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Day 3: Pistyll Rhaeadr

We didn't do much research for this holiday in advance, so we didn't have a firm plan of what to do today. Looking through suggested walks in the Wales guidebook last night, we came across instructions for a walk around the Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall. It looked pretty based on a Google image search and it was less than 40 miles away from where we're staying in Ruthin, so we decided to give it a go.

The drive was very scenic, though it did take us down some single-track roads where you just had to hope for the best that no one was coming in the opposite direction. The final road to the waterfall was a particularly narrow one, with a car park right at the end. We made it there without incident, but then found that the parking cost £5 and they wanted payment in cash. We didn't have any cash, so this was a bit of a problem! Luckily the man on the gate eventually remembered that it was possible to pay by card in the cafe, so we were able to do that instead.


The car park itself was quite scenic, though quickly filling up when we arrived some time after 11.


From the car park we followed a small path up through the trees to get our first glimpse of the waterfall.


That may not look too impressive, but that was just a small part of the waterfall. The whole thing is much bigger.


Opinion seems to vary about whether Pistyll Rhaeadr is the tallest waterfall in Wales or not. The guidebook we have says it is the tallest waterfall south of the Scottish Highlands. Wikipedia, however, seems to think that Wales has a couple of other waterfalls which are higher.


Either way, at 73m/240ft it's a pretty big one and we were impressed by it :) 


As you can see from the pictures, there were quite a lot of other people around also taking photos. We did eventually manage to climb closer to the waterfall and get some shots without anybody else in them :)


Some of the stones around the waterfall were a bit slippery so you had to be careful where you stepped, but it was worth it for the views.


It really is a beautiful waterfall and we had the added bonus of a blue sky behind it today as well.


The walking instructions in our guidebook aren't the best, but once we'd finished admiring the waterfall we attempted to follow them and found the starting point for the walk.


This led us up through the woods alongside the waterfall and then on a rather steep and rocky path up the hill behind it.


The path was a bit challenging at times, but the views were lovely.


At some point in the walk I realised that I'd actually been here before, many years ago when I was in the hiking club at university.


Although the walk today was quite steep, it definitely wasn't as challenging as the one I'd done back then :D 


Eventually we made it to the highest point of the walk, which was the top of the falls.


Tim went to a viewpoint near the edge to take photos of the waterfall going over the top.


Personally I was too scared of the drop :D 


It was a long way down from here!


From this point onwards we struggled to follow the instructions from the guidebook walk, but it didn't matter because we'd spotted what looked like a nice fairly flat path that we could use to construct our own circular walk.


From the top of the falls we had to retrace our steps downhill a bit towards this path.


From there we crossed over a small bridge and continued around the side of the hill.


We now had a view back towards the opposite side of the stream, where we'd been climbing up to the top of the falls. We could just make out the path we'd followed, zigzagging up the hillside.


We also got a tiny glimpse of the waterfall in the distance.


As we followed the path around, the views of the waterfall became clearer.


From this distance you could really tell what a big drop it is.


The path eventually took us back down to the road on which we'd driven up the falls, enabling us to stroll back to the car. We were pretty hungry at this point so we drove down the road for a while to a small village called Llangynog, where we found a pub with a sunny beer garden where we could sit outside and get some food. The views weren't bad from here either :)


Overall it was another really fun day in Wales :) 

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