Walk Distance: 1 km
Walk Duration: 30 minutes. It took us an hour at toddler speed and with lots of time messing about at the waterfall.
Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer OL12 Brecon Beacons National Park (West); OS Landranger 160 Brecon Beacons.
Suitable for: Babies in carriers (with fit parents!), older children, good little walkers.
Walk Features: woodland walking, beautiful waterfall, paddling, some steep climbs and steps.
With a 27m drop, Henrhyd Falls are the tallest waterfall in South Wales. If you’ve seen Batman: The Dark Knight Rises then you have already had a preview of Henrhyd Falls for they double up as the entrance to the Bat Cave – a connection which ought to convince teens and dads alike that it is worth a visit! I am convinced Batman is still hanging about as my GPS tracker did some very odd things whilst there – definitely something interfering with my signal!
This is a short walk but steep in places and involves steps. Little ones might find it hard work. We also took Roo’s rucksack with reigns with us as a precaution against her slipping over near drops. Henrhyd Falls are well worth it though – they are truly beautiful and sure footed adults can even walk behind the falls in dry weather. We stopped off at Henrhyd Falls on the way back from Pembrokeshire and this walk makes a tranquil leg stretcher to break a long journey without going too far out of your way.
The Henrhyd Falls walk starts from the National Trust car park just north of Coelbren village. Head out the car park through the little gate by the information board and down through the dappled green of the oak trees.
The path very quickly turns a corner and heads steeply down hill. Carry on down to the bottom before looping back around to the left-hand side. Henrhyd Falls are clearly signposted.
A little further along the path crosses the Nan Llech river on a small footbridge. On the other side, steep steps take you up the bank. These steps are a bit big for little legs so be ready to give any smaller walkers a bit of a hand here and watch out for others passing from the opposite direction on busy days – it can be a bit of a squeeze!
At the top, follow the path to the left and continue to walk ignoring the other uphill path options. Soon you will hear the unmistakeable sound of water gushing down from a great height before Henrhyd Falls come into sight shortly after.
This is a lovely spot to watch the falls, particularly on a sunny day when the forest opening and the sun catching on the fine spray of the waterfall seems to transform it into some kind of scene out of an enchanted fairy tale.
Sure footed and intrepid visitors and those prepared to risk falling rocks can head down the narrow path to the right hand side and walk behind the waterfall. This is a brilliant experience but not one I would recommend if you are carrying a baby or have very young and unsteady walkers as it is narrow and slippery, even on a dry day. We took it in turns!
There is also another small path down to the left which gives you access down to the river – a pleasant spot for paddling on dry days but do be careful after rainfall – the water levels in this part of Wales are prone to rising very quickly.
The return route traces the walk out, saving the lovely uphill stretch until last!