Gwaun Hepste, near Merthyr Tydfil

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Welcome

Gwaun Hepste is set within Waterfall Country in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park.

This popular car park is the starting point for the Four Falls Trail, the legendary circular trail to the woodland gorges where four of the area’s most spectacular waterfalls are found.

The main paths on the Four Falls Trail are wide and easy to follow but the optional signposted sections to the best views of each waterfall follow narrow, steep paths which are rocky and can be slippery.

Walking trail

The walking trail is waymarked from start to finish.

Look out for the information panel at the start of the trail.

Find out about walking trail grades.

Four Falls Trail

  • Grade: Strenuous
  • Distance: 5¼ miles/8.4 kilometres
  • Time: 3-4 hours
  • Trail information: The main circular trail is waymarked with red arrows and follows paths that are generally wide, and in most places have a stone surface. The gradients are gentle and there are very few steps. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the first waterfall. The waterfall link paths are waymarked with green arrows. These are optional there-and-back routes to views of the waterfalls which follow paths that are narrow, unsurfaced and slippery in places, with many steps. They are particularly rough and rocky next to the waterfalls. Wear sturdy footwear and be aware of unguarded steep drops, especially when taking photos. Don’t be tempted to swim in the water – it can be cold and fast flowing.

A legendary circular trail through woodland gorges taking in the four most popular waterfalls.

Other routes

Four Falls Trail (from Cwm Porth car park)

You can also join the Four Falls Trail from the car park at Cwm Porth (Ordnance Survey grid reference SN 928 124) which is managed by the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority.

This is a pay and display car park with an information point and toilets.

For more information, go to the Brecon Beacons National Park website. 

Sgwd yr Eira Trail (from Dinas Rock car park)

There is a slightly shorter, direct route to Sgwd-yr-Eira waterfall from our car park at Dinas Rock.

Keep safe in Waterfall Country 

Gwaun Hepste is in a popular part of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park known as Waterfall Country.

We want you to return home safely after your visit to Waterfall Country.

Serious accidents do happen to visitors here and there have been several fatalities in recent years.

You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of any children and animals with you during your visit.

Please note:

  • You are at risk of life-changing injuries or death if you decide to enter the water.
  • Don’t be tempted to jump into a pool or wade into a river for a swim as the water is cold, deep and fast flowing with slippery rocks, strong currents and hidden hazards.
  • Never take part in activities like gorge walking, canyoning or scrambling unless you are trained to do so or are under the supervision of a registered and licensed operator.
  • Wear walking boots.
  • Use extreme caution around water and keep on the waymarked paths as they offer you the safest route - going beyond the waymarked trails is highly hazardous.

For advice and tips to help you plan your visit here go to Visiting our places safely.

Exploring Waterfall Country

Nowhere else in Wales is there such a richness and diversity of waterfalls within such a small area as Waterfall Country.

Here the rivers Mellte, Hepste, Pyrddin, Nedd Fechan and Sychryd wind their way down deep, tree-lined gorges, over a series of dramatic waterfalls, before joining to form the River Neath.

Whether you are looking for a whole day adventure or an hour’s stroll you should be able to find a route suitable for you.

Waterfall Country lies largely within woodland jointly managed by Natural Resources Wales and the National Park Authority. Together we manage the paths and help you explore and enjoy this unique area.

Go to the National Park's website for more places to visit in Waterfall Country.

Changes to visitor facilities

See the top of this webpage for details of any planned closures or other changes to visitor facilities here.

For your safety, always follow instructions from staff and signs including those for trail diversions or closures.

We may divert or close trails whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations and we may need to close other visitor facilities temporarily.

In extreme weather, we may close facilities at short notice due to the risk of injury to visitors and staff.

How to get here

Location

Gwaun Hepste is 10 miles north west of Merthyr Tydfil.

Gwaun Hepste is in the county of Powys.

Ordnance Survey map

Gwaun Hepste is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map OL 12.

The OS grid reference is SN 935 123.

Directions

Take A465 from Merthyr Tydfil towards Neath.

After 5 miles, take the A4059 at roundabout towards Brecon.

After 3¼ miles, turn left towards Ystradfellte.

Bear left at next two junctions, following waterfall signs to Gwaun Hepste car park which is on the left.

Parking

Gwaun Hepste is a pay and display car park, managed by the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

The parking charge is £5.

The ticket machine takes cards.

Overnight parking is not permitted.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Aberdare.

For details of public transport go to the Traveline Cymru website. 

Contact details

There are no staff at this location.

Contact our customer team for general enquiries during office hours, Monday to Friday.

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Other places in South East Wales

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