Brecon Beacons Waterfalls – 5 Beautiful Walks In Waterfall Country

This is a guide to visiting the Brecon Beacons waterfalls in South Wales. Discover 5 easy waterfall walking trails and choose which one is right for you.

The Brecon Beacons is a National Park in South Wales which was established in 1957. The park covers 519 square miles and consists of four main areas – The Black Mountain, Fforest Fawr, The Central Beacons and The Black Mountains. (Yes Black Mountain and Black Mountains – very confusing!)

The Brecon Beacons comprises mostly of grassy moorland, interspersed with forestry plantations. The park is known for it’s remote reservoirs, caves, flat-topped peaks and waterfalls.

Given it’s geology, the park is great place to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as cycling, rock climbing, horse riding, caving and hiking. If the weather isn’t great, as can often be the case in Wales, then the waterfalls in Brecon Beacons National Park provide a great low-level walking option.

If you’re interested in discovering the best hill walks in the Brecon Beacons, have a look at this post!

One section of the park in the Vale of Neath is known as Waterfall Country. Waterfall Country is part of Fforest Fawr, which is a UNESCO Geopark, and as the name suggests has an abundance of waterfalls to explore.

Exploring the Brecon Beacons waterfalls

In this guide I outline five great walks on which to enjoy the beautiful Brecon Beacons waterfalls. These walks are great places to stay cool on hot days and offer protection from the elements on stormy days.

Enjoy their thunderous power and get lost in the legends that surround them.

Top Tip: Three words that are useful to know in Welsh before exploring these walks are Sgwd, Rhaeadr and Afon. Sgwd means cascade or fall, rhaeadr means waterfall and afon means river. Learn more about Welsh words in this post.

1. Four Falls Trail

  • Distance: 8.8km round trip
  • Starting Point: Cwm Porth car park
  • Time: 3-4 hours
  • Highlight: Walk behind a raging waterfall

The four falls trail sits right in the heart of Waterfall Country and is one of the most popular waterfall walks in the Brecon Beacons. It’s also the longest walk on this list. For an in depth description on how to complete the Four Waterfalls Walk, take a look at this guide.

From the car park in Cwm Porth there is a well marked trail that will guide you towards Sgwd-yr-Eira on the river Heptse. The car park requires a payment but does have toilet facilities.

Along the route there are side trails that lead to several other waterfalls along the River Mellte. These waterfalls are Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn and Sgwd y Pannwr.

This marked trail is suitable for families. The trail itself is mostly flat but the sections leading down to the waterfalls themselves are steep and often muddy.

With children I would recommend heading straight for Sgwd-yr-Eira and then visit the other waterfalls on the return journey if they still have the energy!

Whilst all the waterfalls on this trail are beautiful, the climax of the walk is Sgwd-yr-Eira or fall of snow, as it translates. The big attraction of this falls is the ability to easily walk along the rocks behind the raging waterfall.

Be warned the rocks are wet and slippery and you are likely to get wet from the spray!

2. Sychryd Trail

  • Distance: 800m round trip
  • Starting Point: Dinas Rock car park
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Highlight: An easy stroll

For me, Sychryd falls is probably the prettiest waterfall on this list and just a short distance from the car park.

From the south side of car park, a well maintained path flows through the wooded gorge, to a viewpoint of the Sgydau Sychryd cascades. This straightforward trail is accessible for robust buggies and wheelchairs and is the easiest waterfall walk in the Brecon Beacons.

On the north side of the car park there is another trail which provides full access to the waterfall itself. This trail involves a steep climb along rocky terrain and is slippery when wet. The path is around 1km in distance. Be sure to take the right trail at the fork, as the left trail leads towards Sgwd-yr-Eira and is a much longer walk.

The gorge that leads to Sychryd falls is popular with gorge walkers who you may spot climbing up the river and behind the waterfall itself. On warm days the waterfall pool offers an ideal spot to cool off.

At the carpark take time to look at the huge Bwa Maen rock. This rock buttress is an impressive folded arch of Carboniferous Limestone, caused millions of years ago by colliding continents. This rock is popular with rock climbers.

The Sychryd trail is one of the prettiest Brecon Beacons waterfalls
Magical Sychryd Waterfall

3. Blaen-y-Glyn Falls

  • Distance: 2km round trip
  • Starting Point: Upper or lower Blaen-y-Glyn car park
  • Time: 1 – 2 hours
  • Highlight: Not as busy as Waterfall Country

Blaen-y-Glyn is located in the heart of the Central Brecon Beacons. This is where you can find the highest peak in Southern Britain, Pen y Fan. To learn about different options for hiking Pen y Fan, take a look at this post.

From the upper Blaen-y-Glyn car park, follow the well marked trail down into the forestry towards lower Blaen-y-Glyn. Enjoy the woodland path as it leads you towards the River Caerfanell, where upon you can enjoy views of several beautiful waterfalls. The biggest of the falls is known as Caerfanell falls.

Retrace your steps to get back to the car park. Once back at the car park, walk towards the exit to view the small falls you pass when driving in. This falls is on the Nant Bwrefwr river, which is a tributary of the Caerfanell.

Alternatively, park at the lower car park to enjoy a less strenuous walking loop. From the car park follow the gravel path along the left-hand side of the river. After a 10 minute walk there is a multi-level waterfall on your left. 

A little further on, branch off to the right as directed by the signpost. This leads you to the main Blaen-y-Glyn waterfall (Caerfanell falls). Cross the bridge and follow the river back down stream, passing multiple cascades as you go.

At the end of the trail, pass through the gate and cross over the stone bridge to return back to the car park.

Blaen-y-Glyn is located near the Brecon Mountain Railway, which offers  narrow gauge steam train rides. To read more about this and other things to do in Merthyr Tydfil, click here.

You can view aerial footage of the waterfalls at Blaen-y-Glyn in this video. (Skip to 30 seconds)

4. Henryd Falls

  • Distance: 1.5 km round trip
  • Starting Point: National Trust car park near Coelgren
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Highlight: Visit Batcave!

Henryd falls is the biggest waterfall in South Wales at 27m tall. You may recognise this waterfall as Batcave from the film The Dark Knight Rises. This is an easy waterfall walk in the Brecon Beacons.

From the car park it’s just a short 700m walk down a fairly steep path to reach the falls. This waterfall is most spectacular after heavy rain. It is possible to walk behind the falls but it isn’t recommended, due to falling rocks.

Henryd is the tallest Brecon Beacons waterfall

5. Elidir Trail

  • Distance: 7km round trip not including the secret falls.
  • Starting Point: Park near Angel Inn in Pontneddfechan village
  • Time: 2 – 4 hours
  • Highlight: 4 beautiful waterfalls to explore

The Elidir trail area offers family friendly waterfall walks as well as an opportunity for adventure for the more experienced hiker. This is my favourite waterfall walk in the Brecon Beacons.

From Pontneddfechan village walk along the Neath River, passing several cascades before crossing the bridge. Turn left to walk along the right-hand side of the river, shortly after which you will reach Sgwd Gwladus (Lady’s Fall). If you’re prepared to get your feet wet, you can walk behind this waterfall via precariously placed stepping stones. 

There is a secret waterfall, Sgwd Einion Gam, which can be accessed from this point, but be warned, this is not an official trail! To learn how to reach Sgwd Einion Gam and for other walking route options on the Elidir Trail, take a look at this guide.

To continue the walk, from Sgwd Gwladus return to the bridge and take the trail off to the left. Follow the Nedd Fechan river towards Pont Melin-Fach to see an impressive trio of waterfalls known as Sgwd-y-Bedol (horseshoe falls), Sgwd Ddwli Isaf and Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf.

Then retrace your route to Pontneddfechan to finish.

Click here to discover the best Brecon Beacons hike and a real hidden gem of South Wales!

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Summary of waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons 

The Brecon Beacons has a beautiful choice of waterfalls to explore and in this guide I have outlined five of the best options. There are walking options for families as well as hikes for the more adventurous.

Be sure to check the weather before you leave and pack accordingly….

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps cover the cost of running this blog. Thanks for your support!

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Louise

Louise is a tour leader from South Wales who runs adventure tours in Africa, Asia and the Americas. She lives in her converted campervan & is currently based in Turkey. Louise is trained in mountain leadership and has a passion for photography.

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