Aberdare waterfall walk

Including Pwll-y-Gerwyn and Berw Ddu.

Ability requirements (key)


From Cardiff, take the A470 to the first roundabout at Abercynon. Take the first turnoff onto the A4059, signposted to Aberdare. Follow it for several miles to reach Aberdare's series of roundabouts, each time continuing to follow the A4059. At the fifth roundabout, take the first turnoff onto the A4233, towards Aberdare Town Centre. Take the first turnoff at the next roundabout (ahead, A4233), then the third turnoff at the next one (right) to join the B4275. At a junction with traffic-lights, between the White Lion pub and the gates to the Aberdare Park, turn left onto Glan Road. Follow it to the St. John Baptist High School, and park on the roadside. SN 9929 0276.


Berw Ddu will need over a week of heavy rain before it will appear. Even then, it may still appear almost dry. There are numerous ways through the Dare Valley Country Park, and you can choose whatever route suits you. This route guide covers just one of the possible routes.

From the school, continue along Glan Road as it enters the forest, and degenerates into a poor quality lane. When it crosses the river, Pwll-y-Gerwyn is the small cascade just upstream. Continue along the lane until a gateway on the left gives access to a path running along an old railway line. Follow this to the right for 1 km, taking the right branch when it forks, to reach a small artificial lake (with a nice weir, if that's your thing). A stream tumbles down an artificial cascade into the lake, which the Dare Valley Country Park's leaflet refers to as if it were a real cascade. Oh well.

Beyond the lake, the path reaches an access road. Turn left and follow the road to a series of paths on the right. Take the second one which immediately splits into a path on the left and cycle lane on the right. Follow the path to another artificial lake. Skirt the left edge of this, and take the path to the left at its far end, just after the inlet stream. Follow the path past some car parks, then just as the path swings right to reach a lake, turn left onto another path that begins with a footbridge over a stream. Follow this path as far as needed up the valley to get a good view of Berw Ddu, on the right end of the impressive Tarren y Bwllfa cliffs. Shortly before the path is forced to cross the stream near the end, it passes the monument to the old colliary shaft, which may help to make up for your disappointment after seeing Berw Ddu.

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KML files can be opened in Google Earth, Google Maps, GPX Viewer, and some other mapping services.


More about this area

Whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of this description, neither the author nor his fellow walkers can accept responsibility for loss or injury arising from any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in this description. This description is intended as a guide only, and you should select a route to suit your own abilities, at your own discretion. Ability requirements are a guide only. Route maps are approximated. You follow this description at your own risk.