Waterfall weekender: my wild swimming adventure in the Brecon Beacons


-A stroll amid cinematic landscapes to 5 south Wales waterfalls – and a comfortable pub – proves the ideal replacement for a vacation overseas

It has been a difficult month for numerous motives and I wanted a break. I first of all idea a vacation overseas will be the handiest antidote. But because it became out, a wild-swimming weekend withinside the Brecon Beacons in south Wales turned into the handiest medicinal drug I wanted.

My exhilaration at the approaching ride quickly morphed into panic as we checked out the climate forecast: plenty of gray clouds and massive raindrops.

After settling into our comfortable room in Brecon, we placed on our water-resistant trousers and took walk boots, and braved the elements. A short power took us to the beginning of the Dragons Back path withinside the Black Mountains whose ups and downs consider the scales of a snoozing dragon. The regular spit of rain has become cooling as we hiked up the steep grassy bank, at the start seeking to keep away from the sheep poo, after which forgetting all approximately it. The climate made the panorama appear cinematic, the gaps among the low clouds revealing the following rolling hill like a curtain parting earlier than the massive screen. The air turned so fresh, I felt it cleansed us of all of the London grit and grime

The handiest construction in sight turned into the Dinas Castle Inn, the best pub withinside the Brecon Beacons countrywide park, so we handled ourselves to a pint of Bale lager, ate garlic bread with the aid of using the hearthplace and puzzled if the waterfall we’d be swimming withinside the day after could be as bloodless as our beers.

On the day of the wild swim, the air turned into a groovy 10C. I ran returned to the resort and threw multiple warm chocolate sachets in a thermos of warm water – a choice I could gloat approximately later. We headed to the Four Waterfalls stroll, taking in Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr, and Sgwd 12 months Eira. This place has the best attention of waterfalls withinside the UK and we visited them all, taking walks on wet wooded area paths covered with vibrant scarlet cap mushrooms.

Sgwd 12 months Eira turned into a thundering blanket of white. We walked at the tight ledge at the back of the falls wherein we ought to listen and experience her power. Perhaps now no longer the only one to swim in, we decided. The surrounding wooded area felt alive and calming. When we ultimately arrived at Sgwd y Pannwr, or “fall of the fuller”, we noticed a curtain of water falling over an extensive staircase into an inviting pool. I had formerly labeled myself as “a person who doesn’t move into UK seas” due to the fact they’re too bloodless. So once I located myself in a swimming gown and a woolly hat at the bottom of a Welsh waterfall in October, I wasn’t sure I turned into going to undergo with it. But I slowly inched myself in. After approximately 3 mins my pores and skin felt love it turned into burning. I was given out and felt so euphoric that I went returned in mins later. Drying off on a rock even as sipping warm chocolate, I couldn’t forestall smiling.

Sunday’s walks took us to find (and swim in) Nant Sere waterfall, hidden in a valley close to south Wales’s maximum top Pen y Fan. Following commands and pix we located online, we crept via low-striking bushes right into an inexperienced wooded area place calmly protected in a gentle mossy rug. With no person else around, we dived in, our screams of exhilaration echoing down the gorge.

Our praise for this display of bravery turned into one of the satisfactory Sunday roasts of our lives on the Felin Fach Griffin pub, with its timber beams, open hearthplace, and stone floors.

But we stored the satisfactory for last. The crown jewel of Wales’s waterfall u. s . is Henrhyd Falls, which turned into used as the doorway to the Bat Cave in The Dark Knight Rises and is the best in south Wales. A 5-minute stroll from the auto park takes you right into a rainforest-like lair with striking ferns. The waterfall turned into in complete pressure from days of heavy rain, making swimming ill-advised, however at the back of it turned into a roomy cavern – now no longer pretty massive sufficient for Batman to stay in, however ideal for looking the sundown and the gargantuan sheet of water frothing down in the front of us.

“When we’ve visitors here, it’s amazing – their faces appearance extraordinary with the aid of using the cease of the weekend due to the fact they’ve comfortable and their muscle mass are doing something extraordinary,” our B&B proprietor Kayt Cooper instructed me. She and her husband, Hugh, run the lovely Coach House withinside the ancient center of Brecon. It’s the ideal vicinity to get entry to all regions of the countrywide park and to have a warm tub and relaxation among hikes.

I felt extra refreshed after nights withinside the Brecon Beacons than I have after lots of my vacations overseas. Immersed in amazing nature and plunging into bloodless water, we couldn’t assist but be absolute withinside the moment. I took the herbal splendor of south Wales and returned with me down the M4 to London, and it made the chaos of the beyond-month experience like something I ought to cope with. After all, I turned into now the kind of individual who is going for a Welsh wild swim withinside the rain.

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