Any visit to the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park must surely include the tranquil Four Waterfalls Walk. Nestled in Wales’ famed Waterfall Country, this Brecon Beacons waterfall trail takes in the delights of four utterly beautiful waterfalls, including Sgwd Isaf Clun Gwyn and Sgwd-yr-Eira, along a picturesque 10km trail.
Also known as the Four Falls Walk (4 Falls Walk) and the Four Falls Trail, this Brecon Beacons waterfall walk will easily be a highlight of any visit to this part of south Wales. In addition, the fourth waterfall – Sgwd-yr-Eira can be explored behind its cascade, which makes Sgwd-yr-Eira easily the most popular waterfall on the trail.
In this guide, we’ll look at where the Four Waterfalls Walk is and how to get there. Then, we’ll give a brief trail description as well as provide a GPS map to follow. Afterwards, we’ll discuss accommodation options in the area as well as other excellent walking trails in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
To see footage of the Four Waterfalls Walk in the Brecon Beacons National Park, please watch our 6 Best Brecon Beacons Hikes YouTube production.
For more incredible walks in Wales, check out our guides on Llyn y Fan Fach, Henrhyd Falls and Waun Fach & The Dragon’s Back. Otherwise, read our Brecon Beacons Hiking post, where we reveal how to squeeze six excellent walks into one epic weekend of hiking.
Table of Contents
Where Is the Four Waterfalls Walk?
The Four Waterfalls Walk is found in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park in southern Wales. Part of the county of Powys, this tight group of waterfalls are positioned between the small villages of Pontneddfechan and Ystradfellt, cascading from the Hepste and Mellte rivers.
Of course, the name is a bit of a giveaway. This stellar Brecon Beacons walk visits four outstanding waterfalls. Truly, each one is magnificent. Making up the four waterfalls on this Brecon Beacons walk are the sensational Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr and Sgwd-yr-Eira waterfalls.
These four waterfalls are just part of a wider close-knit area of waterfalls in this part of the Brecon Beacons, hence why the area is known as Waterfall Country.
Where Is Waterfall Country?
Waterfall Country is found in the Brecon Beacons National Park in south Wales. Although Waterfall Country is not officially defined, the name describes a somewhat rare area with a high concentration of accessible waterfalls. And they’re all beautiful.
Given the wealth of outstanding waterfalls in Waterfall Country and the Brecon Beacons National Park as a whole, there’s plenty to see on any visit here. But, in this guide, we’ll concentrate on the fantastic Four Waterfalls Walk, which won’t disappoint.
Where Does The Four Waterfalls Walk Start?
The Four Waterfalls Walk we’ll describe below begins at Gwaun Hepste Car Park. The Gwaun Hepste Car Park is found just south of the village of Ystradfellte and north of Pontneddfechan.
Other Four Waterfalls Walk Car Parks
There are actually two possible car parks to use for the Four Waterfalls Walk. The first is the aforementioned Gwaun Hepste Car Park. The second is the nearby Cwm Porth Car Park. Both are great options. But, they’re also both pay and display. Parking is £5 for the full day, 8am–4pm. Outside of these times, the rate reduces to £4.
How to Get to the Four Falls Trailhead
By far the easiest way to explore Waterfall Country and enjoy the Four Waterfalls Walk is with your own set of wheels. Given its close proximity to popular towns in the south of Wales, a walk to these Brecon Beacons waterfalls is just as easy to do as a day trip as it is a wider trip of Wales. Below are some common route options.
- Cardiff: 1 hour // 36 miles (58km)
- Swansea: 45 minutes // 26 miles (42km)
- Carmarthen: 1 hour // 48 miles (77km)
- Abergavenny: 1 hour // 31 miles (50km)
Public transport isn’t really an option to get to the Four Waterfalls Walk. If you don’t have access to your own vehicle, then we recommend hiring something. When hiring a car, we always get the ball rolling with a search on RentalCars.com. Booking a car with Rentalcars.com is easy and stress-free, plus they offer an unbeatable free cancellation policy too.
Four Waterfalls Map & Preview
- Trail Type: Out & Back with Loop
- Distance: 10km
- Time: 3 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 310m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Four Falls Trail Car Park (Gwaun Hepste)
- Map: Wikiloc
For Waterfalls Walk Overview
For clarification, the Four Waterfalls Walk mainly involves following the Red Track (Four Falls Trail) with multiple Green Tracks (Waterfall Link Paths) connecting you directly to the waterfalls via short out and backs. We parked at the Gwaun Hepste Car Park; but, as mentioned, it’s also possible to do the Four Falls Walk from Cwm Porth Car Park.
You can view the official route map here, starting with Sgwd Clun-Gwyn and finishing with Sgwyd yr Eira waterfalls.
Four Waterfalls Walk
Sgwd Clun-Gwyn (Waterfall 1)
After a flat start from the Gwaun Hepste Car Park, a narrow trail following the Red Track beings to gradually descend. The Four Waterfalls Walk trail is easy to follow and at around 2km, you’ll reach the first of the waterfalls – Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, by taking a short detour onto one of the Waterfall Link trails (Green Tracks). Meaning ‘fall of the white meadow’, this waterfall is the smallest of the four; but, is nevertheless powerful and breathtaking. It’s also the uppermost of the waterfalls found along the Four Falls Trail dropping from the River Mellte.
It’s tempting to follow the trail that hugs close to the River Mellte’s edge in order to continue the walk. Following this trail on the Four Waterfalls Walk turns the whole trail into more of a loop, rather than many small out and backs. Also, it means you’d visit Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn waterfall second, rather than third. But, this route is now dangerous and erosion is a serious problem as well as steep cliff edges being hazardous. The route map now suggests following down to Sgwd y Pannwr after Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, and then following a track upstream to reach Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn instead. This is the route we’ll describe.
Sgwd y Pannwr (Waterfall 2)
After checking out Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, rejoin the Red Track and continue the trail downstream, with the river to your right; although, you’ll be hiking well above the river itself. Eventually, you’ll meet another waterfall link track which initially takes you to Sgwd y Pannwr – the second of the four waterfalls.
Sgwd y Pannwr waterfall is a wider set of cascades that gently glide across uneven vertical rock surfaces. To view it in full, you’ll need to take a muddy off-shoot trail down to the river’s edge. It’s well worth it. Sgwd y Pannwr, which means ‘fall of the fuller’ or ‘fall of the woollen washer’ is a fantastic waterfall to photograph, particularly early in the morning before the sun rises too high. It’s also the final waterfall to drop from the River Mellte.
Once you’ve enjoyed Sgwd y Pannwr, don’t retrace your steps onto the Red Track just yet. Instead, follow the Green Track upstream to visit waterfall number three.
Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn (Waterfall 3)
Following the River Mellte upstream (the river will be to your left), you’ll eventually meet the utterly enchanting Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn waterfall. Meaning ‘lower fall of the white meadow’, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn has many levels with individual sets of falls. This, perhaps, makes it the most epic waterfall of them all, even rivalling the final waterfall – Sgwd-yr-Eira.
We were blessed to be able to fly our drone over the various waterfalls that make up Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn and the resultant footage is simply mouthwatering! Anyway, drone or no drone, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn is a charming set of falls and deserves time to explore. You can scramble up the faint trails on the river’s edge to view the different levels of Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn.
Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn is technically the middle of the waterfalls found along the Four Waterfalls Walk and admittedly was very nearly our favourite of the entire trail. Sometimes, I think it actually was my favourite. Anyway, once you can tear yourself away, retrace your steps back to the main Red Track and continue to the final waterfall.
Sgwd-yr-Eira (Waterfall 4)
Last but not least is Sgwyd yr Eira, which means ‘falls of snow’. Sgwyd yr Eira is considered the greatest of all the waterfalls along the Four Waterfalls Walk. Well, as popular opinion would have it anyway.
Having checked out Sgwd y Pannwr and Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn waterfalls, you’ll retrace your steps to briefly resume following the Red Track before commencing the final waterfall link track.
The final link track descends a steep set of stairs. At the base, you’ll arrive at the highest waterfall on the Four Waterfalls Walk. Sgwyd yr Eira is quite something. Better still, you’ll get to walk behind Sgwyd yr Eira too, which is a fun experience in itself. The Sgwyd yr Eira waterfall is super impressive, flowing majestically from the River Hepste. It’s the perfect waterfall to round off this fantastic walk in the Brecon Beacon’s Waterfall Country.
To return to the car park, head back up the steps from Sgwyd yr Eira and join the Red Track on the right to form a loop back to the trailhead.
When Is the Best Time to Walk to the Four Falls?
The best time to visit Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr and Sgwd-yr-Eira on the Four Waterfalls Walk is undoubtedly after a heavy bout of rainfall. Of course, the four waterfalls are worth a visit whether there’s been a lot of rain or not. But, if you can time a visit after a period of heavy rainfall, you’ll find a much fuller set of cascades to enjoy, pumping in full force.
Of course, given the popularity of the Four Waterfalls Walk, the trail can be quite busy. Dan and I visited on a bank holiday weekend and found there to be quite a lot of people, especially congregating at Sgwd-yr-Eira for a quick dip. For a quieter visit, consider going first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Alternatively, a mid-week trip should be quieter, as too would a visit outside of school holidays and the summer.
Where to Stay in Waterfall Country
There are many beautiful places to stay in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Despite the Four Waterfalls Walk and Waterfall Country’s close proximity to big towns in the south of Wales, actually staying in the heart of the Brecon Beacons is a wonderful experience. Below, we’ll take a look at the best budget, mid-range and luxury options in the area, before having a look at camping options.
- Budget – The Little Cottage: located in Abercraf, not far from Coelbren is The Little Cottage. This one-bed holiday cottage is in a quiet location with hikes galore right on the doorstep, including to nearby Henrhyd Falls.
- Mid-range – Rheolau Arms: the private room at the Rheolau Arms are a huge hit with guests. As too is the wonderful breakfast. The perfect start to any day exploring the Waterfall Country in Wales.
- Luxury – Camden Lodge B&B Brecon: for a truly relaxing break in the Brecon Beacons, a stay at Camden Lodge B&B Brecon will tick a lot of boxes. Honestly, guests can’t rave enough about this place, with communication with the host, breakfast and location all a huge hit.
Close by, you’ll find Cae Glas Campsite and Bryn Bwch Campsite. Both are within excellent proximity to the Four Waterfalls Walk and other Waterfall Country attractions. Especially good if you want to avoid the crowds and visit early in the morning or just before nightfall.
Below, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Four Falls Walk in Waterfall Country, Brecon Beacons.
How Long Is the Four Waterfalls Walk?
The Four Waterfalls Walk is 10km long and takes around 3 hours to complete.
Is the Four Waterfalls Walk Hard?
The Four Waterfalls Walk is not technically difficult, but the terrain can sometimes be a little muddy and the trail uneven in parts. Care should also be taken if walking behind the final waterfall – Sgwd-yr-Eira. But all in all, this isn’t a demanding trail (apart from maybe ascending the stairs from Sgwd-yr-Eira) and is suitable for most levels of fitness.
Do You Have to Pay For the Four Waterfalls Walk?
It’s free to actually walk the Four Waterfalls trail. But, you do need to pay for parking at either Gwaun Hepste Car Park or Cwm Porth Car Park. It’s currently £5 for the day, but do let us know in the comments below if you notice any amendments to the parking fee at either car park.
Where to Park for the Four Waterfalls Walk?
Parking is found at either Gwaun Hepste Car Park or Cwm Porth Car Park. If following our guide, you’ll start the Four Waterfalls Walk from Gwaun Hepste Car Park.
Other Walks in the Brecon Beacons
Despite the Four Waterfalls Walk being one of our favourite walks in the Brecon Beacons, there’s plenty more to see. Whether it be mountains or more cascades in Waterfall Country, you’ll easily pack out a trip with glorious natural attractions in the Brecon Beacons. Below, are some of our favourites.
- Pen y Fan: this is the highest peak in the south of Wales. The Pen y Fan Horseshoe hike is a wonderful way to enjoy it. If you love hiking, the Pen y Fan walk is a must!
- Llyn y Fan Fach: the circular walk around the two lakes of Llyn y Fan Fach and Llyn y Fan Fawr is another of our favourites in the Brecon Beacons. The views are just beautiful.
- Waun Fach & The Dragon’s Back: a lesser walked trail in the Brecon Beacons, but one with extensive views across the whole national park and even back into England. The spikey ridges of the Dragon’s Back are a particular highlight of the walk.
- Sugar Loaf: we can highly recommend this popular short trail for a brilliant sunset hike.
- Henrhyd Falls: see Batman’s Cave and more epic Brecon Beacons waterfalls too. It might just rival Sgwd-yr-Eira and Sgwd Isaf Clun Gwyn after a heavy period of rain.
Five Hiking Essentials
These are our five hiking gear essentials for the Four Waterfalls Walk in the Brecon Beacons! For a more extensive hiking gear list, check out our 66 Travel Accessories That You Must Travel With. Alternatively, for a general summary of everything you’d need for a hiking trip to Wales, visit our Ultimate Packing Checklist.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
You should also pack water and snacks. If the weather is good, consider a picnic and maybe your swimmers!
Bonus Tips for Waterfall Country Walks
- Four Waterfalls Walk weather: it’s always a good idea to check the weather before setting out on any walk in the Waterfall Country. Of course, more rain equals better waterfalls! But, it does leave the trails rather muddy. Dress accordingly. You can check the weather for Waterfall Country and the Four Waterfalls Walk here.
- Four Waterfalls Walk swimming: yes, you can swim in the many pools along the Four Waterfalls Walk. So, if you’re keen on a dip at Sgwd-yr-Eira, remember to pack those swimmers.
- Four Waterfalls Walk dogs: if a walk just isn’t the same without your pooch, then you’ll be pleased to hear the Four Falls Walk is doggo-friendly.
- Four Waterfalls Walk National Trust: the Four Waterfalls Walk is not under the management of the National Trust. But, Pen y Fan and Henrhyd Falls are.
- Brecon Beacons Tours: if you want the hassle taken care of when it comes to trip planning. Get Your Guide offer some pretty great tour options in southern Wales.
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