Wales Trip Part 1 - Waterfall Country
Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Well what can I say ? It's been one of the most amazing weeks i've ever had. So much has happened I will have to split this blog into several parts to get it all in !
So to start with I thought i'd do a guide to some of the stunning Waterfalls in Wales and how to navigate them and shoot them.
So to start off with Wales has so many waterfalls where should you start ? Well how about if I told you that you could go to one place and see four epic waterfalls in a short two or three mile stretch ? Sounds pretty good eh ? So what if I then told you,you could see another four amazing waterfalls a couple of miles from where you were parked too ? Too good to be true ? Not at all, this place isn't called Waterfall Country for nothing !
The Vale of Neath has more waterfalls than you can poke a stick at and the eight that I have just mentioned is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many waterfalls close by but to start with I'm going to talk about the two best known trails as you can do them both in a day and see 8 of the very best falls in Wales and be home in time for dinner like a boss !
The Elidir Trail
So when should you go for these ? Well anytime really as they are all worth seeing but it stands to reason if you want the very best from them then you should go after a prolonged spell of heavy rain to ensure they are in full flow. Also the seasons make a massive difference, Spring and summer bring their own special moods to the waterfalls, with green all around you and wildlife a plenty. It will also bring the main bulk of the tourists who visit them in droves and scare the hell out us anti social creatures called photographers.
Autumn is in my mind the best time as the trees are taking on amazing colours and there will be fallen leaves resting on the base of the waterfalls which makes a really attractive picture.
Winter has its place in terms of the very high flow rate you will get and the lack of people but it's a very sparse shot with no leaves and only really comes into its own in ice cold conditions in my mind, plus the paths have taken a battering over the summer & autumn months and can be an absolute mud pit and make it a less enjoyable route.
Now I have mentioned go after heavy rain, and this is probably the best time but this year (my third visit to these falls) I decided that I still wanted to shoot autumn but liked the idea of having a lighter flow on the rivers as it would give me access to different areas that I couldn't normally shoot and it turned out it worked very well for me so it is worth considering.
This brings me nicely onto another point here, Foot ware. You will not do these walks in anything but good quality walking boots or wellington boots due to the mud and often slippery rock banks. For your own safety don't even try. The best thing in my mind is wellingtons as they will enable you to access parts others can't reach and should score you a few bonus shots but I have to say beware as this is a very fast flowing river and care should be taken if you decide to put your feet in it, one slip could lead to a dangerous situation so try and make sure someone is with you and you are watching out for each other, plus it never hurts to share costs on a trip.
To start with you will need to get to the town of Glynneath and head for post code SA11 5NR, If you are driving from outside of Wales then don't forget to take cash with you for the Severn bridge toll which in a car will cost you £6.60 and more if you go in a large van etc... They don't accept credit or debit cards and pulling off the motorway to find a cash machine is a major pain.
This postcode will take you to the Waterfall Centre which is now sadly closed for good but the entrance to the first trail is here. There is another entrance to the trail but I'm not gonna give all the edges away, you will have to hunt it down if you want it ;)
You will start off following the Elidir trail which has 4 of the very best falls on it a