Swallow Falls (Rhaeadr Ewynnol) has many visitors and amongst
them many photographers. It is a waterfall that is ideal for many, with
reasonably easy access. They are accessible from the roadside, through a
turnstile all year round.
This is a series of stunning waterfalls on
the Afon Llugwy. Its principal viewpoints are situated on the south bank of
the river Llugwy with the convenience of ample parking along the A5 and
within the hotel car park opposite it's entrance. After heavy rainfall the
flood sends water cascades over the rocks in a foaming onrush of
unrestrained energy and are quite spectacular. Others suggest November or
March as being a good time to visit, however we visited in August and there
was still an impressive amount of water rushing over the top into the ravine
In 1913 the Swallow
Falls was given to the Betws-y-Coed parish council by the second Lord
Ancaster. The council at the time were more than happy to accept it as they
had incurred a debt of £15,000 through the installation of water and
electricity supplies to the village, and it was hoped that by charging
visitors to view the waterfall it would provide a source of income and
hopefully pay off the debt, and over the years it did. However once the debt
was cleared the parish continued to own the waterfall and it remained a
source of income until 1974. In 1974 Local Government was reorganised and
the status of the parish council was reduced, and this changed the financial
situation. However during the interlude between 1913 and 1974 Betws-y-Coed
was the only parish in Wales where its residents paid the lowest rates in
the country, because of the income generated from visitors to the falls.
It is still a tourist attraction today and
a small payment is required to view them from the south side using the
turnstile and paths which overlook them. However if you are up to a walk and
can get to see them from the northern side then some say it can be observed
far more dramatically along the northern bank. I have only visited from the
main tourist entrance and if visitor numbers are not overwhelming as on my
visit you can get great views from here as well.
Swallow falls after heavy rain
Location: Swallow Falls,
OS Get a map
Getting there: Off the A5 between
Betws-y-Coed and Capel Curig
Access: From parking on the side of the A5, or
in hotel car park opposite go through a turnstile and down some short paths
to viewing platforms.
Other Useful Websites:
North Wales Attractions
Address: Holyhead Road, Betws-y-Coed, Conwy
Postcode: LL24 0DW
Telephone: 01690 710770 (kiosk)
Opening Times: Daily All Year. Access
via a turnstile.
Kiosk Manned from April-October. Apr-May & Sep-Oct 10am-3pm; June
July & August 9am-5pm
Charges: April-Oct: Adult £1.50; Child 50p
when Kiosk manned.
All other times £1 in coin slot on turnstile
Other Location Pages:
Waterfalls in Wales
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