• wanderlust

A weekend in South Wales - Wye Valley, Rhossili Bay and Brecon Beacons National Park

A few weeks ago, we headed to South Wales for a weekend getaway and it was a such as joyful experience. The weather was favourable, the scenery was amazing and it wasn't very touristy due to Covid.

  • Wye valley

The first destination, Wye valley, isn't actually in South Wales but it nicely broke up the journey and made such a wonderful stop. The landscape straddles the border between England and Wales and is one of most scenic places in the UK with River Wye running through the heart of the valley. If you are a fan of Sex Education series, you probably know that the show was filmed entirely in Wye valley, Forest of Dean, and South Wales. The photos below were shot from the viewpoint of the valley. To get there, head to Symonds Yat Rock and it's only a few minutes walk from the car park to the viewpoint. There are clear instructions in the car park so it's hard to miss.

There are a number of great hiking and cycling trails that you could do there depending on your time and physical fitness. You could also go to other areas in Forest of Dean to explore acres of woodland and enjoy outdoor activities.

We had lunch in a pub nearby and then carried on with the drive to Rhossili Bay in Gower.

  • Rhossili Bay

Nestled in Gower Peninsula, Rhossili Bay is a multi-award winning beach that is known for its long sandy beach and towering cliffs. The Worms Head, a part of the coastline stretch, becomes a island when the tide comes in. It's a popular place for paragliders, surfers and walkers. There are good establishments and facilities including car park, toilets, shops and restaurants. It's only half an hour away from Swansea which makes it such as nice and easy getaway place. The path down to the beach is quite steep but you can have some really good view from there. We spent a couple of hours chilling out on the beach and walking around before heading to dinner.

  • Brecon Beacons National Park - Four falls trail

The next morning we set off to go to the Brecon Beacons National Park, a mountain range in South Wales. It's a big scenic area with a lot to see and to do. With our limited time, we decided to hike a moderate trail, the Four Falls trail. It's a circular which took us to see four different waterfalls. The trail is very scenic and the photos below are just some of views we saw during the hike. Each waterfall has different characteristics, which makes the hike much more exciting and interesting.

The trail is marked clearly so it's quite easy to follow. We started at Sgwd Clun-Gwyn waterfall, followed the path to Sgwd Isaf Clun-gwyn ( I honestly don't know how to pronounce these names). We didn't go down to see the first two falls, instead we watched them from the trail as we didn't feel like they were that great.

The third fall is Sgwd y Pannwr, which is my favourite. We descended to get a close view of the trail and were pretty impressed. The water cascaded and plunged into a big pool, which looked deep enough to swim (if you can safely travel down!)

Sgwd Yr Eira is the last waterfall on the trail and is the most well known fall among the four as people can walk behind it. As you could see from the below photos, quite a few people were standing behind the fall and watching the water pouring down.

The trail was actually a bit more difficult than I expected, mainly because the path was very easy initially. As we walked further, it became more difficult and required more strength and balance. Some sections were quite rocky and slippery and might require some scrambles . There were a lot of ups and downs which could be quite tiring because we had to travel down to get to the waterfalls and then ascend to get back to the trail. Allow yourself about 3 hours to complete the trail. If you want to take some rest or have a picnic, you would need to budget more time.

Overall it was a very enjoyable experience and I would definitely recommend.

Let me know what your thoughts on the places and if you have any recommendation for South Wales.

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