Visiting Henrhyd Falls and Graig Llech Woods
Henrhyd Falls, the highest waterfall in South Wales, is tucked away on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons. Plunging 90ft (27m) into a wooded gorge, it’s a natural wonder well worth a visit. Take a walk to the surrounding Graig Llech Wood, a tranquil location and a haven for plants and wildlife.
Things to see at Henrhyd Falls and Graig Llech Woods
The area can become very wet and muddy especially after rainfall, but this is one of the best times to see the falls. You can choose to walk towards the waterfall which is situated near the car park. Explore further into the tranquil surroundings of Graig Llech Woods for a longer circular walk through the Nant Llech valley. Look out for the disused watermill, the Melin Llech, along the way.
The walk along the footpath in the valley, will give you opportunity to see woodpeckers, tree creepers, warblers and wrens. Dippers and wagtails are often seen hunting for insects along the river. Trout can often be seen trying to jump up the lower falls.
The heavily wooded gorge and steep rocky slopes is a haven for shade and damp-loving plants. Keep your eyes peeled for mosses, liverworts and lichen. Their presence is why the area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The falls occur on a geological fault on the river Nant Llech and have retreated up the valley by up to 165ft (50m) since the last Ice Age. The hard layer of sandstone forming the lip of the waterfall is known as Farewell Rock. Coal miners digging down to this layer in the mines of the South Wales valleys would say 'farewell' as there was little chance of finding coal below it.
A historic discovery
In the mid 1800s the area was surveyed by William Logan, an internationally noted geologist. While surveying for a detailed geological map of the South Wales coal fields he found two fossilised trees at the base of the falls. William donated these unusual fossils to the Swansea Museum where they can still be seen today.
Henrhyd Falls - a modern film set
The Hollywood blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises was filmed here. The falls became the location of the lair for the main character, Batman. The lead actor in the film was Christian Bale who can be seen disappearing behind the waterfall to enter the bat cave.
You can do the same and walk behind a curtain of white water during your visit. Expect glistening reflections and hear the force of nature from behind the falls themselves.
Lose your head in the clouds as you climb Pen y Fan and Corn Du, the two highest peaks in southern Britain. This is one of the most recognisable skylines in the UK. Discover wild walks and scenery in the remote heart of the Brecon Beacons.
The tragic story of a five-year-old boy who became lost on the mountains of the Brecon Beacons in the summer of 1900. This sad story has been re-told down through generations of families and has touched the hearts of many. A memorial stands as a reminder of discovery and loss.