Known as Rhaeadr Fawr in Welsh, the waterfall measures almost 40 metres in height, formed by the Afon Goch flowing down the Carneddau foothills. They are found a short walk (roughly two miles) south of the village of Abergwyngregyn, and serve as the major attraction of the area. Well worth a visit, the walk is as enjoyable as seeing the falls.
Roughly in between the towns of Conwy and Bangor – and only five miles east of the latter – you will find the tiny historical village of Abergwyngregyn. The community as a whole stretches almost 12 square miles around the village, but the population remains a mere 240.
Abergwyngregyn, often shortened out of convenience to just “Aber”, is a beautiful place, full of lush countryside and wild mountains, and lies less than a mile from the sea. The village has an important defensive history, and was the seat of the last native Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. It is also home to a defensive enclosure dating back to before the Romans, Maes y Gaer, which offers fantastic views reaching out to the Isle of Man, as well as Pen y Bryn, an impressive stone manor house dating back to at least the early 17th century.
Aber was one of just ten sites chosen during the Welsh Cultural Heritage Initiative of 2009 as being of "iconic significance to Welsh culture, heritage and nationhood". However, none of these factors quite explain why the village welcomes an astounding 50,000 visitors each year. What does explain those tourists, however, is the beautiful Aber Falls.
The walk to the falls is a lovely one that takes you past Ty Pwmp – make sure you stop in for a visit to see the exhibition, which will teach you about the fascinating history of Aber and of the Princes of Gwynedd who held court there. It’s not an overly difficult walk, taking you through some beautiful woodland areas, but people with walking difficulties or wheelchairs may find it rather challenging.
If this is the case, however, there is no need to fret: there is a car park at Bont Newydd, much closer to the falls. From there, it is just a short walk along a well-signposted track. This makes it much easier to see the spectacular falls for yourself. There’s also some public toilets and picnic benches here, too, should you wish to stay for a while.
When you reach the main viewing area, you can even venture into the plunge pool below for a quick dip. Do be aware, however, that the water here is cold, even in the middle of the summer!
Aber lies on the North Wales Path, a 60-mile route that covers the majority of the North Welsh coastline, meaning you have plenty of opportunity to explore. The coastal towns of Conwy, Bangor and Llandudno are nearby, as is Anglesey, so you’re spoilt for choice in term of sun, sand and sea. Also close by is the Snowdonia National Park, full of wildlife, plants, and mountaintop vistas. So if you’re looking to explore the area, why not click here to find out more about our self-catering cottages?
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