Waterfall Country – Pontneddfechan, waterfalls in an enchanted forest

Waterfall country is situated in the south west part of the Brecon Beacons national park, and is one of the most beautiful parts of the national park. The rivers Mellte, Hepste, Pyrddin and Nedd-fechan rivers wind through the mountains in dense forest, cascading over a series of impressive waterfalls before converging and forming the river neath.

Waterfall country lower section gorge

Waterfall country is an incredible special place to visit with lots of things to do, for our trip we visited waterfall country to enjoy the views of the waterfalls, enjoy the damp magical forest and taking a swim in the waters around the waterfalls. If you’re planning on visiting Waterfall country to relax in the waters, we recommend taking a wetsuit as the waters are icy cold even in the middle of summer, you can even see your breath!

Waterfall country great swimming spot

Great spot for swimming, the water is deep and very cold though!


Our visit to Waterfall Country lasted about 4 hours, we visited most of the waterfalls and that included stops to relax, take a swim and enjoy being at one with nature.

The area is entwined with Welsh myth with a trial named after the young Trainee monk who was cruelly treated for being lazy and ran away from his Abbey. He was apparently found by the fairy folk who took him to their own world. According to the tale, the entrance to the fairy kingdom lay hidden along the banks of the Elidir Trail!

The star attraction in Waterfall Country is Sgwd Gwladus, which takes its name from a sixth century Welsh princess named Gwladus. She threw herself into the icy waters of the Afon Pyrddin when her father (The king) refused to let her marry Einion, her lovwer, it’s said that the Waterfall magically appeared where she entered the water.

Waterfall country Sgwd Gwladus

Sgwd Gwladus, another great swimming spot

Waterfall country does have some specified areas of conversation and is a designated site of special scientific interest. So it’s important that you take care wherever you go whilst visiting Waterfall country.

You’ll find lots of information about Waterfall country saying that it’s wheelchair accessible and suitable for buggies on the lower paths, it isn’t. Even on the lower paths there were deep muddy puddles and twisted roots, even wearing my trusty hiking boots I had to watch my step.

Waterfall country small waterfall

During the industrial revolution, the area was heavily mined for Silica, used to make bricks for blast furnaces. You can see many of the mine entrances as you walk up the old trails used by horses and carts to transport minerals to the bottom of the valley. Many of which are sealed off as disused mines can be dangerous.

Waterfall country - old silica mine entrance

Further information on waterfall country can be found on the national park website

Waterfall Country is a short drive from Swansea on the A465 and there is ample parking around the village of Pontneddfechan, on busier days the fields are open and you can park all day for a small charge.