The Swallow Falls is one of Snowdonia’s premier attractions receiving a hundred thousand visitors every year. The Falls are the highest continuous waterfall in Wales and are conveniently located just off the A5..
The Swallow Falls is one of Snowdonia’s premier attractions receiving a hundred thousand visitors every year. The Falls are the highest continuous waterfall in Wales and are conveniently located just off the A5.
The beauty spot was gifted to Betws-y-Coed council by the second Lord Ancaster in 1913 whereupon they got busy installing viewing platforms and fencing the whole thing off so that they could extort money out of tourists. Local residents benefitted from the council’s enviable entrepreneurial spirit by enjoying the lowest rates in the country up until 1974 when Local Government Reorganisation reduced the status of the parish council. Unfortunately, the admission charge was unperturbed by the council’s fall from grace and survives in blissful ignorance to this day.
Directions to the Swallow Falls
Postcode: LL24 0DW
The Falls are on the A5 two miles west of Betws-y-Coed. My SatNav said I had arrived a ½ mile or so before I had but just keep a lookout for the Swallow Falls Hotel which will be on your left.
The entrance to the Falls are opposite the hotel.
Admission Charge (2016)
Entry is £1.50 per person and the exact fee is required if the turnstile is unmanned – these are not the type of turnstiles that you can leap! It is possible to get away without paying admission by following the path on the other side of the River Llugwy but this path is no longer maintained.
For free admission, park-up on the Ugly House car park (postcode: LL24 0DS) and follow the signposted footpath down the steps by the bridge. Keep to the field edge nearest the river and cross the ladder stile to the path along the river bank. Follow the path up a slight incline to the left where you will reach a track in the forest. Follow this track to arrive at your viewing point which can be reached down a short flight of wooden steps.
There is very limited parking in a layby opposite the hotel but you never know it might be your lucky day. Alternatively, you can use the hotel car park for which a charge of £1.50 (2016) is applied. Take advantage of the hotel’s facilities and the parking charge is refunded.