The Valley of Waterfalls.

A short while ago a visit to our son in South Wales provided the ideal opportunity to pause in our headlong rush (!) down the `Heads of the Valleys Road` and visit the National trust property of Aberdulais. This site of extensive local industry culminating in the famous tin-plate works is worth a visit if the odd hour is available as it provides an insight into a time not-so-long-gone as well as good views of the local dipper population. The ruins are not extensive but a good feel for the place in the 1800`s can be gained from reading the extensive information boards and the use of a little imagination. It is such a shame that little or no imagination was in evidence when so much was swept away in this historically significant area and replaced with brutalist concrete roads and bridges...

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The waterfalls are attractive and must be impressive in full spate; however, note the information board telling of the dynamiting of this lovely gorge for rock...

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The waterfall at Aberdulais.
As we had not spent as much time as expected at Aberdulais we decided to visit one of the many other beauty spots in this Valley of Waterfalls. We had learned of Melincourt Falls from the helpful volunteer at Aberdulais and this provided a pleasant one-hour return stroll to an impressive waterfall.

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Melincwrt (Melincourt) Falls

The following day (after discussing possible walks with our son) we decided that a visit to the river, waterfalls and archaeological remains of Pontneddfachan in the South Brecons would be an ideal walk in the dull weather that had once again followed us to Wales...

The Elidir Trail first follows the route of an 19th Century tramway with some of the old stone sleepers still being visible at the start of the route. (The remains of the silica mine and mill can be reached later). The main waterfall, Sgwd Gwladus, at a height of six meters is one of the most impressive sights on this walk and is not what one would normally associate with the hills of The Brecon Beacons.

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Stone sleepers on The Elidir Trail.
The river provides a perfect home for Goosander, Dipper and Grey Wagtail; all easily visible with a little effort and seemingly oblivious to the (often loud) walkers on the path above the river.

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Sgwd Gwladus Waterfall.

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A female Goosander says something rude (in Welsh)?
At the `end` of the trail at the bridge (pont) it became clear that the standard of driving here is no better than anywhere else; several pieces of the bridge parapet providing a perch for a Grey Wagtail in the river...

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Perhaps a return visit next year will provide the opportunity to photograph was is clearly an attractive bridge when intact.
Still, time was moving on so we did not stay long and retraced our steps part of the way before striking up the adjoining valley to inspect the remains of the Silica Mine and associated mill building - all now sadly overgrown and in ruins, pausing to photograph the river and other `falls on the way down. 

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So, another enjoyable walk came to an end; birds, waterfalls, archeology, a perfect combination.

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