Henrhyd Waterfall

Henrhyd Waterfall

Sgwd Henrhyd (Henrhyd Waterfall) in Powys, Wales, is the tallest waterfall in southern Wales with a drop of 90 feet (27 m). It lies on National Trust land on the southern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog).

The falls occur where the small river, the Nant Llech drops over the faulted edge of a hard sandstone known as the Farewell Rock. The nearest settlement to it is Coelbren, on the road between Glynneath and Abercraf. Though not in the core of the area, it is considered by many to constitute a part of Wales' celebrated Waterfall Country.

The waterfall is reached after a steep walk down into the valley from the car park established by the National Trust, and is a popular spot to visit. One of the area's most famous visitors was Sir William Edmond Logan (later head of the Geological Survey of Canada), who carried out detailed geological survey work in the area, discovering near the foot of the falls the fossil trees which now stand outside Swansea Museum. The final scene of The Dark Knight Rises was filmed at the waterfall, where it doubled as the entrance for the Batcave.

 

Nant Llech walk

This walk will take you to Henrhyd Falls, the highest waterfall in South Wales, where you can discover wildlife as you walk through the woodland. After visiting the falls, you will then travel down the Nant Llech valley passing the site of a landslide and also a disused watermill. Henrhyd is best seen after a heavy downpour - the wetter the better! Please take care as paths can get very slippery. The walk is classified as moderate and will take about two and a half hours.

Start your walk from the National Trust car park and pass through two gates, following the footpath down the slope to a track junction at the bottom. Turn left and cross the wooden bridge, walking up the staircase to the footpath at the top. This bridge and staircase was built in 2001 by our staff and volunteers following a landslide. Continue along the footpath to the waterfall. Henrhyd Falls are the highest in South Wales at 90 feet (27m). Take care here as the spray from the falls can make the ground slippery. Once you've taken time to enjoy the spectacular waterfall, retrace your steps back across the bridge to the track junction.

Go straight ahead, following the footpath with the Nant Llech on your left-hand side. The trees that cling to the steep sides of the valley are mainly sessile oak and ash, although you can also find small-leafed lime, alder and wych elm. Keep following the footpath and just after you cross a boardwalk, the smaller waterfall can be seen on your left. Trout can sometimes be seen trying to jump the smaller fall. The valley is a haven for wildlife, many woodland birds can be heard and seen. Listen out for dippers.

Keep following the footpath until you pass through a gate which marks the end of National Trust land. Then cross a small bridge and continue to follow the path down the valley. After about 15 minutes, you'll reach the site of a large landslide were the path narrows and negotiates its way through the debris.

Continue along this path until you reach the site of the disused watermill - the Melin Llech. (Please do not enter the buildings, they're private property.) From Melin Llech, do not cross the bridge on the left but follow the track uphill for about 25yards (23m). Then join the footpath on your left, continue along the path to a kissing gate and minor road, cross the road and turn right to another kissing gate on your left. Follow the path for another two minutes and the River Tawe will come into view. The River Tawe flows all the way to Swansea and into the Bristol Channel. You have now reached the midway point of the walk.

The River Tawe rises in the Black Mountains to the north and travels 30 miles (48km) down the Swansea Valley to the coast at Swansea. The Nant Llech is just one of its tributaries, the main ones are the Afon Twrch and the upper and lower Clydach Rivers. Return to the minor road by the path you've just followed. Once at the minor road, you can either follow the path that brought you down the Nant Llech, back to the car park, or return along the minor roads via Coelbren.

 

There are no official picnic sites but there are nice spots for picnics throughout the area. Assistance dogs are welcome. This walk includes well-made footpaths and rough woodland paths that can be wet and uneven. Some of the walk has steep drops to the side.

 

Location : National Trust car park near Coelbren, Brecon Beacons SA10 9PH

Transport : Neath (National Rail) then bus (X58). Bus Routes : X58 runs every hour during daytime (except Sundays) to Coelbren (1/2 mile)

Opening Times : Daily, Dawn till Dusk

Tickets : Free

Tel : 01874 625515