A is for Aberdulais Falls

Published May 8, 2010

The 1st May - a Saturday - and my challenge has begun. I had a couple of options to go with for the first letter of the alphabet but I thought I would start with something simple.

Aberdulais Falls is a National Trust location, just off the M4 in South Wales. The blurb reads:

Set in a steep gorge, this property demonstrates the power of water and its impact on industry… Today the waters of the River Dulais are used to make Aberdulais Falls self-sufficient in environmentally friendly energy, with its waterwheel – the largest in Europe generating electricity.

What’s not to like? Self-sufficiency and some waterfalls. Great stuff.

Aberdulais Falls

I was instructed quite strictly that I had to start at number 5 on the map, which wasn’t exactly a good introduction. Why can’t we start at number 1? Anyway, 5 was the tin miner’s cottage that told me all about tin. I went in there, had a quick look at some of the exhibits and the information boards, but I didn’t stop long. There was a video that was on a 7 minute loop, but it had no sound, and I didn’t know how far into it I had arrived. I decided to get out there and take some photos instead.

Aberdulais Falls

The site itself is not that big, really. You walk up one side, along the river, and catch a glimpse of the waterfall. Then you go up some steps where you can see the falls in all their glory.

Aberdulais Falls

It’s hard to capture the exact dimensions on camera, as there are various levels of water falling, but suffice it to say, it was very pretty. The bottom waterfall went a long way down. The only way I could fit it in was to go all wonky.

Aberdulais Falls

On the way back down the other side, you go past the enormous waterwheel. It really is huge. It was splashing water everywhere so I tried to keep my distance, but I was mesmerised by the wheel and drawn in.

After that there are some ruins, and some bits and bobs that try and give you a glimpse of what life was like back then. It’s hard to imagine, really, and the ruins are really just crumbling bits of rock that you are warned to stay away from.

Aberdulais Falls

They are in the process of excavating and doing archaeological type things though - I expect a visit from Time Team any moment - and there are signs throughout suggesting that your visit has helped the process of not only sustaining but also uncovering more about the tin works that used to exist.

I was very lucky with the weather, because although the clouds were dark and a few spit-spots of rain did fall, I managed to stay dry. There isn’t an awful amount to see or do at the Falls but it’s a lovely place to visit, and I came away with some nice photos, and a few words to share with you all. A good start to the Amazing A-Z Adventure.

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