Wales is a country with mountains, scenic valleys, and some pretty persistent rainfall. The result is an abundance of waterfalls, and rapid water courses which are a marvel to observe.
My youngest step-daughter attended university in Mid-Wales, and on our many visits there we saw some really nice examples.
One of these was at Cenarth in Carmarthenshire. In parts of the South and Midwest of America, small communities are sometimes referred to as “wide spots in the road.” Well, Cenarth is the exact opposite. It is a place where the road narrows to cross a valley bridge. It is at the bridge that one can take in the falls and the natural beauty of the place.
The falls are small, by some standards just glorified rapids, but the overall effect is beautiful and relaxing. The bridge is a nice piece of architecture as well, though some of the views of it (bridge not falls) were obscured by the vehicles of fisherman. The parking is a little expensive especially if stopping only briefly for a few photos. To be fair to the attendant, he was willing for us to pull in and pull out again, but as we decided to take some pictures we paid and stayed. There is an “honesty box” for payment as well, for when the attendant is away. There is a nice little shop with Welsh spoons, etc next to the bridge as well. In the end, it was worth a couple of quid for the view and the experience.
The Salmon Leap is nice little cafe located in a period stone building right next to the bridge and the falls car parking area. The cafe is attached to a very nice shop of the same name which offers Welsh souvenirs, and some really good quality gifts and handbags. The cafe offers teas, jacket potatoes, chips and baked goods such as Welsh cakes. The hot chocolate and tea we had was very good quality and the Welsh cakes were tasty. There is a limited amount of “transport cafe” type seating inside, but very nice tables outside with views of the falls and the bridge. It was very nice to sit in the natural views and enjoy our drinks. The staff were very friendly and helpful.
A more impressive falls is at Devil’s Bridge (Pontarfynach). It is in Ceredigion, and is another settlement which clings to the mountainsides, overlooking the valley below. We have passed through it on several occasions, and stopped for views and for drinks as we travelled. Fortunately I was vaguely familiar with it, as on one occasion while traveling on a dark winter’s night my GPS directed me to take a left turning, which would have plunged me into the valley. It didn’t seem right, so I disregarded it, and am here to tell the tale.
I have not taken a photo of the falls myself, as my late daughter, who was a talented photographer had taken some amazing shots of it. In keeping with her wishes, I will not share them here, but instead am posting a stock photo by another photographer.
There are a couple of tea rooms and a souvenir shop at Devil’s Bridge. We usually stopped in for a hot drink at The Woodland Tea Room. It is at a scenic spot and and has convenient parking near the Devil’s Bridge and falls. The shop is colourful and has touristy souvenirs, and local Welsh products. The tea room itself is clean, and offers a chance for a rest and a drink. The coffee was rather average, and the welsh-cakes were a little bland compared to others I have had. As a cultural experience, however, it was okay.
Travelling to Wales from England will either bring you into the south near Cardiff (which has a few valley falls), or through the Brecon Beacons, or Snowdonia. The latter two routes bring you into contact with several falls just off the roadway. Below are just a couple offered without comment.