Sgwd Clun-Gwyn Waterfall Walk

Sgwd Clun-Gwyn Waterfall, Brecon Beacons

Walk Distance: 3.8 km

Walk Duration: 1 hour 45 (about half at toddler pace and via the trickier riverside route (farmyard route would be quite a bit faster as much easier walking).

Ordnance Survey: OS Landranger 160 Brecon Beacons ; OS Explorer OL12 Breacon Beacons National Park (Western Area)

Suitable for: Full circular route suited to older children only, going there and back along the return route described below makes this accessible for good little walkers too. Babies in carriers ok but terrain is very uneven on full circular route and good footwear essential.

Walk Features: Woodland and riverside walking, farmland, spectacular waterfall, visitor and information centre with toilets and basic shop.

Kate says:

Kate

This walk starts from Cwm Porth information centre and is a lovely, tranquil option if you are looking to escape the very popular main four waterfalls route.

If however you prefer free parking and a shorter walk or want to see all the waterfalls then consider starting from the off-road parking spot by the cattle grid on the main road between Pontneddfechan and Cwm Porth. The path there is more accessible and well marked. 

We did the whole circular route with Roo walking the outward trail. However the first half of the route was very uneven – basically scrambling along the edge of the river bed – and Roo struggled with her little legs. The return route was much easier (and faster) along a straight flat farm track and I             would recommend using this for both outward and return           legs if you are walking with little ones or after heavy rain.

 

Walk Description:

From the Cwm Porth Information Centre, head back out of the car park onto the lane and cross over. If you are walking the full circular route then straight over there is a little path leading through two wooden posts and down into the woods. Head down this path. For those walking the gentler and easier there-and-back again route, turn left and walk up the lane instead until you come to a farm drive on the right marked with a footpath sign. This is your route which is described in reverse at the end of this walk description.

Cwm Porth to Sgwd Clun-Gwyn

Heading off down the riverbank trail.

Follow the main footpath through the trees, passing the gaping spaces into which potholers can frequently be seen disappearing in this area. The cave here of Porth yr Ogof is one of the largest in the UK and with its many entrances is used as an introduction to caving for the intrepid underground explorer. Visiting on a busy weekend as we did, it was eery to hear the shouts and chatter of an invisble people echoing up from below the ground we walked on!

Continue on the main path, ignoring signs for the cavers. The footpath heads downhill, through a gate and joins the River (or Afon as it’s known in Welsh) Mellte . Here the path follows a pretty section with the irridescent green of trees in their young summer foliage reflected into the wide pools and tinkling stream of the river.

Cwm Porth to Sgwd Clun-Gwyn

A short distance on, through another gate and the path descends closer to the river and becomes a lot more rugged. Showing evidence of the sudden and frequent flooding the rivers in this area are prone to, the path frequently descends into effectively dry river bed, traversing exposed tree roots and boulders.

The walk continues like this until eventually emerging by the side of a meadow and joining the main Four Waterfalls Way at the footbridge.

Cwm Porth to Sgwd Clun-Gwyn

From here, with your back to the footbridge, walk slightly right uphill on the stony path. It’s a bit steep with large steps in places and slippy when wet but fairly manageable with good footwear. Little ones will need a helping hand to scramble up here though.

Continue uphill, heading generally right (but do not go down to the river edge). At the top of the climb the path follows an earthen track for a short while before once again descending down a steep, stony hillside via some shallow stone steps.

Cwm Porth to Sgwd Clun-Gwyn

Sections of the path are tricky to traverse and little legs will need extra help.

At the bottom of the steps, veer to the right and you will find the viewing point for Sgwd Clun-Gwyn Waterfall. Keep a close eye on children here – the drop by the waterfall viewing spot is quite big. Sgwd Clun-Gwyn is pretty impressive and dramatic as it thunders down to the river below. We visited in a dry period of summer but after more generous rain it is even more impressive.

Cwm Porth to Sgwd Clun-Gwyn

Sgwd Clun-Gwyn

From here, those heading off on the full four waterfall walk can continue onwards. For those returning to Cwm Porth now though, head back up the stone steps and along the earthen path. This time, instead of descending the hill again at the far end of the path, instead follow the small trail that leads straight ahead through the trees.

Cwm Porth to Sgwd Clun-Gwyn

Take the narrow trail through the trees to the right.

This brings you back to another junction where you want to follow the sign back to Cwm Porth straight ahead. The path now leads you through woodland before opening out onto farmland. The path emerges by a farm house and after passing through the gate, turns into a larger farm vehicle track. There are some lovely views down the wooded valley from here and the foxgloves are beautiful in early summer.

Cwm Porth to Sgwd Clun-Gwyn

Return walking on easy flat farmyard tracks.

Continue along this track, passing over several stiles and gates until eventually the track emerges onto the lane above the Cwm Porth car park. Turn left down the lane and Cwm Porth Information Centre and your starting point for the walk is on your right.

Light snacks and drinks are available from the centre when it is open with cash only. Don’t rely on this – it is a little haphazard as the warden who looks after the centre has to regularly leave for short periods of time to attend to other duties!

 

Map of Route:

Directions:

Parking is available at Cwm Porth Information Centre on a pay-and-display basis. The track to Cwm Porth is narrow with no real passing points so nervous drivers may be better off starting the walk from the main trail on the road to Pontneddfechan.

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Sgwd Clun-Gwyn Waterfall Walk
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5 comments

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  1. Katie

    Hi there

    Could you please give me some advice. My family and I with the youngest being 4 1/2 are coming to the Brecon becons this oct half term. We are all very keen to explore some waterfalls and mostly to walk behind them, my question really is what walks would incorporate all of this and is any of them suitable to do with little legs. Any help advice well known successful routes would be greatly appreciated. We are coming from suffolk so have no idea what to expect really.

    Many thanks
    Kind regards

    Katie

    1. Kate Limburn

      Hi Katie,

      Both the waterfall walks listed on this site would be fine with children. The Henrhyd Falls (Batman Cave) walk is particularly easy and quick and when we visited it was possible to walk behind the falls with care. Have you checked out this Brecon Beacons page for other trails in Waterfall county? The route on this page is just one of many possibilities in the area – I would recommend getting a good map and following your feet – you can pass multiple falls or just head to one depending on your mood. Enjoy the Brecons! Kate

  2. Sylwia

    Hi,

    Thank you for your text. I have enjoyed to read it and your pictures are really nice.
    We are planning to be with my family there end of May / beginning of June. We shall have two babies with us (9months and 21 months old). I know carring them rather than taking a double pushchair would be better option and I didn’t consider before a pram at all, but after reading your text I thought to use this reverse farm footpath in both directions as you suggest. Do you think using only this way is it suitable for a pushchair (which is a better option for my back 🙂 of course) or still not?
    Many thanks
    Sylwia

    1. Kate Limburn

      Hi Sylwia, I would not recommend this walk with a double pushchair. It is possibile to take a pushchair some way along the farm track in good weather but if it’s been wet then it would be hard going and as you get into the waterfall woods it is too steep and narrow in places with too many obstacles to make this an enjoyable walk. If you need to watch your back and carriers aren’t an option then I would suggest trying a different walk. The Brecon Beacons page here has some great accessible walks you might like to try. http://www.breconbeacons.org/explore/easier_access/easier_access_walks Have a great visit to the Brecons. Kate

      1. Sylwia

        Thank you for your advice.

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