WATERFALLS AND CAVES OF
THE BRECON BEACONS
Visitors to this area who wish to enjoy spectacular scenery can do no better
than to visit its waterfalls and caves which are renowned as being some of the best in Europe.
The Rivers , Hepste , Mellte and Neath are the source of water and provide the beautiful
and fascinating vista’s .
To visit the sights of the area it is recommended that suitable footwear is worn as many
of the paths can be slippery.
Visitors are also advised to check with tourist information at Brecon: Telephone
622485 to verify as to whether all waterfall trails are open as after adverse
weather conditions there are occasions when the trails need to be closed for safety
The major waterfall area is called Coed Y Rhaeadr which means Waterfall Country.
Situated within a route of less than 10 miles it is suggested that the best place to commence
the waterfall walk is Ystradfellte which can be reached via the A465 road Abergavenny to
By taking the route from Ystradfellte to Pontneddfechan where there is adequate parking
and there is the 12th century church of St.Mary at Ystradfellte which is open to visitors and it is possible to see the following falls :
Sgwd Clun Gwyn - Sited on the river Mellte this has a fall of some
30feet with the flow of water hitting ledges causing a spray on its journey downward.
Sgwd Isaf Clungwyn – a minor waterfall being part of the former.
Sgwd-y-Pannwyr also part of Sgwd Clun Gwyn.
Sgwd-y-Eira - This trail is steep and involves a descent of almost
200 feet down to the river Hepste, however the effort is worthwhile for the view is superb.
The fall is described as a “curtain waterfall” or “waterfall of
snow”, for the trail which was once used as a track by drovers is behind the fall on
a broad ledge.
To stand behind this curtain of water is a reminder of the power of water.
Pontneddfechan - A suitable halfway stop for walkers , with its pub The
Old White Horse Inn which has a past of considerable interest, it has been a coaching inn,
a café and an inn and restaurant .
In 1784 when there was an outbreak of smallpox a minister named Thomas Morgan who had studied
medicine opened a surgery at the inn and vaccinated more than a hundred children against
It was the birthplace of Thomas Stephens he was a local author and historian of welsh literature
and a plaque recording this is affixed to a wall in the pub.
The Old White Horse was also known as a home for famous horses during the war.
superior blood lines were kept in stables to the rear of the pub.
The Angel Hotel which is situated opposite the Tourist Information office also provides
for the visitor.
Upon leaving Pontneddfechan follow the route for Sgwd Gwladus this is a superb
fall and is known as “The Lady Falls “, it is a feeder stream from the river
Neath and has a drop of some 40feet .
Within 2 miles from Pontneddfechan following the route back to Ystradfellte it is possible
to view a further 4 unamed falls.
But before making this journey visitors may feel that they would like to visit another named
waterfall for just a short trip along the nearby A4109 / A 4221
The Henrhyd Falls can
be accessed and is duly signposted via a minor road.
These falls are regarded as being quite spectacular, they are the highest in the Geopark
and fall off the edge of the Farewell rock, crashing down into a wooded gorge.
Parking facilities are owned and managed by the National Trust as are the falls themselves.
These facilities are free.
Visitors should be aware that accessibility is via steep paths, wooden steps and there are
slippery rocks below the waterfall.
There are many caves within the Brecon Beacons , it is possible for visitors to view some
of these, however most are for the experienced cavers to visit.
For those who are just wishing to visit the sights then they are advised that a visit to
the National Show Caves at Dan yr Ogof is worthwhile.
Regarded as one of the most popular tourist attractions these are situated just to the north
of Abercraf and can be reached by the A4067 Abercraf to Defynnog road.
This extensive complex of caves is open to the public and has an impressive Cathedral like
cavern, it has stalactites by the thousand and free flowing waterfalls, by following the
snaking pathway see the magnificent “Dome of St. Pauls”.
Go on to the Bone Cave which was the site of the excavation of more than 40 human skeletons
see these along with other artefacts which date back to the Bronze Age.
See also the evidence of the time when wild life included bears and wolves.
Dinosaurs have intrigued modern man and child alike, an opportunity to see an exhibition
of these is on the accompanying Dinosaur Park
Here there are more than 130 life-sized models on display .
The caves are open between April 1st – October 1st .
Further information can be obtained by telephoning 0870 042 4640
Admittance fee required.
Experienced cavers requiring admission to the many other caves in the National Park should contact the South Wales Caving Club Telephone 01639 730613 for information .