Henrhyd Waterfall (Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/restlessglobetrotter/3817951248/in/photostream/)

Henrhyd Waterfall

Ystradgynlais is positioned on the River Tawe, South West Powys, in what used to be Brecknockshire. Close to Swansea (and frequently referred to as being in the Swansea Valley), yet also at the base of the Black Mountains, this largely Welsh speaking town is well positioned as a great place for holidays.

What's Ystradgynlais like?

Ystradgynlais has a history of iron, coal and watch making, and anyone interested in discovering more about this might like to visit the Ystradgynlais History and Heritage Website which goes into far more information than I can do here. Of particular interest to visitors might be the Gorsedd Stones (situated in Gorsedd Park and erected when the village was host of the National Eisteddford of Wales in 1954), and the ruins of the iron works.

Outdoor activities and natural features

The National Cycle Route 43 goes along the South part of Ystradgynlais on the old Swansea Vale railway line and aims to connect Bulith Wells with Swansea. Of course, many walkers and cyclists love this area because of the great scenery and challenging routes.

Dinosaur exhibit at the Dan yr Ogof Caves (Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lodekka/8646332200)

Dinosaur exhibit at the Dan yr Ogof Caves

And scenery doesn't get better than the spectacular 90-feet high Henrhyd Waterfall, situated in a deep wooded gorge with very steep footpath. And for a completely different experience, try the Dan yr Ogof Caves, close to the village. Full of stalactites, stalagmites, and comprising four underground lakes and many passages and chambers - all in all there's around 10 miles of caves underground. According to their website "Cavers believe that this is the tip of the iceberg and that there is still much to discover". So it is well worth a visit without even taking into account that this National Showcaves Centre for Wales also includes a Dinosaur Park, stone circles, Iron Age village and much more...

In addition, The Brecknock Wildlife Trust look after more than twenty reserves in the area, making it a brilliant resource for wildlife. And the Lluest Hore and Pony Trust run courses and workshops through the year.

Lake at the Craig-y-nos country park (Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zingyyellow/2667857395)

Lake at the Craig-y-nos country park

How to get here

Ystradgynlais is situated just off the A4067, a direct route North East from the M4 South Coast motorway. From other directions, a network of A roads across the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons will bring the traveller into Ystradgynlais. Close to Swansea, Port Talbot and Carmarthen, this area feels remote without actually being so. There's no railway station here or airport, but visitors staying here can get easy access to both - just half an hour away in Swansea.

Where to stay

If you yearn to stay in a castle or a historic farmhouse, you're in luck, because our properties in this area cater for all budgets and requirements. From fun-filled family holidays to activity breaks or romantic times away, there's something for everyone so do take a look at our listings and book today!

Accommodation in Ystradgynlais

  • Ystradgynlais   (1.7 miles from the centre of Ystradgynlais)
    Sleeps 20
    Prices from
    Per week (seasonal), sleeps 20
    Substantial 17th century Welsh longhouse ideal for large family gatherings/ groups. Plenty of parking, open fire, dishwasher, washing machine. Short breaks available. Dog friendly.
  • Ystradgynlais   (1.0 miles from the centre of Ystradgynlais)
    Sleeps 4
    Prices from
    Per week (seasonal), sleeps 4
    Charming period farm cottage in the Brecon Beacons close to beautiful walks, waterfalls & farmland. Private hot tub, wood burner stove, lovely views. Families welcome.
  • Cwmtwrch   (1.9 miles from the centre of Ystradgynlais)
    Sleeps 6
    Prices from
    Per week (seasonal) Sleeps 6
    Well equipped 3 bedroom cottage in the Swansea Valley close to the Brecon Beacons & Gower. Lawn garden, wood burner, Sky+ TV. No pets. Short breaks off peak. Sleeps 6.