Henrhyd Falls

A walk in the Brecon Beacons


This post was meant to be written early in the week, as a bank holiday weekend recap. I’ve been more disorganised than usual this week, but I really wanted to share this little gem of a walk, so here it finally is.

On Sunday morning, as a break from the housework and wallpaper stripping I’d spent the previous two days doing, Alex and I decided we’d go out for the day. I’m notoriously indecisive and terrible at thinking of places to go, so I was glad that Alex already had a plan. He knows I love waterfalls (I love all types of running water, in fact. I find it so exciting and therapeutic at the same time.) and we’re trying to explore new places, so we set off to Henrhyd Falls in the Brecon Beacons.

Henrhyd Falls (which, as far as my limited Welsh can make out, translates as ‘Old Ford Falls’) are the highest in South Wales, and very easy to get to. There is a National Trust car park at the start of the trail down to the falls, but when we arrived it was jam-packed with cars and picnickers. Not surprising, since it was around midday on the Sunday of a bank holiday weekend. We found somewhere to park in the village of Coelbren nearby, and walked back to the start of the route.

The scenery along the path to the falls

It was a short walk down a steep hill, then across a wooden bridge and up some steps to the waterfall. The woodland surrounding us was green and lush, and our progress was pretty slow because I kept stopping to take photos.

The waterfall was stunning. We stood for a while to watch it and take photos, then decided we would take the path to the side and walk behind it.

Henrhyd Falls

I have a terrible fear of heights and falling, so on the slippery path with a drop to one side, it was slow going. If Alex hadn’t been with me, patiently waiting and helping me across, I never would’ve attempted it. I imagine most people would find it easy enough, though.
Boy, was it worth the effort for me! First time I’ve ever stood behind a waterfall; it was brilliant to see the water crashing down, and feel the spray.

Behind the waterfall

We made our way back the way we had come, and decided to follow the path along the river, signposted to the village of Abercraf, for a while before turning around and retracing our steps to where we had parked. In all, the walk took us an hour an a half, although we stopped for a while at the waterfall.

Lovely water drips on the rocks, and a red-faced selfie

We didn’t realise at the time that the route we’d taken was almost exactly the National Trust’s ‘Henrhyd Falls and Nant Llech’ walk – we didn’t get as far as the landslide or old watermill, but I’d like to go back one weekday and do it when there aren’t as many people around. Henrhyd Falls would be a lovely spot for a picnic after a long walk.