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You could be forgiven for thinking that Waterfall Country refers to an entire country. But don’t worry, you won’t be needing a passport to come here. So, what exactly is it?
Waterfall Country is an area on the southwest edge of the Brecon Beacons between Pontneddfechan and Ystradfellte which is known for having a high concentration of waterfalls and waterfall trails. The area has 12 major waterfalls where four rivers run through the deep gorges of the national park.
Keep reading for a list of waterfalls in waterfall country along with the two major trails linking them all.
What is Waterfall Country?
Waterfall Country is an area of the Brecon Beacons National Park which is known for having a high concentration of waterfalls in Wales.
Waterfall Country is found on the southwest edge of the Brecon Beacons, in an area between the villages of Pontneddfechan, Ystradfellte, and Hirwaun. Here, four major rivers and a network of minor rivers run through deep gorges creating dramatic waterfalls.
The four major rivers in Waterfall Country are Afon Mellte, Afon Hepste, Afon Pyrddin and Afon Nedd-Fechan. Some of the minor rivers include Afon Dulais, Afon Sychryd, and Nant Llech.
Most of the area is owned by the Forest Commission Wales or the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority so many of the waterfalls are free to visit with accessible paths. Waterfall Country attracts 160,000 visitors per year and supports over 100 adventure activity businesses1 (source: Brecon Beacons NPA).
Waterfall Country is also home to around 130 historic sites. This includes hillforts at Dyffryn Nedd, Ystradfellte, and Craig y Ddinas as well as the silica mine tramway at Pontneddfechan and the Glyn-neath Gunpowder Works.
How Many Waterfalls Are in Waterfall Country?
There are 12 major notable waterfalls in Waterfall Country in the Brecon Beacons, however, the area is home to many smaller waterfalls where the four rivers run through the valleys and gorges.
Waterfall Country Trails
The benefit of having so many waterfalls in one area is that you can make the most of your time by visiting them together. There are two main trails in Waterfall Country, the Elidir trail and the Four Falls trail:
- The Elidir Trail – This trail is made up of four waterfalls found along two rivers. These are Sgwd Gwladys, Sgwd-y-Bedol, Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf and Sgwd Ddwli Ichaf. You can also visit Sgwd Einon Gam but this is not part of the official route and the path can be difficult in some places.
- The Four Falls Trail – As the name suggests, this trail encompasses four waterfalls; Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr, and Sgwd yr Eira.
Waterfalls in Waterfall Country
Here is a full list of the 12 major waterfalls in Waterfall Country:
1. Sgwd Henryd
More commonly known by its English name, Henrhyd Falls, this 27 m (90ft) waterfall is the tallest in South Wales and is famous for featuring as the entrance to the Bat Cave in the blockbuster movie The Dark Knight Rises.
2. Aberdulais Falls
Found on Afon Dulais, this waterfall is best known for having one of Britain’s largest electricity-producing waterwheels, which was used to power nearby Aberdulais tin works.
3. Sgwd Clun-Gwyn
Translates as ‘ the fall of the white meadow’. This is the uppermost waterfall on the Afon Mellte and forms part of the Four Falls trail.
4. Sgwd Isaf Clun-gwyn
Translates as ‘the lower fall of the white meadow’. This is a series of waterfalls on the Afon Mellte and also part of the Four Falls trail. You can view the waterfall from the top or bottom and it’s also possible to swim here.
5. Sgwd y Pannwr
The lowermost of the waterfalls on the Afon Mellte, Sgwd y Pannwr (or ’the fall of the fuller’ in English) is the third waterfall on the Four Falls trail.
6. Sgwd yr Eira
Sgwd yr Eira is the final waterfall on the Four Falls trail, although is located on a different river to the previous three, Afon Hepste. In English, it translates as ‘the falls of snow’ and is known for being the waterfall you can walk behind.
7. Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf
Found on Afon Nedd Fechan, this is one of the waterfalls on the Elidir Trail. In English, its name translates to ‘upper gushing falls’.
8. Sgwd Ddwli Isaf
This is another waterfall on the Elidir Trail. In English, its name translates as ‘lower gushing falls’. Unsurprisingly, it’s also on Afon Nedd Fechan, just downstream from Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf (a.k.a upper gushing falls).
9. Horseshoe Falls
Sgwd y Bedol, which translates as ‘horseshoe falls’ in English, is a series of three consecutive waterfalls (or four depending upon who you ask) on the Afon Nedd Fechan.
10. Sgwd Gwladus
Sgwd Gwladus is one of the more popular waterfalls in Waterfall Country. Located on the Afon Pyrddin, Sgwd Gwladus (or Lady Falls in English) is a 7m high waterfall. This is another waterfall that you can walk behind.
11. Sgwd Einion Gam
This waterfall is harder to reach with no official route, although experienced hikers can reach it as an unofficial addition to the Elidir Trail.
12. Sychryd Cascade
The Sychryd Cascade is an unofficial name given to a short series of waterfalls in the Sychryd Gorge. Although there is a publicly accessible viewing area on the north bank, these are not particularly popular with visitors.
Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wales Guidebook. Originally from rural Mid-Wales, he has lived all over the country from Cardiff to Wrexham. A true Welshman, Kieren created this site to share his passion for Wales and help others discover this beautiful country.