welsh have such unpronounceable place names? The path clings to the side of the river and there are three main waterfalls to enjoy. They are all stunningly beautiful and our snappy snaps don’t really do them justice. Their Welsh names mean Upper Gushing Falls, Lower Gushing Falls and Horseshoe Falls and this stretch of the path is called the ‘Elidir Trail’. If you only have time to do a bit of walking rather than the circuit we did which took 5 hours, then do this one. It is like walking through fairy land with moss covered tree roots, the sound of water accompanying the walk and the absence of civilisation beyond the occasional bench.
There are numerous walks around Waterfall Country and we can’t wait to go back again and see the waterfalls that we didn't get to. But if all that nature doesn't suit you, then we'd suggest heading to the town of Brecon and tackling the Brecon Murder Mystery.