Frequently Asked Questions
“Can I bring my dog?”
Yes but it should be kept on a lead and be fit enough to cope with all the steps.
It is also easier to go through when there is an attendant on duty so that you can enter through the side gate. Large dogs can find entering through the coin-operated turnstiles a squeeze.
“Is it ok to bring a pushchair?”
The WATERFALLS nature trail is not suitable for a pushchair due to the rough terrain and the 675 steps. However, if you feel that your child could manage the steps or you are welcome to leave your pushchair with the attendant at the entrance kiosk.
The PUNCHBOWL Upper View point & Seating Area is suitable for a pushchair when accessed through the wooden panel gate. Pay at the Waterfalls entrance kiosk to obtain the gate code. However, from the Seating Area, access down to the Lower Viewing point is via 300 steps.
“I’ve had a hip operation and my husband has a weak heart, would you recommend we attempt the Waterfalls Nature Trail Walk?”
It really is a challenging walk and anyone with a health issue should really consider carefully whether or not they should attempt the walk. There is the option to walk as far as the viewing gazebo to see the waterfalls and then return back to the entrance the same way you came. This will take about 30 mins and you won’t have so many steps to climb. Alternatively, you could do the Punchbowl walk which is shorter. You won’t see the waterfalls but you will see the 3 bridges built one on top of the other and you can enjoy the Heritage Display and Seating area.
“I’m on holiday and I only have flip flops with me.”
We really recommend that you wear walking shoes or at least trainers as the Waterfalls Nature Trail path is rough and uneven. You would be fine if you visit the Punchbowl Heritage Display and seating area with the Upper Viewpoint
“Is there somewhere we can have a picnic on the nature trail walk?”
Yes, there are a couple of picnic tables 200 meters from the start of the walk. There are also benches in various places around the walk. You can also sit in the Punchbowl Heritage Display area and use the picnic tables.
“Can I pay by card?”
Yes, you can pay by credit or debit card when there is an attendant on duty but we do not accept American Express. However, at other times, you will need £1 coins to put into the entrance turnstile. From December 2022 you will be able to pay by card at the new turnstiles using the ‘Tap and Pay’ system
“Will the walk take long?”
We suggest that you allow at least 45 minutes for the Waterfalls Nature Trail walk. Some people can do it quicker but if you are taking photos and enjoying the scenery then allow a bit extra. Other people find the walk very challenging and it takes them over an hour. Your fitness levels and health play a big part in how long the walk takes. Once you have paid to enter then you can spend as long as you want on the walk. Bring your camera, or art pad or just enjoy the scenery and listen to the bird song.
“I’m coming up on the Vale of Rheidol steam train, will I have time to do the walk?”
The train is a great way to travel up to Devil’s Bridge but you are limited to their timetable. The orange timetable times only allow you 1 hour in Devil’s Bridge so if you want to do the waterfalls walk then you need to leave the train station quickly on arrival and head left down the hill, past the hotel and walk over the bridge to the entrance kiosk. The exit is opposite the Hafod hotel. The Yellow and green timetable times allow you longer but they only run in the high season. If you feel that you won’t have time then you can visit the Punchbowl Heritage Display area. Use the train station customer loos before leaving the station if possible as there can be long queues for our loo when the train comes in.
“Where should I park my car?”
At the entrance to the attraction, there is a free carpark which holds about 35 cars. If this is full then there are several other places that you can park within walking distance such as the Woodlands Caravan Park and Tearooms or the Hafod hotel carpark. You will need to pay if you use the train station carpark.
“Will I get lost on the walk?”
The path is easy to follow and it is a circular walk. When there is an attendant on duty you will be given a map. This also has the legend on the back so you can read about why Devils Bridge got its name.
“Can you go on the walk if it’s raining?”
Many people enjoy the walk on a rainy day. As long as you are suitably dressed and take care you will be fine. Some of the steps are slate and can get slippery so use the handrails provided. It’s actually quite sheltered under the canopy of the ancient oak woodland that the path leads you down. There is a viewing gazebo that you can shelter in.
“When is the best time of year to visit?”
The most perfect time to visit is on a nice day after a few days of rainfall. Then the falls can take your breath away as the spray hits your face when standing on the viewing platform. However, the nature trail is beautiful and interesting at any time of the year. The leaves in the summer hide some of the full views of the waterfall but the daylight shining on the green leaves is beautiful. In Autumn the Oak, Larch, Beech, Elm, Fir and Holly create a stunning palette of colours. In winter there can be icicles clinging to the edges of the waterfall and from the roof of Robbers cave however, the paths are very slippery when we have heavy frosts and snow. In Spring the new leaves are vivid and fresh and it’s a stunning time of year to visit.
“What is the last entrance time?”
After the attendant has gone there is still access to the path through the coin-operated turnstile. However, the paths are not lit at night so you must not enter at least 1 hour before dusk. You won’t get mobile reception once you are at the bottom of the gorge if you need to call for help.
“Why are there 3 bridges built one on top of the other?”
It really is an awesome sight to see. The first bridge was built for people walking who needed a quick way across the gorge. The middle bridge is slightly wider and was built so that horses and carriages and the first of the motor vehicles could cross over. By 1901 a stronger wider bridge was required to withstand the weight of heavy cars and lorries. As you stand and look at the 3 bridges try and imagine the old road levels and the type of people that used the bridges.
“Why is there a waterfall?”
The waterfall was formed due to the river Rheidol changing course and joining up with the river Mynach. Over many years the river Rhiedol had already carved through the rock creating the gorge as it flowed towards the sea in Aberystwyth. The river Mynach tumbles off its shallow river bed down to the Rheidol river bed 300 feet below.
“Can I swim in the waterfall?”
NO, NO, NO & NO ! It would be very dangerous, and if you hurt yourself it isn’t fair on everyone that would have the very difficult job of helping you out of the water and back up the gorge. In fact, please don’t climb over any of the safety handrails; keep to the path.
“What is a punch bowl?”
The punch bowl is where the river has carved round pothole shapes in the rock. If you look closely you can see different layers in the rock.
“Why is Devil’s Bridge also called Pontarfynach?”
Pontarfynach is the Welsh name for the village and the translation is Monks Bridge. It is believed that monks actually built the bottom bridge so that they had an easier route to Strata Florida in Pontrhydfendigaid where there was a thriving Abbey. The name Devil’s Bridge was conjured up to attract tourists to the area, and it worked. Visitors have been coming here even before the top bridge was built. The Victorians would pay for a guided walk to see the waterfalls. There were no handrails in those days and it was extremely dangerous. Gradually steps were built and handrails were provided.
“Why do we have to pay?”
The Waterfalls attraction, like any park or heritage site, has maintenance costs as well as rates, insurance and admin fees to pay. The small entrance fee is also used to help keep the paths, railings, viewpoints, trees, steps and benches in good condition. Our local staff are employed to help with your customer experience by offering you guidance on what to expect on the walk and offering you a map of the walk.
“Is there anywhere to get food in Devil’s Bridge?”
There is an ice cream and gift kiosk at the entrance to the walk which is open during the main season. At the exit to the walk, there is the Hafod hotel and pub ( opening hours are available from their website www.thehafod.co.uk ). There is also the Woodlands Tearooms just 300 meters from the falls carpark and the Two Hoots tearoom at the train station.
“What else is there to do in Devil’s Bridge?”
Devil’s Bridge is quite small. During the main season, there is a chocolate shop to visit where you can see the chocolates being made. You could also call in at the steam train station and watch the train arriving or leaving the station and visit the Pine Marten hut. Alternatively, you can stand on the small bridge and wave as it passes underneath. Bring your tent, tourer or campervan and stay at The Woodlands Caravan Park located just 5 minutes walk from the Waterfalls.
“Where can I buy fuel ?”
The nearest petrol station is in Ponterwyd which is 3 miles away on the A44. It also sells groceries and is open from 8am until 9pm
“What mobile networks work in Devil’s Bridge ?”
Currently, only EE and Three provide a network in the village. In case of an emergency, you can ask the Waterfalls entrance kiosk staff to use the work phone.
“Is there a post office or post box in Devil’s Bridge ?”
Sadly our village PO closed but there are two post boxes. One is situated outside the Hafod hotel and the other is situated on the outside of The Woodlands Tearooms.
“Where can I find more information about the area? “
There is a lot of information to be found on the area from the websites
www.pumlumon.org www.visitwales.com www.visitmidwales.co.uk
Got any more questions? Give us a call on 01970 890233 or email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to answer your query.