Northern Roundup 2010

Public Toilet Falls, Pistyll Henfynachlog, Rhaeadr Llechweddfwyalchen, Pistyll Gwyn (yet another one), Pistyll y Pandy, Cyfyng Falls, Swallow Falls, Fairy Falls, Rhaeadr y Bedd, Afon Ceiriog. And bonus Eglwyseg Mountain.

Public Toilet Falls

Famous among canoeists (perhaps you can tell where this is going), the falls are located on the Afon Mawddach at Ganllwyd. The Ganllwyd car park, right beside the mouth of the Afon Gamlan, has a footpath at the back, leading directly to the river.

Pistyll Henfynachlog

Located on the Afon Eiddon, a little upstream from Rhydymain, near Dolgellau. There are various places to park along the small lane running through the village, with the walk starting at the lane's bridge over the Eiddon.

Rhaeadr Llechweddfwyalchen

Located on the northern edge of the Aranau, at Rhosdylluan, between Dolgellau and Bala. At Pont Rhyd-sarn on the A494, take the narrow lane heading south towards the Aranau. It passes a couple of farms before splitting at the Dwrnudon farm. Take the left branch, which splits again with a farm access track on the right and a dirt track on the left. Take the dirt track, which has a parking area on the left just after its start.

Pistyll Gwyn, Nant-hir

Near the southwestern edge of Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), narrow lanes reach the tiny village of Parc, and from there, one of the lanes leads out onto Maestron, on the flanks of Arenig Fawr. A few hundred metres before it reaches the Blaen-y-cwm-isaf farm, a footpath (with limited parking space) starts out towards Arenig Fawr. This is the start point for the walk.

Pistyll y Pandy

Located on the Afon Conwy, just upstream of the village of Ysbyty Ifan. There is some parking space on the side of a lane leading off the B4407, and the waterfall is located on the river directly below the main road at the junction with the lane, under the Pandy Uchaf farm. It cannot be seen from the road, and is hidden in a small woodland, which also makes access very difficult.

Cyfyng Falls and Swallow Falls

These are both located on the Afon Llugwy, not far upstream from Betws-y-Coed. Swallow Falls is a tourist attraction, requiring a fee to access the site. Cyfyng Falls is located upstream, at the bottom end of Capel Curig, and is visible from the road. Both have parking space directly above them, on the side of the A5. For comparison, you may wish to view the pictures from our previous visit to Swallow Falls in flood.

Fairy Falls

Located in Trefriw, in the Conwy Valley. The village has a parking area near the cenotaph. The route is marked with waymarks, listed as route 4. The entire walk follows the Fairy Glen (not to be confused with the gorge bearing the same name a little upstream along the Afon Conwy), with the main waterfall being the top-most one. Its Welsh name, Rhaeadr y Tylwyth Teg, literally means the waterfall of the beautiful tribe; beautiful tribe referring to fairies. The waterfall should be visited in winter, as the nearby mill can take most of the water in summer.

Rhaeadr y Bedd

Located at the outflow from the Aled Isaf reservoir, in the Mynydd Hiraethog range, between Denbigh and Betws-y-Coed. This was previously visited in summer, when the reservoir failed to overflow, so the main waterfall was dry.

Afon Ceiriog

The Afon Ceiriog winds its way to the River Dee, beginning at the edge of the Berwyn mountain range. The route starts at the Swch-cae-rhiw farm, near Pentre, just a few km from Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog. This is the last point where a road runs alongside the Afon Ceiriog.

The route to the waterfalls is not easy, as it has no proper path. Although you could potentially follow the nearest path and drop down to the waterfalls, it spoils the surprise, and still requires you to walk off-trail. There is also an alternative path running on the opposite bank, which links up with other paths in the area. However, that does not get the best views. The route that we took is probably the best for viewing the waterfalls. To extend it, you could pick up any of the other paths, and perhaps even continue onto the Berwyn ridge, or over to Cynwyd, which has its own waterfalls.

Eglwyseg Mountain

Overlooking the popular tourist destination of Llangollen at the edge of the Ruabon Moors, the Eglwyseg Escarpment is one of the most dramatic limestone outcrops in Wales. Definitely worth a visit when in the area.