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Visiting Henrhyd Falls and Graig Llech Woods

The water of Henrhyd Falls, Powys, cascading down the side of a rock face and into a pool below. There are large tree branches in the foreground.
Henrhyd Falls, Powys | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Henrhyd Falls, the highest waterfall in South Wales, is tucked away on the western edge of Bannau Brycheiniog (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.

Sunlight through Henrhyd Falls, Brecon Beacons, Powys, Wales
Sunlight through Henrhyd Falls, Powys, Wales | © National Trust Images / John Millar


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.

Map lichen patches creating a mosaic pattern on a coastal rock face, Lundy Island, Devon
Close up of map lichen | © National Trust Images / Nick Upton

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.

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Discover more at the Brecon Beacons

Find out how to get to the Brecon Beacons, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

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