A beautiful adventure exploring the vast and magical countryside of the Welsh valleys and 'Waterfall Country'. Connect with nature, fresh spring water and many sheep along the way.
EuropeUnited Kingdom6 days / August 2020
Highs & Lows
Sleeping and living in a traditional Mongolian Yurt & the wonders of the Welsh Waterfall Country
The freezing cold water & difficulty navigating local buses.
This trip will enable you to dive deeply into nature, both figuratively and literally. It will give you a chance to practice your Gaelic pronunciation, camp in the most serene countryside and visit, as well as ride (yes, ride the rapids) of the most majestic waterfalls you had no idea could be found in the UK countryside.
I have always liked and have been in search of these plans in which you have much contact with nature, so this time could not be the exception.
My idea was to go to another country because I didn't expect to find something so special in this area of my country.
So it was a very pleasant surprise to know that there are these places where you remember that you only need a good night of moon and fire under the stars.
If you are looking for an incredibly relaxing and unique camping experience in the Welsh countryside then this is the place for you. Staying in an Eco Retreat campsite on Annie's land, you will experience life in a Mongolian Yurt, and I can't tell you how special it feels to sleep in this circular cosy haven with the warm glow of a fire. The Yurt is well stocked with blankets, logs for the fire, equipment for self catering and this really allows you to unwind from the busy hustle and bustle of everyday life. Nearby are walking trails for you to hike and climb up into the valley, as well as a local pub to get some comfort food and a local cider. Throughout the walking trails you will see many farms, animals and reach viewpoints overlooking the rolling hills. After watching a dramatic sunset you can retire to the Yurt for one of the many board games and then roast marshmallows over an open fire whilst watching the stars. Whilst staying here, the couple managing the space gave us great insights to local trails, how the space had been built and the origins of the Mongolian yurt we stayed in. This trip is best if you have a car as the local buses running from the nearest train station are very few and far between, meaning if you don't time it correctly you will need to source a local taxi in what is a very quiet and remote town.
Staying in the adorable town of Pontneddfechan, in a beautiful cottage that has been refurbished with all your modern amenities for a cosy stay is the perfect way to explore the 'Waterfall Country' in Wales. Pontneddfechan is a small town on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park and boasts dramatic countryside views and is the entrance of many trails which guide you to lushious green forest and powerful triple tiered waterfalls, I had no idea this was available in the UK! Arriving in this small town is a challenge without a car as you will need to navigate the local buses which are not very frequent and therefore require planning rom the local train station of Neath. But once you arrive you can check out the local pub for some warming food before the following morning of adrenaline packed exploration. Rising early, with a company names Adventure Wales, we scheduled ahead of our trip, a full day of 'canyoning'. This involves walking, swimming, sliding and rock climbing through a series of rapids and waterfalls as you cascade down the dramatic and impressive canyon. The adventure is not for the faint hearted and definitely gets your blood pumping. You are given all the equipment and safety protocols you need, and the guides make the day super fun with games and challenges along the way, finishing with an optional 50ft jump into the Silencio Waterfall which leaves you on a high for hours. This park is definitely worth another visit on one of your other days throughout the stay as it also includes many trails and walks from 2-5 hours which are so beautiful and involve many immersive views of the incredible natural wonders around. After each day, we retired to the cottage to sit by the fire and our Airbnb also had a beautiful tub which was such a treat after the freezing cold canyon waters.
Q & A
What would you have changed?
If possible, I would have hired a car or driven to the locations as although trains and public transport were doable, it made access to all the nearby natural spaces tricky and time consuming.
Local pub food is great, not many vegetarian or vegan options at all but stock up in the towns on route and make full use of the kitchens in your accomodation.
Tips you would give a friend?
Stock up on food, in both locations there are very limited shops and therefore it is necessary you bring all the food and drinks you would like with you for ease. Also hire a car or have a local taxi number ready in case you need them.
Bring with you some sportswear that is comfy to walk in all day and some shoes you don't mind getting very wet or muddy. Definitely shoes with a good grip are needed and some swimwear to wear under your wetsuit for the adventure activities.
Be aware of local bus schedules and train times if you are using public transport, this will dramatically help your coordination getting to and from the destinations as they are very remote and not well conneccted.