I remember the magic of walking behind a waterfall when I was really young, it’s a walk that I’ve always remembered since then. In the recent years of really enjoying hiking, I’ve felt the urge to go back and do it again.
So when my Mum asked if I was up for a hike in my week off work last week, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. This walk has been on my radar for a while, and it should be on yours too!
So after reading some fellow bloggers’ blogs, I found the best place to park (Cwm Porth) with parking at £5 for the day and toilets in the car park, a mini shop, and a little burger van which also serves a cracking hot chocolate for a post-hike treat. At the bottom of the car park is the footpath which is really simple to follow the entire route round.
The footpaths have been recently developed (and thus incredibly different from our old and outdated Brecon Beacon’s map) but the route was so clearly signposted the entire way round that on this occasion you really don’t need a map.
How long does it take?:
It took us at a very leisurely pace four hours (with regular stops and even a swim), but you could definitely do it in three hours.
How far is it?:
My Strava read my total distance at 9.5km (or 6 miles).
The walk takes in four incredibly beautiful waterfalls, and you can see why it is a popular trail with both hillwalkers, and families heading out for a days walk.
The first waterfall (depending on which way around the route you go– it’s a circular walk) was Sgwd Clun-Gwyn.
I think this was my least favourite of the four falls, so if you go this way around the trail it will only get better from here. From the main path you can only see this from a view point. If you find the old footpath you can go over a footbridge to walk right up to it — although I imagine it will be incredibly slippy underfoot.
The next waterfall was Sgwd y Pannwr
Getting to this fall and Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn is quite challenging as the steps are really deep so it’s a bit of a killer on the knees (and a steep climb back up) but totally worth it, you won’t want to miss these falls.
This one was super dramatic, especially as you can look right over it. If you’re on the adventurous side, there is a narrow track to scramble down to the base of the fall.
Then the beautiful Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn
To get to Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn you need to take it steady as not all of the path has yet been maintained and this was probably the muddiest and slippiest fall to get to.
I think this one might have been my favourite though. It was in multiple teirs with big pools of water beneath it. I wish I had swum here instead of Sgwd yr Eira as I think it would’ve been easier to change into my swimmers here and climb in and out of. It was also the least busy of all 4 of the waterfalls on the day we walked.
And finally, the more well know Sgwd yr Eira (aka. the one you can walk behind)
This remarkable waterfall lost some of its beauty from the sheer volume of people looking at it. However, it is great to see so many people getting out in the fresh air and taking in the beauty of the falls. When it quietend down a bit (post lunch), I scrambled over the rocks and snuck in for a dip.
This has to be the coldest water I have ever swum in, I’ve never experienced the entire body shock from the cold but after 20 seconds you get used to it. I tried to coax Padfoot (the dog) in with me but I think it was even a bit too cold for him to stay in.
I found in Snowdonia this summer that swimming in a natural water source (that isn’t the sea) is 10 times more amazing. Being able to be in a beautiful location and see nothing but spectacular views whilst swimming is a feeling that even I can’t quite describe. I was very happy to be able to get another wild swim in this summer.
I think going during the school summer holidays is probably why it was so populated with people, but it is a walk that deserves to be accessed by so many people. If you want a good picture of the fall, you might just have to wait your turn that’s all.
It was great to get out on a walk and do a different walk to normal (aka. climbing as many big hills as possible). There’s also something astonishing about the natural beauty of waterfalls, it is incredibly peaceful but impressive at the same time.
Enjoy it and don’t forget your swimmers and a towel if you do go!!