Devil’s Bridge Falls has been attracting visitors to this part of Wales since the 18th century. You get to see the underside of a bridge – actually 3 – and the falls themselves joined-up by a pleasant walk.
There are two walks on offer: a nature trail or the punchbowel. The nature trail is conservatively estimated at 45-minutes but we are slow walkers and like to stop, look, and listen, a lot. I’m sure we were there nearly 3-hours.
The punchbowel is a 10-minute stroll which I don’t even think we could extend much longer.
Beware: the nature trail involves a lot of steps. It’s worth reiterating this point: a lot! This walk ‘feature’ is bearable on the way down to the foot of the falls but isn’t so friendly when you make the inevitable climb back up. However, there are lots of places to pull-over and gaze at the scenery.
Devil’s Bridge itself spans the Afon Mynach, a tributary of the Rheidol. The bridge is unusual in that three separate bridges have been built at this spot over the centuries. The most recently built is an iron bridge (1901). This replaced a stone bridge (1753) which replaced the original bridge (built 1075–1200).
According to legend, the original bridge was built after an old woman lost her cow and saw it grazing on the other side of the river. Hearing the old woman’s lament, the Devil appeared and agreed to build a bridge in return for the soul of the first living thing to cross it. When the bridge was finished, the quick-thinking old woman threw a crust of bread over the river provoking her dog to give chase and so become the first living thing to cross it. Not surprisingly, this miffed the Devil and, so miffed, he disappeared into thin air but not before exclaiming “Tut, the silly dog is no good to me!”. The Devil, being of a sensitive nature and bad humoured, has been too embarrassed to ever return. Thus, the old women got a bridge together with the thanks of the local populace for ridding the area for all time of the meddling Devil.
Directions to Devil’s Bridge
Postcode: SY23 3JW
Open all year by turnstile
Attendant at entrance from 9:45 to 17:00 Easter to end of October
Child (age 5-16) £2.00
Child under 5 Free
Senior Citizen £3.00
Per person: £1.00
Don’t forget to visit the Fall’s website just in case there’s any vouchers to cheapen your visit. I didn’t and of course there was!