Henrhyd Falls and Nant Llech Walk
National Trust car park near CoelbrenRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
This walk will take you to Henrhyd Falls, the highest waterfall in South Wales. You will then travel down the Nant Llech valley passing the site of a landslide and also a disused watermill.
- Bus stop
Start: National Trust car park, grid ref: SN853121
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 National Trust staff and volunteers following a landslide. Continue along the footpath to the waterfall. Henrhyd Falls are the highest in South Wales at 90 feet (27 metres). 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.
Henrhyd Falls are the highest waterfall in the Brecon Beacons National Park at 90 feet (27m). When the river is in spate, the spray from the fall travels over 300 feet (100m) down the valley.
Go straight ahead, following the footpath with the Nant Llech on you 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. Keep your eyes open 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 25 yards (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.
End: National Trust car park, grid reference SN853121
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 3.5 miles (6km)
- Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- OS Map: OL12 - Brecon Beacons west and central
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.
- How to get here:
By foot: Several footpaths are near Henrhyd, see Ordnance Survey map OL12
By bike: Local cycle routes and minor roads
By bus: The X63 service from Brecon to Swansea calls at Coelbren
By train: The nearest train station is Skewen, Neath 18 miles
By car: Signposted from the A4067 and A4221 by brown tourist signs. The car park is located just outside Coelbren on the minor road to Pen y Cae. OS Grid ref: SN853121
- Telephone: 01874 625515
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brecon-beacons-central/