Waterfalls in Wales: discover the myth, romance and legend holiday cottages

Waterfalls in Wales: discover the myth, romance and legend

Kate Atkin 22 May 2020

What is a waterfall except for a course of water taking the path of least resistance? It is a thing of beauty that draws admirers in from near and far. Due to the hills, mountains and valleys, the waterfalls in Wales are in abundance. You are bound to come away with a personal favourite on your Wales waterfall spotting trip to the countryside.

Wales is blessed with spectacular waterfalls that trickle great beauty and power. Swathed in romance, myth and legend this magnificent fall of water is simply the greatest illustration of gravity we have on the planet.

Most Welsh waterfalls are easily accessible on foot meaning a meander through enchanting woodlands and passing breath-taking landscapes. You may even recognise some from notable films. 

Waterfalls in North Wales

Pistyll Rhaeadr, Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant

Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall, Wales

Pistyll Rhaeadr is the tallest waterfall in Wales and is listed as such under the canopy of one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Wales’. This mesmerising, single-drop waterfall reaches a whopping 80m in height and is in the majestic Berwyn Mountains in Powys. On rare occasions, the waterfall has been known to freeze into a sparkling ice sculpture that is truly magical! There are four different walks to suit a variety of walkers and a delightful tearoom to enjoy a warming cup of tea whilst admiring the beautiful views at the base of the falls.

How do you get there?

The waterfall car park is just outside of the village of Llanrhaeadr ym Mochant and during the summer costs £5. From here, the falls are a short, scenic stroll to the bottom, or a 20-minute clamber to the top. 

Stay nearby: Llanfyllin The Manor House – sleeps 22

Swallow Falls, Betws-y-Coed

One of the most well-known waterfalls in Eryri / Snowdonia, spectacular and dramatic, Swallow Falls cascades over dark rocks in an exhilarating rush of unrestrained energy. It is one of the most photographed and romantic natural attractions, located just west of Betws-y-Coed in the heart of the Snowdonia  / Eryri National Park.

How do you get there?

This impressive waterfall system can be reached by foot through the forest and is most awe-inspiring during the winter months after wet weather. You will find the waterfall car park approximately 2 miles west of the village. 

Stay nearby: Craig y Nos, Betws-Y-Coed – sleeps 2

Dolgoch Falls, Meirionnydd

Situated about four kilometres from the village of Bryncrug in Eryri / Snowdonia, the series of lively waterfalls cascade down a rocky, wooded ravine, carpeted with rare mosses and ferns into a mysterious deep pool below. On warm days it is possible to cool your feet in one of the delightful pools at the top of this Welsh waterfall. 

How do you get there? 

Start from the car park at Dolgoch Falls Hotel and take the relaxing woodland walk past several intriguing hidden caves and tunnels to this marvellous waterfall in Eryri / Snowdonia.

Waterfalls in Mid Wales

Sgwd Henrhyd, Coelbren

On the southern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park in the Nant Llech valley is the jaw-dropping, 27-metre cascade of Henrhyd Falls, the tallest waterfall in South Wales. You’ll love the fact that you can pass over a bridge and actually get behind the waterfall too!  You may recognise it as the famous waterfall that protected the Batcave in ‘Batman – The Dark Knight Rises’. 

For even more wonderful waterfall inspiration, take a look at our guide to Brecon Beacons waterfalls.

How do you get there? 

Follow a steep walk from the National Trust-run car park near Coelbren in Neath. You can choose to take the shorter 1-mile route to the waterfall before retracing your footsteps, or the more challenging 3.5 Henrhyd Falls and Nant Llech Walk. This extraordinary spectacle of a swirling pool fed by ribbons of water is well worth the hike.

Stay nearby: Beacons Hot Tub Retreat, Llandyfan – sleeps 2

Sgwd Gwladys, Pontneddfechan

Sgwd yr Eira

One of the most atmospheric falls in Wales is Sgwd Gwladys. This lovely ten-metre-high cascade is set in a shady amphitheatre within the ancient woodland of the Vale of Neath in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Did you know, the name means 'the Lady Falls'? Perhaps one of the best waterfalls in Wales for photos, this hidden gem allows you to walk behind the curtain of water! 

How do you get there? 

This lovely beauty spot can be reached by a well-made path along the Elidr trail, gently following the riverbank from Pontneddfechan village. 

Stay nearby: Penrock, Penycae – sleeps 4

Devil's Bridge Falls, Ceredigion

Devil's Bridge Falls

Hidden in the heart of Devil’s Bridge are the dazzling Mynach Falls, an impressive series of pretty Welsh waterfalls tumbling over a cumulative drop of 90m. There are three bridges that span the river near the top of the waterfalls, and according to an old Welsh legend, the first bridge was built by the devil.

 How do you get there? 

There is a challenging circular nature trail through the ancient sessile oak woods that goes deep down into the atmospheric gorge where you can admire the spectacular waterfalls from the peaceful viewing gazebo. This nature trail falls within a Site of Special Scientific Interest and it is possible to pause at several viewpoints along the way for a closer glimpse of the falls.

Stay nearby: Llwyngwinau Isaf Barn, Tregaron – sleeps 10

Waterfalls in South Wales

Melincourt Waterfalls, Resolven

The 24m single-drop tranquil waterfall in South Wales is perhaps one of its lesser-known but that just adds to the magic of it. Cared for by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, it actually sits just outside of what is considered ‘waterfall country’ in the Brecon Beacons. 

How do you get there?

There is a pleasant walk to the wonderful Melincourt Waterfalls from Resolven, a little village in the heart of the Vale of Neath. The stroll takes you through attractive oak woodland, which is particularly beautiful in spring when it is carpeted with bluebells.

Aberdulais Falls, Neath Valley

These stunning, picture-perfect waterfalls are located on the fascinating industrial heritage site of Aberdulais in the Neath Valley. In wet weather and during the winter, when the Dulais river is in full spate, the torrent of water running through the valley is an awesome and magnificently noisy spectacle. Its sheer power has been the driving force for over 400 years of industrial innovation, and you can find out more in the fascinating visitor centre.

How do you get there? 

Aberdulais Falls is actually part of popular Aberdulais Tin Works and Waterfall National Trust visitor attraction in South Wales where you can gain a fascinating insight into the history and heritage of the area.  

Find these magical waterfalls in Wales

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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