Ess-Na-Crub Falls, Northern Ireland

Glenariff Forest Park has a number of wonderful waterfalls, so it’s definitely a great stop if you’re looking specifically for waterfalls in Northern Ireland. Ess-Na-Larach, in my opinion, is the most scenic of the falls in the park. Ess-Na-Crub is probably the next most scenic falls.

Ess-Na-Crub is a bit shorter than Ess-Na-Larach, but it’s surprisingly wider than the other waterfalls. So you definitely get a nice variety of waterfalls in the park. And the hike is relatively short and quick, which is a benefit (unless you don’t want to leave the beauty of the park). There is a bit of consistent downhill hike along the trail, but it isn’t terrible. Just realize you have to head back uphill somehow!

Directions:

Glenariff Forest Park is very easy to find, as it is just off A43 and is very clearly signed along the road.  The decision to make is whether you approach from the north or south.

  • If you’ll be heading north toward the park, A43 starts in Ballymena. (If you’re coming from A26, A26 turns briefly into M2, which you can exit at exit 11 and take a few roads to connect into A43.)
  • If you’ll be heading south toward the park, A43 starts in Waterfoot off of A2. It’s pretty clearly signed.

After you turn onto the road entering into the park, you’ll drive along a one-way road for a portion, which leads directly into the parking area.  Then you follow the signs to the trail head.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate, the trail is consistently downhill)
Height: 35′
Length of Hike: 0.7 miles round-trip

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Ess-Na-Crub in May 2014

Where in the World is Ess-Na-Crub Waterfall?

Rhaeadr Dyserth (Dyserth Waterfall), Wales

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Rhaeadr Dyserth in June 2018

Many of the waterfalls I visited in Wales required some hiking. Rhaeadr Dyserth was one of the few waterfalls that didn’t require any hiking (beyond getting closer to the falls). So while it’s in a cute little city and does require a bit of driving out of the way to see the falls, it’s worth it for the quick viewing opportunities (though the hikes in Wales were stunning).

Getting to the falls isn’t particularly difficult, though it is very easy to miss the parking area for the falls (and the parking area is rather small), though it isn’t wildly difficult to track backwards. From there, you can see the falls, but you can also walk a little bit closer to get a much better view. I believe there was a request for payment to enter the park, though I don’t remember how much. The paved path to the falls is beautiful, though there were a lot of little bugs flying around! It’s a quick stop to photograph the falls. While you’re there, check out the walls…no one is really sure where the walls are from.

Directions:

  1. Head toward Dyserth, Wales.
  2. From A5151 (High Street in the town), turn right onto B5119 (Waterfall Road).
  3. The falls will be on your right, with the parking area to the north of the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 69′
Length of Hike: negligible

Where in the World is Rhaeadr Dyserth?

Sgwd Clun Gwyn (Fall of the White Meadow), Wales

I just got back from a twelve day trip to England and Wales. While there, I visited a number of waterfalls in Wales. While some of the waterfalls were relatively easy to visit, the waterfalls here were a bit more of an adventure, so I’m going to write about them before I forget anything!

Sgwd Clun Gwyn, Fall of the White Meadow, is the first of four waterfalls you’ll encounter along the Four Falls Trail in Brecon Beacons National Park. If this were the only waterfall in the area, it wouldn’t be nearly adventurous, beside the drive there. (The road to and from the falls is barely even wide enough for one car, as are most of the rural roads in the UK, it seems.) The other falls require more effort, though it is worth it if you’re prepared. I wasn’t as prepared as I should be, thinking it wasn’t nearly as long of a hike to all four falls.

It’s just under a mile from the car park to Sgwd Clun Gwyn, and it’s mostly easy going on the way to this waterfall. There are two options for seeing the waterfall. The better option for viewing the falls is to veer right at the fork, cross the bridge over the small stream, and walk a short distance to view the falls (which will be to your left). There is a trail on the other side that leads to the base of the falls, but currently there’s a large tree hanging right in front of the falls, making photography difficult.

To see the other falls, you’ll veer left at the fork I mentioned, and continue on your way. It does get a bit more uphill/downhill along the way, though that’s not really the difficult part. It’s the “spur” trails that lead to these falls that are more strenuous as they require a lot of uphill/downhill climbing. I’ll post more about those later. It’s about 5.5 miles round-trip to see all four falls, and it took us a bit over 3.5 hours.

Directions:

  1. Main route A465 will likely be your starting point. Take the exit to Glynneath, which will put you on A4109.
  2. From A4109, you’ll very quickly after turn right onto B4242, and then left onto Pontneathvaughan Road. You’ll continue on this road for about 5 miles.
  3. Google Maps tried to direct us down a very narrow country road (which didn’t have any signage for the falls). I continued until I saw the actual sign for the waterfalls trail, and turned right. It was still a very narrow road but it led us directly to the

    Cwm Porth Car Park. (You can also start at the Gwaun Hepste Car Park, though it does lead you down some different trails.)

  4. There is a £4 fee to park, and then you can start the hike to the falls.

Accessibility: 8/10 (to this waterfall), 3/10 (for whole set)
Height: 40′
Length of Hike: 2 miles round-trip to this waterfall, 5.5 miles for the whole set

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Sgwd Clun Gwyn in June 2018

Where in the World is Sgwd Clun Gwyn (Fall of the White Meadow)?

Ess-Na-Larach Falls, Northern Ireland

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Ess-Na-Larach Waterfall in May 2014

I’m about to head to England and Wales, and figured I would post about a waterfall in another part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland. I visited Ireland and Northern Ireland in 2014, and had an absolutely wonderful time. The scenery is stunning, and it’s no wonder why so many people visit the island.

One of the best places to to see waterfalls in Northern Ireland is at Glenariff Forest Park. When I arrived at the park, it was a kind of cloudy and humid, and yet it seemed to fit the mood of the island. Not many people were visiting the park on this day. I first stopped into the visitor’s center and paid the entrance fee. Then it was off to the falls. Ess-Na-Larach is one of the two named waterfalls in the park, with other smaller waterfalls along the way. Ess-Na-Crub is the other named falls. (There are also some very tall, ephemeral waterfalls not terribly far away that you can view from the parking area.) Of the two named waterfalls, this one is probably the more scenic one as the two drops carve their way through the rock.

Directions:

Glenariff Forest Park is very easy to find, as it is just off A43 and is very clearly signed along the road.  The decision to make is whether you approach from the north or south.

  • If you’ll be heading north toward the park, A43 starts in Ballymena. (If you’re coming from A26, A26 turns briefly into M2, which you can exit at exit 11 and take a few roads to connect into A43.)
  • If you’ll be heading south toward the park, A43 starts in Waterfoot off of A2. It’s pretty clearly signed.

After you turn onto the road entering into the park, you’ll drive along a one-way road for a portion, which leads directly into the parking area.  Then you follow the signs to the trail head.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate, the trail is consistently downhill)
Height: 35′
Length of Hike: 0.7 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Ess-Na-Larach Waterfall?

Waterfall near Glenariff Forest Park, Northern Ireland

A waterfall near Glenariff Forest Park (May 2014)

There are a number of impressive waterfalls in Glenariff Forest Park, but there are also a number of interesting waterfalls near the park. As I was driving there, I noticed at least two waterfalls. These were tall waterfalls, each hundreds of feet tall. And yet there was no way to stop and view them. The road was very winding and I was trying to pay as much attention as possible to the road, since everything was on the “opposite” side!

So while I couldn’t stop and photograph these two falls I had seen, I was able to photograph a third waterfall from the parking area that leads to the other trails. From the parking area, I was looking east at forested cliffs, and noticed this waterfall. I’m a bad judge at height, but this is in the hundreds of feet range, since I’m relatively far away from it. I don’t know if this particular waterfall is extremely exciting, but it reminds me that there are often more waterfalls that nobody has ever mentioned, and that some of these are probably taller than the “tallest” we always hear about.

Directions:

Glenariff Forest Park is very easy to find, as it is just off A43 and is very clearly signed along the road.  The decision to make is whether you approach from the north or south.

  • If you’ll be heading north toward the park, A43 starts in Ballymena. (If you’re coming from A26, A26 turns briefly into M2, which you can exit at exit 11 and take a few roads to connect into A43.)
  • If you’ll be heading south toward the park, A43 starts in Waterfoot off of A2. It’s pretty clearly signed.

After you turn onto the road entering into the park, you’ll drive along a one-way road for a portion, which leads directly into the parking area.

Accessibility: 10/10 (viewed from parking lot)
Height: ~150′ (guessing)
Length of Hike: “roadside”

Where in the World is this Waterfall near Glenariff Forest Park?

Waterfall in Glenariff Forest Park, Northern Ireland

After researching waterfalls in Northern Ireland, I was excited to go Glenariff Forest Park. There were a number of waterfalls in the park that looked like they could be great. So I became a little bit concerned when I discovered that the Giro d’Italia was going to be occurring, causing many road closures exactly in the areas I was going to be travelling! I understand that Ireland and Northern Ireland were very excited to be hosting the start of the race, but I had no idea this was happening and didn’t really understand what this meant for getting from point A to B in Northern Ireland.

I decided to start my journey early, and managed to avoid any road closures. My first stop was Gleno Falls just northwest of Belfast. I looked at the schedule, and realized I should have enough time to drive along the Coast Road (A2) before it shuts down. It’s a very beautiful (and curvy) drive, and passes through many charming towns. I was able to get to Glenariff Forest Park with time to spare. I went to the kiosk to pay the £4.50 entrance fee, only to realize it required coins (of which I had none). Luckily, there was a cafe/gift shop where I was able to pay the fee.

I then started my hike from the parking lot to the Waterfalls Trail. A few other trails also start and connect into this trail, though the trails are very well signed. You can wander around a bit, but the first major waterfall you’ll come to is Ess-Na-Larach. (There is another waterfall further upstream, but due to storm damage, it is currently inaccessible.) After this, you can continue hiking to Ess-Na-Crub, the other major waterfall. In between, though, is this smaller waterfall. There are other drops along the river, but this is the most significant of the “unnamed” drops. It’s approximately 8-10′ in height. With all of these amazing waterfalls, and the generally beautiful atmosphere, Glenariff Forest Park is really a great place to visit. (I say this remembering that it rained for a good 15 minutes as I walked back to my car. That just adds to the ambiance!)

Directions:

Glenariff Forest Park is very easy to find, as it is just off A43 and is very clearly signed along the road.  The decision to make is whether you approach from the north or south.

  • If you’ll be heading north toward the park, A43 starts in Ballymena. (If you’re coming from A26, A26 turns briefly into M2, which you can exit at exit 11 and take a few roads to connect into A43.)
  • If you’ll be heading south toward the park, A43 starts in Waterfoot off of A2. It’s pretty clearly signed.

After you turn onto the road entering into the park, you’ll drive along a one-way road for a portion, which leads directly into the parking area.  Then you follow the signs to the trailhead.

Accessibility: 6/10 (the trail is consistently downhill)
Height: 10′
Length of Hike: 0.9 miles round-trip

A smaller waterfall in Glenariff Forest Park (May 2014)

Where in the World is this Waterfall in Glenariff Forest Park?

Gleno Falls, Northern Ireland

Gleno Waterfall in May 2014

I’ve been traveling around Ireland and Northern Ireland for the past few days, and have been seeking out a number of waterfalls. The first waterfall I came upon was Gleno (or Glenoe) Falls. This was an easy-to-visit waterfall in an extremely beautiful setting.

I hadn’t realized that I was visiting the area on the same weekend as the Giro d’Italia race, and therefore roads were going to be closed off for periods of time. I set out early to avoid these road closures, and it worked pretty well. I was able to drive from the bed and breakfast and get to Gleno Falls relatively quickly. (It looked like a further distance on the map, but coming from the US, we tend to forget that things are shorter in Europe!)

The falls are maybe 50′ tall in two separate segments. It’s rather difficult to capture both drops separately. Instead, they merge into one still very beautiful view. When I visited, the sun was shining through the trees just right to make the setting almost ethereal. If you’re in the Belfast region, and you want to quickly visit a waterfall, this one is probably the best bet for you. It’s a wonderful waterfall!

Directions:

In this specific case, I would suggest setting your GPS to Gleno (or looking at a map for Gleno, which is also spelled Glenoe). There are multiple ways to get to the road you’re looking for, which is B-99, also called Waterfall Road in the vicinity. This can be accessed from A-2 south of Glynn. I came from the exact opposite direction, but don’t recall what the road names were

If you’re coming from Belfast, you can take a left onto B-149, which will also lead you to Gleno, but you will then have to get onto B-99. If you’re lost, just ask for directions, or look for road signs.  The brown road signs were pretty clear (they say “Waterfall”), and so I just followed those once I was in the vicinity!

Accessibility: 10/10 (very easy to get to)
Height: 50′
Length of Hike: negligible

Where in the World is Gleno Falls?