Nant-y-Ffrith waterfall

Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here. Me and my human did this walk in early December 2020 on a wet Sunday morning. The rain had stopped early in the morning so we thought that we would investigate an area that was new to us. After a short drive to the village of Bwlchgwyn, which claims to be the highest village in Wales, we parked up at the viewpoint next to the war memorial.

Bwlchgwyn claims to be the highest village in Wales

From the viewpoint the site of a WW2 air crash, a mile away, is commemorated by a large plaque. Also, a memorial cross stands to commemorate those killed in the two world wars. Our short walk was to take us into Coed Mawr and to the Nant-y-Ffrith waterfall. We dropped into the valley from the parking spot down a rather steep and slippery slope. The big feller struggled to descend the slope and took an age. He was cursing that he didn’t take the much easier road option. He let me run around off-lead because I was too eager to sniff around the gorse and bushes. It was only a short drop to the minor road that would lead us into the woodland and my dad was relieved to reach it.

War Memorial
Airmen plaque
From the viewpoint

After a few minutes we left the tarmac to descend gradually down a footpath amongst the trees. Large swathes of forest had been felled and the trees stacked in piles by the forest tracks. Quite a few trees had also fallen across the path during the recent high winds. They created a fun obstacle course for me as I jumped over and ducked under the fallen branches. My human, however, managed to bang his head on one low branch. He has a terrible potty mouth at times!

Tree felling
Forestry working
Coed Mawr
Fallen trees

The path led us further down the valley leaving the conifers behind into a deciduous woodland. We could hear the rushing of the water from the waterfall so we knew that it was close by. There is a small cave on the side of the path that I had a quick sniff around. We soon came to a point where we could see the base of the waterfall through the trees. A few moments later we could see the entire falls. The three tier falls looked stunning after the recent rain. My human took his photographs while I had a mooch around the undergrowth. Once he was satisfied we retraced our steps along the muddy, slippery tree-root strewn footpath.

Cave just off the path
First view of the falls

During Victorian times the waterfall was a popular tourist attraction along with the nearby Nant-y-Ffrith Hall. The hall was demolished just after the Second World War and only a few stones from the building remain. A flight of steps used to line the side of the falls to enable visitors to view the tumbling water. This no longer exists leaving the area to return to its more natural appearance.

Nearing the waterfall
Nant-y-Ffrith waterfall

We walked back to the footpath and took a turning that led us to the top of the falls over a narrow stone bridge. To the left of the bridge we came across a couple of lifesize bears guarding a flight of steps. My human said that they were made of wood so I wasn’t scared. It was a bit of a shock though so, if you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise!

Bridge over the falls
They don’t frighten me!

We turned back and headed uphill past the bridge to continue our walk above the falls. The walk took us along a circular route into Black Wood and Nant Wood on the gentle slopes of Pen-Llan-y-gwr. Walking through Avenuw Wood and back to the bridge above the falls.

On the way out of the valley

After crossing the bridge the track climbed up the valley side until we reached a small disused silica quarry. Quarrying and mining has taken place in the area since Roman times. I had a sprint around the quarry while my human had a mooch around. We like mooching. The path out of the quarry led to a small road on the edge of the village but not before passing along a narrow section with a large windblown hedge. It was fine for me but the big feller struggled to creep along under the bushes. Hilarious!

The quarry
Inside the quarry
Dodgy footpath

We were back at the car within a few minutes just as the rain started again. We had timed the walk just right inbetween rain showers. We were soon back home as the wind and the rain picked up again. Till next time!


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