You might say we’re biased, but Wales is home to the most majestic and stunningly beautiful waterfalls on the planet. Trust us. Rivers trickle from mountain peaks and through Welsh woodlands, cascading over clifftops as they make their way to the sea. For hikers, explorers, and nature lovers, visiting a Welsh waterfall (or four) can make for the perfect day trip or weekend away. Here’s some of our favourites.
The Fairy Falls
The Fairy Falls, hidden away in the village of Trefriw, near Llanrwst, takes its name from rumoured sightings of fairies at this enchanting location. A riverside footpath takes you directly from the village to the falls, where you can relax on a weathered bench and keep your eyes peeled for magical creatures.
You can park in the village, and escape back there for an evening bite at Chandlers Brasserie or The Old Ship pub.
At the heart of the Denbighshire village of Dyserth lies Rhaeadr Dyserth, an Instagrammable waterfall steeped in history. Legend has it that medieval walls housed a giant water wheel, powered by Rhaeadr Dyserth, and several mills popped up along the river in years to follow.
You can park nearby and stop for lunch in The Red Lion, a local pub, and a short climb will take you to the top (be warned: the steps can be steep and slippery).
If you’re one of the hundreds of millions who’ve seen the movie The Dark Knight Rises, you’d be forgiven for double taking at these Powys falls. Henrhyd plays the part of the Bat Cave in the blockbuster Batman finale. While you’re not required to wear a latex bat suit when visiting this big screen hideout, we would recommend taking a trip to the highest waterfall in south Wales after a heavy downpour, where water cascades over the rocks in thunderous fashion. Woodland footpaths wind their way around Henrhyd and into the Brecon Beacons, where nature lovers can hike through the Nant Llech valley, past a disused watermill and up to the River Tawe.
There’s a National Trust car park at Coelbren, a short walk from the falls.
Aberdulais Tin Works and Falls
More than 20,000 years old, the Aberdulais waterfall is at its most impressive in the winter months, where the River Dulais is in full flow. Situated just outside Neath, Port Talbot, the falls is a National Trust favourite. There are events across the year at the site’s historical tin works, where you can spend an evening listening to stories under candlelight of Welsh workers and the industrial revolution.
The car park at Aberdulais is just across the road from the main entrance.
Devil’s Bridge Falls
Welsh folklore will tell you that the devil built a stunning bridge over this waterfall near historical harbour town Aberystwyth, and was later outwitted by a local woman and banished from the country forever. Two separate walks wind their way up beside the waterfall, where hundreds of slate steps lead to a variety of viewing platforms. And for any Hinterland fans out there, you might recognise a few of the locations; Devil’s Bridge was the setting for and name of the first ever episode.
There's a free car park near the entrance, or travel up by steam power. The Vale of Rheidol Railway station at Devil's Bridge is a 4 minute walk from the falls - check their timetable to make sure you have enough time to do the walk though!
Four Waterfalls Walk
The car park for the Four Falls Trail sits opposite the biggest cave mouth in Wales. This Brecon Beacons route then follows two rivers as they vanish underground and burst back through the woodland. The thunderous sound of Sgwd Clun-Gwyn – the ‘fall of the white meadow’ and first waterfall on the route – can be heard long before its emergence. On this winding route, you’ll also feel the spray of Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr and Sgwd-yr-Eira as they hit rocks along the River Mellte.
Pistyll Rhaeadr is the tallest single-drop waterfall in Britain. Located amidst the Berwyn Mountains, west of Oswestry, this is a beautiful place to explore. At the day’s end, tea and scones await at Tan-y-Pistyll – the ‘little house under the waterfall’.
You can park at the falls for £4.00 a day (all funds raised are used for conservation projects around the falls), or there is roadside parking a little further out.
A popular spot for campers and glampers alike, the woodlands surrounding the River Nantcol offer peace and tranquillity. You can stay in glamping ‘pods’ nearby, and take a riverside walk from the campsite and back in an hour and a half.
The campsite’s parking is open to all visitors, and costs £3 for the day.
The old mill on Cenarth Falls has been around since the 13th Century. It stands above the River Teifi, where hundreds of salmon can be seen leaping the falls in autumn. There are rock pools to explore, an iconic bridge to cross (and hide in), and Welsh cakes to eat in Cenarth village.
You can park at the falls for £2.50, or take the short trip to The Nag’s Head in Abercych for a hearty Welsh lunch.
The heights of Conwy Falls are perfect for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts, with the River Conwy being home to polecats, more than 32 species of bird, and other wild animals.
You can park at the Conwy Falls Café – an architectural treasure, originally designed by Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis – and follow stunning walking routes through a wooded gorge near Betws-y-Coed.