I’ve lived in Wales for most of my life, yet I’ve barely explore my local area. So, my new years resolution this year was to take more staycations and explore the beautiful scenery of mid-wales and beyond.
So far I’ve climbed Snowdon, visited Elan Valley and explored Llangollen. Next on my list was a bit further afield down in the Brecon Beacons; the four waterfalls walk (also known as the four falls trail).
Where should I park for the four falls trail?
The walk begins at a large car park in the Brecon Beacons called Gwaun Hepste costing £4 for cars and £7 for mini buses (as of 2018).
The four falls trail is part of waterfall county, an area full of caves, gorges and, of course, waterfalls. It is not far from Sgwd henrydd which was used as a filming location in the recent batman trilogy. But I’m saving this one for another day!
The trip did not disappoint, the 4 waterfalls walk is a spectacular day out. As you can expect in Wales, it did rain during our visit, but this did not put us off, the trail can be enjoyed whatever the weather.
The 4 waterfalls along the trail are Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Y Pannwr and my favourite, Sgwd Yr Eira.
My ‘Unofficial Route’ Along the Four Waterfalls Walk
I would not recommend the ‘official route’ as outlined on the signage around the area. This route sees you double back on yourself half way.
As long as you are wearing decent hiking footwear and up for an adventure then you can actually visit all four waterfalls in a circular trail without doubling back.
Please note: My alternative trail would not be suitable for young children or unsteady adults as it does include going fairly close to a steep edge. Most adults and older children should not have a problem.
My route involves simply following the river side path rather than the pedestrian footpath. As it is a circular trail, you could visit in both directions, however I’d recommend saving Sgwd Yr Eria until last as this is the best one and you’ll wish to spend most time here.
Waterfall 1: Sgwd Clun-Gwyn
Roughly translates as ‘fall of the white meadow’, height: 9m.
Once you leave the car park and head towards the trail, Sgwd Clun Gwyn is the first waterfall you’ll come across, it’s approximately 3km walk from the car park. This one is easily accessible as soon as you hit the main trail, it’s the smallest of the 4 waterfalls.
Once you have viewed this, the ‘official route’ would advise you to head back to the main path and follow the red dotted trail towards Sgwd Y Pannwr.
However, if you plan to follow my ‘alternative route’, head straight down the side of the river. Don’t be put off by the sign saying ‘dangerous path’, it’s not that bad at all, even in wet conditions as it was when I visited.
Waterfall 2: Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn
Roughly translates as ‘lower fall of the white meadow’, height: 30m.
Next you’ll stumble upon Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, although you’ll probably hear it’s thundering before you actually see it.
This water storms over the edge and flows across the rocks at the bottom. It was pretty intense during summer months and locals told me it was even heavier during the winter.
You can get quite close to the fall so it’s a great opportunity to grab some profile pic worthy selfies.
You’ll now join the green dotted trail to head towards the next waterfall Sgwd Y Pannwr.
Waterfall 3: Sgwd Y Pannwr
Roughly translates as ‘fall of the woollen washer’, height: 15m.
The third waterfall of the day (or second if following the official route) was the least impressive out of the four in my opinion but still a great spot to take a moment and enjoy the natural surroundings.
Next, rejoin the green dotted trail and head towards the grand finale.
Waterfall 4: Sgwd Yr Eira
Roughly translates as ‘fall of the snow’, height: 10m.
To get to the final waterfall, you’ll need to venture down a number of flights of steps and across some rocks but the trek is worth it.
Sgwd Yr Eira flows over the 50 foot drop at three separate points although in wetter months this will resemble a curtain of water as all three merge to one.
The best part about this Sgwd Ye Eira is the path that goes directly behind the waterfall itself. Originally used by sheep farmers, it is now laden with tourists. You can put your hands, head, or whatever body parts you like in to the water stream, I even spotted some people going for a swim (crazy given it was a wet and cold day!).
You can then head back to the car park via the red dotted trail to complete the route.
If the 4 waterfalls walk didn’t satisfy your waterfall appetite, nearby you’ll find Sgwd Henrhyd or Henrhyd falls, used in the filming of Batman – The Dark Knight Rises. This is the tallest waterfall in South Wales and sure to give you that taste of Hollywood you were looking for.
Where else to visit in Wales? If you’re heading to North Wales, here are five reasons why you should visit Snowdonia National Park.