Walk 3206 - printer friendly version
Waterfalls Walk from near Ystradfellte Walk
Author - Martyn Hanks
Length - 9.2 miles / 15 km
Ascent - 1600 feet / 485 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference SN928124
Lat 51.7999360 + Long -3.5560132
Postcode CF44 9JF (approx. location only)
This Brecon Beacons walks explores the valleys of the Afon Mellte and Nedd Fechan which are noted for their numerous waterfalls and cascades. The route requires careful navigation and the relevant 1:25000 OS map is a useful aid. The route starts from the Four Waterfalls car park (grid ref. SN928124) on a minor road lying to the south east of the village of Ystradfellte.
After parking, return to the lane and turn left. Turn right down the track leading to Cwm Porth Farm which is soon passed on the left. Continue ahead on the clear track following the signs for the "Four Waterfalls Walk". Continue to pass the buildings at Hendre-bolon. The way ahead enters woodland and you soon reach Sgwyd Clun-Gwyn, the first of many waterfalls encountered during the walk. The next cascade is Sgwyd Isaf Clun-Gwyn. From here careful navigation takes you off the "Four Waterfalls Walk" to Sgwyd yr Elra falls on the River Hepste, which is crossed. If in doubt return to the "Four Waterfalls Walk" and complete the loop back to the start.
The onward path takes a sinuous route out of the valley and continues south to Chilhepste-fach and Chilepste-cerig. In recent years there has been some forest clearing in this area with some disruption to the rights of way. However, the OS map helps with navigation as the route follows a southerly direction. The route then swings south-west and passes the Dinas Rock to join the road in Pontneddfecha Dinas Road n (grid ref. SN910079).
Bear left along Dinas Road into the village. After 800 metres, you reach a road junction (grid ref. SN902076). Keep straight ahead onto what is now Pontneathvaughan Road. Cross the River Neath into High Street. After a short distance turn, right down a tarmac drive between houses to join the riverside path. Follow this north, with the river to your right for about a mile until you reach a footbridge (grid ref. SN8980910). Do not cross the bridge and turn left following a tributary of the River Neath to reach the stepping stones below Syd Gwladus falls.
Cross the steeping stones and bear right downstream until you regain the River Neath at the footbridge. Again, do not cross the bridge but bear left and follow the path that parallels the River Neath upstream passing Scud Ddwli to reach a lane at Pont Melin-fach (grid ref. SN907105). Turn right along the lane, cross the River Neath and continue for about 500 metres to reach a driveway on your left (grid ref. SN912105). Follow the drive and bear right heading north-east to Hoped-for where you continue along their access road to a road (grid ref. SN917111). As an alternative, you can take the footpath from Hoel-fawr across fields to join the road further north.
Continue north along the road passing the entrance to Birnbach Farm on your right. A short way after the farm entrance there is a road junction. A few metres beyond the junction bear left onto the signed bridleway through a metal gate on your right (grid ref. SN919116). Follow this bridleway for about a kilometre to reach a lane (grid ref. SN927123). Turn right along the lane and the car park used at the start is a short way along on your left.
This walk is one of many routes prepared by Martyn Hanks for Youth Hostellers. The routes were drawn in a 'Wainwright' style and provided annotated maps offering additional information for walkers. Prepared before the days of GPS they were an invaluable resource and Walking Britain is happy to ensure that these walks remain in the public domain.