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Waterfall Country

This brilliant circular walk lies within the Brecon Beacons National Park and offers a chance to see many of the waterfalls the area between Pontneddfechan and Ystradfellte is well known for.


County - Powys

National Park - Brecon Beacons

Distance - 15.0 km (9.2 miles)

Elevation Gain - 468 m (1,535 ft)

Categorised Climbs - 1 x Cat.3

Difficulty - Challenging (46/100)

Time - 4 ¾ hours


Route Preview

This Brecon Beacons walks explores the valleys of the Afon Mellte and Nedd Fechan which are noted for their numerous waterfalls and cascades. This route includes the waterfalls that make up the renowned Four Waterfalls Walk but extends passed Dinas Rock into Pontneddfechan before returning via Sgwd Gwlasdys and the Horseshoe Falls along the River Neath. The route starts from the Four Waterfalls car park on a minor road lying to the south east of Ystradfellte.

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Points of Interest

Sgwd Clun-Gwyn

The 'fall of the white meadow' is the uppermost of the three celebrated falls on the Mellte. It is formed where a north-northwest to south-southeast trending fault brings hard sandstone up against softer mudstone.

Sgwd Isaf Clun-gwyn

The 'lower fall of the white meadow' is the middle of three falls.

Sgwd y Pannwr

The 'fall of the fuller' or 'fall of the woollen washer' is the lowermost of the three celebrated falls on the Mellte.

Sgwd Yr Eira

Famous for being the falls behind which you can walk, the 'falls of snow' plunge over a hard band of sandstone whose overhang protects the walker from the full force of the water. The closure of the path behind this most popular of falls during much of 2007 and 2008 on safety grounds was controversial. Stabilisation works agreed between the landowners, the Forestry Commission, the Countryside Council for Wales and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority allowed the route to be re-opened later in 2008. For a walk taking in Sgwd Clun-gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-gwyn and Sgwd yr Eira see 'Waterfall Walk' under Ystradfellte.

Dinas Rock

Dinas Rock is a high promontory of Carboniferous Limestone which rises between the Afon Mellte and its left-bank tributary, the Afon Sychryd on the border between the county of Powys and the county borough of Neath Port Talbot in south Wales. It can be found near the village of Pontneddfechan near Glyn Neath at the head of the Vale of Neath. It derives its name from the presence of Iron Age earthworks on its summit, dinas in Welsh signifying a defensive site or "city".

Sgwd Gwladys

The 'Lady's Falls' are formed where the Afon Pyrddin drops 20 ft (6 m) over a lip of the 'Twelve Foot Sandstone'. The lady concerned was one of the many daughters of Brychan, the 5th-century King of Brycheinog. The sandstone tilts gently to the south so forcing the waters of the Pyrddin up against the foot of a high cliff of mudstone and over the left-hand side of the rock lip (when viewed from below). In higher water conditions the fall gradually extends further to the right. The upper surface of the sandstone is roughly patterned with the fossil roots of trees. A rocking stone (now dislodged) sits on this bench some 50 metres (160 ft) north of the falls.

Sgwd y Bedol

The 'horseshoe falls' which are in fact a series of three or four falls in quick succession.

Route Directions


From the car park entrance turn left down the road before immediately turning right down the track leading to Cwm Porth Farm


Continue ahead on the clear track following the signs for the "Four Waterfalls Walk"


The next cascade is Sgwyd Isaf Clun-Gwyn


Careful navigation takes you off the "Four Waterfalls Walk" to Sgwyd yr Elra falls


The onward path takes you out of the valley and continues south to Chilhepste-fach and Chilepste-cerig


Route then swings south-west and passes the Dinas Rock to join Dinas Road into Pontneddfechan


Head left along Dinas Road into the village


After 800 metres Carry on straight onto Pontneathvaughan Road


Cross the River Neath onto High Street


After a short distance turn right down a tarmac drive


Join the riverside path Follow this north for about a mile


Reach a footbridge. Do not cross the bridge


Turn left to follow a tributary of the River Neath to reach the stepping stones below Syd Gwladus falls


Cross the steeping stones and head right downstream until you regain the River Neath at the footbridge


Do not cross the bridge, instead bear left and follow the path that parallels the River


Neath upstream passing Scud Ddwli to reach a lane at Pont Melin-fach


Turn right down the lane, cross the River Neath


Continue for about half a kilometre to reach a driveway on your left


Follow the drive and walk right heading north-east to Hoped-for


Continue along their access road to a road


Continue north


A short way after the farm entrance there is a road junction. A few metres beyond the junction bear left onto the signed bridleway through a metal gate on your right


Follow this bridleway for about a kilometre to reach a lane


Turn right along the lane and the car park used at the start is a short way along on your left


Congratulations! You have completed this walk


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Comparative Elevation Profile

Detailed Elevation Profile

Climb Details

Weather Forecast

Nearby Routes

Highest Peaks of the Brecon Beacons

Distance - 18.0 km (11.2 miles)

Elevation Gain - 998 m (3,274 ft)

Difficulty - Hard (60/100)

Time - 6 hours

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