Snowdonia is well known for its dramatic landscape, particularly its mountains. And where you get mountains, you often get waterfalls! Here are five of Snowdonia’s waterfalls that you won’t want to miss…
There’s something really quite magical about a waterfall. Even seen from a distance, that cascade of crystal-clear mountain water is rather a stirring sight.
So imagine how much more magical it is to actually visit one close up! In Snowdonia there are plenty to choose from, but in this post we’re going to focus on five of our favourites. If you don’t see your favourite Snowdonia waterfall listed, you could tell us and our readers about it in the comments section below.
Swallow Falls has been a favourite spot for tourists and locals alike, for many years. Its real name is Rhaeadr Ewynnol, which in English means ‘foaming waterfall’. And it is pretty foamy, in fairness! As you make your way down the steps towards the rushing waters of the Afon Llugwy river, the sound of water crashing against rocks prepares you for the sight of the water swirling and foaming as it rushes past. It’s a really wonderful experience. You’ll find Swallow Falls just on the outskirts of Betws-y-Coed, a very popular village at the heart of Snowdonia where there’s plenty to see and do – why not make a weekend of it?
Conwy Falls is also close to Betws-y-Coed, situated in the Conwy Falls Forest Park near Penmachno. This is a really magical spot, so its other name, “The Fairy Glen”, should come as no surprise! The Fairy Glen is a favourite spot for photographers, and you’ll understand why when you visit: the greenness of the landscape, the sheer magic of the place, means the occasional toadstool inhabited by winged little people wouldn’t look at all out of place! And if all that isn’t magical enough, the site also has a cafe designed by none other than Clough Williams-Ellis, the creator of Portmeirion Village.
Further north, just by the village of Abergwyngregyn, is another well-loved waterfall – Aber Falls. At 120ft it deserves its true name, Rheadr Fawr (Large Waterfall). Part of the river Afon Goch (Red River), Aber Falls gushes down over igneous rock in the foothills of the Carneddau mountain range – home of the famous ponies. One of the interesting things about this waterfall is the close proximity of the remains of Bronze Age settlements, which include a smithy, an excavated roundhouse and several standing stones and cairns.
Ceunant Mawr Waterfall
Another large and impressive waterfall is Ceunant Mawr Waterfall, easily reached on foot from the centre of the village of Llanberis. At over a hundred feet tall Ceunant Mawr Waterfall is pretty impressive. Plunging over two stages into a gorge, this waterfall is both dramatic and beautiful. It’s also within walking distance of the Padarn Country Park and the start of the Llanberis Path, one of the six official paths up Snowdon. It’s said that the best view of Ceunant Mawr Waterfall is from the Snowdon Mountain Railway as it crosses the viaduct, so if you’re planning a trip on the train keep a look out for the falls!
Right at the opposite end of Snowdonia you’ll find the final waterfall in our list – Pistyll Cain Waterfall, which you’ll find in Coed y Brenin Forest Park, near Dolgellau. It should be easy enough to find, as firstly it’s one of a pair (the other being Rhaeadr Mawddach) and secondly it’s close to the Waterfall and Goldmine Trail – so that should give you a clue as to its whereabouts! There’s a great viewing point from which to watch the falls, namely the iron bridge, which very handily stands a few metres from the front of the waterfall – so make sure you charge up your camera before you visit, as you’ll find plenty of photo opportunities here!