A trip to Sgwd yr Eira Waterfall, Brecon Beacons – why you should visit with your teens

Pushing forward with my quest to find days out and holidays that teens are prepared to share with their parents I have struck gold! My kids regard me as a fairly (boring) mature individual who has pretty much left her childhood fancies behind her. I have written before about my lack of spontaneity but the other weekend I was reminded that there are some things that you simply don’t grow out of. We are very fortunate to live in such a gloriously beautiful part of the country here in South Wales. All you have to do is travel an hour out of Cardiff and you hit Sgwd yr Eira waterfall.

Sgwd yr Eira Waterfall

I’ve wanted to visit for a while but being a health and safety fanatic the thought of mixing three young children with deadly sheer drops and thousands of gallons of fast following water was too much for my anxiety to deal with.

Now our kids are not only old enough to look after themselves but can keep an eye on me too. So we chose a weekend when out oldest daughter was home from university and headed off to waterfall country.

Getting to Sgwd yr Eira waterfall

We parked in the Gwaun Hepste car park where we ate a picnic lunch. There are picnic tables here but no toilets. The path from the car park is very well signposted and there are further sign posts along the way which also indicate how many minutes walk you are away from each of the waterfalls. Check the map of the walks out here before you leave home. You head South into the forest and choose how many of the water falls you wish to see. We opted for Sgwd Clun Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun Gwyn and, of course, Sgwd yr Eira Waterfall. The path is rocky in places and the decent to Sgwd Eira involves around 180 steps but naturally the teens were not phased by this. I, on the other hand, had to stop for a breather on the way back up!


What’s so special?


The watery action is provided by the River Mellte and the River Hepste. Yes, we have a lot of rivers in Wales because, as you will know if you have ever been here, we have a lot of rain! I was brought up in the Cambrian Mountains in Mid Wales and mountain springs and streams were a big part of my childhood. I do feel that I have an affinity with all the gorgeous rivers of my homeland but these rivers are a bit special.

Sgwd yr Eira Waterfall


In common with many of the rivers in South Wales, their sources are high in the Brecon Beacons. At one point the Mellte disappears entirely underground for a distance of around 1/2 km. Then, of course, there are the waterfalls. They are all spectacular and very loud but Sgwd yr Eira Waterfall is special because you can go and stand behind it and, yes, this is enough to impress teens. The experience is both disorientating and surreal with what looks remarkably like a blizzard of snow hurtling to the ground a few inches in front of your face. This, of course, is why it is called Sgwd Eira as eira is welsh for snow. It has been featured on BBC Water World of Wales and I can see why.



Tips for your trip

This is a natural environment and so there are a few things that you need to bear in mind:

  • You need sensible shoes. The paths are rocky and steep and slippery next to the water falls
  • The drops are sheer so if you are taking younger children you need to be vigilant
  • If you visit all of the water falls and stop for the odd break it takes around 3 hours to complete the walk.
  • If you go behind the water fall you will get wet! But surely that’s part of the fun!


Sgwd yr Eira Waterfall

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  18 comments for “A trip to Sgwd yr Eira Waterfall, Brecon Beacons – why you should visit with your teens

  1. May 12, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    I spent some lovely times in North Wales as a child when I stayed with my grandparents, but I have only really passed through with Wales, this looks pretty amazing though
    Karen, the next best thing to mummy recently posted…How I managed to lose a stone in weight in under 2 monthsMy Profile

  2. May 16, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Wow! What stunning photos. Thank you for sharing. I’ve never been to North Wales but will add it to the ever expanding blogger recommended travel destinations I want to go too!
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  3. May 16, 2017 at 11:02 am

    gld you and a lovely time together, i’ve found since my kids have left home and we moved abroad we tend to actually do things as a family out of the house, mainly because when we’re in the UK, we don’t actually have a house to go to
    chickenruby recently posted…Are you a good social media role model to your children?My Profile

  4. May 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I have been there and it really is stunning You captured it perfectly with your awesome photos look like you had a fab time thanks for hosting. #tweensteensandbeyond

  5. May 16, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Wow. It does sound amazing. We love going on family walks. Even better when they have amazing landmarks on the way. I’ll have to tuck this one away for next time we’re in Wales. #TweenTeenBeyond
    Cheryl | TimeToCraft recently posted…Sunday Photo: After the rainMy Profile

  6. May 16, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    This is an area we have been meaning to visit for ages, we’ve got so close to booking here several times but ended up choosing somewhere else. I just LOVE waterfalls and this one looks likes it wouldn’t disappoint either. #tweenteenbeyond

  7. May 16, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    It’s a bit of a haul from Michigan, but it looks beautiful! And your sensible shoes comment made me smile. I’m just back from walking around Disney World for 5 days and the amount of people wearing cheap flip flops or scandalous high-heeled sandals really made me wonder.

    Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom recently posted…Observations from Beachfront Bargain Hunt on HGTVMy Profile

  8. May 16, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    That looks like such a fun day out. Fab photos.
    I think my girls would love to visit somewhere like that.
    Kim Carberry recently posted…My favourite sandwiches.My Profile

  9. May 16, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    That looks lush. We live nowhere near Wales but if we ever visited this would definitely be on our list of days out. We really struggle to get our teens to accompany us anywhere, except for nights out to see our favourite comedians. So this is something that we are clinging to, and madly booking up! #TweensTeensBeyond
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  10. May 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    The waterfalls look amazing. My eldest is at Cardiff Uni and I keep trying to persuade him to get out in his car and explore Brecon, perhaps we can take him when we next visit. It does look lovely. #TweensTeensBeyond

  11. May 17, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Oh, I am so disappointed that we didn’t visit these waterfalls when we were in South Wales recently. They look just beautiful – stunning photos! You really do live in the most beautiful part of the world xx and I can see why your children were as happy to do this as you – a definite strike of gold! #TweensTeensBeyond
    justsayingmum recently posted…Pushing Adulthood AwayMy Profile

  12. May 17, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    I haven’t been to the Brecon Beacons for years! We tend to just whizz past on the way to Pembrokeshire these days but maybe it’s time for a re-visit
    Mary Mayfield recently posted…Feeling left out – and it’s all social media’s faultMy Profile

  13. May 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    This looks wonderful and definitely worth a day trip! Agree too that teens never seem phased by steps – in fact they see them as a challenge. Lucky there are lots of excuses to stop and take photos!

  14. May 18, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Wow what a stunning waterfall, it is so great getting out into nature with our kids, I have been thinking about taking mine to a place called Lorne on the Great Ocean Road, these next school holidays, we’ve been years ago and they have a lovely trail and waterfall, you’ve inspired me to make it happen now! #TweensTeensBeyond
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  15. May 18, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I found this so relaxing to read Sharon. Such stunning photography. That waterfall! I think many of us are on the same page here in trying to find suitable activities for our growing children whilst remaining boring ourselves!!! I can see this would be great fun for the kids – I’d be with you in the ‘scaredy cat’ department here though. Like the sneak peek at the end too. I see you! #tweensteensbeyond

  16. May 19, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Ha ha love this Sharon, particularly the picture at the end of one of your daughters. My eldest actually went there when he was in Year 7 which now seems a long time ago. The only part of Wales I have visited is Swansea to see an old school friend at University and it was all about put crawls so totally inappropriate! You are so lucky to have this scenic attraction on your doorstep and well done for getting the teens out! #TweensTeensBeyond
    Jo (MotherofTeenagers) recently posted…Tweens, Teens, Beyond #9My Profile

  17. May 21, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Stunning place! Can understand your worries of mixing teens with this environment but looks fun. Getting wet has to be part of it, right? #TweensTeensBeyond

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