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Swallow Falls

Betws-Y-Coed, Caernarfonshire

Location Guide

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.

by Brian Joyce

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 below.


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
by Philip Halling  

Location: Swallow Falls, Betws-Y-Coed, Caernarfonshire

Grid Reference: SH765576 Ceremonial County: Carnearfonshire

Map Link: OS Get a map  StreetMap

Aerial photo:

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.
Website:  Own
Other Useful Websites:   Wiki    Image   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 10am-4pm;
July & August 9am-5pm

Charges: April-Oct: Adult 1.50; Child 50p when Kiosk manned.
All other times 1 in coin slot on turnstile

Nearby Locations: Conwy Falls
Other Location Pages: Waterfall    Waterfalls in Wales







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By: Keith Park Section: Waterfalls Section Key:
Page Ref: Swallow_Falls Topic: Waterfalls Last Updated: 01/2012

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