Gwaun Hepste, near Merthyr Tydfil

What's here

Welcome

Gwaun Hepste is set within Waterfall Country in the 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.

You can walk right behind the thundering curtain of water at the famous Sgwd yr Eira waterfall (which means “fall of snow” in Welsh).

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 Brecon Beacons 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.

Waterfall Country

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

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

Here four rivers wind their way down deep, tree-lined gorges, over a series of waterfalls, before joining to form the River Neath.

Waterfall Country lies within the triangle formed by the villages of Hirwaun, Ystradfellte and Pontneddfechan, and is largely within woodland jointly managed by Natural Resources Wales and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

Go to the Brecon Beacons National Park website for more places to visit in Waterfall Country.

Closures and diversions

  • Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations.
  • We may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice, due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff.
  • Please always follow any instructions on site and any temporary diversion signs.

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 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 or coins (if you pay by coins make sure you have the correct money with you as the machine does not give change and 1p and 2p coins are not accepted).

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

0300 065 3000

enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

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