Well, what a day! Do you ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go right? You set off with the most amazing plans for the day and everything just seems to go wrong. Well, that was how our trip to Ystradfellte Waterfalls started …
Last week my brother Wesley and I set off from Newport in South Wales for a short afternoon stroll to the waterfall country in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Waterfall country is nestled into the southern slopes of the Fforest Fawr massif, west of Merthyr Tydfil which isn’t just an array of beautiful landscapes but it also a SSSI, a Special Area of Conservation and an area of historical significance. The landscapes are made up of steep, tree-lined gorges, four waterfalls, caves, shallow holes and wooded gorges as well as over 200 species of mosses, liverworts and ferns.
After the hour and a half drive we arrived at the Gwaun Hepste Car Park the most Northerly car park for the waterfalls (being unaware there are closer car parks!) and seeing the grey clouds appear we were enthusiastic about going for a quick walk before the rain arrived … ! We set off on what we didn’t know was going to be FOUR hour hiking expedition, probably burning a total of 100,000 calories and in the rain!
After 20 minutes into our journey, we stumbled upon the first sign that this may be a long journey, we decided to ignore it. A further 20 minutes of walking after this we passed two committed hikers looking pretty exhausted and rather muddy, who also told us of the difficulties ahead, which we also ignored. Surely it can’t be that bad?!
At this point we had no idea how muddy we were about to get, but after 40 minutes of walking and still no waterfalls we were committed and even more determined! The first waterfall we came across was so worth it, Sgwd Clun-Gwyn was absolutely amazing, the height of it was so impressive. Named as the ‘fall of the white meadow’, it is made up of two sets of falls a few hundred metres apart which are really popular for white water kayakers in the summer.
Our journey between Swgd Clun-Gwyn and our next waterfall Swyd-yr-Eida, the ‘waterfall of snow’ took an additional 30 minutes but this part was through thick mud, so just in case you were hoping to visit soon I highly recommend good walking boots that you don’t mind getting a little muddy! Swyd-yr-Eida is the most Southerly waterfall at Ystradfellte and the most photographed of all the waterfalls because you can actually walk behind it! It’s absolutely spectacular, it really deserves it’s title and it was well and truly worth the walk!!
For anyone who hasn’t been, I HIGHLY recommend it but a few wise tips before you go …
- Take sufficient food and water
- It WILL take about 2 hours each way from this car park
- Don’t leave two hours before sunset
- Make sure you have a fully charged phone
- Make sure you take LOTS of beautiful photos!!