During the last Ice Ages, glaciers gouged out and deepened the Tawe Valley. With the retreat of the last glacier from the Swansea Valley 10,000 years ago, the Upper Clydach River was left perched high above the main valley floor. A spectacular waterfall formed at this point.
Cwm Du GlenOver the passage of time, the river cut back along its course to form a narrow gorge known locally as Cwm-Du-Glen. The gorge approximately 1km long follows the Upper Clydach River from the heart of Pontardawe, upstream to Rhydyfro. Here, a picturesque waterfall marks the termination of the gorge.
Glanrhyd PlantationAbove the Gorge lies the former grounds of Glanrhyd House. The fine house was built by local industrialist Arthur Gilbertson in 1878. It was used as a hospital during the First World War and was demolished in 1968. The surrounding garden contains the ruins of a pool, reported to be the first outdoor pool in Wales. Today after much work by a local nature project the gardens feature aa restored nature pond, tree trail and several seating areas and view points. Don’t miss the giant redwood tree.
AccessToday Cwm du Glen and the Glanrhyd Plantation above are a designated local nature reserve and entry is free. The main entrance is unusual in that it is located in an urban environment at the crossroad in Pontardawe. Alternative entrances can be found on James Street and Waun Gron.