Ceunant Mawr Waterfall, otherwise known as Llanberis Falls, is situated a few hundred metres upriver from the town centre of Llanberis. The falls are seen by most people from the viaduct on the Snowdon Mountain Railway. Ceunant Mawr (which translates as the waterfall of the great ravine) is probably one of the most impressive waterfalls in Wales and plunges over a hundred feet in two stages into a gorge. Now looking at the picture above you’d think what so amazing about that? Well, to be honest nothing really. However, I was standing at the head of the falls at this point and just to the side of me was a sheer drop where the falls plummeted down to the river below. So if you do visit the falls and cross the railway to get to the head, then be careful, there’s no fence, the ground slopes away and there’s nothing to stop you if you do slip. OK time for another photograph….
Right then, you can now see the first drop which is stage 1 but the image above is a crop of the stage 1 drop. Below you can see it in greater detail.
One of the great things about this waterfall is its only 15 minutes from the High Street and talking to the ladies of the parish church they assured me that the waterfall is at it’s most spectacular after a heavy fall of rain. So how do you get there? Start at the junction of the High Street and Church Lane, between the Parish Church and the garage. Follow Church Lane around a curve until the Snowdon Railway viaduct is in sight (you can drive this part but there is very limited parking at the side of the road). Before reaching the viaduct turn right on a tarmac track by a cattle grid. After a few yards take a narrow un-surfaced path to the left, skirting the house garden to reach a concrete path that runs up the side of the Afon Hwch. Five minutes easy walking brings you to the falls. I can’t verify this route as I took the walk to get a view of the falls from above. To do that I followed the tarmac track uphill from the cattle grid. It’s a steep climb but well worth it. Eventually you will a gate which allows you to cross the track (take care, it’s an active line for the Snowdonia Mountain Railway) to get a view of the falls. A little higher another gate gives access to the fields above the main fall. Don’t be tempted to walk up the track, those little steam engines go up and down pretty fast.
If you are visiting Llanberis for the day and have payed for all day parking at the car park opposite the Station (currently £6.00) then I can suggest an alternate walk which is about one and a half miles to get to the falls.
Commencing at the forecourt of the Snowdon Mountain Railway Station in the centre of Llanberis, turn right, then take the first right turn. Proceed to the end of the road at which point turn right into a short road, and on reaching the end of the houses, take the public footpath to the left sign-posted Ceunant Mawr Waterfall. Follow the clear tarmac footpath which passes the viaduct and climbs steeply uphill and offers views over Llyn Padarn, Llanberis and the track of the Snowdon Mountain Railway as it begins its ascent up the mountain.
For cheaper all day parking use the Car Park at Electric Mountain Pick-up Point (£4.00 all day or £2.00 for 4 hours). Alternatively you can use the Car Park just a bit down the road from the Lakeside Steam Railway which is also £4.00 for the day.
As part of my processing of this image I loosely followed the advice given by Farbspiel for the use of Topaz Adjust in his excellent site HDR Cookbook which is dedicated to the use of HDR in photography. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
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