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Pistyll Rhaeadr


Pistyll Rhaeadr is a beautiful and magical waterfall in the Berwyn Mountains.  With Lake Vyrnwy nearby, and close to the village of Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant, this waterfall is a very special place to visit.  Its name, meaning ‘Spring of the waterfall’ gives you an idea of what to expect, as the waterfall’s dramatic drop takes in a 240ft cliff-face to the Afon Rhaeadr below.

Discovering this beautiful place for yourself is a thrilling experience, especially after rain when the sound of the waterfall is a steady thundering noise that fills the gorge.

George Borrow, a 19th century author famous for his travelogues, came to the waterfall and described it in his book ‘Wild Wales’.  He explained that he had “…never seen a water falling so gracefully, so much like thin, beautiful threads as here…”

This waterfall has become so well-known and admired that it has been known as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of North Wales’ inspiring the 18th century poem by an anonymous poet who lists:

‘Pistyll Rhaeadr, and Wrexham Steeple,

Snowdon’s mountains without its people,

Overton’s yew trees, Gresford bells,

Llangollen bridge and St Winifrid’s Well’.

Local folklore talks of the giant, Cawr Berwyn, who is associated with the valleys of Cwm Blowty and Cwm Pennant.  Legend tells how three large boulders at the foot of the famous waterfall, Pistyll Rhaeadr, were said to have been thrown there by the giant, his wife and his maid as they were crossing the waterfall on the route to Pennant Melangell nearby.

These boulders, known as Baich y Cawr (Giant’s Burden), Baich y Gawres (Giantess’ Burden) and Ffedogaid y Forwyn (Maid’s Apronful) stir up their own mythical stories in our imaginations.  Perhaps you’ll be able to pick them out if you visit the waterfall!

This enchanting spot lured many visitors to the falls in the 18th and 19th centuries due to its picturesque and magical scenes.  The spray from the waterfall hangs in the air and creates a unique eco-system with rare and unusual plants.  

At an impressive 240ft (80m) the waterfall has boasted being one of the UK’s tallest, single drop waterfalls and is the perfect starting point to plenty of walks and adventures in the Berwyn Mountains and the nearby Lake Vyrnwy.

For more details on how to get there and walks to take once you arrive, please visit:

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