Wild Swimming

Upper Ddwli Falls Near Pontneddfechan Brecon Beacons

Wild Swimming

The Brecon Beacons offers you the chance of wild swimming in rivers, lakes and waterfalls. Actually you will be spoilt for choice from those that are easily reached to the hidden gems. You will quite possibly have the place to yourself.


Llyn Y Fan Fach is over in the Western side of the Brecon Beacons. The lake is man made but the scenery is spectacular. You can combine the swim with an exhilerating climb up onto the ridge. If you have the time carry on to Llyn Y Fan Fawr for another beautiful lake to swim in.


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Llyn Cwm Llwch is a natural mountain lake sitting below Pen Y Fan. You reach it by the path from the Storey Arms. A left turn onto the path before Corn Du takes you past Tommy Jones Obelisk. The obelisk marks the spot where the body of Tommy Jones aged 5 was found, lost on his way home. You can swim in the lake and watch the people above you on Pen Y Fan.


Cwm Llwch Lake below Pen Y Fan
Cwm Llwch Lake below Pen Y Fan

Keepers Pond is another man made lake high up on the Blorenge above Abergavenny. The pond was built in 1817 to power the Garn Ddyrys iron forge. You now have an infinity pool looking out over the Brecon Beacons. After the spectacular drive up the Blorenge you can park in the carpark right beside the lake.

Keepers Pond Wild Swimming


The Brecon Beacons is famous for its waterfalls some of which you can walk behind. Have you ever thought of taking a dip in one? There are several things to consider before stripping off and diving in. It is very very cold all year round. The pool depth is totally dependent on our rain levels otherwise you might at best get a paddle. Also due to their popularity you will most likely not be alone. However with a bit of planning and the ability to walk a bit further through rougher terrain beautiful deserted pools are awaiting you.

The Elidir Trail is a relatively easy route up to Sgwd Gwladys / Lady Falls. This trail includes glimpses of fossils and the folded rocks that once formed part of the shallow seas covering the Brecon Beacons. You can even see fossilised remains of tree ferns on the first waterfall from the Angel Hotel direction. I love to start the walk from here.

Sgwd Einion Gam / The Fall of the Crooked Anvil. The ultimate waterfall and remote swimming pool requires a further hike. You have to follow the river crossing it twice and at times walking on the slippery river bed. I think you will find the effort worthwhile.

For a brilliant guide of this area and other parts of the park take a look at Chris Knight’s website and you tube channel.

Waterfalls Brecon Beacons
Distant view of Sgwd Einion Gam©Kevin Walker


The main rivers you can visit and swim in are the Usk and the Wye. One thing you should remember is that these are shared with the fishermen!

I recommend trying the Usk by Llangynidr where there are deep pools, rapid sections and flat rocks. The area of the Wye by Glasbury is called The Beach for obvious reasons. You will find a rocky shoreline and a gentle slope into the water before getting deeper. This area is very popular with families.

If you would like to try wild swimming or prefer a guide Angela Jones offers years of experience and a personalised trip. Her website Swim Wild Wye has all the details

There is another brilliant guide by 2 brits who living in Australia. Their love of the Brecon Beacons, waterfalls and wild swimming feature in several articles on their website Walk My World

Brecon BeaconsAberyscir Coach House – Brecon Beacons Guide