Adventure, Advice, Inspire

Wild Swimming in Waterfall Country

In true British fashion we’d planned on an afternoon climbing, but the weatherman decided we needed rain and scuppered those plans.

What better thing is there to do on a rainy day than an activity that involves getting wet.

With Marla in tow, surfing wasn’t an option but a walkies combined with a wild swim? Perfect, especially considering we were less than an hours drive from Ystradfellte and our bikinis were conveniently in our bags.

If you’ve never been to the Pontneddfechan waterfalls area, its a magical place with cascading rivers, deep gorges and stunning waterfalls, some of which you can walk behind. There are pools for jumping, swimming and splashing and plenty of quiet spaces to spend an hour or 2, jut off the main paths.

There are various places to park in the area, making it very accessible for all abilities, with both short and long walks available. There’s an information centre should you need help finding a walk for you.

We parked by the Angel pub and headed North(ish) in search of Horseshoe falls, which we’d found on , knowing we were heading in the right direction thanks to a few other people with swimming costumes hanging from their rucksacks. After walking for around half an hour, we spotted the series of falls from the path. Continuing past them to find a higher waterfall which we imagine, during low water, would be a pretty cool place for a dip.

Scrambling back up the bank and a few hundred meters back down the muddy path, we threw on our  swim gear and sheepishly threw ourselves into the dark brown water. Thanks to the rain it was pretty chilly but the warm air temperature made it comfortable.

The water here is a dark brown colour as it runs through the peat bogs on the mountains above. The steep and long catchment area means water flows through quickly after rain meaning it can flood without much warning.

After 20 minutes we changed back into our comfies, throwing on all of the extra layers we had in our bags. You don’t realise how cold you are until you get changed, even in mid summer a bobble hat and down jack wouldn’t go amiss! We tested out Kate’s new BruKit from Alp Kit with a warming cuppa char before wondering back to the van via Lady Falls, another spot for another day maybe.


  1. Helena

    5th August 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Loving the idea of exploring a new place and swimming near a waterfall.

  2. Tara

    17th September 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Thank you for this post! It sounds like a lovely day. I found it useful as I am trying to get into doing more wild swimming walks, but worry about finding appropriate, safe places. I visited Waterfall country recently for a walk, but look forward to checking out the area near horseshoe falls for a dip now that I’ve read this post.

  3. Andrea

    20th October 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Hope to get a dip in when we visit Wales this weekend. Excited to be get in such a beautiful looking place

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