Waterfall Country

Located right on the south-westerly edge of the National Park this area is truly one of the splendours of Wild Wales and amongst the most beautiful and popular parts of the National Park. Here the rivers Mellte, Hepste, Pyrddin and Nedd-fechan wind their way down deep, tree-lined gorges, over a series of dramatic waterfalls, before joining to form the River Neath.

Waterfall Country is a very special place to visit with many things to see
and do. This area is of international importance in terms of the wildlife it
supports and it has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The area receives around 160,000 visitors a year which includes walkers,
outdoor groups, photographers, climbers, cavers and canoeists. As a result of the immense pressure this fragile site has been suffering. Many of the paths and areas around the waterfalls have become heavily eroded. For the last two years Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority,Natural Resources Wales and the Countryside Council for Wales have been working closely to try and undo the damage.

The Wildlife of Waterfall Country

The water creates a humid and wet atmosphere and the steep sides shelter the area from sun and wind. This warm and wet environment is filled with plant life covering every available surface. It is a Welsh rainforest, far more scarce than the more familiar tropical rainforest. There are only a handful of places like it anywhere in the world.

Waterfall Country is a magical place, but also a fragile place. The mosses, ferns and other plants all cling onto rocks and trees and can easily be dislodged by passing feet. All visitors are asked to keep to marked footpaths and to take care not to damage trees or moss covered rocks. With your help, we can keep this place special for future generations. Visitors to the site can play a part in looking after this stunning area. For most of us the biggest contribution we can make is to:

– keep to the footpaths

– take litter home with us

– avoid disturbance to plants and wildlife

– leave fallen wood alone

– not cut trees for firewood

History and Geology

Waterfall Country is an area of historical significance and also falls within the Fforest Fawr Geopark.

There are around 130 known historic sites within Waterfall Country, ranging from the hillfort at Craig y Ddinas, the industrial buildings of the Glynneath Gunpowder Works to Sarn Helen – an ancient Roman road running between Coelbren and Brecon Gaer forts – that skirts the north-western edge of Waterfall Country.

The industrial remains of the area are relatively rich. The industrial sites were located close to their source of material or power.

Other Useful information:

Car parking is available at:

Dinas Rock car park, Pontneddfechan. At Glyn-neath follow the signs on the B4242 for Pontneddfechan. Once in the village, the road forks next to the Craig-y-Dinas pub – take the road directly in front of you and not the road heading up the hill.