Long Walk: Takes minimum of 45 minutes
Along the Nature Trail you will follow in the footsteps of the monks of the past and enjoy views of the spectacular 300 ft waterfalls deep withing the Rheidol gorge.
After seeing the three bridges built one on top of the other, begin your walk through the peaceful wooded gorge taking care as you descend down the rugged path into the gorge. After 10 minutes the steps become more uneven (see picture below).
Head further down the steps until you reach Jacobs Ladder; 100 continuous steep steps. Please take care as you descend, some steps are uneven and slippy after rainfall. Handrails are on both sides of the steps for your assistance.
At the bottom you will be half way around the walk. Cross over the old circular bridge at the bottom of the waterfalls and begin your ascent up the other side admiring the waterfalls from close proximity.
Stop and rest at Robber’s Cave; an old hide out next to the Waterfalls and learn about it’s history. Continue further up the steps taking them at your own pace.
The Nature Trail is within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (S.S.S.I) and is home to many types of mosses and lichens. It is also an excellent example of an ancient Sessile Oak woodland. A guide book indicating interesting aspects of the Nature Trail is on sale at the entrance kiosk when attendant is on duty. Alternatively you can print your own from the guide book page.
Whilst catching your breath at the end of your walk, take time to use the Free Viewing Telescope. Enjoy a close up view of the Gyfarllwyd Falls on the Rheidol river, the surrounding woodland and distant Cambrian Mountains or a Red Kite soaring high above. The exit is opposite the Hafod Hotel.
If the Nature Trail is too long or steep for you, then take a few minutes to descend down to the river upstream of the waterfalls. Here you can see how the force of the river Mynach has carved beautiful, large pot holes into the rock. From this view point the Three Bridges built one on top of the other tower overhead and are an awesome sight.
The Punchbowl walk has been extended to include a seating area with views of the 3 Bridges. Access for wheelchairs and pushchairs is through a side gate and a code will be given on payment to an attendant. ( Please note that his access is not available during the winter or when the attendants are not on duty). The tarmac path in this area is level thus making it suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The nature corner has bird boxes and feeders and nature habitat piles; look out for the delightful selection of fairy doors. Use the wind-up box to hear the story of Devil’s Bridge and the history that surrounds the area. On display, there is a selection of old postcards and photos, and a section of the original Victorian balustrade dated 1901.
From this area, there are steps leading down to the Lower Punchbowl viewing point where you can see the turbulent water crashing against the worn-out rock. Look up from here to get the full expanse of the 3 Bridges built one on top of the other.
Whichever walk you choose, please remember that suitable footwear is essential.
CUSTOMER WARNING – Due to the geology of the Rheidol Gorge, the walks are not necessarily suitable for the elderly, disabled, asthmatic or for those who suffer from vertigo or heart conditions. The amount of steps makes it unsuitable for pushchairs or for carrying babies in a sling or back pack. If you are not used to physical exertion then this walk could be too strenuous for you. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please read our trip advisor reviews for customer comments
An access statement is available on request at the entrance or read it directly from our website.
Dogs must be kept on leads at all times and are the owner’s risk and responsibility. Small dogs can be carried through the turnstiles, but if you have a large dog it is best to visit during the times when the Attendant is present.
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